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Olly

Fox coming in through cat flap

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In thirty-odd years of having cats with access to the garden via a cat flap, I've never experienced this before.

 

I came downstairs yesterday morning and there'd been a bit of a ruckus in the kitchen - a few things moved around the floor and the cat-bowl upended. I assumed that there'd been a feline intruder and Claudette had seen them off, it's happened before.

 

This morning there were cookery books knocked off the bottom shelf, cleaning cloths from a little trolley scattered around and the sack of cat biscuits had been removed from the top of the trolley and ripped open! I was pretty sure that wasn't a cat, but at about 5 pm today the culprit trotted down the garden and tried the cat flap before seeing me and trotting off again in a leisurely fashion. He came back for another go about ten minutes later.

 

He (or she) is not a small fox, and I wouldn't have believed that it could get through the cat flap. It's now locked, fortunately Claudette only uses it to go and drink scummy water from plant pots, she's far too refined to use the garden for other purposes.

 

My main worry is that I have an awful cold and cannot smell a thing - I'm afraid that I've probably tracked any scent all over the house before I realised. :vom:

 

I know urban foxes are bold and I've had words with this individual before as he's very slow to leave the garden on seeing me, but I am astounded that he's been able to get in so easily. I think I'm going to invest in another Foxwatch.

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:shock:

 

That is one cheeky fox! :shock:

 

There are catflaps that open only for a particular cat. They work with the chip of the cat or a chip on a collar. I have a chip-activated feeding bowl for iPoes. Works well too.

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:shock::shock::shock:

 

My goodness Olly, I wouldn't have believed it either. I can't think what to say. This is the cheekiest fox I have ever heard of. I hope he/she doesn't come face to face with Claudette. Do you think one of those magnetic cat flaps would be strong enough to keep it out, I rather suspect not :roll:

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I find that rather creepy.

Bad fox.

I'm glad he didn't hurt your cat.

 

Hope your cold gets better soon.

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... and there's just been a furious rattling at the cat flap! I don't have an outside light and by the time I'd pulled up the blind there was nothing to see, but I'm sure it was the foxy gentleman again.

 

I am slightly spooked at the thought that he's been prowling round my kitchen, I haven't felt well enough today but I think a good steam clean is in order. I just hope he doesn't break the cat flap, that's been known to happen before.

 

Thanks for the suggestions above. Claudette is an elderly lady and it took a long time to teach her to use the cat flap at all, so I don't think she'd cope with anything new, but she doesn't often go out on her own. She usually accompanies me when I go to feed the hens and that's the extent of her garden use. If in the fullness of time I ever have another cat, I'll go for the microchip version.

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I got the chip activated feeding bowl for iPoes because Red the tomcat kept eating her food at night. I thought she might be too dim to understand it, but she is actually just dim enough to not question the thing I guess... :lol:

 

My dad has a cat flap installed in his wall rather than the door. It has to little wooden hatches that he can either open or close with a little latch.

I don't have a cat flap, but live on the ground floor and sleep with my window open ar night. That's how Red "breaks in" every night. :roll:

 

Do you have a neighbouring dog that could do a scent tour around the garden? Maybe the presence of another canine might deter it? Or maybe another scent they don't like? Don't know what foxes do or don't like, but cats and most dogs hate citronella scents.

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After locking the cat flap, all was calm on Friday night. Last night/this morning I woke at about 2.30 am, hearing a noise downstairs. On investigation, the fox had broken through the cat flap. He'd dragged the mop out of the downstairs loo, gone into the lounge which I usually keep shut and pulled a blanket off the sofa. In the kitchen I'd left a bag with used plates and cutlery from a 'bring your own picnic' event the night before, luckily I'd put the food in the fridge; he'd pulled everything out of this, and an oven glove and a tea towel were on the floor. A new, unopened family-size packet of custard creams was also missing!*

 

As I stood in the hallway surveying the damage, I heard a noise and it was back in the kitchen less than five feet away, making a quick exit through the hole in the door when I turned round. I put the bin in front of the door but was too traumatised to sleep. It feels as if I've been burgled (and I'm not saying that lightly). At 5.30 am I was steam-mopping the floor. I've wiped all the cupboards, plinths and skirting and washed everything I could move . I've mopped again since then and washed the cushion covers and blankets, and a friend kindly came round this afternoon and assures me she can't smell anything.

 

I'm at my wits end - I don't know anyone with a shotgun licence, and can't afford to pay what a pest controller would charge. Normally I'd say that it's not worth removing a fox because another will come in its place, but this particular fox is clearly very bold, and I suspect someone round here is hand-feeding them. I'm looking at water scarecrows, and I will be nailing some board over the cat-flap as it's clearly not enough just to lock it.

 

*I found the custard cream wrapper up by the chicken run. I hope the fox has got a belly-ache! I'm expecting him to rap on the door later and ask for a cup of tea to wash them down.

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OMG what a nightmare you are having - I was hoping he would just go away when you locked the cat flap = He sure is very bold. What about the RSPCA they may have a live trap and could take it far away rather than kill it (that does not mean I would not have it shot if necessary - they are vermin!). They should not cost anything I would not think= other than that I dont know what you could do. Luckily the chickens are ok.

