Cat Deterrent

 

Photo 1: Neighbour's Cat has Spotted Something in the Tree 

We are surrounded by cats and, presumably, cat owners. We are not keen on felines though we would not wish them any harm. They are useful as mousers (I've disposed of two dead rats found in the kitchen garden) but they are always leaving their calling card on any bare patch of soil and can decimate the local bird population.

Well, you might say, then don't leave any bare soil patches! But that is easier said than done in a working kitchen and flower garden. We've tried all sorts of deterrents including ultrasonic repellers (fine for an open lawn but the signal easily blocked by growing plants, etc), fence/wall spikes (the cats just walked along them as if they were a deep-piled carpet), water pistol (doesn't work if you're not there), chicken wire (they always seem to find the small gap)and various smell-based deterrents (orange peel, citrus and essential oil sprays, etc) which seem to last only as long as the next cat visit.

The best cat deterrent, in my opinion, is a magpie on parental duties. These aggressive birds, especially when they have young to protect, have no qualms attacking a cat that gets even remotely close to the nesting site.

Recently, I've been emptying my compost bins and mulching the autumn raspberries. As a final top dressing, I add a one to two inch (2.5 -5 cm) thick layer of bark which is a good cat deterrent if not a 100% guaranteed one.

Photo 2: Autumn Raspberry Plot after Mulching with Compost & Bark

The rhubarb patch received a different treatment. After mulching with compost and recovered coir (from finished Quadgrows), I placed some upturned tomato grow pots over the plot to deter the cats (Photo 3). I haven't tried this before so I'm hoping it will work.

Photo 3: Upturned Tomato Grow Pots as Cat Deterrent

Apart from having to clear up their mess, this is the main reason for deterring cats in our garden:

Video 1: Blue Tits on Feeder



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