I’ve gotten emails from a visitors to my site a few times asking about the meaning of the PET bottles (plastic bottles) that can be seen outside some homes around Japan.
So, I decided that since I’ve been asked about them more than once, I’d write a blog post and try to explain it. (By the way, feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you may have about Japan…and of course, comments on any blog post are always welcome!)
What do you imagine the meaning of these bottles is?
Well, they’re meant to be a type of 「ネコ避け」 (“cat deterrent”).
People want cats (and dogs) to stay off of their property so a numbers of years ago, a TV show here in Japan told viewers that sunlight reflects from water and scares cats away. So, the show said, people should put out plastic bottles of water for that purpose.
Overnight bottles of water could be seen outside many homes!
Nowadays, though, fewer people do this anymore because they’ve realized that it doesn’t actually work.
As with any fad, manufacturers decided to try and cash in on people’s desire for an effective 「ネコ避け」 (cat deterrent) and they began to sell plastic mats with spikes that aren’t hard enough to actually harm an animal (or child) but aren’t pleasant to step on.
My neighbor has some of these mats around their garden…and I’ve seen a cat walk on them, carefully stepping between the spikes! So, it seems, these mats don’t really work either.
(All images in this post were found on Google Images).