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I can only imagine how you feel and I think you are not overreacting when saying it feels like being burgled. A burglar might even leave less of a mess...

 

What about an electric fence around the back door? He might only need one good scare to stay away. If it was me, I would try to borrow a biggish dog. (Or a very fierce Jack Russell! :lol: )

Ringing the RSPCA might be a good option too.

 

Hope he stays away for a bit.

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That is some bad fox you have :(

I'm sorry it has been bothering you so much.

 

When we moved into this house the previous people took the cat flap with them - they did ask - and filled it in with a very big block of wood. I don't think a fox would get through that.

 

Other than calling the RSPCA who could catch it and set it free somewhere else I don't know what to suggest.

 

I hope you get a better night sleep tonight.

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Thanks everyone, I'm fairly confident it can't push the bin aside - tomorrow I'll be nailing something more permanent over the outside of the door. I'm feeling slightly better, but at 2.30 this morning it was hard to get perspective on it! My kitchen has never looked so clean, there's a silver lining to every cloud.

 

I haven't tried the RSPCA but I'd be surprised if there's anything they can do. I could borrow a fox trap and I think it would be easy to catch (cup of tea and a biccie? :lol: ) but I'd still have the problem of disposing of it humanely - it's illegal to release a fox away from the area where it was living.

 

I know that most urban foxes live a short and miserable life, 18 months is the average, so I think my objective must just be to deter it from using my garden, and make it impossible for it to get in the house. It'll give up eventually and by this time next year it will probably have died on the road or from injury or sickness. Another fox will move into the area but isn't likely to be quite as bold as this one. It's a testament to the strength of my WIR that the hens have been safe throughout this!

 

I'll be doing some garden clearance as they don't like things being disturbed, and I'm going to cover the pond as apparently that can be an attraction. It's been a shock to me, as I never thought a fox could get through a cat flap - just goes to show how wily and adaptable they are. Oh - apparently they hate chili and garlic, so there'll be some spicy scents in the garden tomorrow, I'm thinking of making up a sort of curry paste and smearing it on the doorstep!

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I'm thinking of making up a sort of curry paste and smearing it on the doorstep!

 

I would put it around and even on the cat flap, then he might get it on his fur and lick it :lol:

That might put him off.

 

I know WD40 works on keeping cats away. You could add that to the curry mix.

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Wow, this is one problem fox you have Olly. I have no useful suggestions to offer but do feel for you, I'd feel rather freaked out by what has happened too. Isn't, urm, men's wee supposed to deter foxes? I wonder if you know anyone who might be prepared to 'oblige' in your garden?? :oops:

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I think human hair is also supposed to deter tham but I think this is one determined fox and hope it just goes somewhere else - it obviously likes your biscuits!!!

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I would hate that noise too at night. Especially if alone. Hope you get the sorted.

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That's awful! I can imagine how scary it must be knowing he can do all that without you hearing.

We've caught a few foxes with Golden Eagles so maybe you need to get one of those ;)

 

Hopefully you managed to sort your curry paste over the weekend and board up the cat flap. Keep us updated!

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Golly Olly!!!!

 

So sorry to hear of this upset - foxes can be very tame once they get used to human contact, and having one in your house must be very disturbing. Wish I was closer as I would bring the hounds round - he wouldn't stand a chance!

 

Have you tried ringing the vermin control dept of your council? Most will offer discount or free services to anyone on restricted income, and also over 60s. I really hope that you get it sorted soon.

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Thank you all for the various messages of advice and support. I found some reinforced Duck tape in the garage, so I've got a double layer on the outside of the cat-flap (replaced although it's no longer moveable) and a single layer inside. I'm fairly sure he can't get past that, and so far although there have been a couple of incidents of snuffling outside, the tape hasn't been chewed.

 

It's also spurred me on to do some clearance at the 'wild' end of the garden, not that it will stop him coming in but I know they don't like disturbance. Much badly-needed hedge trimming and ivy removal has taken place.

 

I don't think there's much else I can do - believe me Dogmother if you were nearer, I'd take you up on the hounds! I'm usually of a 'live and let live' approach with foxes but if I knew someone with a shotgun licence I'd have asked them to get rid of this one. I think he's too socialised for his own good and I don't suppose I'm the only person whose house has been entered; my neighbour found him in his garage yesterday.

 

It's been a horrible experience - his repeated attempts to get in even when I was very clearly in the kitchen wth lights and radio on were quite scary. I'm also very anxious about letting the hens out, I always supervise them anyway but now I don't dare step inside the house or garage while they're out. However there's always a silver lining, my kitchen is super-clean, the garden's looking better and my WIR has kept the chooks safe. :lol: I'm only slightly less paranoid, I'm still jamming the bin across the back door before going to bed.

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I hate foxes so much. I would be traumatised by this one. Definitely needs disposing of. How do you know you are the only house he is doing this too? Imagine someone with a cat flap and a kitten?????

 

I actually think this might give me nightmares :shock::shock:

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