IT’S the season of goodwill to all men, women – and animals too, hopefully.
But if you’re a gardener who loves watching the birds you feed in your tended ground, no season is ever likely to involve goodwill towards cats that come and help themselves to a feathered lunch and may add insult to injury by using your plot as a potty.
Levity aside, it’s a problem says Kevin Newell, of Scotland’s only humane pest control service, Humane Wildlife Solutions.
“People are at the point where they do not know what to do anymore. Due to their frustrations, a few have joked about using cruel and even lethal methods to solve their problems, which I strongly advise against.
“Problems range from cats fouling in their gardens on a near daily basis to them killing birds which people feed and watch in their gardens.”
The Hawick-based operative uses his knowledge of animals, natural essences, garden-proofing and a scarecrow (which acts like a water pistol when the cat passes it) to battle the problem, along with talking to the cat owners.
“I work on masking and removing scents or fouling laid down by cats and then adding new scents to repel them from the areas they are causing trouble in.”
He knows of a few cases in the Borders and said the problem was country-wide.
“I am aware of people trying and failing to deter cats from their gardens – ranging from chasing them away, using their dogs, throwing objects, to the more extreme methods of shooting cats with pellet guns, laying homemade traps and, the most lethal, using poisons.”
For more information visit www.humanewildlife solutions.co.uk or telephone to Mr Newell on 07771361226.