Well, while I was recovering from surgery seemed the ideal time to leave the cat sprayer switched off since setting it was beyond my frail and fragile post-op body (or something). It went okay for about a week, we had some rain in that time which keeps the enemy cat away normally anyway, and on the nights that were dry it didn’t come around. However, it eventually realised the device was off and we got up one morning to find it had sprayed and the place stank. It did it again during the day, a day or so later. We started turning the water sprayer on again in the evenings and that seems to have worked.
Except one day over the weekend we were both sitting in the computer room, Fizz was resting on her chair (hard day in the sun and she needed a break). We heard a cat-chirp and both looked and the little bugger was either just coming into the room or just leaving the room and sprayed the bloody woodwork as it left. Since we managed to catch it so early it was easy to clean off and left no smell but the little shit is clearly getting braver.
Having said that, we’ve not set the sprayer for a couple of nights again since our cats are out so late when the weather is this good and it’s not been back, so I think we’re wearing it down slowly. I’ll set it tonight I think, just in case.
One of the cats in our neighbourhood is male and has not been neutered. As a result, it quite happily sprays to mark its territory and that spray absolutely reeks. Annoyingly for us, the edge of it’s territory is the wooden frame under our patio doors. If you have a male cat, please, please get it neutered, otherwise they’re a nuisance above and beyond the regular cat bad behaviour (digging up any fresh dirt in your garden to use as their loo). It took us a while to work out the smell wasn’t one of our cats, we even bought a UV light so we could find out where our cats were pissing in the house (because that’s what it smelled like). When we couldn’t locate the source of the smell we eventually started searching outside.
It looks like the cat has been spraying for a while, but the deck used to sit above the air vents under our floor on the outside of the house. Now the deck has gone, the smell basically goes straight into the vents and into the dining room. When it rains it reeks even worse. We cleaned and treated the wood, and while it was covered in plastic (to assist with drying) the cat even sprayed that, which proved beyond a doubt what was causing the smell. Every morning since then we got up and it had sprayed again. It was much easier to clean off the wood after it had been treated and was waterproof, but it’s unreasonable for us to have to clean our woodwork every day just because someone can’t be bothered to neuter their cat.
Grete went on the hunt for some solutions and found a motion detector based water spray in B&Q which people reported working (sometimes). We needed something that wouldn’t scare away our cats since they use that door as their main entry into the house. This solution looked ideal. The motion sensor works up to 10 meters away, and as we found out if the hose pressure is high enough the water spray will go two or three times that far. Anyway we bought one last weekend and set it up on Sunday when it was baking hot (luckily). I was soaked! Took a little while to get the water pressure and sensor combination right so that the water didn’t just spray into next doors garden and during that time I set the sensor off about 15 times, getting sprayed from head to foot each time.
Each night once our cats are in we turn it on, and Grete gets to turn it off in the mornings (in a military style operation to avoid our cats setting it off and getting spooked). So far, the male cat hasn’t sprayed once since we started using it, and we’re hoping after another week or so it’ll give up trying entirely and we can leave it turned off. If it does start again we can just plug it back in for a few days and hopefully it’ll get the message.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the device in place.