Cats and Squirrels..how can we play nice..
My husband and I bought our house in October, the backyard is surrounded by an 8' privacy fence and the neighborhood is overrun by stray cats and our yard is the pick for squirrels...and here's why.
This house has only been owned 4 times, we are the 4th owners. The second owner of the house was a hoarder who had way too many dogs and an equally unstable number of cats. All the cats that are now strays in the neighborhood. Some of the neighbors took to caring for them, some have kept them as their own, but most stay outside and all of them still consider our house, theirs.
The second owner also had a habit of letting the squirrels live in the attic. We are going to be taking care of that situation soon as it's an easier fix than the cats, but I do worry about their interest in my bulbs and future garden beds. Any suggestions on keeping them out would be lovely- at our last rental we finally ended up building a framed in wire greenhouse to keep ALL animals out. Its location then was perfect and wasn't blocking the view of the yard.
So as far as these cats go, these cats who still claim our house and hassle my own indoor/outdoor cat, the cats that I chase off at any chance I get, how on earth can I keep them out of our yard and out of my garden? I know cats are exceptionally delighted at the idea of using gardens as potty boxes thanks to the soft dirt and are even more thrilled about the idea of catching birds from our feeders. I admit to being the kind of person who is unwilling to scare or upset animals, but they need to learn they aren't welcome in our yard and it's not theirs anymore. I also don't want anything that could potentially frighten my own cat either. That's the kicker..
Overall, my husband and I plan to have an edible landscape with wildflower areas and would like to protect our plants and wildlife from being destroyed by the local cats and squirrels. Any humane/nice suggestions would be lovely.