2 cats on the hood of a car

8 Ways to Keep Cats off Cars

Understanding one’s cat is not necessarily an easy process. Though humans and cats greatly enjoy each other’s company, it’s clear that we have a lot to learn about the relationship we have with our feline friends. This is why it’s important to always be perceptive of your cat’s needs, making sure not to invade their personal space and allowing them to feel comfortable as much as possible.

However, sometimes it isn’t possible to let your cats do everything they want. For example, cats enjoy scratching seemingly whatever they can get their hands on, leaving some owners with some compromised objects. While things such as sofas can take on a bit of damage, scratches can take a much stronger toll on cars, making them incredibly vulnerable to any cat-related damage.

Something important to note, though, about cat-related car damage is that cats don’t intend to harm any cars. When cats are outside of their normal habitat, they can often exhibit stress if they don’t feel completely comfortable, making it necessary for owners to be familiar with these symptoms.

Black and white cat on a car

Keeping your cat safe and away from your car is actually an easy task, but there are so many different ways to do so that it can feel difficult to know where to start.

This is why we’ve scoured the internet to provide you with 8 Ways to Keep Cats Off of Your Car so that you don’t have to worry about your car being ruined by your feline friend!

Before we go into our list, we want to say that every cat is different, so be sure to check with a veterinarian to ensure that the products and methods you’re using with your cat are truly safe for it. The specific products you get will also vary depending on where you live and where you purchase them, so getting the approval of a medical professional is essential.

How to keep cats off cars? There are 8 easy ways to keep cats off cars – spray pepper on and/or around your vehicle, cover your car, be proactive – park away from where cats frequent, use a sprinkler, cat deterrents, employ cat training mats, discourage bad behavior by conditioning, and finally, make use of a pet alarm.

#1. Natural Remedies First

If you’re somebody who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money trying to protect your car, using pepper is the first thing you should try. This is because cats don’t respond well to the taste of pepper, making it a perfect deterrent to use on your car. Using pepper won’t harm the cats, but rather leave an uncomfortable taste in their mouth, indicating to them that they shouldn’t be on a given surface.

Of course, you don’t want to cover your car in pepper, though! All you have to do is either spray or sprinkle a bit of pepper on the exterior or surrounding area of your car. The goal of this method is to get your cat to walk around the area, subsequently tracking pepper onto their paws and fur. When the cat cleans itself later, it will taste the pepper, indicating that they should not go back to the area where the pepper was.

Two types of pepper that are most often used for this method are black pepper and cayenne pepper. Because pepper is likely an ingredient that you already have lying around your house, this is a quick and affordable way to protect your car!

If you don’t want to use pepper, there are also some fruit-based options that might be good fits. For example, most cats detest bananas, making some type of banana-based essential oil a great pick as well.

Oranges are another type of fruit that some felines can’t stand, so that’s another option for a natural remedy. Each cat has different preferences, though, so you should do some testing to see what makes your cat uncomfortable and what they like. Once you go through this process, though, you won’t regret it—natural remedies are the easiest way to make sure your car is protected!

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#2. Get a Car Cover

As one of the most diplomatic ways to protect your car from your cat, getting a car cover allows you to keep your car safe while also allowing your cat to still go on the car itself. Car covers are a bit pricey when compared to other options such as using pepper, but in the long run, can produce some of the most effective results.

Instead of having to train or condition your cat into not going on the car, you can avoid any damage, accepting that the cat will likely jump on the car regardless of what you do.

The best thing about using a car cover is that it will likely pay for itself in the long run, allowing you to save money on repeatedly buying other products or having to pay for damages that have been done to your car.

The only downside to using a car cover is that you have to remove it whenever you use the car and then put it back on when you get home. For some, this inconvenience is enough to swear off using such a product in general. Those who don’t mind the ritual, though, will be glad to have something effective!

#3. Block Off the Car

Kitten near the black car

Before you try any other methods that require you to deter the cat from going near the car, analyze where your cat goes. For those who typically have their car in a secluded area such as a garage, not allowing the cat in the garage is a good way to keep it away. If you don’t have a garage but typically have your car in front of your house, only allowing your cat in the backyard could be a solution to making sure they don’t go near your car.

This method serves a few different purposes. Not only does it help you keep your cat away from the car, but it can also help protect the cat overall. For example, many cats will wander off after being left in the front yard, leaving them vulnerable to vehicles passing by and other potential hazards. By sealing off certain areas to your cat, you can make sure they won’t go near the car!

