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Make a home for wildlife
28 June 2005
CATWatch, an ultrasonic cat deterrent, reduces cat visits into gardens by a third, new research for the RSPB has shown.
One hundred and fifty volunteers across the UK took part in a two-year scientific trial to determine the effectiveness of CATWatch in reducing cat intrusions into gardens.
Results show that the device did have a deterrent effect, reducing the probability of a cat visit into a garden by 32 per cent. The total time spent by cats in gardens was also reduced by 38 per cent. The deterrent effect also appeared to increase with time, suggesting cats were learning to avoid gardens with active devices.
CATWatch, marketed by Concept Research, works by detecting movement and body heat within a range of 12m, through an angle of 100 degrees and triggering an ultrasonic alarm.
Andy Evans, of the RSPB, said: ‘This is the first time independent research has shown that an ultrasonic device can have a deterrent effect on cats. CATWatch offers a pragmatic partial solution for non-cat owners who wish to deter cats from entering their gardens. This complements our recent research demonstrating that bells mounted on quick-release collars can reduce the number of birds killed by cats.’
CATWatch will reduce the number and duration of cat visits to gardens and thus may help to protect birds.
Gardens are becoming increasingly important to many birds, such as the house sparrow, song thrush and starling. All of these birds are regular visitors to gardens and CATWatch can help to deter cats from entering gardens.
Andy added: ‘Although there is currently no evidence to suggest that cats are responsible for the overall decline in bird numbers, it is sensible to adopt a precautionary approach to try to reduce predation. CATWatch will reduce the number and duration of cat visits to gardens and thus may help to protect birds.’
CATWatch is available from RSPB shops, most leading UK garden centres or direct from the manufacturers Concept Research. It’s harmless to cats and is not found to affect other species.
Help keep cats away from your garden birds
Buy the Catwatch cat deterrent from the RSPB shop