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Old 09-13-2005, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to keep an opossum out of the cat food dish?

I feed our strays on the back porch where it's easy to get the bowls for refills of food and water. Lately I've noticed one big, ugly opossum eating the cat food around 9 or 10pm. We have about 7 strays that come eat. The cats just sit and watch the opossum from about 3 feet away and don't do anything to protect their food. I'll usually try to chase it away, but I'm sure it probably just comes right back.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
--Annasaur
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Old 09-13-2005, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I haven't had this problem, Annasaur, but I found a link that might be helpful. There are many other sources of information that you can find at google.com under "deter opossums." Good luck!

http://www.whatcomhumane.org/php/index.php?nuisance
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Old 09-16-2005, 02:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been dealing with both raccoons and possums that share the food I give to my ferals. I have been watching them from a distance and saw my feral cats sharing the food with both in a friendly way. Occasionally, I see the raccoons actually being chased away by the feral cats. It is like watching a Tom and Jerry show in a way. The raccoons make the sweetest sounds while walking away fast.
Your cats may not be 100% feral or not have cohabited with other wildlife growing up or they would know how to deal with them...or maybe your situation is just different than mine.
My questions: are your cats completely feral or just stray and are they comfortable with your close presence? Because you could stand right in the vecinity when they eat and I am sure the possum won't come, and will be deterred/intimidated by your presence alone.

As for my situation, I really don't mind the raccoons and possums that come and share. I don't know of any way to deter them and I think they are cute! On the other hand, one day I may not have the feral colony - be it that I will be able to place them on farms..or else(but I don't like to think about that) - and me, being their main provider will make it much more difficult for these critters to find their way back in the wild again.
But for now I just live for the moment and let them share because they mean no harm and it all looks friendly.
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
My questions: are your cats completely feral or just stray and are they comfortable with your close presence? Because you could stand right in the vecinity when they eat and I am sure the possum won't come, and will be deterred/intimidated by your presence alone.
We have 8 cats, five are adults and three are kittens(about 4 months old now I think). Two of the adults are pretty tame, one will even sit in my lap. The other three adults are very skittish. The kittens will come close, but never close enough to let me touch them. Only the two tame adults will eat out of the dish if I'm near. If I'm out on the porch the kittens will come and sit about 2 feet away with very subborn looks on their faces until I put the food closer to them or go inside,lol.
Last night I put the food up on an outdoor table we have. I think I'll start doing that more often.
I'm a college student, so feeding these cats is expensive enough for me without feeding an opossum too,lol.
I'm glad you're able to feed your wild critters along with the cats
ioana

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Old 09-16-2005, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I know, Annasaur. It is very expensive. I wish stores had discounts for all of us
However, that is so sweet of you to be caring for them. Perhaps you can post pictures, we'd love to see all of your kitties!

Perhaps, your presence, from whichever distance your kittens are comfortable enough with you to eat, will be equally enough to deter the possum. Possums are scavengers so he won't starve. But, of course, he will come to a meal served on a platter by a generous student rather than work for it for hours .

As for my feeding all of them together. I put out extra food since, like you I cannot afford but so much. I feed them only once a day out of the two 18 lbs bags + 10 cans that last 4 days. The great thing is that I buy it every other 4th day; me and my MIL cooperate and it helps!
I haven't seen any racoons throughout the summer. And a possum here and there. I think they will come back during cold weather.
Racoons are very funny because it sounds like they gossip as they walk towards the food. The funniest thing that happened to me regarding them was to see racoons and cats running shoulder to shoulder towards me, while I was laying down the food
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Old 09-16-2005, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can picture it! We had a family of opossums in our yard after our collie (years ago) had died. They disappeared as soon as we got another collie! The wise possum family had moved out!

edit: Where's my head? They were groundhogs!
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I would feed Angie out front (she is now in back) this big fat raccoon would come and eat her food at night. What we would do is open the door slightly (since tapping on the window didn't scare it ) and it would run. When I started feeding her in back it didn't come. Oh! And the darn thing stole our dog food container after it was out there for a month!
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Old 09-17-2005, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The past two nights I put the food up on the outdoor table we have. So far I havn't seen the opossum. I'm sure he couldn't get up there, it's at least 3 feet high off the ground.
I'll post some pics in Meet My Kitty sometime this weekend. I know people are going to get on my case for having non-spayed ferals though, I guess that's been keeping me from posting more about them.

--Annasaur
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you checked out the two stickies at the top of this forum? There's help available! I hope you find something close to home. You should be able to get humane traps from the Humane Society.
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Old 09-18-2005, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to keep an opossum out of the cat food dish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annasaur
I feed our strays on the back porch where it's easy to get the bowls for refills of food and water. Lately I've noticed one big, ugly opossum eating the cat food around 9 or 10pm. We have about 7 strays that come eat. The cats just sit and watch the opossum from about 3 feet away and don't do anything to protect their food. I'll usually try to chase it away, but I'm sure it probably just comes right back.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
--Annasaur
I'm having exactly the same problem, the opossums are such little pigs as well, they will often eat all of the food before the cats even show up.

I'm only feeding two cats at the moment, both males, I'm trying to get them used to me before I attempt to trap them but they still run as soon as they see me.

The opossums on the other hand won't run until I get right out on the porch with them. The other problem is my children think they are the best things EVER!! We've had adults and babies and the children think we should have one as a pet

On the neutering subject, check around in your area, I have a couple of options here for low cost neutering, and I'm sure you will be able to find something near you.
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