Post # 1
Odd post this… I had an awful dream a few nights ago and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Our area is FULL of foxes, and they have no fear of people. I see them in the street any time between shortly before dusk and shortly after dawn. You also read all these newspaper reports of them entering houses through windows and cat flaps and savaging people and pets. Fortunately we don’t have rabies in the UK, but even so…
In my dream, I woke up in the middle of the night and went downstairs to find two foxes in the kitchen. One of them did a runner through the cat flap, but the other went for me. I woke up in a cold sweat.
Since then, I can’t shake this feeling, which is odd for me because I don’t freak out easily. A Maine Coon cat broke into my house today. Not sure how. I think it must have got in through the bathroom window. That aside, the local foxes go right up to the house, **** outside the back door, and growl at you when they see you.
I don’t know… I’ll probably get over this feeling in a few days, but I feel a bit shaken up after that dream. I’m thinking we should get an air gun to keep them away, but it’s technically illegal to kill them because they’re not classified as vermin.
Am I making a huge deal out of nothing here?
Post # 3
@Rachel631: I don’t think you have much to worry about. Foxes are pretty timid animals by nature and even if they’re growling at you, they’d probably dart if you ever made a move.
Here’s a website link that shows you some humane ways to deter them from your yard. I hope that it helps! And please, don’t resort to guns! Air, BB, or otherwise.
Side note: Maine coons are probably the sweetest cat breed you’ll come across. We have one and everyone I know that has one says theirs is totally loving and gentle like ours. They’re just a little bit larger 😉
Post # 4
@PacificMrs: You say this, but all of these attacks happened quite near to where we live…
Louis Day attack: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-125763/Parents-tell-horror-fox-attacks-sleeping-baby.html
This one is actually right next to our home.
Denny Dolan attack: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/police-say-no-charges-after-fox-attacks-boy-as-father-demands-cull-8492552.html
This one is a few miles away from our home.
Schofield family attack: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/fox-attacks-man-woman-and-cat-at-their-home-in-south-london-8699892.
A bit further afield, but still local.
Koupparis attack: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7807232/Twin-girls-in-hospital-after-fox-attack-at-London-home.html
I guess I worry because they can be quite aggressive. If you’re walking home and they’re behind a car or something and you get quite close without realising, they can be quite threatening.
My Dad has the same issue, but his foxes aren’t as aggressive as ours. They run away as soon as you get close. Ours can be really scary.
He also says urine doesn’t work, but that lights and automatic sprinklers do. Sadly, we can’t use sprnklers as we have the cats.
Ugh… the local council has issued an official warning which says they are less dangerous than dangerous dogs, but even so…
Post # 5
PS Oh yeah, I know that about Maine Coons! Lovely cats. I always wanted one of my own sooo badly! It was just that I nearly **** myself hearing something large run upstairs after having that dream, LOL!
I was also freaked that something so large could get into the house so easily…
Post # 6
@Rachel631: I would disable the cat flap at night. Personally I don’t like them being used 24/7, because I believe cats should stay inside at night.
I can’t believe they’d attack a person unless cornered, but it’s possible they could harm pets or make a mess stealing food or garbage.
p.s. Why can’t you use sprinklers? Yeah your cats will get a bit wet but they’ll get over it. (And I’m saying that as a cat owner).
Post # 7
@Rachel631: Hmmm, that’s interesting. In my experience foxes are among the most timid animals you can encounter. The ones in my area are about the size of a large house cat and only come out at night. They run away at the slightest noise.
Post # 8
@paula1248: Theoretically, the cat flap scans their microchips and only allows my cats inside. I would disable it at night, but one of the cats is nocturnal and is indoors so seldom that I would be separating her from food etc if I did so.
I suppose my fear that they will get in through the flap is a bit irrational. I’m far more likely to be attacked in my garden. I had a nasty show down with one earlier in the year with a big male whilst walking home from the station, which maybe inspired my dream?
The only other time I got freaked out a bit irrationally like this was when I was at uni. We had a house which had been adapted into a house and a shop front, where you entered through what would have been the back door into the kitchen, and then lived above the shop. The kitchen was on the ground floor, the lounge on the first floor, and the bedrooms above that. My flatmate was obsessed with the idea that we could be burgled, and so she triple locked everything and kept the keys on the top floor. My fear was that there would be a fire, we would panic and run downstairs from the lounge, and we would then be trapped by the fire with no way to get out, as the keys would be on the top floor (this fear makes more sense if you know the layout of the house).
As an irrational fear, this wasn’t completely without merit… my flatmates at the time smoked like chimneys and would frequently leave food to cook and then fall asleep upstairs, leaving it to smoulder in the kitchen.
Ugh… I’m sure I’ll get over it. But at the moment I’m more nervous about foxes than stranger attacks… not that stranger attacks have ever really scared me… I know how rare stranger attacks are, and I guess fox attacks are rare too… my local council website says that they are quite rare as long as you take precautions, and they give a list of 10 or so precautions you can take.
Post # 9
@Aquaria: Maybe it’s a London thing? I don’t live centrally, but I live very close.
They are not ******* timid here, I’ll tell you that! I’ve had showdowns on the way from work before, and I once had to chase one from the garden with a rolling pin, because it was threatening the cats. It wasn’t so scared of me, that’s for sure. I thought I was going to actually have to physically attack it at one stage.
They’re quite big here. Certainly smaller than a Labrador, but way bigger than a small dog. Another reason to get a big dog, LOL!
I dunno… the more I talk about it, maybe it’s just that a load of events over time have made me a bit freaked? It should be better now that mating season has passed. I’ll just have to spend time fortifying the garden before the next season.
Post # 10
@Rachel631: As an aside, your fears as a student were valid. I’ve heard a few horror stories on the news about people being trapped inside during fires, by their own locks. That is why we always set our locks so an adult or older child can get out the front door without a key (and anyone, even our children when they were young, can get out the back door without a key).
As for nocturnal cats… maybe it’s ok in the UK. In Australia I’ve always been told it’s a big no-no because cats aren’t native and hunt the wildlife (that said, I can’t remember any of my cats catching a bird at night; only mice or rats and they’re not native either). With the microchip enabling, I’m pretty sure your cat door is secure from foxes and you’re just being irrational 🙂
Post # 11
@paula1248: My little *cough* darlings *cough* do most of thir hunting at night. Mostly mice and rats… one of them once caught a baby robin but didn’t kill it.
Maybe I’m also suffering from culture shock, LOL… I’m a proud Northerner who grew up in Manchester, where people are more friendly, drivers less aggressive… and our urban foxes are actually scared of people. Southern England is like a whole other country sometimes… and mental and aggressive urban wildlife have been the latest in a whole series of cultural surprises!
As a side note, I’m still nervous of fire… but now that I have my own house then I’m free to set up alarms and electrical cut outs which suit my desires. Additionally, I trust both myself and DH to cook. No more irresponsible flatmates… especially since neither of us smoke any more, aside from an occasional cigar, and we don’t allow smoking inside the house except on very special occasions! So that fear has gone away now, really.