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Wildlife Gardening: Feral Cats-Fish Pond and Baby Birds

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Forum: Wildlife GardeningReplies: 18, Views: 134
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Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 13, 2012
6:03 AM

Post #9040738

I live in a wooded subdivision with lots of semi-wild unfixed cats eating my gold fish baby birds and crapping in my beds. I have a cat too but it is an "indoor only" because I also love wild life in my native woodland garden. "Booboo" was a product of kittens born in the woods that I rescused last summer but now I have a neighbor nut who adopted a litter of six kittens last year, no vet visits of course,and now are reproducing like crazy. What to do?? I leave a net over the gold fish pond during the winter months but now I have taken it off. I want to enjoy it during the spring/ summer. I have lost two fish so far. The favorite ones are always the first to go because they are so tame they will eat out of your hands and don't stand a chance with cats. Birds will soon be nesting. I hate to do it but I have resorted to setting safe traps next to the pond and taking them off which I really dislike and which is not a good solution as it is just giving the problem to someone else. If I take them to the animal control it will be certain death. Talking to neighbor is out of the question also other people around don't take care of their cats either. Anybody know of a spray I can use around the property line for them? I have a border collie that knows her job is to bannish them away but I do not let her stay in the garden without me. She eats the cat poop and gets sick throwing up on the floor when we come back in. What to do what to do. Any ideas?? Thanks for letting me vent :)
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
6:33 AM

Post #9043435

If you're inside the city limits, the city should have a means for controlling stray animals. We have an animal shelter that will send someone out to catch the animal or, in the case of cats, loan you a trap to catch it and then they will return to pick it up. And since they haven't gotten any of the cats fixed (I despise people who do that!) and they are becoming a nuisance to the neighborhood, you might also report them to the local health department.
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 17, 2012
3:58 AM

Post #9045774

Hi NatureLover and thanks for responding...I live outside the city limits in a wooded lakeside association. There are local ordinances for dogs at large but not for cats. HOA will not help. I have discussed problem with Animal Control. I have my own traps like the ones they loan out. They asked me to bring in the cats to them but I know they will just put them to sleep (cats are not very people friendly). I have even loaned out my traps to one of the nicer neighbors who had a mama cat unfixed. She caught the ferel kittens but gave up trying to catch the mama who because trap smart. So the problem is still there. Other (unfriendly) neighbor kept whole litter of 6 last summer. Now they are grown and they are mostly my problem as their property ajoins my garden-fishpond area. I just hate being put in the position of taking care of problems other irresponible pet owners create.
I have always been an animal lover and it's not the cat/kittens fault but they are the ones that suffer. Last year I had 15 goldfish now I am done to 3. They were an enjoyment to me during gardening,taking a break cooling off by the pond . Listening to the waterfall and getting them to trust eating out of my hand. Even one let me pet her side as she swam by. Of course she was the first to get eaten. One morning she had a long claw cut down her side...next morning she was gone. I will continue trapping until it is under control. I have no choice. Next will be cat poop in my vegetable garden yuck! I hope whoever reads this and has an outdoor un-sprayed/neutured animal will understand the problem this creates and do the right thing for them and everyone concerned meantime I guess I will be known as that mean lady that hauls off cats in the neighborhood. so sad,
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 17, 2012
8:55 AM

Post #9046004

There is a group called CARA that takes in animals and keeps them until they find a home--a friend of mine told me they don't believe in putting the animals down. I can't remember what CARA stands for but if you run a search on just that you will get hits. With any luck you may have a local chapter that can at least help you out with any cats you trap. Like you, I hate the idea of turning animals in to a place where they will be put down--it's their owners fault for any trouble they get into--not the animals. We have taken in countless dumped dogs and cats over the years and given them a good home but the first order of business is always to get them shots and get them fixed. I just don't understand people who don't get their critters fixed. Maybe anyone caught with unfixed cats or dogs should be required to take a tour of their local animal shelter and see what happens to the poor critters that are sent there. O.K.--I better get off my soapbox.
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

March 23, 2012
7:19 PM

Post #9054612

Thanks I checked it out. Nearest one is in Mississippi and I am in Ga. Couple of no-kill shelters around but they are all full and not taking any more. Probably due to the economy. People are losing homes and having to give up their pets. So sad. My road is also a dumping ground for dogs and I have helped rescue as many as I can. I have a 110lb German Shepherd male now that I got from these same neighbors with the semi-feral cats. They had him tied to a tree on about a 6ft chain..water bucket turned over all the time. They couldn't/wouldn't feed him after they found out how much he ate so I send word that I would take him. It was either that or I was call animal control. So now he is quite a happy fellow with a nice vet visit right of the bat! He gets along great with other adopted border collie mix female from a shelter. I am with you on getting these people into the shelter and see the problems they create...so sad for the animals...to many being abandand. Thanks again for letting me sound off and you can get on that soapbox anytime you want to~
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2012
3:49 AM

