Action: Use ultrasonic devices to deter cats
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no evidence for the effects of ultrasonic cat deterrents on bird populations.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Ultrasonic devices emit high-pitched (normally above 20 kHz) noise, generally above the hearing of humans, but audible to cats. The devices aim to discourage cats from approaching them and therefore keep cats away from sensitive areas. Two randomised, replicated and controlled trials in the UK (Nelson et al. 2006) found that an ultrasonic cat deterrent in gardens reduced the number of visits by cats by 32% in 63 gardens across an 18 week trial but had no effect over 96 gardens in a 33 week trial.
Nelson, S.H., Evans, A.D. & Bradbury, R.B. (2006) The efficacy of an ultrasonic cat deterrent. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 96, 83–91.