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Cat Repellent Question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am about to get a new kitty, a tortie that is about 7 or 8 weeks old. Her mother was a stray that had kittens on an elderly lady's green house under her carport. Cocoa....we think her name will be (that or Brown Kitty) ...will be coming home Tuesday.

Don't shoot me.. she will not be an inside kitty (except in the garage on cold nights)...we are alergic to them.

My question is this. I want to try to train her to stay in the back yard without having to add on to the fence to make it more cat secure. I have a 1.5 acre lot with about half of that fenced behind my house. I have two dogs..that have been cat friendly in the past. At least cat friendly when they knew the baby was ours. Anyway, I'd like to teach the cat to stay in the yard with them and not to wander off. I am wondering if I put cat repellent around the entire outside of the fence from the time she is wee small, can I teach her not to leave the yard? And how much is it going to irritate the dogs? I don't even know how far off a cat (or dog) can smell cat repellent.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 25
Oh my... the easy answer I think would be that anything at all sprayed outdoors anywhere would last about a day if you were very lucky, but even then would probably be negligible as far as repelling anything much, though what it might do to birds and bees might be a problem. The other answer is that your set-up sounds so cat UNfriendly. You're allergic, you have dogs, you seriously think you're going to train a CAT to stay in an UNfenced yard (with dogs) and hope some air-spray will make a difference to anything? Why are you taking on this cat? She will be gone (if the dogs don't kill her quickly) very shortly after being put outside once she's old enough to navigate. Please reconsider and if necessary find her a home with people who will care enough to keep her either indoors, or at least well protected if sometimes outdoors. Your plan is completely unrealistic and won't work plus neither you nor the cat would have any 'love' to enjoy between you and after all what's the point? Do you have mice? You will not 'have' a cat, a cat will have opportunities to run off and face many, many dangers out there, even if it survives being at arm's length from allergic 'parents' and resident dogs.
post #3 of 25
I think the only way is to install a cat fence, and I don't think it's a good idea to leave a kitten alone in a yard with dogs.

7-8 weeks old is too young for her to be away from her mum, she needs to stay until 10 weeks minimum - 12 weeks is best.
She'll need to be spayed before you let her outside, if you do end up getting her, or she'll take off in no time to find a mate and have kittens.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
First, the kitten will not be alone with the dogs initially. She will be penned until we know the dogs will not hurt her. We have had a cat before and one fo the dogs played with it and the other left it alone. They did not injure the cat. I'm not a total barbarian.

Two, some of the cat repellents last as long as a month.

The cat will be very loved. She will come in from time to time and likely grandma who lives with me will spoil her. Cats have lived outdoors for thousands of years. We had 7 cats at my mother's old house years ago...all free and outdoors, we gave two away and three or four of them lived to be between 10 and 14 years old.

I know that this is controversial. I'm simply trying to decide if short of a fence, I can teach the cat not to wander off.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sshapkido View Post
Two, some of the cat repellents last as long as a month.
I've tried all the cat repellents with the exception of the scaredy-cat plants to try to keep roaming cats away; none of them work except for the noise makers, which would be prohibitively expensive on a continuous basis (as well as impractical -- the infrared devices are going to trigger at you as well as at your cat), and either of those two options make your yard cat-unfriendly, as Larke described. As an example, I put down granular boundary, which is the only one that lasts more than a day, and next day I took Twinkie for a walk and he walked right over where I had applied it without so much as even taking notice of it.

You cannot teach a cat to stay in a yard. A cat goes where a cat wills. The only way to keep a cat restrained in a yard is with a proper fence, and that's a fence that a cat can't climb.
post #6 of 25
I haven't seen cat repellents that last a month, but with anything, I would have doubts that it would work for the full amount stated on any packaging. It would probably start to lose effectiveness somewhere along the way.
I'd worry about what it might do if she comes into contact with it. I used one repellent to keep cats out of my yard, and it had to be applied daily. If I tried to skip a day or two, the cats were right back. These were granules, and the container said to wear gloves and don't let the animals come into contact with it. Theoretically, they should want to stay away from it, but if they don't....
I put my boundary repellent on the outside of the fence so the dogs couldn't come into contact with it (my kitties are indoor). And since I could only do that at the front fence because the opposite side of my fence on all other sides was in a neighbor's yard, cats still got into my yard sometimes. I don't know how well this will work at keeping a cat in the yard. I don't know of anyone who has a cat who is contained in their own yard.
post #7 of 25
You absolutely cannot predict (and neither can they!) what any dog will do on any given day under whatever circumstances. The most insignificant thing (to us) may trigger some atavastic instinct in them - even a smell coming across a field, or a sound, and next thing you know your cat (or child or ??) has been attacked. One of our cats loves one of our two dogs, but I would never leave them alone together (the dogs are always together anyhow and the 2nd one's a little hyper) unless, e.g. they'd a) grown up together INdoors, b) were on the 'old' side and never said boo to each other, ate and slept close by routinely, and the cat ALWAYS had somewhere safe to go (either up or away). Your grandmother may want occasional petting pet, but really you have to consider the cat's entire life and being here, not just it's part time job.
post #8 of 25
Good luck keeping a cat in a yard. Cats go where they want and do what they want.

