You wouldn’t believe it. This woman, Monika Nelson, who lives in the Town of Orangeville, says that her front door is a toilet for cats and she has complained to the local authority and they can’t or won’t do anything about it. She’s tried cat repellent without success. She says that one cat routinely comes onto her property to do his business. Other cats also visit occasionally. She’s tired of clearing up the mess left behind.
She wants a bylaw which does something about it. There are laws relating to dogs but not cats in the Town of Orangeville. She’s heard of other laws in other places which she thinks will deal with this particular problem. The local authority is sympathetic but they don’t want to introduce a feline ownership law because it’ll be too difficult to enforce or too expensive to enforce. They estimate that it would cost up to $178,000 to provide the same sort of service that they provide with respect to canine control as at 2011.
I am sure that in Canada there are far more full-time indoor cats than there are in the UK. And yet, in the UK almost nobody complains about cats using their front porch or backyard as a cat toilet. So what is going on? Is it because North Americans are more inclined to complain? Is this lady complaining unjustifiably? Are there more feral cats or stray cats in Canada than the UK?
It is very hard to get to the bottom of this problem because we don’t have the statistics and information. What I can say is that cat repellents nearly always don’t work. Another thing: if one cat is the main culprit, as appears to be the case in this instance, then that cat has decided to use the area in front of her front or main door as a toilet. That’s way he comes back to it. It smells of his faeces and urine and he has treated it as his toilet area. It may have started because he sprayed the front door to mark territory.
Rather than trying to repel him, the better course of action would be to totally eliminate any trace of urine and cat faeces. She can do that by using an enzyme cleaner specifically formulated to totally kill the odour of cat urine and faeces. That has a much better chance of working.
I don’t think a law would be the answer by which I mean a law to keep cats indoors or under curfew. It’s been proved that these laws are difficult to enforce. Such laws have been in place in parts of Australia for a while and it can’t be said that they’ve been entirely successful.
There are alternatives. The lady in question doesn’t say that she’s tried to talk to the owner of the cat, if the cat has an owner. That might be a way to resolve the problem. There might be a feral cat colony not far from where she lives. If that’s the case it should be managed humanely.
Another thing she could do but which is rather extreme and desperate is to build a cat exclusion fence around her property. This would be the reverse of a cat containment fence which would keep cats out. They’re not that expensive but they are effective.
I find it difficult to understand why there is such a big stray or feral cat problem in North America compared to the UK and how feral and stray cats become a major issue in parts of North America when they are never, ever discussed in the UK. There are just not an issue at all. It’s strange, isn’t it?