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.
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