Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Scarecrow Keeps the Cats Away?

There had always been a couple cats lurking around in our backyard.  After we had the weeds removed, they were more noticeable, because they've been pawing at the mulch.  Kitty, my backyard is not your litter box!  In addition, cat's can carry toxoplasmosis which can be very harmful to fetuses.  So, I've been advised not to garden while pregnant.  What a bummer!  This set off an internet search on how to humanely chase the cats out of my yard.  Some sites recommend sprinkling cayenne pepper around.  Others recommend using powders that smell like cat predators in hopes that the scent would scare the cats away.  Also, apparently cats don't like prickly things under their feet so you can scatter pine cones on your mulch or even stick forks prong side up randomly in the mulch so it's not soft and inviting...sounds like a lot of work and it wouldn't be very attractive.  There were also two high tech solutions that I came across, both involving motion detective devices.  The first emits a high-pitched frequency repels cats when the device detects motion in the yard.  The other is called the Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler - when the attached motion sensor detects movement, it lets out a spray of water.  As anyone who watches children's cartoons knows, cats hate water. 
Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler
There are hundreds of reviews for the sprinkler and the average is a 4.5 out of 5 stars, while the reviews for the frequency emitter are not nearly as high, so I opted for the sprinkler.  It arrived yesterday, so I'm excited to install it.  I just have to remember to turn it off before the gardener shows up on Saturday...he won't be a happy camper if he gets attacked by the scarecrow. 


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