I don't want to lecture or upset you, but honestly, I don't think getting this cat is being fair to the cat. This is a wee baby (7-8 weeks really is too young for it to be even away from it's mom). The quality of life this cat would have outdoors (even coming into the house occasionally) makes me sad enough to cry. Maybe I'm too sensitive, but I really think you should reconsider and let this little kitten go to a non-allergic home where it can be kept indoors, pampered and loved the way all kitties should be. You have your dog and I'm sure you love it dearly so give all that extra love to the dog. I would really advise against adding this cat to your yard.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
For those of you who gave me advice regarding my original question, thank you very much. Do you have any thoughts on any particular type of cat fence that might be useful? I've read that you can hang something with a slick surface like corugated roofing tiles at the top of the fence so the cat can't get it's grip to climb over. I've also seen roll bars on the top of fences. Does anyone have any experience with cat fencing?

For those of you who insist on assuming that a cat of mine will be unloved and neglected because I'm not planning to keep it inside 24/7 I wish I could post a few pictures of my last outdoor cat so you could see how frightful a life he had. You might be horified at him lying like a king on the patio table, being cuddled like a baby by my mom (his grandma), playing with the Christmas balls on the tree, playing dominoes with me at the dining room table, or sitting at the back door with his canine brother and sister waiting on his morning cheeze (one dog gets medication of asthma in cheeze and the other dog and cat got just cheeze to be fair - grandma insisted). When I said we were allergic to cats that didn't mean that we could never touch them or love on them. It might serve you well to get a little more information before jumping to conclusions.
post #10 of 25
There are several cat fences available, you could probably duplicate something similar on your own.
http://www.purrfectfence.com/

Google 'cat fence' and you'll find several companies.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sshapkido View Post
I am about to get a new kitty, a tortie that is about 7 or 8 weeks old. Her mother was a stray that had kittens on an elderly lady's green house under her carport. Cocoa....we think her name will be (that or Brown Kitty) ...will be coming home Tuesday.

Don't shoot me.. she will not be an inside kitty (except in the garage on cold nights)...we are alergic to them.

My question is this. I want to try to train her to stay in the back yard without having to add on to the fence to make it more cat secure. I have a 1.5 acre lot with about half of that fenced behind my house. I have two dogs..that have been cat friendly in the past. At least cat friendly when they knew the baby was ours. Anyway, I'd like to teach the cat to stay in the yard with them and not to wander off. I am wondering if I put cat repellent around the entire outside of the fence from the time she is wee small, can I teach her not to leave the yard? And how much is it going to irritate the dogs? I don't even know how far off a cat (or dog) can smell cat repellent.

Any thoughts?
I think the problem is that you originally stated the cat would not an indoor cat and only indoors in the garage on cold nights.

You can do a search for "cat fencing". There are several types out there that will work if installed properly.

If your cat is really going to be indoor/outdoor (sleeps inside the home at night where it is safe from predators and other cats) that would probably be best even with a safely fenced yard.

Who will the cat cuddle with, sleep with, bond with if she is outdoors? It is a big lonely world out there for such a young kitten when she leaves her siblings and mom.

I have learned that the way my mother did things because they had always been done that way doesn't mean that is the only way, or even the best way, to do anything.

Yes, cats have lived outside for thousands of years. Today, a well-loved and vetted cat can live to be 20+ years old. I know most outdoor only cats do not live anywhere near that long.

You have come to a cat forum, chock full of cat lovers and activists. Many of the members see and deal with the results of neglect and abuse on a daily basis. Please don't feel defensive because none of the advice is meant that way. Many people here tend to consider the cat before the person posting. That is because the cat cannot speak for herself.

