Please put a collar on your cat!
I feel I must respond to a letter in your last issue entitled ‘place your feeders up high’ by Sharon Painter. I live on a small rural estate and have a medium-sized garden. Two years ago, I converted a large fish pond into a wildlife pond and have also planted lots of flowers and shrubs to attract birds and insects. Unfortunately, my quiet enjoyment of this space is spoilt by around five cats from surrounding neighbours continually coming into my garden and fouling on my flower beds and stalking and killing birds, especially young ones, which is heartbreaking. I have spent hundreds of pounds on cat scarers which all seem to be very ineffective. Regarding the comment on using high feeders to keep birds away from cats, a lot of birds are ground feeders including Blackbirds, Robins, sparrows and pigeons etc, so this does not apply to them. Cats account for 55 million bird deaths per year in the UK, mainly sparrows, Blue Tits, Blackbirds and Starlings. While some of these birds would die anyway through weakness etc, it is nonetheless a horrendous amount and does account for the decline of many garden species. People who own cats generally feel no conscience or responsibility for letting their cats roam into neighbours’ gardens. The least they could ensure their cats wear bells on their collars. Arthur Rogerson