Of course, using this method doesn’t solve the potential for stray cats to go near your car, which is why it’s best applied in conjunction with another method on our list!

#4. Invest in Sprinklers

It’s no secret that cats are not big fans of water. This is why many people condition their cats by spraying water at them, as it is an effective way to communicate to the cat that they shouldn’t be in a certain area or be doing a specific action. However, when it comes to stray neighborhood cats it can be difficult to catch them in the act or spray them in time. Because of this, investing in lawn sprinklers can be a great way to have a constant flow of water near your car to ensure that stray cats know your car is off-limits.

An important distinction to make when looking for lawn sprinklers is to invest in motion-based ones. This is because they will be able to detect if there is any motion near your car, allowing the sprinklers to scare off stray cats when you’re not there to oversee your car. There are also different types of lawn sprinklers that allow you to have both motion-based settings and schedule-based ones, giving you the best of both worlds.

This method goes beyond just keeping your car safe, allowing you to also make sure your lawn is effectively watered throughout the year! Automatic sprinklers will also make sure that your car is wet so cats won’t even think about going near your car.

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#5. Use Cat Deterrent

When people are trying to protect their car, using cat deterrent is often the first thing they think of. This is because it appears to be the most straightforward method of making sure cats don’t go near their car. After all, all you have to do is go to the store and purchase the right pet-friendly deterrent, right?

It turns out that it’s actually more complicated than that. Because cats are sensitive to different types of preferences, some deterrents that will work for some cats won’t work for others. The best way to avoid this is to look at the reviews for the product you’re purchasing to make sure that it is effective.

When used properly, cat deterrent can be a great way to make sure that no cats go near your car. It’s also virtually unrecognizable to human noses, making it a good covert option as well!

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#6. Cat Training Mats

Red cat sleeping on a car

As the cat equivalent to an electric fence collar, training mats deliver low voltage shocks to cats that stand on them. These can be effective products for keeping your cats away from your car, but it depends on how uncomfortable you’re willing to make your cat in the process.

Cat training mats are only suitable for inside use, making them only plausible if your car is stored in a garage. They won’t protect your car from stray cats if it is left outside, but those looking for an effective indoor solution should look into this. The important thing is that you read up on the specific product you’re buying to ensure that it is truly pet-friendly!

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#7. Traditional Conditioning

Though traditional conditioning is often a time-consuming process, some pet owners prefer it as a way to make sure that their pets aren’t just blocked from doing certain behaviors, but understand what it is specifically they’re not allowed to do. When applied to cats, there is a variety of different ways with which you can condition your cat.

Things such as smelly or loud objects can be a good way to teach your cat that certain actions are wrong, but these take repeated steps until your cat will be able to tell the difference. On top of this, it might even take some trial and error for your cat to grasp the scenario and listen, potentially bringing damage to your car before the cat learns.

However, those looking for a more traditional way of raising their cat should read up on conditioning methods and decide which ones are suitable for their feline.

#8. Use a Pet Alarm

By far the most effective option for those wanting to keep cats off of their car is to use a pet alarm. Pet alarms are also very humane, not harming your cat in any way. These are typically motion-activated, being able to detect nearby motion and then sound based on a triggered response.

There are also pet alarms that rely on ultrasound systems, being able to detect where a cat is in a room and then sounding off if the cat is too close to the designated area. Once the alarm goes off, the noise intimidates the cat until it goes away, deactivating the alarm. The alarms usually aren’t loud, only giving off a few beeps to intimidate the animal quickly and alert the owner that the alarm has sensed movement.

Pet alarms are not only very practical but also cost-efficient. Though they can run you anywhere between $20 and $50, they are one of the few methods on this list that don’t need to be continually purchased to ensure longevity. They’re also quite versatile, being able to be used in any part of your house that you want to be off-limits to cats.

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In Conclusion

Cat near a yellow car

At the end of the day, finding a way to keep cats off of your car while also making sure you don’t harm them gives you the best of both worlds. This is why we think it’s important to have multiple options that are effective so you can experiment and choose what is most comfortable for you.

Even if you are somebody who doesn’t own a cat, employing some of these methods can be a great way to make sure that stray neighborhood cats don’t get the wrong idea about your vehicle. We hope this list has been helpful and that our methods help you never have scratches on your car ever again!

Product data was last updated on 2019-09-15.

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