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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2015, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Help with neighbour's cat

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
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2015, 04:08 AM
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Hi Sesame,

I've no real suggestion, but was wondering if the kitty has been spayed/neutered? I feel like most people there don't really do that since it's cost prohibitive, and strays are rampant in Japan, but I'm not sure.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2015, 11:56 AM
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sounds more like spraying then straight peeing to me... I would suggest Natures Miracle to remove the smell.. not sure where you would get it there though...

BTW my Oh wants to move to Japan. of course my first question is.. how do you plan on moving the dogs and cats?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2015, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have no idea if it's been spayed or neutered. In general though, there was a 2011-2012 study done that found that 85% of all male cats and a little more than 86% of female cats are spayed/neutered in Tokyo. While I'm just outside Tokyo, I'm sure it's similar here.

The reason strays are rampant in Japan is apparently because a lot of people treat pets like trends rather than for life. I haven't lived here long enough to say whether rampant strays or local people's attitude towards pets is true or not. From what I have personally seen, people really spoil their pets. Buying them little outfits, pushing them around in pet prams. Haven't seen many strays either. Then again, the first few months I was living in a tiny place with artificially low rent in a rich neighbourhood. I may have seen one in the new neighbourhood, but that's it.

I thought spraying would simply be a smelly wet patch on the wall. This seemed to be at the edge where the floor meets the wall and there was enough pee to form a puddle and it trickled from one side of the balcony to the other. The rain seemed to be enough, but since cats have a better sense of smell, I'll see if this product is available here.

Moving to Japan with pets is really difficult. Even more difficult than bringing an unmarried partner with you, apparently. We have friends with two cats and it cost them USD4,000 to bring them over. They also have to get regular health checks, rabies and other infectious disease checks and have certificates to prove you have been keeping up-to-date with these checks.
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