House cats are a major problem throughout the U.S. Even before they became the country's most popular pets, domesticated cats have been pillaging and ravaging our wildlife resources for many years. Estimates are that house cats kill and injure millions upon millions of wildlife every year. They are also implicated in being partially responsible for the decline in song bird populations. If you think that your cat is an effective mouser click here (mouse control) to see why he isn't.
Throughout the U.S. wherever humans can be found.
Don't think that your neighborhood cat doesn't pose a potential risk to you. Besides typical diseases like Cat Scratch fever, the cat may carry rabies. Since the rabies epidemic hit Massachusetts in the early 90's, to the present, 2002, a total of 93 cats. Permit me to quote the MDFW press release of April 4, 2002
Keeping vaccinations current on pet dogs and cats is also crucial
to prevention. Pets can act as a bridge between a rabid wild animal and a person,
acquiring the virus through a bite and then bringing the virus into the household.
Cats should be vaccinated and kept indoors as 93 have tested positive for rabies.
By comparison only 4 dogs have been documented with rabies during the same time
period. If an animal inflicts a bite or scratch, wash the wound thoroughly with
soap and water for 15 minutes and call a physician. Capture the suspected animal
without further contact and call your local Board of Health and Animal Control
Officer for details on testing protocol. Use caution with a pet you suspect
may have been in a fight with a wild animal. Handle with gloves and contact
a veterinarian. Bat proof your home by repairing screens, vents and other areas
where bats may gain access. If you find a bat in the house and suspect you or
a family member may have been bitten or scratched, capture the animal in a large
coffee can and call your doctor and local public health officials.
For more information, contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 617.983.6800.
Don't bother with plants that allegedly repel animals. There aren't any that
would be fool proof because all a free roaming mammal has to do is walk past
it up wind.. But if you insist on using some here are a few to try. (WARNING
some of these repellents may be dangerous to the user and may require a pesticide
permit to use) Repellents to repel cats include allyl isothiocyanate (oil of
mustard), amyl acetate, anethole, capsaicin, cinnemaldehyde, citral, citronella,
citrus oil, eucalyptus oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, lemongrass oil, menthol,
methyl nonyl ketone, methyl salicylate, naphthalene, nicotine, paradichlorobenzene
and thymol. Oil of mustard, cinnemaldehyde and methyl nonyl ketone have worked
in some instances.
Don't bother with ultrasonic devices either. There is no evidence that I am aware of that they work. Also ultrasound is a weak frequency. It dissipates very quickly even if it was annoying to animals assuming they could hear it. She makes part of the garden for them. It may be an option for you. Otherwise, unless you are willing to trap them and possibly suffer legal consequences, there isn't a lot you can do other than fortify your property. There is no magic in this business.
Of couse, in the final analysis, trapping
may be an option depending on the laws in your state.
Cats can carry rabies, cat scratch fever, fleas and ticks. Feral cats are a significant danger in spreading rabies to humans because, while children may avoid wild animals, cats are seen as safe to pet. Rabid cats have been found in Springfield, MA and Niagara county,NY 6/14/00.
Cats can also suffer from embolisms in the brain which causes them to go crazy. Kirk LaPierre says he has several of these cases each year confirmed by necropsy. Dave Purwin of Desert Willdife Services Inc. in Tucson, AZ says, "Yes. I get three or so Mad Cat "Rodeo" calls/year. It never fails to be a 15-20lb cat with intact claws and teeth. It's amazing what such mad cats can do - run straight up walls, hang off ceiling lights, bite through Kevlar-lined gloves, etc....Always an adventure!"
I get various requests for methods to keep cats out of gardens, property etc. I am always looking for new ones but here are some that you may want to consider.The best solution is to push for laws that require leashes on all cats.
Fence your garden and or property. You can reduce the climbing of the cats by angling the fence outward away from the garden like this / away from the gardenI would estimate that the fence would need to be wobbly and at least 5 feet high at the peak.
Non-Chemical Repellent Systems
Chemical Repellent Systems
Techniques that probably won't work
Here is some more information. The cat is on the roof of a two floor house. It is also cold outside and it sleeted recently. (photo by Stephen Vantassel)
If you guessed, "Someone put him there". You are wrong.
If you guessed, "He climbed out of a window". You are wrong.
If you guessed, "He climbed the telephone pole and crossed on the power line". You are wrong.
The cat climbed this monkey tail tree (on the opposite corner of the house) and climbed onto the roof from the branch. The cat was on the roof for at least one night. (photo by Stephen Vantassel)
The moral of this story is that house cats can find themselves in some very unusual situations.
According to USA Today article in Today's Debate "Invasive Species" August 30, 1999 p.14 A. Feral cats cost the US. approximately 14 billion dollars worth of damage a year.
Other House Cat Control Equipment
Don't grab small animals like Opossums and House Cats with your hands. Use the Cat Grasper instead.
Disclaimer: WDC seeks to provide accurate, effective and responsible information on resolving human/wildlife conflicts. We welcome suggestions, criticisms to help us achieve this goal. The information provided is for informational purposes only and users of the information use it at their own risk. The reader must consult state/federal officials to determine the legality of any technique in the reader's locale. Some techniques are dangerous to the user and to others. WDC encourages readers to obtain appropriate training (see our informational literature at our Store ), and understand that proper animal damage control involves patience, understanding that not every technique/method works for every situation or even 100% of the time. Your use of this information is governed by this understanding. We welcome potential users of the information and photos to simply ask for permission via e-mail. Finally, WDC welcomes e-mail but understand that all e-mails become property of Wildlife Damage Control.