I've just moved into a new apartment in Japan. It's the first place my husband and I have lived in that has quite a spacious and peaceful balcony where we can enjoy sitting in the sun.
Unfortunately, our neighbour has a cat they like to let out on their balcony and it is very easy for it to venture to everyone else's balcony. This wouldn't normally be a problem as I love cats (even though they're not allowed by my landlord in our apartment
), but she peed on our balcony. I'm afraid of this becoming a regular occurrence and maybe escalating to more than just pee and I'm not prepared to clean up after a cat I do not own.
While I do speak some Japanese, it has been more than a decade since I finished studying it and
we're new in the neighbourhood. This leaves me very reluctant to go and confront whoever the cat's owner is. So, right now, my only options are deterring her from entering our balcony.
The first thing I did was read up on smells cats don't like. I read they dislike rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, citronella and eucalyptus. I happened to have an all-natural insect repellent containing all but the eucalyptus. It smells really strong. I followed the recommendations of people online and sprayed it twice a day on the wall of the balcony next to the separating screen and the screen itself. Some heavy rain had already washed the urine away, but I sprayed that area with the repellent too, which would hopefully discourage her from peeing there again.
It didn't work. I happened to be looking out the doors to the balcony and saw her walk straight over it without even stopping to sniff. It still smelt strong enough to carry over to where I was standing, so it wasn't that the smell wore off.
Now my husband and I just resort to shooing her away, which isn't too hard as she already seemed very afraid of strange people. The first time I saw her, she crouched down low and crept away, cautiously glancing at me until she was far enough to run and be sure I couldn't reach her. One time she only saw me walking inside the apartment and bolted away. She almost always seems to appear between 9.30 and 10.00 am, but might learn that's a bad time and come later.
There seem to be lots of things done here in Japan to prevent cats from entering places or peeing on people's plants and things. For example, filling up transparent water bottles and putting them places where you don't want cats to go, mats with spikes on them, things that make high-pitched noises (our immediate neighbours have young children, so is not an option since they can hear it, too!), hanging CDs... Though if you search each of these on google images, it's discouraging to see nothing but pictures of these things failing as cats enjoy sitting beside them and lying on them, asleep or grooming themselves.
In addition, there is not one, but three ways for her to enter our balcony: under the separating screen, around the separating screen by walking on the wall and over the separating screen (it's not all that high and I've seen my old cat jump more than 6 feet). I don't want to spend a lot of money on all these things trying to stop one cat peeing on my balcony. Especially since we just blew a load of money moving in, buying furniture and google images proves many of these methods don't work!
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
P.S. I'm open to being friendly to the cat, if that will stop the peeing. For example, I've heard cats will never pee where they eat. Though I'm not sure I want to pay to feed the cat in order to stop the peeing, else I'm still taking care of a stranger's cat in some way. :s