Calls for new dog licences to better control unruly pets

Malcolm Blackmore

Mon 17 Jun, 20:28 (last edited on Mon 17 Jun, 20:32)

Having looked up "catio" my immediate thought is, for the entire periphery of fairly large back and front gardens, it would simply be beyond the means of our constrained pension budgets! What are neighbour did was to top 4 and 6 foot fences with enough wire to, hopefully, to deter Muntjacs jumping over, as they had them resident last winter as did we. Though we had nothing horticulturally precious in our overgrown front garden to be nibbled. Because we have found out there are newly arrived cats in the neighbours the birds have ... dwindled in number recently and we had been wondering why (as they get fed) and then we discovered the arrivals.

Hopefully a cat being confronted by a 7-8 foot leap, of a 6 foot fence panel topped by wire additional height, will deter them from even trying a leap upon which to get entangled by claws etc. And give our Micro-Nature Reserve (there is a good YouTube site about such I've seen mentioned in The New Scientist, I think, been meaning to look out, about micro garden reserves' potential) more and secure Avian activities.

Harriet Baldwin
👍 2

Sun 16 Jun, 14:46 (last edited on Sun 16 Jun, 14:46)

One way to increase the numbers of birds in your garden would be to have tall shrubs, not cutting everything back to fence height. Birds like cover, they don't like eg gardens with gravel and pots. Walk round charlbury, look at the front gardens you can see and ask yourself how many are actually bird friendly (vs insect friendly with long grass) My mother used to have a massive incense rose in her garden, it was full of sparrows making so much noise you could hear them halfway down the road when we cut it back at the same time the neighbour removed a leylandii all the sparrows vanished because they had nowhere else to go. 

(And re cats if they're fed a raw food diet they don't make smelly poos. Feeding them dry food and cheap pouched food full of fillers will do though)

Rosemary Bennett
👍 3

Sun 16 Jun, 13:43

Thanks Claire, I don’t see how that can be right. The statistics can be interpreted in many ways depending on the amount and quality of the data. Bird populations are dwindling alarmingly rapidly, so how can it be right to accept that cat killings don’t count. It’s not acceptable to me on the grounds that birds are wild and precious, and cats are quite the opposite. 

 If we could stop stop cats from killing birds, and we also rebuilt hedgerows, and planted more trees and shrubs for the berries, the birds wouldn’t be sacrificed as they are now, and there would be more food for them. More intensive planting would also support millions of insects and bees.

This is nothing to do directly with cats or dogs, but we recently drove through the Wiltshire countryside and it was breathtaking in the copious number of beautiful, huge and mature hedgerows throughout. It seemed incomparable to the hedgerows that have been destroyed in other counties, that I don’t need to name.

Claire Wilding
👍 5

Sun 16 Jun, 12:55

RSPB say that cats don’t actually affect the bird population. Because food is the main factor that limits the population. So if there were no cats, it would just mean more birds starving in the winter. 

As for digging up the garden, I find rows of pointy sticks keeps them away!

Rosemary Bennett
👍 7

Sun 16 Jun, 12:18

Now we’ve segued into cats.

They Kill Birds. Everybody knows that They Kill Birds.

They Dig Up other people’s gardens and leave Stinking *urds.

Every cat owner makes Excuses.

It’s now My Fault that I’ve dared to be Honest.

Helen Chapman
👍 1

Sun 16 Jun, 07:30 (last edited on Sun 16 Jun, 07:30)

A collar that doesn’t automatically open can cause a cat serious injuries if they get caught on something, so a hairband wouldn’t be suitable. You can easily buy brightly coloured quick-release collars with bells.

Malcolm Blackmore

Sat 15 Jun, 19:45

Ah. Good point, Harriet. And womens' hairbands - apparently - were used as the scrunchy collars, although not sure the elastic would be strong enough/tightly fitting, or whether they were modified and just using the big, fluffy, high visibility material. 'Cos can't now find the browser tag cannot remember if the big and high-colour bands were modified in any way.

Harriet Baldwin

Sat 15 Jun, 19:37

Chicken wire is not safe to use on a cat enclosure as they can get injured by it, which is why if you buy a bespoke catio they use smaller wire mesh. 

Malcolm Blackmore
👍 1

Sat 15 Jun, 18:30

We had a Muntjac resident in a thicket in our rather overgrown "micro nature reserve" front garden for months. Which we must cut back and open up a bit because its becoming too overgrown ... Then the neighbours got two cats and the Birds disappeared. The next but one had their garden, of which they put in much effort, badly damaged by nibbling ungulates - ours wasn't the only one, we knew of another or two holing up in nearby gardens. A four-foot fence is just a casual hop for this lot. Anyway - cats. She "Deer-proofed" her peripheral fences with 6-7 foot chicken wire extensions. Given the equation, feline x 2 - Avians = 0 that has resulted since the cats arrived (unbeknownst to us for months) thinking of also cat/deer-proofing our wildlife oriented suburban patch with an additional 2+ feet of mesh...

There was a very recent report in the online science media that a brightly coloured scrunchy big collar was significant in reducing predation, and plus bells helped. Can't find the reference now, but the idea of a big collar in high colour - birds have better colour vision than us primates - does appeal.

stephen cavell
👍 4

Sat 15 Jun, 17:23

Equally as important - are all Charlbury Cats micro-chipped now. The birds on my bird feeder are asking.

Malcolm Blackmore
👍 1

Sat 15 Jun, 16:43

Some sensible ideas here - although there is an argument in support of a DNA analysis of each mutt as per in USA blocks of flats dogs' exercise yard to identify failures to poop-n-scoop which seem to work well. We are frequently picking up dropping along Hundley way especially in…

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