We live in a new build and people are still moving in, so I think everyone's cats are marking their new territory. Have had two try to sneak into the house when loading the car up, caught various cats strolling across the lawn and found pawprints on our buggy storage. I really don't want to spend our time here aiming a water pistol out of the window to keep them off the lawn. We are going to start doing the garden up soon, plus DD will be walking age by summer so a cat poo free garden would be nice.
Have told DP about the sensors but he is sceptical, plus I'd like to get some hedgehog and bird boxes and I'm worried they will scare other wildlife away? DP also not keen on fence spikes as he's worried it'll make us look a bit unfriendly to neighbours (the main cat lives next door).
What's the best thing to use? Are the cat statues with marbles for eyes any good? Currently browsing on eBay, there's sprays and gels etc. but also would rather have something permenant rather than having to keep re-applying it- otherwise I may as well use stick with water.
I'm afraid that cats just tend to stray into gardens, it's just one of those things. You may find that the problem settles down as they establish more spaced territories and learn by getting chased out of houses that they are not welcome. The cheapest thing to do is to create a space where they can go to the loo and bury it themselves (i.e. a patch of dug earth) saving you the hassle.
Failing that, the water trigger sensors are supposed to work very well.
Hedgehogs are fine around cats- birds less so. But if you put out feeders high up enough that they are out of a cat's reach, the latter will still come.
Sod the unfriendliness, put up the spikes, though in our case it is to discourage possums and welcomed by all neighbours. The transparent plastic spikes are not so ugly.
In our veggie beds we used to use standard satay sticks but, effective as they are, you can really spike yourself, and by extension, injure the the cat. Bigger/thicker satay sticks are as effective and less lethal.
Water guns are good too.
What birds need is variety of perching stations, so high-up suits most UK birds, though not blackbirds or thrushes that love to rummage through mulch and prod lawns. You need to see what birds visit your garden and plan accordingly.
For hedgehogs, you need to make sure you have gaps at the bottom of your fences for them to walk through.
if you keep your lawn mown, it won't be shit on by cats. Teach your child not to rummage in flower beds. This is not about cat shit, but leaving plants alone. They soon catch on.