A cat is a very common house pet, but stray cats can be a real problem.
This is because they can litter your yard with their poop, begin digging in your garden, and even kill your songbirds (if you have any).
You may have spent a lot of time thinking of ways to get rid of them. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you’ve not figured it out yet. I’m here to help
Thus, in this article, I’ll be giving you useful tips on how to get rid of cats.
So continue reading!
Why Is A Stray Cat A Problem?
Unlike your domestic cat that enjoys feeding daily, a wandering cat may not have that luxury. For this reason, they like to wander from home to home to see what they can find by way of food and water.
In the process, they can make a real mess of your yard by digging up the soil, spilling out contents from your trash bin, and may even enter your home if the doors or windows are open.
Worse still, they may chase and kill your songbirds or other beautiful birds in your garden, as they naturally like to do.
Keep in mind that cats are carnivorous animals, meaning that their feces are filled with pathogens and parasites, which aren’t right for your garden soil or plants.
Luckily, there are ways you can keep them away, so don’t fret!
What Attracts Feral Or Stray Cats To Your Yard?
To have the best idea of how to get rid of stray cats from your yard, you need first to understand what attracts them.
Cats are just like other animals looking for means of survival. Some of the things they need include food, water, and a safe shelter.
If your home provides all these, then the feral cats will come to visit.
Food sources include leftover pet food kept outside and food in the trash bin. As for shelter, your garage and under your deck can keep them warm and safe. These are areas they will like to inhabit.
Another thing that attracts cats (male cats) is a female cat on heat. A male cat can pick up her scent and visit your home to mate.
Any of the above mentioned can keep cats coming to your yard.
How Do You Get Rid Of Cats Around Your House?
You can put cats at bay by using several effective methods. Follow the tips below.
1. Use A Motion Activated Sprinkler
If you’re one to keep cats as pets, you will already know that cats hate getting wet. You can use this knowledge to your advantage by installing motion-activated water
You can place the device in your garden and another in a different part of the property. As the motion sensor picks up a stray or feral cat’s movement, it will release the water in an instant.
This will not only scare the cat, but it will also leave them soaked in water. And cats hate being hit by water.
They’ll vacate your premises immediately this happens. Sprinklers also provide moisture for your plants while they’re at it.
It’s a great way to get rid of cats without harming them.
2. Use Sound As A Deterrent
There are ultrasound devices that you can install to get rid of cats. Humans and cats do not hear the same way, so this could help get rid of them.
An ultrasound device gives off a sound that irritates cats but cannot be heard by humans. The device could be permanently on or have a motion sensor that triggers it when a feral cat is around.
You could also install wind chimes along your fence or around the garden. The clashing sounds will cause the stray cat to be uncomfortable, and it will feel threatened by the noise, especially if it can’t figure out where it’s coming from.
Cats hate surprises, so this is another effective method you can use to get rid of them.
3. Buy A Dog
A good form of animal control is to introduce a more intimidating animal. In this case, it would be a dog.
Cats will only roam freely around your home if they feel comfortable. However, an active dog ready to give them a run for their money will do you some good.
If the strays feel threatened, they will look for another yard to explore.
Keep in mind that the dog must be friendly with your domestic cats (if you have any), as they also like to chase smaller creatures.
4. Make The Ground Uncomfortable To Walk On
Soil that is tender and loose is a cat’s favorite walking path. Cats hate surfaces that prick their soles and will steer clear of such surfaces.
Your garden soil possesses these features, and cats would love to stroll around. But you can solve this problem by making the garden soil extremely discomforting for the cats. All you need to do is to make the surface more prickly.
Twigs will work well for this. Cover your garden area with as much as required to deter cats from walking over.
Pine cones are another option. They are prickly and can discourage cats from walking around. Embed them into the garden soil and leave the prickly areas partially exposed to sting the cats as they walk by.
You can also insert wooden chopsticks into the ground, but make sure each stick isn’t placed far from the other. This is because closely positioned chopsticks will make it difficult for cats to run around freely.
