Backyard Chirper

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Have a cat problem at your feeders? Spray them away

According to the American Bird Conservancy, hundreds of millions of birds are killed each year from domestic and feral cats. Birds are most vulnerable to predators when gathered around bird feeders because they aren’t completely focused on their surroundings.

While many pet owners do the right thing in keeping cats indoors, sometimes feral cats or a neighbors’ cats continue to stalk your yard freely. Aside from placing your bird feeders in safer locations, there wasn’t much you could do. That is, until Duncraft decided to take a swipe at the problem.

Duncraft has recently released a brand-new device that takes aim—literally—at the cat problem in people’s backyards with Spray Away Repellant. This new product is billed as an eco-friendly way to discourage larger predators from coming into your yard by spraying them with a burst of water and making an unexpected noise.

The device hooks up to your water hose and uses an infrared sensor to chase away animals of different sizes. Here’s some more about the product from a press release:

When staked into the ground near a bird feeder, Spray Away’s motion detector can be set to detect small animals on the ground such as a cat or squirrel, up to 20 feet away. Larger animals can be detected up to 30 feet away. Once activated, the Spray Away instantly delivers a burst of water aimed at the animal. The fast action of the sprayer head as it sweeps the area, combined with the burst of water, unpleasantly startles the animal and frightens it away. Cats are especially disturbed by the sudden water bath! Many times animals will stay clear of the area after only one or two experiences with the Spray Away.

The question about this product is whether it’s really effective. It seems like it only monitors a certain area and has the potential to spray birds if they get too close to it.

It’s also raised some alarm with commenters of the product that it seems to be unnecessarily cruel to stalking cats.

What do you think? Have you used the device or would you ever buy it?

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

4 Comments

  1. I used something like this to keep cats away from my Bluebird box. Worked like a charm and had several healthy families fledge the box! 🙂

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