Sorry cat lovers, you're gonna hate me for this one.
I don't mind cats (or dogs, birds, etc.) but I very specifically don't want a pet in my household. Yet I have a problem that I'm unsure of how to deal with in a reasonable way. This is all in Denmark, so US laws and customs may not apply.
This year, a cat has been pooping in our garden and ripping out grass, or whatever else was around the scene of the crime, to cover it up. I obviously don't want this to continue as I would like my garden not to be ripped apart, and my two small daughters would also prefer it not to be contaminated by feces. It also has been leaving little vomitting residues around our cars in the drive way, which are quite disgusting too.
But how do I stop the cat? I have tried planting supposedly cat-repelling plants whose smells were supposed to discourage cats from coming near, but they didn't work. I have also tried putting down metal webbing in the flower beds (because I heard that they don't like to step on such things and/or can't dig in it), and while that worked, I can't extend that practice across my entire lawn.
Local law says that it's the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure that one's pet does not annoy others. This means I should go talk to the owner of said cat and ask them to keep the cat out of my garden. To which I would object:
(a) I am convinced that no cat owner would agree to confining their cat because it roams in places that other people don't want it to;
(b) I don't even know whose cat this is! I have caught a glimpse of one cat, and followed it to the garden of a neighbour who has a cat door in their front door -- I am aware that this says absolutely zero about whether it's their cat or not. I have obviously not been able to read the chip or tattooed number in the cat's ear either.
I am considering ways of capturing this cat, so that I can either have a proper talk with it, or drive it to a shelter. How would I do that without breaking too many rules and laws?
Edit, as more info about (my relationship with) the homeowners’ association was requested. We are 37 households, and only we and 2 others have (small) kids -- the rest are pensioners. We are talking with only two other households; there is not a lot of communal spirit here -- the first homeowners’ association meeting I attended, about a week after we moved in, made it clear to me (in ways I shall not go into here) just how hostile, ludicrously infantile, and petty these people are (even towards each other, not just "newcomers"). Later, I requested that the run-down communal play area receive a bit of maintenance, only to be shot down rather rudely. I am decidedly not in good standing in their minds, and that is why I cannot think they would be very inclined to help me avoid their cats' poop in my garden.
Update I did not want anything water-driven, as just tonight the temperatures went to 6 degrees below freezing. But I've now installed a pair of these ultrasonic cat repellers, hoping they would work. There's a number of such devices, and common for them all is at least 40% one-star reviews and a minority of 5-star reviews; these ones are one of the few models with the "best" (which does not imply good) reviews.