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in Problem solving
We've notice over the last 3 or so weeks 4 eggs (unbroken) and 2 chick (only a day old or so) on the ground and 3 different points around the garden.
All the eggs and Chicks are from Blackbird nest, the much beloved and myself muted a few possible reasons as to why they might be found on the floor, we assumed at first it was other blackbirds trying to muscle in on that part of the garden, they can be quite territorial, working on the theory that squirrels / magpies and anything else we could think of would take them for food so why would they just be left on the grass. Ok maybe once if they where disturbed, but on 6 different occasions, and they're just the ones we know about.
Last night we caught next doors cat in the laurel up at Bobs nest (Bob is the blackbird at the back of the house to the left of the lawn!) It would seem the cat is just playing with the eggs / chicks and then just leaving them once they get bored.
We've tried to discourage cats in our garden by hissing at them and the odd squirt from the hose pipe if we are using it when they are sauntering by, but we're out at work all day and so I suppose it not that effective.
We've just moved in so we could do with a way of discouraging all the cats without alienating the neighbours since we found them using the new bed as a litter tray
Any suggestions? ( the cheaper the better!)
Moonlit Hare, our friend Geoff has been struggling with his neighbour's cat using his garden as a loo. But the taking of birds eggs is just as nasty. Geoff, what say you?
Or a sonic cat scarer - I use them, and they are very effective. They are battery operated and emit a high-pitched sound that you can't hear but the cat can when they detect motion. You will find them in larger garden centres looking something like this:
I too take umbrage with the local cats, inc 2 next door, we have hedges down both sides, that are about 7 foot high, with a garage cum shed at the end - so we are reasonably protected. I spent all day yesterday, making it more difficult for them to enter our garden at the two weak points that we have. I fitted some Ironwork type shelf brackets, with washing line threaded thu. The 'hope' is that they will be unable to get a clear run from the top of the one fence panel that is not covered by hedge, and will go elsewhere. I have witnessed cats jump from ground level, to the top of a 6 foot panel, and have also seen them trying to climb up thru the inside of the hedge, to get to the Blackbirds nest that appears every spring. I have plastic fence spikes, but have refrained from fitting them, due to possible legal raimifications, especially as the owner next door, is a copper. I have tried menacing black cat scarers, which appeared to work well, for a few months, until they got used to them, and now ignore. Sonic detectors? - you would probably need several, and it would cost a fortune in batteries.
The sonic scarer won't affect any other garden if there is a barrier in the way such as a hedge. The sound only carries a finite distance, too.
If you make cats very frightened or very uncomfortable they will learn to keep out. If the sonic scarers work, that's great - even better if the cat's owner pays for it. I find that a well-aimed piece of gravel whacking into a wooden fence near a cat is enough to give it Olympic-standard running and jumping ability. They soon learn to stay at home.
More problematic is the effect on wildlife. People keep cats at the expense of small birds and other animals. We're now coming into the season when I start finding ragged corpses of young birds in my gardens. Last year I watched a cat playing for 10 or 15 minutes with a half-dead baby robin.