Case study 3, Catwatch deterrent
About 13 years ago a potential customer approached Challenge Electronics with an idea for a cat deterrent. He had read that cats could hear sounds above the human audible hearing range which suggested to him that an alarm could be created that cats could hear but that humans could not. A prototype alarm was made for the customer on which he could vary the frequency of the alarm sound and he then experimented on his local cat population to discover which frequencies of sound they responded to. In discussions with us it was proposed that a PIR detector be used to detect the cats presence in a protected zone and that furthermore to make the deterrent effective over a long period of time the alarm sound should change every time the cat moved so that there was a strong ‘Pavlovian’ link between the cats movement and the alarm sound which would persuade cats to avoid the protected zone.
Initially a number of prototypes of the finished product were made for the customer to test and prove, subsequently manufacture on a small scale was started for his mail order sales. From this small acorn the customer has developed their business and production at Challenge Electronics has kept pace with and supported this growth. We now manufacture about 25,000 cat and fox deterrents for the customer each year in 3 or 4 different models. We employ advanced production techniques to keep our prices ultra competitive, even against far eastern competition, and we offer a full service to the customer such that they pass all of their customer orders direct to us, single mail order sales and batches of 500 for export alike, for processing and despatch direct along with accessories.
Evolution of the product has been facilitated by Challenge Electronics with updated products being designed by us as technology has changed. The latest versions using microprocessor based control to minimise cost and maximise features and reliability whilst still offering the gardener protection from cats.
The product is so good that it is the only deterrent to be tested and recommended by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) a UK charity working to protect birds and other wildlife.