Is it just me or has anyone else noticed water bottles in front of some of the Japanese houses? Not to generalize, as only a few homes have water bottles in front of them, but still why?! There are many views and answers on this but one that makes total sense is just two words: stray cats.
Feral cats are the stray cats who are in large numbers in some areas. Many of you must have already heard about the cat islands in Japan. Even in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, these cats are seen in secluded neighborhoods. Governments in various prefectures in Japan consider this a serious problem and have come up with various ideas to solve it. These ideas don’t appear to be working, but there are people who have started testing their own theories to help keep the strays away (even though some consider them adorable).
Although this topic is widely discussed on the Internet and on various TV channels, I would like to share what I think. I am not sure if it works, but what many Japanese suggest is that cats tend not to urinate in front of houses when they see water bottles at night. It’s the reflection of the water which slightly causes them to be disoriented in the night. They might see their own face in the bottles and feel insecure about the size of their heads I guess.
This discussion has spread to the West as well it seems and there are many who completely disagree with the reasoning that water bottles act as cat repellents. Also, as many people have started doing this, cats now seem immune to the water bottle effect. Some cats just sit in front of the houses anyway without moving even at the sound of a honking horn. Nevertheless, it is interesting learning about different theories around the water bottle effect on cats!