Here at PetsWeekly, we get all manner of emails - from people telling us all about their beautiful pets to people who are looking to rid their yards of wild animals. We prefer the former, but we deal with the latter. We also get a lot of questions from people who have pets of their own and are trying to keep dogs, cats, etc. out of certain areas of their yard or the kid's sandboxes. Unfortunately, people are forced to deal with the pets of others, particularly when it comes to cats. So in a noble effort to preserve family and neighbor relationships worldwide, we have chosen to do a review on some unique products that will help you keep your relationships with your neighbors happy.
The "deterrents" that we are discussing in this article can be used on all manner of animals, even coyote and deer. They are inexpensive and SAFE alternatives to dealing with what some consider to be "pests" and others consider to be "pets". The first solution to keeping feral and free-roaming animals out of your yard is one that is effective most of the time is Contech CatStop Ultrasonic Outdoor Cat Deterrent. CatStop works on the premise that animals don't like "ultrasonic" noises and it holds true. The noise is not audible to human ears, (unless you're a werewolf or something, but I have yet to run across that particular issue and know of no werewolves who can test the product for me). CatStop is activated by a motion detector and monitors activity for up to 280 square feet. Depending on the amount of activity, it can operates up to six months on a 9 volt battery. Now, as a premise to these products let me admit that I didn't test them in my own yard. It's not my goal to keep animals away (although the thought has crossed my mind). But, as all animals seem to migrate to our home, no matter the species, I thought it would be nice to help my very understanding neighbors out and let them do the product testing. They've had it installed for a few weeks now, and there are no more "messes" left on the side yard, and they have had no problem with feral cats spraying their front door! CatStop is an effective device and retailing at only $59.00, it's a bargain that is worth the test run. But, if you're worried about your own pets response to an 'ultrasonic' product (although we've had no problems with our own, nor have our neighbors), you can try out the Scarecrow. The Contech ScareCrow Outdoor Animal Deterrent works much in the same way as the CatStop, but uses water as a deterrent rather than an ultrasonic sound. When an animal crosses it's path, it sends out a short burst of water, which frightens the animal and sends them away. This is a great product for larger areas, as it can cover up to 1,200 square feet. It also conserves water as it only uses 2-3 cups per burst. We do recommend, however, only turning it on at night or at times when the mailman isn't crossing the front yard, unless you don't mind not having your mail delivered... Contech CRO101 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler also works on a 9-volt battery and lasts up to 6 months depending on use. We have also let our neighbors use this product and they have found it to be highly effective in high use areas, particularly in gardens and so forth to keep rabbits and rodents away and is perfectly safe to use around children. Although this product is a bit more expensive, $89.00, it's worth the cost if you're trying to keep cats out of your kids sandboxes or your own flowerbeds. Finally we took a look at one of our favorite products, the Mini Scarecrow. This device works similarly to the SSSCAT Cat Training Aid devices that we have used in the past (see that review here: Ssscat Cat Deterrent). Both are excellent products. The difference is that the Mini-Scarecrow has a longer guarantee (1 year) and is said to last longer than Ssscat, although we have not had it long enough to prove that theory. It works on 3 AAA batteries and can handle up to 200 bursts of air from one canister. We love this device for in house use to keep cats off counters, away from doorways that they are not allowed into and for general training purposes. It works on dogs and small children as well. There will be not one successful game of hide-n-seek in your home while you incorporate this product! (Just ask our kids!) In all, we were highly impressed with Contech's extensive line of deterrent products for animals. While we don't try to deter to much in our home, we know of many who are just annoyed at outdoor animals, and this is a safe and effective way to help keep your yard safe and secure. I'm pretty sure that most of them will work on burglars as well, so if you've had that problem in the past, you may want to incorporate one or more of these products into your yard!
From the Cats:
Hisses & Spits: Lots of hisses and spits. We hate anything that tries to control our positions! Purrs: Silence as they watch the scarecrow suspiciously, seeking out a way around the canister...
From the Humans:
Two opposable thumbs up! Drawback? Nothing yet - but if anything does come up, you'll be the first to know!