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How to deter cats away from my hives?

Hi All, I know this may not be your typical pest question, but we have several male cats prowling our yard during the night (we have video of 4 different cats over a week :angry:) and they have found where my hives are located. They have taken to peeing on the hives to mark their territory and the smell is offensive. Why the hives when there are other things they could pee on? My question relates to how I can deter them without affecting my bees? Any thoughts/ideas would be really appreciated? Thanks KSJ

Cats partition a territory both in space and in time. They generally don’t like to meet other cats while they are on patrol. But they leave scent markings to let the others know that they were there and when. I presume they leave the marking on the hives both because they are a prominent structure in the yard and because other cats have already marked there.
Perhaps to mask the scent with something else but be sure that it doesn’t taint any honey or to make the scenting spot inaccessible to the cats. If one begins to mark elsewhere, the others will probably follow.
What worked for me though was to get cats of my own, 2 neutered males. Since they arrived we don’t have any tom cats nosing around. Or get a dog :))

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Hi Karen, you could speak to the council about what your options are because in reality, people shouldn’t allow cats to roam around at night. If they are not domestic cats, they would be classed as feral & should be removed from the habitat of native species. The council may loan you a trap in order to catch them, then I’m guessing that they would pick them up from you. Let them do the rest.

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Thanks @JimM, We have 2 cats (females) which are desexed, microchipped, have collars with bells and we never let them outside unless they are on a leash and with a family member at all times. We have a native Aussie garden that attacts a large number of native birds, a bird bath and feeder so there is no way I would let my cats outside to roam either at night or during the day. Thanks @JeffH for the advise on cats and council rules, unfortunately the toms are domestic cats as they have collars :frowning: . The ACT is introducing citywide containment for all new cats from the middle of next year. Currently, all cats in new Canberra suburbs have to be kept indoors or in cat runs at all times. But under the ACT government’s plan, all new cats obtained by owners after July 1, 2022 will have to be contained, regardless of which suburb they live in. The ACT Cat Plan 2021-2031, developed in consultation with cat owners, environmental groups and the broader community, states the policy will “help cats live longer and healthier lives while better protecting native wildlife”. The only problem with this plan is there is nothing for existing cat owners, which is a shame as domestic cats can live up to 20 human years. Can you imagine the destruction these cats will do to native species in this time frame if left to roam :frowning: ?

Thank you for this clarification. I had totally forgotten to check your location and the relevance for you of the issue re native species. Where i live cats are never on a leash, each farmhouse has at least a couple and they organise their territories themselves.

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Hi Karen, you need a council like ours. We caught a cat which barely fit inside my live rat trap. The council came & took it away. Obviously the people got it back because 2 days later it appeared in our yard again. All we had to do is take a photo the second time to email to the council. Either a fine or the threat of a fine must have done the trick because we haven’t seen it again.