Cat-loving readers will no doubt remember our recent dust-up over the issue of cats in the garden. That post was prompted by a cat-in-garden photo illustrating a magazine piece about wildlife-friendly gardens – a strange juxtaposition, at least to my eyes.
Well, I was happy to notice Horticulture Magazine addressing this issue head-on, but in a solutions-oriented way, not a controversial one. (Though Lord knows, the topic is controversial no matter how it’s handled.) Their article, 4 Ways to Keep Cats out of the Garden, summarizes the problem – that our beloved cats can sometimes be “destructive, irksome troublemakers—especially when they decide to visit neighboring homes without permission! Gardeners are often bothered by a cat who decides to make a mulched bed her litter box, or when cats bother (and potentially kill) birds, butterflies and other wildlife the gardener is trying to attract.”
The author then quickly moved on to possible solutions – chicken wire, cat repellents, repellent plants (news to me!) and good old scare tactics.
In my own garden there’s just one cat who roams freely across it – or would if I didn’t yell at him every time he approaches. I do that not just to protect my garden and the wildlife in it but to avoid turf-related aggression between him and my three indoor-only cats, who love hanging out on the screened-in porch. They’re so happy, and so uninterested in escaping to the outdoors, that I had to laugh at the comment on that prior post expressing concern for them: “Keeping them couped up in a house all day is, in my opinion, terribly cruel.”
That may apply to cats who are accustomed to hunting outdoors but not to cats like mine who’ve never been outside except in a cat carrier.