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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spanish water bottle mystery - update

It’s still shrouded in mystery, but most people agree: water bottles are supposed to stop animals from wizzing on your domicile. The glinting water sends out danger signals which animals instinctively recognize. The danger signal says, “Do not commit civil disobedience or you will be shined upon.”

But I wonder: are plastic water bottles littering the streets better than a little cat pee?

Link to my earlier post on this subject.

Here are some replies:

They do it in Italy too--I asked a woman in Venice once and she said it stops cats pissing on the front door step (lots of those in Venice) They also put basil plants on the window ledges to keep flies away.

Hope that helps--I am pretty sure I have seen it in Greece too so it must be a Med thing


Nicki in Positano says:

If you walk around any small town or village in South Italy you will find full water bottles gracing many a doorstep. My brother when he came to visit thought that the kind locals left the water there for any thirsty passerby to swig from. But, alas, he was wrong. The locals couldn't give a damm about the weary travellers. All they really want is to deter those pesky stray cats from peeing on their doorstep. I am sceptical to whether this method works or not, but the locals obviously believe in the powers of the full water bottle deterring needy cats from weeing there.

After all, if you were a cat would you wee next to a humans drink?

Positano’s a nice little town, by the way.

Some guy calling himself “one two” says:

Water bottles do keep from dogs and other animals as well from pissing on store fronts. Ever been to Paris? Lots of dog shit, no pissing though.

Yup. But they don’t keep humans from doing it. Multas from the ayuntamiento do!

Via barcelonareporter.com, who kindly linked to the original post:

My Girlfriend has always told me it is to scare the dogs away. She says it is just normal water and that the top should be on the bottle. Apparently the dogs are scared of the reflections made by the water.

I have another theory; the dogs like to wee on the bottle (because they like the reflections) so at least they dont do it on the wall.

Jim Morrison

Nice of Jim to make it back from the other side to illuminate us on these matters. How is it over there?

This has confounded me for years as well! I've got it down to two possibilities: it is the collected runoff from air-conditioning units (left on the street) and/or the containers are filled with bleach (or some other noxious substance) to deter dogs. Has anyone tried a sniff test?


Thank you, guiripoyas. And an elegant moniker, indeed, as my offshore islander friends might say. I haven't sniffed th bottles yet. Have you?