Feeding station problems
25th April 2018 at 5:56 pm #9219
Well, amazingly, a cat managed to get past my half brick and the double twisty corridors. Like you, I was at a loss. They do seem to be incredibly persistent! and how is it physically possible? I added a complete brick as well as the half brick and that solved the problem. The hog didn’t seem to have a problem with it and neither did some of the returners. But having seen the previous attempt I was worried in the mornings whether I was going to open the box to find a cat stuck in the twisty turns. Thank goodness, not.
Only one of the 6 cats who frequently visit the garden have visited in the last few weeks. Ironically just when a rat turns up. Are all these cats complete wimps!?
Seriously, though, I think it is harder for the cats to twist if the area is shallower. They don’t seem to be able to get through a shallower longer bit with a turn at the end. I’m not sure whether you are going to be able to do it with your current set up, unless you can create a long shallow tunnel with turns in it, outside. You might end up with the whole garden full of a maze!
If you are thinking of starting again, Penny tells us that her box seems to work and she used to have problems with cats. There is a picture on the following https://www.flickr.com/photos/144453064@N05/35319840883/
She did put the measurements somewhere, but I can’t find that at the moment. If I come across it I’ll copy it here. Or maybe Penny might see this and tell us again. If you do use that as a copy, I think the key is to keep the entrance holes quite small, because otherwise the entrances set up is very similar to mine and as I said, the cats got in.26th April 2018 at 1:18 pm #9239
Yes, like Nic says, we had a big problem with one particular cat which seemed to be able to shape shift like an amoeba and get to the hogs dinner no matter what we tried. The camera always seemed to capture it leaving with a smug grin on its face and dinner dripping off its chin; it just about drove me insane! Water troughs around the entrance worked to some extent, but the patio was starting to look more and more like an assault course. We built this mark 3 version last June and as far as we know there have been no break-ins as of yet. It was very easy to build out of pre-cut lengths of timber and a sheet of marine ply. The main section doesn’t have a floor, just because it’s easier to keep clean, but you could always add one if your hogs are suitably toilet trained. The entrance holes are very small which is the key to its success, but even the larger hogs can squeeze through.
And here is the ninja cat itself…
Good luck. 🙂26th April 2018 at 2:24 pm #9241
I can’t help laughing every time I see a cat squeezing in and out of hog boxes!
Really good quality picture.
Did you see my post that Pam Ayres book is due out for Hedgehog Awareness Week? The Last Hedgehog.26th April 2018 at 3:13 pm #9244
Yes, I shall be ordering a copy. Hopefully Pam will be doing a few TV interviews to drum up some much needed support for the petition…fingers crossed.
Glad to hear that digger has returned, you must be very relieved. We seem to have a few more females around than last year and it looks like some small juveniles made it through the harsh winter too.27th April 2018 at 12:48 am #9258
I really hope they get lots of signatures for the petition in Hedgehog Awareness Week, too. The worrying thing is that the 38 degrees one has slowed right down in the last week or so with approx. 6,000 short of their target. Did you manage to get all your leaflets delivered? Hope you got some help in the end.
I was absolutely delighted to see Digger. I always prepare myself for her not returning so it is a real treat when she does. It’s actually a real treat every night she turns up – she is such a special hog. She didn’t visit the night after I saw her on the video and I began to doubt myself, but looked again and there is really no mistaking her. Next night she came trotting onto the patio and tucked hungrily into the food and has been back again tonight. Three of last year’s early hoglets are back, so with hoglet/Horace (not sure about his sibling) as well, not a bad result. Glad to hear you have got lots of females – hopefully lots of hoglets to come!29th April 2018 at 10:07 am #9296
We’ve experienced similar with a neighbours cat who spends most of the night in our garden desperate to eat the food we put out for the hedgehogs. It’s unbelievable the positions it gets itself into – it’s a real contortionist! And a little frustrating as we ourselves have two cats, but they don’t go out at night.
From our experience we kept making the entrance hole smaller and smaller and eventually the cat gave up, but the hedgehogs (and the starlings in the morning) can still easily get in. It’s not a squeeze at all for the hedgehogs.
I can post a picture or point you in the direction of a couple of videos if this would be helpful (and I can work out how to do it!!).
Hope this helps xx4th May 2018 at 1:33 pm #9402
Why not just put enough food for the cat & the hedgehogs. They are both delightful animal species deserving of our care.
We observe & care for wildlife to enhance our lives & reduce the stress of modern life. No point in getting irate about animals taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
In our garden, with a river border, rats & foxes help themselves to the hedgehog’s food and the squirrels steal the food in the bird feeders.
We locate all feeding stations that are left out away from the house so that the less desirable animals don’t come indoors.
Hope this makes sense to everyone4th May 2018 at 2:51 pm #9404
My cat is very food orientated and eats everything put down to him in seconds. And would eat everything again 30 mins later. He is a bottomless pit. So if it was my cat visiting their garden then the poor hogs would go hungry.4th May 2018 at 3:51 pm #9405
Hi BoyePeter and LynnMc,
You’ve ‘hit the nail on the head’ LynnMC, some cats, like our next door neighbour’s are fine and will only sample a biscuit or two, but others in the neighbourhood will steal the whole lot, leaving nothing for the hogs. Everything in our garden is very well fed including the wood mice and the grey squirrels that have their own supply of nuts and seeds. It’s all about making sure that the few hogs that we have left don’t go hungry.9th May 2018 at 2:31 pm #9513
Hi hope you manage to suss out the cat problem, it took me a while to do so, with a lot of try and error, a suggestion is also put a brick in the inside of the feeding station, by the entrance to, as well as the outside , or try making a narrow tunnel leading to the entrance, as that will make it difficult for the cat to crawl through, or a narrow tunnel with a side entrance which would make it difficult for the cat to turn into it. Don’t give up you will get there in the end :-). If you do succeed, or I should say when you succeed 🙂 it would be good to know that you have12th May 2018 at 10:46 pm #9587
Thank you for all your ideas and advice… We reduced the height a bit on the tunnel, and added a little step at the turn, the cat possibly no can’t get in (my wildlife camera gave up), however I noticed last night that the hoggie got half way in, turned around and came out – So we’ve done some further adjustments and have a new wildlilfe camera…. so fingers crosed we finally have some success…… 🙂13th May 2018 at 11:23 am #9588
I really hope it works this time! If a hog turns round and goes out again, it is possible it is because there is already another hog in there. I have seen them doing that here.
I probably shouldn’t say it, but there has been a marked absence of cats recently, after sometimes 3 a night visiting. Occasionally one strolls down the path but leaves again pretty quickly. I have even removed the bricks from the box. The only thing is a rat has been visiting instead. Luckily, for some reason, this one seems wary of the boxes and I only leave kitten biscuits in them, which hopefully it doesn’t like anyway!
Good luck with the new camera.
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