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

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

LETTERS: It’s time to stop looking for excuses

Re: Proposed fishing restrictions will be devastating: officials I understand how those… Continue reading

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

Most Read