Has the crazy cat lady in your neighborhood moved away and left some of her cats behind? Lots of us love the little creatures, but having unwanted strays in your yard isn’t always the most pleasant experience.
Cats can scare away birds from your feeder, leave their droppings in your garden, steal food from your other pets, or be just plain noisy. Stray cats can also carry diseases or parasites like ticks and fleas that can spread to your children or other pets. Learn to get rid of cats and help them away with these easy tips and tricks!
1. Let the dog out.
Keeping cats out of your yard in the first place is generally an easier task than getting rid of them once they’ve settled in. If you own a dog, consider letting it loose around your backyard if you think it won’t tear everything apart.
Cats and dogs are natural enemies, so having your big beast roam around the back yard can scare away cats that might consider your yard a good resting place. If you’ve always wanted a dog but don’t have one, scaring away cats is just another excuse for you to go get one. Getting a dog can be another big commitment.
2. Rubber snakes.
Most people don’t like snakes, and many animals don’t either! Cats are of course included in this shared dislike. You don’t need to use real snakes, as that is a mildly terrifying solution. Instead, try placing rubber snakes around the yard to scare off the cats.
3. Don’t Feed Them.
It can be hard to resist giving a hungry-looking cat a little snack, but if you want them to leave your yard alone you can’t be giving them another reason to come back. Like a lot of us, cats are lazy. If they can get food in an easier way than their natural means, they will definitely come back for it.
Unfortunately, this might require getting rid of your bird feeder in the backyard. Birds are natural prey to cats, so it’s best not to attract other animals to your yard that they might see as food sources.
Cats are also quite fond of mint plants and other sweet herbs. If you think that might be a problem, remove those plants or bring them inside.
4. Don’t give them a Place to Live.
Cats like to burrow into your yard and create a warm, dry environment for themselves to sleep in. They will also dig up their own personal litterbox in your garden if they decide that’s where they want to do their business. Make your yard harder to dig in these areas by placing protective wire around your gardens and fencing off areas you don’t want the cats to go around.
5. Use cat repellents.
There are many common natural ingredients in your house you can use to keep cats away from your yard.
Cats typically don’t like the smell of citrus, so spreading pieces of orange or lemon peels around your yard can be a good way to keep them out altogether. Coffee grounds are also unpleasant to the cat, so spreading that around the areas they go to most can also help.
Spraying a watered-down ammonia solution around your yard has also been known to keep cats away from the areas you apply it. If you don’t happen to have any of these items lying around your house, you can go to the store to buy brand-name cat sprays that are usually longer lasting and get the job done well.
6. Peppers and Pepper spray.
Lucky for you, this doesn’t mean chasing around cats with a can of pepper spray in your hand and trying to spray them with it. You would likely spray yourself if you tried such an approach!
Applying hot pepper juices or pepper spray around the areas that cats walk in your yard causes it to get in their claws. When they go to groom themselves later, it will be spicy and unpleasant for them. It may take time to realize this is a result of going to your yard, but when they do, they’ll be sure to stay away.
If you’ve tried all these options and still see cats on the prowl, there are several other options you can try to get rid of them.
7. Set Cat Traps.
No, these aren’t going to kill the cats. Cat traps are humane solutions that will trap the cat in a crate where they can be easily carried to the nearest animal shelter. Place some bait in the trap like tuna or cat food, and wait for the cat to enter. Once it’s in there, you won’t want to let it out by yourself as it will probably be scared and more likely to scratch or bite you. A trapped cat is a true terror indeed!
8. Call Animal Control.
It’s the job of these workers to keep the wild animal population under control. If you see an increasing amount of wild cats in your neighborhood, don’t be shy about calling animal control or your local humane society. They will deal with these cats either by bringing them to a shelter or by setting up traps around their common grounds and bringing them to their shelter afterwards.
Before doing this, make sure the cat is actually a stray! Don’t call animal control on your neighbor’s cat just because it’s wandering around your yard. Have a chat with them about keeping their pet inside or think up ways you can work together to keep it under control. If you don’t recognize the cat, check it for any tags that might have the owner’s contact information on them.
9. Don’t resort to violence.
Don’t hurt the cats. As annoying as they can be, they still feel pain, and putting them in any discomfort is cruel and inhumane. This might also be someone else’s pet that you’re hurting, so you would have not only an angry cat but an angry neighbor as well.
Another way to get rid of a cat is by making it your own through adoption! If you have a reason to believe the cat has no owner and you want to take it into your care, make sure to give it a medical check-up before doing so. This means checking for diseases, parasites, and having it spayed or neutered. This can be a costly process as well, so make sure this is something you want to do before committing.
Cats can be a real nuisance, especially if they travel in a pack, or if they are terrorizing your garden. This doesn’t mean they are impossible to get rid of, however. Use the strategies discussed in this article in whole or in part and your feline misfortunes should be gone before you know it. Remember that cats are animals and have feelings too, even if it doesn’t seem like that could ever be possible based on their usual behaviour. Don’t resort to violence! By all means use these steps to bother cats away from your property, but violence is never the answer. Hopefully that Puss will strap on its boots and hit the road!