Cat eating food
12th February 2018 at 9:11 pm #8646
Recently discovered next door’s cat is eating all the food I put in several hog feeders.
I’ve been feeding for a couple of years now and know up till recently it was the hedgehogs eating the food ( just observation and infra red camera).
But I recently had a problem with a rat. Briefly I saw an unusual hole and set the camera to watch. It picked up a rat. Not wanting to risk harming any hogs I set a humane trap, caught the rat and released it in the local quarry. I set the camera a while longer but seems it was just one rat.
So I put the camera inside one of the feeders and caught the cat actually inside!
Set it in another and same thing. So yesterday I made the tunnel smaller but it still got in. I’m going to have another go at making a feeder with more twists and bends and put an obstacle near the entrance. But if that doesn’t work I’m will have to stop feeding as I have no intention of feeding the cat.
Any ideas please?13th February 2018 at 8:06 am #8648
We have tried just about everything to stop the neighbourhood cats from eating the hogs dinner. Shallow troughs of water positioned at right angles across the entrance, leaving just enough room for the hogs to get through, can be effective but a bit unsightly. We eventually went the whole ‘hog’ (pardon the pun!) and made a custom feeding station with small entrance holes (10.5cm Wide x 9.5cm high) and a baffle at either end. It was very easy to make with ready cut lengths of timber and marine ply. The hogs love it and there have been no feline insurgents as of yet.
Good luck. 🙂13th February 2018 at 9:18 am #8649
Hi pushthedriver and Penny
I had a similar problem.
I thought Penny’s box was brilliant, especially having two entrances. I have a box with a similar entrance and I, too, thought it was cat proof. I was wrong. A quite large cat managed to get in there one night and ate all the food. A hoglet then decided to make a nest in the box.
I got a friend to make another box with the same dimensions, but with an extra partition, so not only did the cat have to keep bending round, but the end chamber was quite small for a cat to turn round in. You’ve guessed it, a different cat (also quite large) managed to get in there too. I thought that for a feed box, maybe the height was the problem. If it was only just low enough for a hog it would make it more difficult for the cat. I put a half brick in the first corner and so far that seems to have worked. A cat has been seen half way in, but, so far, no further. The hog has no problem getting over it. If I was going to have another box (specifically for food) I would try to get it shallower.
I usually use hog food which cats aren’t supposed to like, but it seems one or two don’t mind what they eat. Unfortunately the rat also liked the hog food, so for the time being, I have switched to kitten biscuits and so far the rat hasn’t been back.
Re. the humane trap. I have heard of hedgehogs getting caught in them too. Ok it doesn’t kill the animal, but not very pleasant for a hog if it was caught in one all night, especially at this time of year.13th February 2018 at 9:27 am #8650
Good morning Penny and thanks for the response.
I’m not ready to give up yet!
Your set up looks pretty good.
It looks like what I have in mind with an overall lower profile ( my feeder stations were built to double as houses because I overwinter hogs for the local rescue centre to free up some of their space.
However I’ll get in the shed at the weekend and knock together a new feeder only station.
I’m thinking of making the holes and passages considerably smaller than the 13-15cm usually advised; my theory being if I don’t keep the cats out I’ll be forced to quit because I’m buying Iams premium food which is not cheap (from Bitaba in bulk which saves a fortune) and I would be just wasting my money (and time). At least with smaller passages if it keeps the cats out all but the largest hogs should gain access and the larger ones are more able to survive without our help.13th February 2018 at 9:45 am #8652
All good info thanks.
Re the trap. I have fed the garden birds for over 30 years in this house on a fairly industrial scale! The rewards are a garden full of movement and visits by over 30 species over the years with regular Nuthatches , woodpeckers, all the finches and most of the tit family, ducks, pheasants, partridges, kestrels, sparrow hawks (you get the picture). I started keeping a few (3 ) chickens a few years ago as do a number of near neighbours. (The chickens have all gone now)
I’d never seen a rat in all the time I’ve lived in the property but one day a notice from the local authority was pushed through the door advising that a report of rats had been submitted. I understand the notice went to everyone but I took action and bought a number of galvanised bins for all the various feeds. Thankfully we heard no more and so presumably the rat problem was dealt with at another address.
However when I saw that I had a rat hole on my property (I caught it on camera) I was fearful that I could be forced to stop feeding not only the hogs but the birds as well. I took the view that being able to continue helping the hundreds of birds and many local hogs thrive would be worth the risk that a hog or other creature had an uncomfortable night.
As it happens the trap did the trick without any problem and even the rat got to live another day! Win win13th February 2018 at 10:12 am #8653
A similar thing happened not far from here once. Someone who fed the hogs was told they had to stop because it was attracting rats. So I always dread a rat appearing. Like you, luckily, they have made surprisingly few appearances, and have usually given up if life was made difficult for them.
But, I can see why you wanted to use the trap. Someone like you, who has a lot to do with hogs, etc. would no doubt make sure that nothing was in the trap too long, but not everyone is as careful and a lot of people don’t realise hogs can get caught in them too. I borrowed one once, years ago, but I was so worried that a hog might get caught that I only set it during the daytime (that particular rat was sometimes seen during the day). Needless to say, nothing was caught! I’m really pleased it worked out well for you and hope you have no more rat visitors for a while. It would be very sad if you couldn’t feed all those birds and hedgehogs.
Good luck with the new feeding box. Let us know how you get on.
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