Domestic cats, feral cats, and homeless strays may wander into your yard or garden due to curiosity, mating, hunting, feeding, and establishing territory. Some may be looking for a new place to call home. Since cats have incredible climbing and jumping abilities, keeping them out of your outdoor area can be challenging. Take a look at a few good cat repellents and approaches to stop feline intruders from using your garden as a litter box.
You may be sensitive to the smell of cat urine in your yard since humans have 5 million odor receptors in your olfactory system. For other areas, you might use a plastic carpet runner with the nub side up to discourage cats from perching or lounging.
Electric wire fence might seem like an extreme option, but try a humane version that keeps rabbits out of gardens. When you catch cats in the forbidden area, you can try squirting them with a Super Soaker or similar water gun. You can also make a noisy device by placing marbles or pebbles in an empty can that can be upset when a cat walks on a fence.
Clear away brush and clutter that can harbor mice and other small prey that cats love to pursue. The rest of the garden or yard will be left alone if you make a sandbox just for cats and keep it near the catnip plants. Your yard may attract pets whose owners allow them to wander outdoors, strays who formerly had homes, and feral cats.
When other tactics fail, check to see if you are legally allowed to set humane traps and capture wayward or feral cats.
How do I keep my neighbor's cat out of my yard?
Shift the cats’ food source to a less central location, where you won’t mind if they hang out..Apply fragrances that deter cats around the edges of your yard, the tops of fences, and on any favorite digging areas or plants. ….Install an ultrasonic deterrent or a motion-activated sprinkler.
How do you stop cats from coming in your yard?
Remove any food from the yard. Cats are likely attracted to any type of feed in your yard. ….Create a rough area in your garden. ….Block off any shelter. ….Wash down their favorite spots. ….Set up a security system to scare them.
What is the most effective homemade cat repellent?
Citronella oil is a home made cat repellent that many people have had success with. Citronella is best known as a mosquito repellent, but cats find the Citronella odor to be distasteful. Simply mix one part Citronella oil to four parts water and spray liberally in the troubled areas.
Even if you like cats (not everyone does, you know!), you probably dont want strays using your lawn, garden, sandbox and/or planters as a litter box. Its stinky, gross and cat feces can carry parasites like Toxoplasma, which is potentially dangerous to humans and deadly for pregnant women and those with a compromised immune symptom. If stray cats are having a field day in your flower beds, you need to know how to keep them out of your yard.
Mulching with pieces of bark and twigs, pine cones, or other prickly plant matter works great. If you prefer to stay on the offensive side of this game of cat and homeowner, start with barriers.
These polypropylene strips come in a variety of colors, can be cut to fit and adhere to the top of your existing fence to keep unwanted intruders out. Similar to ultrasonic pest control devices which deter mice and insects, these devices work by sending out both high-frequency sound waves and flashing strobe lights that cats hate. This device detects movement and ejects a strong burst of water up to 70 feet in diameter to scare pesky cats away.
Community cats, also called feral cats, are unowned cats who live outdoors. Like indoor cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (felis catus). However, community cats are generally not socialized, or friendly, to people, and are therefore unadoptable. They live full, healthy lives with their feline families, called colonies, in their outdoor homes.
Like all animals, community cats settle where food and shelter are available, and they are naturally skilled at finding these on their own. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane, effective, and mainstream approach to addressing community cat populations.
In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal sign that a cat is part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. Adult cats who are socialized can be adopted, but they can also be returned outdoors, where they will continue to thrive. The Vacuum Effect has been documented worldwide in many species, including community cats.
Animal controls typical approach has been to catch and kill community cats. Other cats move into the newly available territory and continue to breedthis phenomenon is called the Vacuum Effect. TNR is the only effective and humane approach to address community cat populations.
Reason: It is a cats natural instinct to dig in soft or loose soil, moss, mulch, or sand. Make an outdoor litter box away from your garden by tilling the soil or placing sand in an out–of-the-way spot in your yard. You can also set chicken wire firmly into the dirt (roll sharp edges under), arrange branches or sticks in a lattice pattern, or put wooden or plastic fencing over soil.
Each mat has flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals but discourage digging. Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large river rocks to prevent cats from digging. Shift the cats food source to a less central location, where you wont mind if they hang out.
Apply fragrances that deter cats around the edges of your yard, the tops of fences, and on any favorite digging areas or plants.
Whether its a friendly feral cat or your own pet, felines can wreak havoc on your outdoor space. Learn the tips and tricks that will keep cats from doing their business in your garden, and scaring birds and other wildlife away.
Cats are born hunters, which helps keep the rodent and pest population down in your yard, but their predatory behavior may scare away the birds that are inhabiting (and naturally pollinating) your veggies and flowers. Once mixed, spray it on bushes, poisonous plants , fence posts, and anything other items or areas you dont want disturbed by cats.
Some cat repellent manufacturers produce granular versions of their products too, which work particularly as protective barriers around the propertys perimeter.