Chicken wire is another excellent option for handling a feral cat. Lay them across your garden floor to keep cats away. Not to worry, most garden plants can grow up through chicken wire. Also, the wire won’t harm the cats.
You can visit a store near you to get the chicken wire. You can also buy a litter box and set it in a preferred area, so the wandering cats may use it instead of pooping on your soil.
5. Call Animal Control
If you’re not the type to go near cats or don’t have the time to get rid of them on your own, then your best bet would be to call an animal service to visit your place.
They can employ the trap neuter method to get rid of cats in your yard.
It involves trapping the cats without harming or killing them, neutering them, ear tipping them, and vaccinating them.
A professional animal service is the most qualified candidate to handle this task.
Just search the internet to find one.
How Do You Keep Stray Cats Out Of Your Yard?
Strays aren’t usually friendly cats.
Most of them will not allow humans to come close to them, yet they damage garden plants, smaller beneficial animals, and poison the soil with their feces.
Suppose they haven’t invaded your yard already, then lucky you. However, you still need to take precautions and devise means by which you would keep them out.
Follow the tips below to restrict stray cats.
1. Use A Barrier Or Fence
You can stop stray cats from invading your home by creating a barrier that would make it hard or impossible for them to enter.
A wire mesh fence is a good option. Even though cats are good climbers, they would be unsuccessful in their attempts.
Ensure the fence is at least 1.8 meters in height and at least 5.1 X 5.1-centimeter square. An over-hang will improve your chances of keeping them out significantly.
2. Use Dummies
Feral cats, especially the smaller sized ones, aren’t the bravest of animals. They can be kept at bay with the use of life-sized dummies.
You can get huge inflatable dogs and position them in strategic areas around your property. The natural wind will help you reap the most of this tactic, as it keeps the dummies moving at all times.
When a feral cat sees this, they will be discouraged from entering your yard, with the mindset that they aren’t safe in there.
3. Use Ultrasound Technology
As we have already discussed in this article, ultrasound technology can be used to deter them. An ultrasound device produces a high-pitched sound that only the feral cats can hear.
If they get too close to your property, their ears will pick up the sounds, and they will abandon the idea of coming in.
This method is advisable only if you don’t have domestic cats of your own, as the ultrasound will bother it too.
4. Remove Any Food Source
Like all wandering animals, stray cats go out in search of food. If your yard provides such pleasantries, then the cats will smell them and invade. This is why you need to remove any source of feeding in your yard.
One major food source for a stray cat would be your outdoor waste bin. If it contains foods like leftover fish or meat, the cats will sniff it out and dig in.
Of course, you have to dispose of waste, but you can do that in a tidy manner. Make sure your outdoor trash bins are tightly sealed so feral cats cannot access it. You can also first dump them in a sealable plastic bag before placing them in the bin. This will help conceal the odor from the cats.
Do not let any of the food spills over to the ground, as this will attract more than one stray cat. If they did spill, remove them immediately.
Also, make sure you do not feed your pets outside, as this will leave scraps for the cats to pick on.
5. Seal All Access Points
Besides food, stray cats also need shelter. If your yard provides a comfy resting area, then the stray cats will take advantage.
Such areas include under your deck, your garage, or any other outdoor storage.
Ensure these areas inaccessible by closing the doors or windows at all times. If there are breaches in the walls, then get a few wooden boards and nail them shut.
Stray cats can also explore your house if they can gain access. So ensure your windows and doors are closed.
If you need extra ventilation, you can install mesh screens by all the doors and windows that lead into your home. They should be made of durable materials so the feral cats can’t rip through.
6. Restrict Female Cats In-heat From Coming Outside
A female domestic cat in heat will attract unaltered male feral cats. If she is allowed to roam freely outside, the stray male cat will smell her scent and seek her out.
For this reason, you should try to keep your female cat indoors until her heat period is over.
