Cats are the most popular pet in the United States. Additionally, there are 88 million pet cats. When cats are feral or become strays, they can become a problem.
Stray and feral cats often carry dangerous diseases that can spread to humans. Rabies, the most common disease, is fatal if it’s transmitted to a human and they don’t get treated. So clearly it’s best to keep stray and feral cats away from your property, especially if you have children around.
In an effort to help you with this issue, I’ve put together a list of 29 ways to help you keep stray and feral cats away from your home.
29 Ways to Keep Cats Away
1. Keep Your Trash Secured
Stray cats usually become attracted to a property in search of food. Trash or garbage can be appealing to cats, so it’s best to keep your trash secured. Don’t leave garbage in your yard.
2. Talk to Your Neighbors
If you have an issue with cats coming on your property, speak with your neighbors. If a neighbor has a cat that’s been coming on your property, the both of you may be able to solve the problem together.
Your neighbors should keep their yards maintained to keep cats away. Ask your neighbor if they’d be willing to help, and give them tips on how to solve the issue.
3. Install Sprinklers
Cats don’t like water, and they’ll try to avoid getting wet. If you decide to choose this method, install sprinklers that cover your entire yard. If a cat gets near, the water should scare them away.
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4. Use Vaseline
If you have a fence surrounding your yard, put some Vaseline on the top of it. Cats will find it difficult to get over it.
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5. Use a String
Another option is to use a taut string across the top of your fence. Cats won’t like trying to climb over it.
6. Use Fake Warning Signs
You may want to consider placing fake warning signs in your yard. If your neighbors are aware that their cats are visiting your yard, it may encourage the neighbors to keep their pet away.
You could always opt for a NO PETS ALLOWED ON PROPERTY SIGN Your neighbors will notice this sign straight away.
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7. Block Access to Shelter
Look around your yard for any places you think a cat could use for shelter. Cats shouldn’t have access underneath decks and porches, and if they do, consider enclosing it with a fence.
8. Use Ultrasonic Devices
Ultrasonic devices emit sound that humans can’t hear well, but cats have a very advanced sense of hearing. If a cat hears the device, they’ll dislike the tone, and they’ll avoid coming in your yard. The best places to install these devices are near problem areas.
9. Alternative Sound Repellents
If you have a fence surrounding your yard, you can scare off cats by putting marbles or pebbles in an empty can and placing it on the fence. A loud bell or wind chimes are some other options. When the cat climbs over or walks on the fence, it’ll scare them.
10. Build a Fence
Cats are experts at climbing, but it may be hard for them to climb a challenging fence. Chicken wire is affordable and easy to build, and it should keep the cats away. The fence you choose should be high so cats can’t climb over it.
If you have a garden, be sure to have a fence around it. Cats often use gardens as a litter box.
11. Water Guns
If you need an affordable option, purchasing water guns may be the best. If you see a cat in your yard, you can spray them with a water gun to scare them away. If you choose this method, get a water gun that can spray from a distance and sprays a lot of water.
12. Protect Gardens
As mentioned previously, you can install a fence around your gardens to protect them from cats, but there are alternatives.
You can install chicken wire over the surface of your garden or underneath the dirt. If you prefer another alternative, you can add pine cones, stone mulch or cedar mulch to deter cats. It’ll make the garden uncomfortable for them.
Some plants have smells that cats don’t like. Lavender, coleus canina, rue and pennyroyal may deter cats. Think about planting them between your other plants.
13. Install an Electric Fence
An electric fence doesn’t have to be cruel and inhumane. There are electric fences out there that are used for deterring cats. Consider purchasing a safe electric fence for cats that won’t cause harm.
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14. Remove Food
If you feed your pets outdoors, stop the habit, and start feeding them indoors. If you have a compost pile, don’t add food to it. If you have a grill, be sure to keep it clean to avoid enticing smells.
15. Clean Urine Spray
If you notice urine spray on your walls or doors, be sure to wash and clean them with an odor neutralizer that contains enzymes to prevent cats from spraying.
16. Stinky Substances
Cats don’t like the smell of citrus or blood meal fertilizer. You can place peels of oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit in your garden to deter cats. Also, you can use mothballs.
Cayenne pepper flakes deter cats, but it can burn their tongues, eyes and feet. When it grooms, it’ll be painful and uncomfortable, so it’s not humane and not recommended.
17. Use Sprays
Sprays that contain garlic, citrus, dog urine, lavender and citronella can deter cats. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spray these scents around your yard regularly.
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18. Scatter Urine
Cats are territorial animals, and they won’t come around if there’s another animal already marking their territory. Coyote urine is ideal, but unfortunately, you’ll likely be able to smell it.
19. Own a Male Cat
If you own a male cat, it’ll perceive the yard as its territory and defend it. Unfortunately, if you get a new cat, you’ll have to teach it where to use the bathroom. However, teaching kittens is much easier if you adopt them while they’re young.
20. Get a Dog
If you don’t own a dog, you may want to get one. Unfortunately, a dog requires a lot of maintenance, care and attention, but it should keep cats away from your yard. Usually, dogs like to roam and cause chaos, so if you get a dog, it may scare away the stray and feral cats.
Unfortunately, the unwanted cats coming in your yard may become accustomed to the dog after a few weeks or months. If this happens, getting the dog was useless.
21. Use Ammonia
Ammonia smells like cat urine. If you choose this method, all you’ll need is a litter box and ammonia.
Place the litter box away from your garden and paths, and fill the litter box with ammonia, or use a rag soaked with ammonia. Using this method attracts cats, but it’ll attract them to the litter box instead of your garden.
22. Sheep Manure
Some people claim that using sheep manure keeps unwanted cats away. If you use it, it may or may not work. Fortunately, sheep manure doesn’t have a strong odor, and it’s a great fertilizer for plants.
23. Lion Dug Cat Repellent
Lions are bigger and stronger than cats, so if a cat smells a lion nearby, they may retreat. You can find lion dug cat repellent at your local garden store.
The repellent comes in pellets, and unfortunately, they get washed away by the rain. Also, don’t use it as fertilizer.
24. Use Your Hair
The scent of human hair deters cats. Each day after you brush your hair, go in your yard, and clean your brush. Leave the hair scattered around.
25. Lights and Sirens
Consider purchasing some lights and sirens that’ll scare the cats away when they come near. Do some research online about the best products to purchase to deter cats.
26. Use Tobacco
Cats dislike the smell of tobacco, so you may want to consider scattering some tobacco around in your yard. To make it inexpensive, go to a smoke shop, and purchase tobacco in bulk.
27. Use Coffee Grounds
Scattering around coffee grounds in your yard should deter cats because they don’t like the smell of it. Avoid using cocoa bean shells because it’s poisonous to cats and dogs.
28. Use Perfume or Cologne
Cut small pieces of rags, and soak them with perfume or cologne. Afterwards, hang them near problem areas. If you have a garden, don’t forget to hang them there.
29. Humane Traps
When other tactics fail, see if you’re legally allowed to catch cats in humane traps in your yard. If you catch a cat that has tags, discuss the issue with the cat’s owner. If you catch stray or feral cats, give them to your local animal control or shelter.
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If the community you live in has laws, regulations or homeowner association regulations, ask them what legal action you can take to prevent cats from coming on your property. Be sure to know the laws before you start taking action.
Product data was last updated on 2022-03-27.
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"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
-- Terry Pratchett