There is nothing that can ruin stepping outside into your garden on a sunny day quite as much as finding it full of cat poop. It’s smelly, sticky, potentially harmful and can be hidden in a variety of places. Nowhere is safe, your garden beds, sandpits, gravelly areas or even your lawn – wherever your local feline population seems to prefer! So what is the cat poo in garden law?
In general, cats will prefer to do their business in areas that contain loose dirt or gravel that they can dig and scratch in easily. This is probably why they always seem to leave their presents in your nicely dug and maintained raised beds or flower beds, leaving you a few nasty surprises when you next go to do some weeding or planting.
Why Do Cats Poo In Other Peoples Gardens?
It can seem infuriating that cats generally avoid going to the toilet in their own gardens. This is down to a survival trait that developed in these animals when they were still wild kitties and is down to one major factor, the smell.
We can all agree that cat poop is very smelly and a distinct sign that there is a cat nearby and that is exactly why they don’t do it where they live. They don’t like to leave signposts to any potential predators in their own territory. In the wild, this is a sensible move but our domesticated cats haven’t realised yet that they don’t need to go to these lengths to hide their poo.
Of course, the knowledge of why cats do this doesn’t make dealing with it any easier. So your next course of action when you have a cat poop problem is to work out what to do and how to deal with it best.
Cat Poo In Garden Law
The law might seem like an obvious place to start when you have nuisance kitties visiting your garden and using it as a toilet but unfortunately, the law isn’t on your side.
Cats are considered to be animals that are covered by a law called ‘right to roam’ which means that a cat owner doesn’t have an obligation to keep the animal on their own property. This means that technically that trespassing cat in your garden is not trespassing at all.
This doesn’t mean that cats don’t fall under the same duty of care laws that all domesticated animals are protected by. The owner does have a responsibility to care for the cat and ensure their needs are met. Unfortunately for neighbours, one of these welfare issues is that any pet animals have a right to be able to exhibit normal behaviour – which for a cat is exploring its environment.
There are also several more laws that are protecting roaming kitties from harm and means you have to be careful when trying to deal with repelling a cat from your garden.
Cats are considered property which means that you have to be careful when trying to deal with one. Any damage inflicted on the cat is covered under animal welfare acts and criminal damage acts. So no matter how infuriated you get, make sure anything you do is not going to land you in trouble. Hurting an animal is never a solution, not only is it against the law but the problem that you are annoyed with isn’t the animal’s fault. They are usually just behaving in a way natural to their species or as a result of human training.
So, with the law against you, there is little you can do from this aspect. In rare cases, you may be able to bring a public nuisance law claim against your neighbour but you would have to prove that the cats were being kept in circumstances that cause material discomfort or annoyance to the public in general. This is rarely used and would generally only apply to homes with a large number of cats or cats that were not being well cared for. So, it is unlikely that your neighbour’s cat choosing to use your garden as a toilet would be considered a public nuisance.
What Can Be Done?
With the law on the side of your neighbours and their cats, you have to use other methods to keep the cat poop out of your garden. Luckily there are lots of methods you can use that can help to keep the cats out of your garden.
Take a look at the information on cat deterrents and harmless ways to keep cats out of your garden. There are a lot of snippets of advice and products you can buy and add to your garden that will help to keep your garden free from pesky cats and their poop.