The forums here titled "Cat S.O.S", "Crossing the Bridge" and "Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care" are testaments to the care cats require.

My personal advice, and of course you don't have to take it, it is just my opinion, is to home the kitten with a family who can keep it indoors for the most part. There are many ways to decrease allergies now if cat ownership is truly the goal. Perhaps there is someone in your home who doesn't like cats or who doesn't want to deal with a cat in the home for whatever reason.

Please let us know how this goes for you. Please understand, we really do want what is best for the kitten. The name Cocoa sounds perfect for a tortie

Edit: I have never heard of a cat who could be trained to stay in a particular area.
post #12 of 25
The Purrfect Fence mentioned by missymotus is what came to my mind when I first read this thread. You could construct something similar if you're good at DIY projects.

Good luck and let us know what you come up with. Be sure to post pictures.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie1965 View Post
Who will the cat cuddle with, sleep with, bond with if she is outdoors? It is a big lonely world out there for such a young kitten when she leaves her siblings and mom.
Well, Moe Kitty bonded with his canine sister with whom he rolled all over the yard playfighting. And of course he bonded with us. My brother found him as a kitten in the grass outside the local Cracker Barrel, coaxed him out, and brought him home. He was so undernurished that the vet underguessed his age by two months. We know this because he grew large enough to be neutered around two months before the vet thought he would be old enough. He just needed to catch up. He did not sleep inside though. He slept outside under the back patio with the terrior once he was a little older(unless it was cold then all the critters came into the garage). But he did come in to play often and we went out to play with him. And he was a very happy well adjusted kitty. He also was able to be what he was, a cat. One of my favorite pictures of him is of him crouched in the back yard as if he were stalking something. Cats, despite having certain vulnerabililities, love to be in nature.

I realize that many of you are rescuers and activist. Please realize I'm not a beast either. This kitten's mom is a stray that happened to have her babies on top of an elderly lady's green house. We have not found anyone locally that wants them and I'm not taking this particular kitten that made a connection with me early on to PetSmart so it can be caged with kittens from three other litters waiting to hopefully be adopted and trying to crawl through the cage to anyone that will pet it. Who knows who will get it from there or what it's living conditions will be.

How do you post pictures on this site anyway?
post #14 of 25
I doubt anyone here thinks you are a beast. Ultimately, unless you buy a decent cat proof fence like purrfect fence, your kitten won't have much of a long life outside. Not at the age you say this kitten is. If you have birds of prey in your area, they can quickly carry her off in a heartbeat. If you are intent on keeping this kitten, my suggestion is you keep her inside the garage until she is old enough to be spayed. During that time, you can construct the fence and pay for it (cat fencing is expensive). Once she has been spayed, she will be old enough to be outside, and the fence will keep her on your property until she finds a way to get out (and they do). Cats are diggers and can easily dig holes to slip under wire.

This kitten will be a target for any tomcat in the neighborhood, or any bully cat, not to mention dogs. We have dogs and cats here, but when my barn cats run across the pasture, I see how badly the pups want to chase them- it is their instinct after all.

Most of the members here are concerned animal lovers, not that many rescuers and very few activists. They are giving you the benefit of their experience because you asked for it. Most of them only believe in inside cats, and even some of them are allergic to cats and keep them inside anyway. They take pills, they do a lot of grooming and bathing the cat as well. You can work around allergies, but you can't expect a young kitten to stay safe outside, especially one that hasn't yet been spayed.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Let me reitterate that the kitten won't be on the lose outside when it's young. I already have an enclosure constructed for her while she's a kitten. When she gets bigger she will be introduced to my dogs. They accepted my last cat very easily. Jake sniffed the cat, the cat slapped him across the nose, and Jake turned around and walked off. It's amost as if they knew he was "our baby" and they had to play nice. And this cat will be spayed as soon as the vet says she's old enough.

I do appreciate the fence advice. If I can keep her inside the fence (which encloses almost an acre), no stray dog will get to her and I doubt a tom cat will venture in with my dogs, especially if my cat has been spayed.

