Cat Ladders and Pigeons

This is mostly just a fun, yet informative, note. I came across this article on cat ladders and was reminded of my previous house. When my ex-girlfriend and I went house hunting, the house we ended up buying was two stories with a full cohort of pigeons living on the roof. If you don’t know, pigeon poop is very acidic and can even eat through cement. (Interestingly, pigeon poop is spiral.) In fact, I noticed some degradation on our cement roof tiles. When I swept the poop off the roof, I filled a standard size curbside pickup trash can. Yuck!

We researched all the methods for getting rid of pigeons. There are animatronic owls. Spraying with water is suggested, putting chicken wire in appropriate places, and a variety of other methods. One method that sort of worked but required daily application is based on the fact that pigeons don’t (can’t?) fly in the dark. So if you chase them off just before dusk they at least decrease the amount of roosting. I used a combination of spraying water and throwing tennis balls every evening for a while, but that got old.  I was at a friend’s house one day and saw one of their neighbors come home, pull out a pellet gun and shoot a couple of pigeons. Personally, I don’t recommend this, but it shows the extent some people go to in order to get rid of them.

Then one evening as we walked around the neighborhood, I noticed that only the two story houses had a pigeon problem. More observation made me realize that the fences allowed cats to get onto one story houses but the architecture of the two story houses didn’t allow for cat access on the top roof. We had cats and so I built a cat ladder. The cats loved it. Problem solved by natural predators!

The article says incorrectly that cat ladders don’t exist in the U.S. – perhaps not commonly, but not an absolute.

(The cover image is from a web search indicating it is from Pinterest.)

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