Review the Types of Cat Repellents
Cats can be discouraged from digging in your garden beds or pussyfooting around your property by employing a few tactics or products. Be sure to change your tactics regularly. A new cat in the neighborhood might not be as sensitive to your usual methods, so regularly switching them can lead to more success.
A cat’s nose is highly sensitive to smell. You may be sensitive to the smell of cat urine in your yard since humans have 5 million odor receptors in your olfactory system. By comparison, a cat has 200 million odor receptors. If your yard or garden has smells that offend cats, you might have great success keeping them away.Commercial cat repellents use the odor barrier method to discourage cats from entering an area. Shake-Away powder has the scent of predators that cats fear, namely, coyote, fox, and bobcat. This commercial cat repellent comes in a granular form, which you simply sprinkle around the problem area. The product is non-toxic and organic and will not harm your plants.You may have heard that commercially available lion feces works as a deterrent; this method has been discounted. The popular “Mythbusters” show busted the myth that it works to deter cats.Some plants give off smells that cats dislike. One such plant,Cats reportedly don’t like the smell of dried blood (found in blood meal fertilizer) or citrus. Use peels of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit in your garden. Some people use mothballs. You can also use cayenne pepper flakes, but it is not humane, it can sting and cause pain.
Use physical barriers like chicken wire on top of your soil or mulch across the planting bed before you plant. Cats hate chicken wire or bristly material. Using wire cutters, you can cut holes in the chicken wire that are large enough for installing your plants.For a mulching option, you can use sharp-edged pine cones, holly cuttings, eggshells, or stone mulch. Cats prefer to dig and poop in loose dirt and will be put off by these rough materials. For other areas, you might use a plastic carpet runner with the nub side up to discourage cats from perching or lounging.Electric wire fence might seem like an extreme option, but try a humane version that keeps rabbits out of gardens. The popular, safe Mr. McGregor Fence is an electric wire fence recommended by ResponsibleConsumer.net.
Water is another type of physical barrier that is like kryptonite for cats. When you catch cats in the forbidden area, you can try squirting them with a Super Soaker or similar water gun. This method reinforces the notion that they are unwanted in your planting bed. Since you can’t sit in your garden the whole day, every day, instead you can get a water device, such as a Scarecrow Sprinkler, which detects an intruder’s presence and fires a blast of water at it.
Cats have a much higher hearing range than humans. Cat Stop is an electronic cat deterrent device that operates on a high frequency that is inaudible to humans but unbearable for cats. Installation is easy. You install the device facing the garden or your yard. A motion sensor detects the intruder’s presence, and Cat Stop gives off its high-frequency sound, scaring off the cat.The SsssCat! repellent device uses sound and a sprayed repellent and is motion-activated. You can also make a noisy device by placing marbles or pebbles in an empty can that can be upset when a cat walks on a fence. Or, use a sensitive bell or wind chimes that make noise when a cat causes a vibration.
Make Your Area Unattractive to Cats
Keep your yard, garden, and property clean and decluttered. Cleanliness can reduce visits from stray and wandering cats.
Smells Attract Cats
Don’t feed your dogs or other cats outside in your yard. Food smells will attract other animals, including cats. After you use your outdoor grill, thoroughly clean it to remove food bits and minimize the food smells. Also, make sure your trash bins are secure, so felines can not rummage through your rubbish.Wash urine spray from walls or doors as soon as you detect it. Urine spray is how cats mark their territory. Clean with an enzyme-based odor neutralizer to wash away territorial markers and to prevent repeated spraying.
Other Cat Attractors
Cats like to stalk and prey for fun. Make sure that your yard is not hospitable for critters that cats like to chase. Clear away brush and clutter that can harbor mice and other small prey that cats love to pursue.Board up all holes that can give access to sheds, garages, or areas under decks or porches. Feral cats and their prey may seek refuge in any place they can get into.Keep bird feeders safe by using feeder baffles and placing feeders where cats won’t endanger the birds.
Designate a Cat-Friendly Area
If you do not want the cats to leave entirely, but you want to curb cats from ransacking your entire yard, strike a compromise. Plant a separate bed of catnip plants in a small corner of the yard. Not all cats go nuts over catnip plants, but those that do like a catnip patch might make that area a private sanctuary and favorite hangout.The rest of the garden or yard will be left alone if you make a sandbox just for cats and keep it near the catnip plants. The sandbox will be a magnet for cat poop. You will have to clean up the cat poop afterward, but at least it will be in one logical place.
Curbing the Stray Population
Your yard may attract pets whose owners allow them to wander outdoors, strays who formerly had homes, and feral cats. Use these tactics in addition to the cat repellent and cleaning methods.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Work with your neighbors to prevent their pets from visiting your yard or hunting birds you want to protect. Let the neighbors know that you do not want cats in your yard. Suggest to neighbors who have indoor-outdoor cats that their cats wear bells and bright collars to help birds see them and escape. Also, if the whole neighborhood works together to reduce feral cat visits, the problem will lessen.