Post #9057138

I know how frustrating this situation is for you. About 10 years ago hubby and I sold our home in town, bought some land out in the country, and rented an old home way out in the country while we were building. It wasn't the nicest house in the world but it allowed us to keep our cats and dogs (all of which had been dumped). While we were living in the house we ended up taking in three more kittens from a completely wild mama cat someone had moved off and left. We also found homes for all the other kittens. Where we live now we haven't had any dumped animals show up (yet) so when our two older dogs had to be put down a few years ago, we went to Mississippi Animal Rescue League over in Jackson (a wonderful shelter that takes very good care of their animals). The first time we got a beautiful golden retriever that someone had tried to keep as a pet in an apartment and found out she was just too active. The next time we got a German Shepherd mix. We firmly believe in adopting from shelters rather than buying a critter. I wish we could afford to adopt more but we're retired now so between that and the economy money is tighter than ever. I hope you can find some way to remedy your situation.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

March 26, 2012
4:16 AM

Post #9057149

Could you raise the edge of the pond without raising the water level, so that a cat would not be able to reach into it and grab your poor fish?
NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2012
10:55 AM

Post #9057722

I don't see why not. I would think it would be equivalent to putting a levee around it. Or you could opt for non-climbable fencing (3-ft should do) so that you can still enjoy watching your fish. But it would have to be right at the edge so they can't jump it without having to dive into the water. This wouldn't be my first option if I had a choice but, under the circumstances, it's better than losing all your fish.
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 4, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9069168

While it sounds like a good remedy in my situation it would not work. It is on a slight slope with a water fall at the top. Next small area is for plantings (veggie filter) then the pond where the fish and other potted plants are. They would still be able to walk over and crouch above last outlet of overspill and attack. This is where the fish go to hide. I would have to re-do the entire pond with all the heavy rocks to move to make it stable then because of the slope it would totally block out the view. It was a good suggestion and I thank you. Good news is seems like the situation is much better now (after the first three captures) all is now at peace for awhile...although the safe trap is still set and baited right next to the pond there have been no "takers" for about 3 wks now :) Hopefully the remaining three little fish can live in peace and can stay out of hiding out.
Thanks again Naturelover and MargaretK for your help and understanding.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

April 4, 2012
5:41 AM

Post #9069181

I hope things remain settled around your pond. Just another thought, if the situation recurs, maybe try one of those motion activated sprays. That might work as a deterrent.
lonediver
Maricopa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 10, 2012
2:34 PM

Post #9077354

Seems cats are a problem everywhere and is a problem that is not going away soon . I used to live trap them and turn them over to animal control where they likely were euthanized (not my problem ) all "pets " that I keep have been neutered or spayed . And kept to confines within my own properties borders . If others cannot do likewise then ... not my problem what becomes of them .

I have looked into various cat deterents and looked at various discussions such as here ..:

http://www.catdeterrentsforgardens.com/

The electronic - sonic deterents I found interesting but because of the size of my property (4 Acres ) I found impractical because I would need so many of them for coverage . In your case to cover your pond might be worth a try .

There is some cat "proof " fencing made in Sparks Nevada that one can put atop your own fence to keep cats out but it is rather expensive .


I have not totally rejected the idea yet of utilizing electric wire fencing around the exterior of my property . To do this would require multiple wires around the top of the fence because of cats leaping and climbing capabilities. Most of the time a single "hot " wire is used because it is assumed that what normally would touch the wire is also touching ground (the earth) so multiple ground wires and hot wires closely spaced together would be required .

Hope some of the above is of help .
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9082700

Hi lonediver I think you have given me a great solution to my problem! I followed your link for cat deterrents and ran across this..Electronic Yard Repeller Pro. It is a ultra sonic sound device that can be adjusted for several different pest, cats,dogs,deer,rabbits, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks, bats, rodents, squirrels and other creatures. It can be used by batteries or hooked up to a 110 plug outlet which is what I could use. That way I could also use a timer and have it come on during the night time hours and I already have the pond lights on a timer. At $60 bucks if it works it would be worth the investment. Here is the link for others that need help if they are interested and thanks again for your help.
http://www.electronicpestcontrolpro.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=pestcontrol&Screen=PROD&Category_Code=dog_cat_repellers&Product_Code=BIR-YGARD&gclid=CPn3ztLWta8CFS1a7Aod7AOBig

They offer money back if you do not think it works for you so it's worth a try. :)
Forgot to mention it covers up to 4,000 sq ft which is about 1/3 of my garden but it would cover the pond area, bluebird boxes and bird feeders.

