How to Keep Fish in a Pond Safe From Cats

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Cats are one of many predators that target fish in a pond. Domestic and wild cats along with raccoons, skunks, foxes, weasels and numerous bird species are interested in making a meal out of your fish. Predator proofing your pond is done using several simple tools. Cats are intelligent and you must take care to limit access to the fish while providing safe havens for the fish.

Pond Structure

Create hiding places for the fish in the pond. Make rock ledges so they can escape predators. Add depth to the pond if possible. Deep water provides safety from the short reach of cats. The cats will wait on the edge and snatch fish swimming in the shallows. They will not swim or wade in the water while hunting the fish. Eliminate the shallow water and give the fish a chance to hide.

Create Cover

Add surface plants to the pond and cover with netting to reduce visibility and block the cat from hunting. Leaf netting will help protect your fish while capturing leaves and making pond cleaning much easier. Lily pads are easy to add and maintain in your pond. Use fake lily pads if the live plants are not possible in your region. Cover is also an effective measure of preventing predation from birds. The blue heron is a major threat to pond fish. The netting helps deter the heron's hunting efforts.

Set an Alarm

Motion detector alarms are available for predator control. When the motion detector is tripped, it will make a high pitch sound and flash lights that scare off the cat. Several commercial alarms are also available with sprinklers that will drive the cat away. The sprinkler option is quieter and works well for ponds in urban areas.

Build a Fence

Build a short fence or railing around the edge to remove hunting positions. The cat will require a vantage point on the ponds edge and a fence removes this vantage. Temporary plastic fencing stretched between wood stakes is easy to erect, remove and adjust. Permanent wood and metal fencing options are also effective but more labor intensive and expensive.

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