I am making my first post on this site in utter desperation. We live in a small hamlet in Fife and our neighbours have 10 cats - mostly rescued I think.  I like cats and we have had them ourselves in the past but one of the rescues is a fearsome hunter. One afternoon a few weeks ago I saw her take a bluetit, a goldfinch and a vole in our garden, all in a couple of hours. And those are just the ones I saw in one afternoon.  We have multiple feeders in the garden and I much enjoy watching their customers.  After speaking to the neighbours the cat wore a collar and bell for a few weeks but this has now disappeared.  We have lived here since 1992 and last Sunday I had my first sighting of a red squirrel - clamped in the jaws of this cat. I am heartbroken. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can dissuade her?  My husband bought an ultrasonic gadget but is having to admit that it is not working.

  • Hello J.R. and welcome to the community forum. I'm so sorry to hear about the cat problem and sad sight watching some garden birds being predated and the red squirrel which would have been upsetting for you and anyone that witnessed it; a lot of folk ask how they can prevent such incidences such a this but as you have seen cats are natural hunters so often the only deterrents are things like adding a plastic spike edging to the top of your fence which you can often buy at a local garden centre or as you have already done speak with your neighbour to ask if they can add a bell to the collar although often elasticated collars can come off a cat if it catches it on twigs, etc., and a lot of owners don't like to add bells/collars in case their pet becomes entangled. The other method other than putting the plastic spike edging to the top of the fence would be to keep a hose pipe handy and target the cat as this would not harm the animal but maybe make it go elsewhere. As I don't have a cat maybe others that do can advise you what they do to prevent their cats from being a menace to neighbours. Good luck, sorry I can't give more advice.

    One more note,  ensure your feeders are not too close to any shrubs, bushes, trees or fence line where a cat could use them to gain closer access to grab a bird.   


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Hello J.R

    Agree with Hazy's wise , comments.

    I Love cats, and have had,Two of mine,living to the grand old ages 21years and 22 years, unlike Dogs, Cats cannot ,
    ( and would not allow you to control it).. CHOL:):) yes they are natural hunters, but not for the need of food sadly, more they enjoy the thrill of wait -watch -pounce, then pat a ball, before becoming dis interested.

    I also found the ultrasonic's were useless on the many neighbours cats, that patrol my Gardens,
    What I have found is that continually shooing them, has worked, as they always glance up at my windows, and will quickly run if they spot me.Then keep several long range loaded childrens water pistols in the garden /housee etc, try not to make your selves noticable, as you want the cat to not realise it is you, and that it will learn that it, never knows when he will get a soaking.This does not stop them, but certainly makes their games a little harder,and has saved many a critter for me.

    As with the prickly spikes, also spread any sharp prickly brambles you find,under your bushes.or the area it uses to gain access.

    Good luck,


  • Hello JR.! We are cat owners and have had cats all our married life. Luckily they have had very few birds over the years, after all it is their natural instinct. Our wee tabby is not in the least interested and sits on the bunker top looking down at Mr Percy pheasant and he not interested in her! Mind you she probably knows he is just a bit bigger that her! I am sorry to hear about the problem you are having with this particular cat. Having a collar and bell certainly will help, although they are a pain and ours kept loosing them as they caught in things, had to replace many over the years. The cat had one and now it does not, maybe you could ask the owners to replace it again. Different folks have used methods, broken and snapped twigs, placed on the ground, orange peelings scattered around, pepper sprinkled, and I think even garlic! I do not know how effective these ways are. The plastic spiked edging could be stuck onto the fence tops or placed elsewhere. Water works, a plastic jug full or a scoosh with the hose, will soon make them move, but if you are using that method and are near any roads, please make sure there is no traffic passing. Good luck.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Thank you for the suggestions and sympathy folks. I’ll see if we can get her collar and bell replaced. Our garden isn’t completely fenced so the spiky tops are a non-starter. I’ll get a bulk supply of water pistols to leave around the place. Might give pepper a go too, although I’ll need to buy it in bulk to cover all the boundaries!
  • Just thought I would let you know what works for me, but I only have a few bird feeders. Using a length of 1m wide chicken wire I make it into a circle, about 1m across. This goes around the base of the bird feeder and I secure it with several sticks threaded through the chicken wire and pushed into the ground. You could make it into an oblong shape if this suited you better. I find it does not stop the birds from ground feeding around the feeder and I have never seen my cat try to jump over the wire fence. I hope this helps you, good luck.