DEARJOAN: I have proof of critter feces in my backyard. It is way too massive to be from a rat or cat. Raccoons have been in my yard in the earlier.
This is in an space (wherever) my more mature cat spends her time in the afternoons, but I get her inside of in the evening. The feces seem in the mornings.
Is there some thing that would deter raccoons, but not irritate my cat?
Jane Kamvar, Cupertino
Expensive JANE: 1 way to make guaranteed you don’t disturb your cat is to come across her a tranquil and heat napping house inside of the home. This is not just me preaching on the risks to cats that are allowed to wander exterior. You have proof of an animal visiting your property at night there is no ensure it wouldn’t also occur all over through the day.
If it is a raccoon, there is a very little danger to your cat. If it’s a larger animal, this sort of as a coyote, she’s in a ton of threat.
Creating a latrine in the corner of the garden does sound like raccoon actions, on the other hand. You can identify their scat by the form (cylindrical) with rounded or damaged finishes. You virtually generally can see remnants of berries or seeds the animal has eaten.
Coyote scat is largely tubular with tapered finishes, and fox scat has twisted ends. There may well be tufts of fur from the prey these animals have eaten.
To protect against a raccoon from making use of your cat’s napping place as a latrine, tape jointly two parts of plastic — a tarp or trash bags — so there is a small slip and slide motion, then distribute the plastic in the corner following your cat has retired to the dwelling for the night. Raccoons do not like the come to feel of the plastic and normally come across other spots.
You also could set a movement-activated sprinkler to occur on at night time or place up a spot light that illuminates the corner.
Pricey JOAN: I have a comment on the concern about the cat harming the home furniture in your Monday column. We typically used carpet-protected posts until eventually our most the latest cat, who is now 7 a long time previous. She under no circumstances appreciated those posts and favored home furniture.
I brought household a slanted, sisal rope post and it adjusted almost everything. She’s on her third article, possessing ripped the other two to shreds. That fashion of submit, in addition offering her a standard manicure, has saved us all joyful. She does like the clean catnip I mature for her, so that also served to train her.
The only time she subsequently touched our sofa was when she experienced worn out her submit, but stopped when I purchased her a new 1.
Gayle Hudson, San Leandro
Pricey GAYLE: I like hearing about issues that have labored for other people. I should really have recommended some substitute scratching post materials, as well as frequent manicures.
Not all cats — or canine — are keen on possessing the their nails trimmed, but with patience and perseverance, it can transpire. With cats, you want to snip off just the incredibly suggestion of the nail.
Yet another reader, George from San Jose, claims he makes use of canned air, the kind employed for cleaning electronics, aimed in the route of a misbehaving cat. It is productive and does not get the home furnishings wet, George says. Just make specified not to blast the air in the cat’s experience or eyes.
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