BTW...I already take pills for allergies, without a cat in the house.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 




post #17 of 25
Moe Kitty is beautiful
post #18 of 25
Well, I just don't understand people who write in looking(?) for advice but don't really want it in the end. You're looking for validation, but we're being honest here, so the answers aren't 'pretty'. We all would love to just open our doors (as if it were 5,000 yrs ago) and tell our cats to go and be free, but the world has changed in many ways, and the being free (even back then) often means having a very short and/or miserable life, so we're not going to condone your plan. Just because things worked out for one lucky male (MK) is no guarantee whatsoever that it'll be the same for the new one, and females are more likely to be seen as prey than males (by other cats, dogs, etc.).
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Actually, things did not work out for Moe Kitty. He was originally a stray, and was a wanderer. He would go through the wooded area behind the house and I think perhaps visit another family on the other side, despite being spayed. We really didn't try to contain him in our yard other than by feeding him at certain times and playing with him regularly and shoeing him back when we went for a walk. And unfortunately, he wandered one day and did not come home. He was not on any of the area roads because I personally searched them all and even put up signs for a $50 reward to anyone who might have found him. But, no such luck. He's been gone since Sept.

That is why, I'm trying to find a potentially effective way to keep Cocoa on the property. You have convinced me that a repellent lined fence won't work. And now I'm looking at a radio frequency fence. However, I do not believe that cats should be indoors only. Look at that picture of Moe in the back yard stalking his prey...probably a bug or a frog. He loved playing with bugs, frogs, and lizards. Cats are animals, part of God's wild kingdom. We have domesticated them, but I personally don't think that means that we should protect them so much that should they escape the house they have no knowlege of how to defend themselves. Or that we should contain them all day inside so that they lay around and get fat (not that all do, but many do). I know many of you dissagree with this due to the potential dangers of the outdoors. And I'm not going to argue the point with you.

My point with those pictures is that cats can be happy living outside if you can keep them safe. They are not all dreadfully unhappy if they are not inside being treated like a king or queen and not in human contact 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, we didn't keep Moe safe. But I want to do better with Cocoa.

Do any of you have any experience with radio frequency fencing? I've been looking at a system by PetSafe that looks somewhat affordable.
post #20 of 25
While I know they're marketed for cats as well as dogs, you have to be prepared that it's not going to work as well for a cat. The main reason being that a cat is likely to bolt in any old direction, not toward the direction of no stimulus. In other words, the cat could run right through the zone of increasing stimulus. I recall a discussion with someone who purchased a system (I don't recall if it was PetSafe or something else) who said it didn't work. But I recall another discussion with someone who said it did. So I guess it just depends on the cat.

So regardless of the arguments about how the system works, and I won't even get into that, it boils down to whether you want to spend that much money for something that might work, and it might not, and you won't know until after it's installed.
post #21 of 25
Dogs need to be trained consistently by people for some time to use radio fencing and many of them don't succeed in working (neither the fence nor the dogs' behaviour instincts) and the dogs often just jump over/through them anyway. Imagine trying to train a cat the same way ... won't work! If it did, I don't think there'd be so many strays, run-over cats, lost cats, etc. etc.
post #22 of 25
The radio fences work to keep a dog inside the borders, it does not keep other dogs or other predators out of the area. To keep this cat safe, you need to keep it inside. Not to do that, you have to realize that you can lose the cat in a heart-beat. If you are willing to do that, then by all means let your cat outside. Just don't expect it to be a dog and stay within sight of you. That isn't how cats are programmed.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, I realize that even keeping the cat on my own property is not absolutely safe. But I also know that no stray dog comes into my yard without my own dogs barking like mad. They generally keep other animals at bay. My back yard is fenced with my dogs in it. I don't think I've ever seen another animal in the yard with them except Moe Kitty, other than frogs, birds, and such. The dogs were fine with Moe Kitty, but wild animals don't venture in. The front yard is smaller and wide open. A rabbit is the ony wild animal I've ever seen in it. So while it will not be absolutely secure, I believe the cat will be generally very safe if it stays on my property.

Thanks for the advice on the radio fencing.
post #24 of 25
You know, I'm thinking that if you're willing to spend the money for an electronic fence, why not spend it for a kittywalk? Then you know for sure your cat is safe and contained AND enjoying the outdoors.
post #25 of 25
My 15 yr old torty, Coco, is an indoor outdoor puss. She sleeps on my mum's back verandah. When she lived with us she slept in the laundry. If I were you I'd get some sort of kitty walk as mentioned by coaster. A lot of breeders here use them, with a cat flap to access the house.
Most Aussie burb cats i've ever known live in/out.
My kitten Blossom is totally indoor, one reason being 1/2 her nose is pink & I don't want her to get sun cancer.
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