Feral Cats

Feral cats are the descendants of domesticated cats they tend to mistrust people and pose a very slight risk of disease, mostly to house cats; they have been known to use urban gardens as a litter box, kill birds, they create unpleasant noise and smells

garden feral cats

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How much of a health threat are feral cats?

The danger posed by feral cats tends to be lower than perceived, but should not be ignored, most cities have groups that monitor the health of feral cat colonies

Why to discourage feral cats from spending time in your garden:

Slight risk of disease to people: disease risk to humans is namely from rabies, pregnant women are also at very slight risk of toxoplasmosis a parasite more commonly found in food

Disease risk to domesticated cats: feral cats may carry a host of diseases that can sicken domestic cats

Spraying: Unneutered male cats mark territory by spraying a mix of urine and fatty material that has a pungent, unpleasant lingering odor

Noise : stay cats can keep you up at night, with their screeching

Bird killers: Millions of birds, which struggle to find space in urban areas and are important to biodiversity, are killed by feral cats every year

Litter box: freshly planted areas look like a great bathroom for cats

Keep feral cats out

Smells that deter cats

Cat deterring spray: Add a few drops of lavender, lemongrass, citronella and eucalyptus into a stray bottle. Fill with water. Spritz the area

Scatter fresh orange and lemon peels around the area

Create obstacles

A tall fence will often keep feral cats out

Make a grid of cut rose stems over fresh planting or a honeycomb pattern of sticks stuck in the ground about 3 to 4 inches apart cats won’t move through them

Screen freshly seeded areas with a wire screen so cats won’t use them as a litter box