Contact the Authorities or Removal Agencies
If your community has laws, regulations, or homeowner association restrictions, ask what you can do to prevent wandering cats. Learn the measures you are allowed to take. Check for trap-neuter-release programs or other community programs that feed or care for feral cats. Support local cat shelters so they can care for more strays.
What is a community cat?
Community cats, also called feral cats, are unowned cats who live outdoors. Like indoor cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Cats living outdoors is nothing new. It wasn’t until kitty litter was invented in the late 1940s that some cats began living strictly indoors. But community cats truly thrive in their outdoor homes. The tips in this brochure will help you coexist with community cats.
What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal sign that a cat is part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. Kittens less than 8 weeks old can be socialized and then adopted. Adult cats who are socialized can be adopted, but they can also be returned outdoors, where they will continue to thrive.TNR improves cats’ lives and provides an effective, humane, and collaborative way for communities to coexist with cats. To learn more, including how to conduct TNR, visit alleycat.org/TNR.
Cats get in your trash.
Feeding stations provide cats with a designated area to eat. Find tips for building or buying feeding stations at alleycat.org/FeedingStations.
1. Secure your trash can with a tight lid or bungee cords. This will protect your trash from wildlife as well.2. Find out if neighbors are feeding the cats. If they are, make sure they are following best practices. Learn more at alleycat.org/BestPractices.3. Consider feeding the cats yourself if you find no regular caregiver. Feeding cats using best practices will help ensure they don’t get hungry enough to get into trash.
Cats dig in your garden.
1. Put out fragrances that keep cats away. Scatter fresh orange or lemon peels. Wet coffee grounds—which you may be able to get for free from coffee houses and fast food chains—and metal pans filled with vinegar also deter cats.2. Make an outdoor litter box away from your garden by tilling the soil or placing sand in an out–of-the-way spot in your yard. Clean the area frequently.3. Use plastic carpet runners, spike-side up, covered lightly in soil. They can be found at hardware or office supply stores. You can also set chicken wire firmly into the dirt (roll sharp edges under), arrange branches or sticks in a lattice pattern, or put wooden or plastic fencing over soil.4. Get the Cat Scat Mat, a non-chemical cat deterrent consisting of plastic mats that are cut into smaller pieces and pressed into the soil (pictured). Each mat has flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals but discourage digging.5. Get motion-activated sprinklers.6. Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large river rocks to prevent cats from digging. Rocks have the added benefit of deterring weeds.
Feeding cats attracts insects and wildlife.
1. Feed the cats at the same time and location each day. They should be given only enough food to finish in one sitting. If another person is caring for the cats, ask them to follow these guidelines. For more colony care guidelines, visit alleycat.org/ColonyCare.2. Keep the feeding area neat and free of leftover food and trash.
Spray—or lay—a cat repellent.
Cat repellents contain ingredients that smell and taste repugnant to cats. There are indoor and outdoor formulas, so it’s important to get the right type. Liquid outdoor cat repellents usually come in a concentrated formula that requires diluting before use. Once mixed, spray it on bushes, poisonous plants, fence posts, and anything other items or areas you don’t want disturbed by cats. Outdoor sprays usually last for a week or more before they have to be reapplied. Some cat repellent manufacturers produce granular versions of their products too, which work particularly as protective barriers around the property’s perimeter.
Set a motion-activated sprinkler.
Most cats hate water. They hate surprise water ambushes even more, which is why motion-activated sprinklers are a great way to get the jump on stealthy cats. These sprinklers’ sensors begin spraying water when they detect motion within a 30- to 40-foot radius. Some models are equipped with an infrared sensor that makes them less likely to turn on when leaves or debris tumble past. This is one cat deterrent that must be planned carefully: No one wants to spray an unsuspecting neighbor if they get too close to the property line, or a delivery person dropping off packages.
Use ultrasonic devices.
Ultrasonic cat deterrents have motion and/or infrared sensors that emit ultrasonic frequencies that cats don’t like. Some of these devices also have strobe lights or predator calls to further deter cats and other animals from entering the property. One study showed that these devices reduced the frequency of cat visits by about 46 percent. These ultrasonic pest repellers are a particularly good option if you’re plagued by critters other than cats too, because opossums, raccoons, and rodents are all deterred by the ultrasonic sound.
Put away all possible enticements.
Another way to keep cats from hanging out in your yard is to ensure there’s nothing to attract them to your outdoor space. Cats are attracted to the scent of food, so try feeding pets elsewhere—and bring the food indoors at night. Keep outdoor grills and barbecues well cleaned, removing charred food that attracts unwanted yard visitors. Secure garbage cans and recycling bins so cats cannot easily pick through them. Because the bird seed in bird feeders attracts birds, and birds attract cats, you might also put the feeder away for a while until the cat problem is under control.