How Do You Repel Stray Cats?
You can go to a store near you and purchase commercial cat repellents. They mimic the natural smell of a predator, and the cats will stay away from areas that make them feel threatened.
Be sure the cat repellents you buy are non-toxic, so it doesn’t harm your garden soil or plants.
You can also try a natural cat deterrent to get rid of cats. These include lavender scent, coffee grounds, lemon thyme, and pennyroyal. By planting some of these natural cat repellents around your garden, you can keep the strays away.
Feral cats are also known to detest the smell of citrus, especially if it’s extreme. Now that you know this, why don’t you scatter some lemon peels across your garden floor?
You can also squeeze the liquid from the peel into a spray bottle. Mix with a little bit of water and spray across your yard. Spray across their most active areas.
Motion sensors can also trigger sprinklers, alarms, or ultrasound to repel stray cats.
Does Vinegar Stop Cats From Pooping?
If your garden soil is of a texture good enough for feral cats to poop on, then they will oblige. Luckily, vinegar repels feral cats and can be used to discourage them from pooping around your property.
All you need to do is get some white vinegar and add about ¾ of it to a glass jar and mix with some water. Place the jar in the area where cats love to poop the most, and they won’t come near.
Cats are very active at night, so that would be the best time of the day to set out the vinegar repellent.
You can have more than one glass jar of the vinegar solution so you can place them in other areas around your property. You can also pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it around the yard. Remember, it is the area where the cats are most active you should focus on.
Trapping A Stray Cat
Another way to get rid of cats around your property is by using a live trap. Keep in mind that it has to be a humane trap that will not harm or kill the cat.
Be sure you have some bait in the live trap to encourage the cats to come in. Foods you can use for bait include fresh salmon or sardines, corned beef, and other sweetmeats. They can easily smell any of the above foods, and they will be drawn in.
When the stray cat is caught, you need to call wildlife control, animal control, a shelter, or humane society in your area to come and take it away.
The trap neuter method can also do this for you. Although a professional is in the best position to handle this.
The trap neuter method is very useful and safe. Shun all trapping techniques that will harm the cat.
Discussing The Problem With Your Community
Your home isn’t the only target for strays. They move around your community exploring multiple options, including your neighbor’s homes are inclusive.
You may have gotten some useful tips on how to get rid of cats from your yard, but the members of your community may not have. This is why educating them on cat removal, or deterrent methods are important.
Share the tips you have received with them to begin taking steps to solve the neighborhood cat problem.
Remember, keeping the cats away from your home doesn’t necessarily mean keeping them away from the neighborhood as a whole. If one home does not offer them what they need, they will move to the next.
This is why it is important to have everyone on the same page about dealing with a cat problem. You can pass information via community meetings or neighborhood WhatsApp groups. Either means of communication will be useful.
DIY Cat Control Vs. Animal Control Service
While you can use several effective methods to get rid of cats yourself, there is also another option, and that’s calling an animal service.
They both work, even though they both have their pros and cons.
A significant advantage of calling professionals is that it is usually free, whereas DIY methods may require you to spend a little bit of money getting the items you need.
Another advantage of calling the pros is that they have a lot more experience removing unwanted animals than you do. They have been properly trained for the task, and they know what to do.
The major disadvantage of using them is that they may not come right at the time you need them. Also, using them has to be a repetitive process, as you would need to call on them every time you have a cat problem.
However, If you handle the task yourself, you can install more permanent solutions such as ultrasound and repellents to keep the cats away.
For those who are allergic to cat fur, it is advised you don’t try to get close to the cats, as they can cause you health problems.
To round it up, your unique situation would determine if calling on animal control or getting rid of the cats yourself would be the best.
Using the tips provided above, you can get rid of cats in your yard. Remember to do so in a humane manner. The cats must not be injured or killed by live traps. All repellents must also be eco friendly.
Call the professionals if need be.
I hope this article on how to get rid of cats has been helpful.