Thursday, May 1, 2008

Brilliant Plan, or How to chase off unwanted Tom Cats.

As many of you probably know, we are fond of cats and have, over the last few years, done Trap Neuter and Release on colony of feral cats. Great options for affordable Spay and Neuter of strays are available in the Phoenix Area thanks to the efforts of groups like AZCats, local clinics, and vets. As humane as the TNR option is a given area can only support so many cats.

This spring we have had the misfortune of experiencing a considerable influx of unfixed stray tom cats. This has caused a tremendous disruption with our sterilized colony as well as our indoor cats. The new strays have passed colds onto our indoor/outdoor cat Tess and enraged our indoor male Lex to the point where he has ruined 2/3rds of our furniture by marking his indoor territory.

I have gotten to the point where I realize that there is a limit to how many cats my 7600 sq ft lot can handle. Trapping is too much effort and I don't want to expand my colony any more or kill cats anyway. A pellet gun is too inhumane though the thought of shooting the strays that have been ringing my house with urine for the past 4 months is somehow morbidly satisfying. Therefore, I have devised the following cunning plan.

First, I shall obtain an assortment of long range water guns. Second, recalling something about cats disliking citrus, I shall also obtain one gallon of some sort of citrus oil. A mixture of water and citrus oil, water guns, and some amateur marksmanship should, a the the very least satisfy my desire to shoot the cats while amusing me. At best, associate my home with the unpleasant memory of hours of licking orange off of fur, something I consider on par with the evening urine spray on my front screen door.


PS - The Orange Oil I link to above claims that there are new uses being discovered every day, I hope to report back some success so they can lengthen their list of applications. It does seem that their orange oil is even an approved Flea and Tick Pet Shampoo. I guess I just hope I don't have tom's that have an orange craving.