Help please - Seagulls attacking my pet

Hi,

Desperately looking for help or advice here.

I live close to an industrial estate where gulls nest every year.

Despite many of my neighbours complaining every year, they've never bothered me and I enjoy them.

However, this year they have started attacking my cat in the garden.

My garden is cat proofed so my 2 cats are safe but also to ensure they aren't a threat to local wildlife 

The gulls aren't just swooping, they are hovering and really having a go at him. And they are HUGE!

We've tried only letting them out with us close by, but it's now got so bad that my husband has ended up with a bruised eye from stopping one attacking the cat.

I'm now stuck indoors with 2 demented cats & a cat proofed garden that cost me a fortune to install.

Anything I can do? Or am I stuck with this until they leave in September?

  • Unfortunately there is not a lot we can suggest - you've already made your garden cat safe but the gulls are protecting their young and will regard your cat as a predator

    Cin J

  • How about a high powered water pistol, even aimed in the direction of the birds without hitting them may be enough to put them off.

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to Germain:

    Thanks. I suspected as much.
    It's a horrendous situation as we just can't risk them being outside at all. Given the state of my husbands face after one hit him, I can imagine the damage they'd do.
    Am I right in thinking this will continue throughout the whole summer?
    If it was a temporary thing for a couple of weeks it would be more bearable but the thought of my 2 cats being prisoners for the whole summer is pretty upsetting.
    I bought several gull deterrants for the garden, but as I expected, they achieved nothing.
    Ironic that the roaming neighbourhood cats aren't being bothered, but my pair are literally sitting target's!
  • In reply to Alan:

    Thanks, I don't think they'd be bothered by it unfortunately..

    They normally keep a safe distance from humans but I think the instinct to protect is overriding any caution.

    They now circle in a group before attacking & the larger gulls come at the cats while we're literally standing over them

    I would never have thought it possible!
  • Unfortunately, people feed gulls which only makes conflict worse. You may have neighbours contributing to the problems.
  • PiciNic - to quote you "Despite many of my neighbours complaining every year, they've never bothered me and I enjoy them."

    Sounds like because you were fine with things whilst your neighbours were suffering has maybe led you to become the instigator of how things are for you personally now.

    You should have, as a community, addressed the problem together and sought a suitable solution from either the landlords or the ownesr of said businesses.

    They can employ people - even in the nesting season - who have a special licence to deal with situations that are a risk to public health and safety, which, I guess, attacking your husband could be used as evidence for, but you all need to act as a group and not as an 'I'm all right Jack' individual.

    If you can't live side by side with the birds then your best bet is to start an action group and seek help from your neighbours who seem to be already on your side, and start the ball rolling.
  • Sound advice from RSPBailey.

    You will probably have seen my response to someone else, which you have responded to, and basically, with how we as a species live and lead our lives, we've made it more accommodating for gulls to thrive in the urban environment.

    What I did say in my reply was: "its nature, particularly this time of year when many birds are trying to protect their young who will now be getting ready to venture out in the big bad world, safe as as possible.

    And lets face it, if you have a family, you would do what you can to protect your children and give them the best start you can.

    So does nature."

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Thanks all. You make an interesting point RSPBailey. And it's something I'd realised myself.

    I'm aware of the neighbours who live closest to the site having contacted our council and the owners in previous years with no luck, because they shared it on our neighbourhood forum.

    Unfortunately, like others not affected in our estate, we didn't help by also contacting them. If we all had, something may have been done.

    This year it's me writing the e-mails with them and speaking to other neighbours to try and get support.

    The phrase "I'm alright Jack" sums it up perfectly. And meanwhile, there are some neighbours feeding the gulls.
  • In reply to PiciNic:

    PiciNic said:
    Thanks all. You make an interesting point RSPBailey. And it's something I'd realised myself.



    I'm aware of the neighbours who live closest to the site having contacted our council and the owners in previous years with no luck, because they shared it on our neighbourhood forum.

    Unfortunately, like others not affected in our estate, we didn't help by also contacting them. If we all had, something may have been done.

    This year it's me writing the e-mails with them and speaking to other neighbours to try and get support.

    The phrase "I'm alright Jack" sums it up perfectly. And meanwhile, there are some neighbours feeding the gulls.

    It can be very hard getting people to accept what is happening is nature.

    On our neighbourhood forum, we have similar scenarios, as I'm sure a great many more will do, where people see their home as their private castle and for whatever reason, cannot/will not, accept nature has to fit in somewhere.

    Currently, we're enjoying, and it is post Covid, a large number of people getting fascinated with spotting a fox in their garden, and the many different species of garden birds that visit.

    The best way forward, but not necessarily the easiest, certainly not on the outset, is communication, and rather than dictating what is, talking to the neighbours, hearing their concerns and gently, when the opportunity arises, share the reality.

    The art of convincing many, not all, folk is letting them think they're discovered it themselves.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Absolutely agree.

    As an animal and nature lover I've done what I can to enhance my little patch of nature - my garden.

    My cats don't get to free roam, not just to protect them, but to protect the local bird population.

    I have birds & squirrels visit all year round and have done my absolute best to make sure my cats can't harm them. Successfuly so far!

    My pollinator friendly planting with a cat allergic to bee stings has been a challenge, I tell ya!

    It's about finding a way to coexist with nature. Unfortunately, in the midst of a lovely housing estate we have a rat issue and a gull issue.

    I despair at times seeing neighbours online, almost manically discussing using rat poison in their gardens for a rodent issue, but still putting out overflowing dustbins every week. And throwing out of date sausages out for the gulls.

    Then the self same folks ranting about seeing a gull with a dead rat.

    I seem to have ranted a bit myself now, sorry!

    Oh how I wish I could negotiate with the gulls & explain my cats can't actually go anywhere, they'd probably be more rational than some of my fellow humans!