One thing that is known is that pregnant women are at increased risk
for toxoplasmosis as a result of exposure to cat feces. There may
be other hazards to the general public - especially if the cat happens
to be sick.
It's a real nuisance - I know my garden is frequently the toilet for
cats all over the neighborhood. I've yet to hear of any reasonable
My local coffee shop makes used grounds available for anyone to haul
away. If you spread it around the garden it greatly discourages cats
(they don't like the taste when they lick it off their paws). As a
beneficial side-effect, it kills snails and slugs and encourages
I wouldn't worry about it unless you are growing root vegetables, like
onions or carrots.
The biggest problem I have with cats is when they dig up young plants in
the flower beds.
I have a couple of dog (one of them is a big dog) and this year when I
do my "spring cleaning" in the back yard, I'm planning to dig a deep
trench in the garden. I'll bury all the dog mess, and later plant
tomatoes over the top of it. I think tomatoes will like that.
Are feral cats allowed to stray or are able to trap them and have them
removed by your local authority?
I'm not troubled by feral cats because I have dogs, but I need to take
action to keep my own dogs away from my garden. I don't know the size of
your garden but I generally find chicken wire on stakes suspended above the
garden keeps my dogs off and would probably make cats go somewhere else.
Multiple sources of Escherichia coli O157 in feedlots and dairy farms
in the Northwestern USA
Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 35, Issue 1, 16 April 1998,
Dale D. Hancock, Thomas E. Besser, Daniel H. Rice, Eric D. Ebel,
Donald E. Herriott and Linda V. Carpenter
Samples from cattle, other domestic and wild animals, flies, feeds,
and water-troughs were collected from 12 cattle farms and tested for
Escherichia coli O157.
E. coli O157 was isolated from bovine fecal samples on all 12 farms
with a within herd prevalence ranging from 1.1% to 6.1%. E. coli O157
was also found in 1 of 90 (1.1%) equine fecal samples, 2 of 65 (3.1%)
canine fecal samples, 1 of 200 pooled bird samples (0.5%), 2 of 60
pooled fly samples (3.3%), and 10 of 320 (3.1%) water-trough sample
sets (biofilm and water).
No E. coli O157 were isolated from 300 rodents, 33 cats, 34 assorted
wildlife, or 335 cattle feed samples. Indistinguishable pulsed-field
gel electrophoresis patterns of XbaI digested chromosomal DNA and
Shiga toxin types were observed for bovine and water-trough isolates
from two farms and for one equine and two bovine isolates from one
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