This morning I saw a cat using the sandbox, and by sandbox I don’t mean litter box. In a neighbor’s yard is a child’s sandbox and in the child’s sandbox was a cat. The cat was scratching in the sand, and you know what that means: Little gifts awaiting the children who play in that sandbox. This is not an isolated incident. Cats find these play areas to have perfect conditions for their potty needs.
Other perfect kitty commodes include flower beds, vegetable patches, and garden paths, but that doesn’t end the opportunities for cats to do damage to your property. Young trees and fence posts make wonderful scratching posts. Your car’s tires are a perfect target for their spray, not to mention the paint!
I gotta tell ya’, there’s nothing quite like weeding the garden and unexpectedly grabbing a fistful of cat crap. There is also nothing like the “magnificence” of watching a well-fed, pampered, healthy feline stalking its feathered prey, pouncing on it, then tormenting it for twenty minutes or so until it finally, mercifully, and needlessly, dies.
Of course, there are controls for wandering cats. They’re called coyotes, stray dogs, busy streets, leaking antifreeze, cat hating humans in three ton vehicles, and occasionally, large raptors. When I was in third grade, I visited a classmate’s farm and saw the damage done by a barn owl. Several dead kittens were scattered around the property in various states of wholeness. I was horrified to see one with its eye hanging out of its socket. That image is still pretty vivid 45 years later.
None of this is necessary. If you love your cat, keep it indoors. Build it an enclosure if you must let it go outside, or leash train it. I’ve seen it done.