LETTER: Cats serve as scapegoat for neighbourhood concerns

As a pet sitter, and animal rescue volunteer, and cat owner (I keep mine inside for their own safety), I have heard a great many irate homeowners complain about cat feces ruining their gardens.

Whenever possible, I have asked the complainants to show me the affected areas to see if I can offer any suggestions for eliminating the issues. In every single case, the homeowner has been incorrectly attributing raccoon feces to a neighbourhood pet.

Cats are fastidious creatures. They are averse to digging and squatting too close to other waste products; a clean, indoor litter box wins every time. Raccoons will return to the same spots over and over again. Their poop is similar in size and consistency to a small dog or cat but is almost never buried unless it is inadvertently disturbed by another deposit. It is, indeed, very smelly. They are especially fond of areas close to foundations, gardens, food sources (grape vines, fruit trees), the bases of trees that they climb, under stairs and decks and so on. They will also mark their territories with urine, sometimes leaving little pools of it on steps and door sills.

Cats get blamed because they are visible in the daytime but most Saanich neighbourhoods are teeming with raccoons who may be active both day and night. Cats will sometimes investigate raccoon feces and even try to bury it because it offends them, too, hence the insistence of some homeowners that the cat is to blame. A viewing of the feces by someone with some knowledge of scatology can easily settle any conformational bias.

As for the songbird crisis, it is important to remember that a great many animals besides cats, as well as many other birds, also contribute to that oft-quoted government ‘estimate’ but it is humans who raze forested areas, prettify the trees and shrubs in our own backyards, and ‘develop’ buildings and roads that are the root cause of their greater exposure to all life-threatening hazards.

S. Wiles

Saanich

Just Posted

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Moon Lantern festival to light up Gordon Head

Saturday night festival celebrates harvest moon, fall season

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read