This message was edited Apr 14, 2012 9:36 PM

This message was edited Apr 14, 2012 9:38 PM

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 15, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9083658

Grandma uses moth balls gophers moles cats other small animals do not like them. With the baby or small child maybe under an upside pot or something. It 'out odors' them so there scent displaces and they move on,at least usually.

maybe you could hang them out of reach,only i've never tried that.
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 16, 2012
6:35 AM

Post #9084412

Thanks I have heard of this but do not want to smell stinky moth balls...would rather smell the Gardenias starting to bloom now :)

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 16, 2012
12:08 PM

Post #9084873

I ,don't blame ya a bit, It does overpower the senses some.
lonediver
Maricopa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

April 17, 2012
11:26 PM

Post #9087078

Well Mamaknock , apparently you found the sonic pest repeller interesting as I did . I may try them myself in the future , be sure to let us know your sucess or failure with them . As I am sure you saw a great many different ones are offered . If I try one I likely would put one in my garage which is one of the main locations that they (the cats) seem to harbor on my property . Last fall I had a colony of 6 burrowing owls , currently I am down to 2 .

Owls breed once a year , cats can breed some 4 to 6 times a year . Cats are a foreign invasive not native to the American continents , consequently few natural predators of them . Fully half or more of thier numbers are not domesticated . Thier atheletic abilities are astonishing , National geographic did quite an article on them some time back and in a number of ways they are admirable animals in thier abilities . BUT ...

They breed in horrific numbers .

Where dogs are regulated in virtually every state , not so with cats . FEW municipalities regulate them . ONE city in all of Arizona , likewise in most states . Montgomery county, Maryland , Aurora, Colorado to mention a couple .


The greatest reason for decline of native species is habitat destruction (mankind) for which we should hang our heads.

Second greatest reason is the so called domestic cat , being as most of them are no longer pets . They do not sound very domesticated to me . Thier hunting abilities are unrivaled , they will stalk anything that moves. Once I kept a cat as a "barn cat " . Every so often I would spy her heaving . Turns out that she would hunt and eat lizards but she could not keep them down . This is taking food from native species .

Even a cat's bite or clawing will carry sufficent bacteria to doom its prey if they are lucky enough to escape .

Not to mention that cats are carriers of human diseases that they shed (yes Mammaknock ) in your garden beds .

A great many Animal control agencies will or no longer pick up cats . My county used to up until a year ago . Because of goverment money cutbacks they no longer do so because there is no law that requires them to . So called no kill shelters sooner or later have to euthanize particularly the truly feral cats as they are unadoptable . Not capable of being tamed into "domesticated " pets ever . Most shelters here IF they still accept cats, charge a substantial fee to do so .

OK cat lovers , throw your bricks at me (hiss, hiss) . I am ready to debate the topic
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

April 17, 2012
11:36 PM

Post #9087083


lonediver, far from sending you any bricks, I'll send a bouquet. Everything you have said applies equally to Australia. You are completely right about a cat's bite or claws being so loaded with bacteria that even if its prey escapes it is doomed. I have cared for sick and injured birds for decades and have released birds that were hit by cars, that were so badly injured I didn't know where to start. I have NEVER see a bird recover from a cat attack, even if there are no visible marks on the bird. They may do OK for 3 or 4 days, and then they will die. Always.

We have a cat and have had cats in the past, so I'm not anti-cat. Far from it. But responsible pet ownership should include protection of vulnerable wildlife from these skilled and agile predators.
Mamaknock
Conyers, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 23, 2012
4:17 AM

Post #9093840

Here Here lonediver and MargaretK!! I agree with everything you have said and more!
I am tracking my delivery as we speak and will keep you guys informed on any success.
I ordered the cat stop sonic repellant with the AC adapter (from safepetproducts.com) I watched several of the videos on UTube before selecting the model that seemed to work the best. It is a motion detecter with a 90% area coverage but only goes 20ft in distance, but that will work for the pond area, total of $73.80 including shipping cost. Just the replellant is $48.90 in the US. Amazon in the UK had them a little cheaper but could not ship to USA. It should arrive today and I will install it immediately. One day I hope to certify my garden as a wildlife refuge, but I cannot do that in all honestly until the cat population (or a way to control it) is rectified. Two days ago my border collie alerted me to a cat pooping in my veggie garden! Well we scared the daylights out of him! Don't think he will be back anytime soon lol. My neighbor across the street has 3 cats. All have been fixed but they are still predators and will kill baby bunnies,birds,lizards etc. Although I think allot of them, their reasoning is, it's just "Mother Nature" and cats cull out the weakness in the gene pool. Oh Please! I tell them cats are not native to N. America and they should at least stop with the bird feeders they have!
p.s. I also ordered the stop barking birdhouse. It arrived just in time for my block garden party I have every spring for some of our "good" neighbors. It was a real success on the 2 yippie dogs behind me. Took a couple of days for it to soak in that everytime they yipped at every little leaf falling they set off the sound, but now it seems like it will be a peaceful summer and I can garden without being barked at in my own yard. Thank you God for small blessings :) Updates to follow.
lonediver
Maricopa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 1, 2012
10:33 PM

Post #9148556

Well Mamaknock , it has been over a month now . Any news as to how well the cat repeller works ? Successful I hope , if it is I will have to buy one .

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