For homeowners, stray and feral cats can turn into an incredibly frustrating situation. While the large populations of feral and stray cats are harmless to humans, they not only destroy local bird populations, but they can also pass on incurable diseases to domestic cats. Fortunately, there are several humane ways you can deal with the issue with these simple methods for how to get rid of cats.
There are a few reasons why you may want to keep cats out of your flower beds and yards, but given their innate abilities for climbing and jumping, it might seem like you are taking on an impossible feat. The neighborhood cats like to wander through the neighborhood due to curiosity, hunting, mating, feeding, and establishing their territory, while homeless strays and feral cats might be looking for a warm place to call home.
Many people believe that mothballs are an effective method for getting rid of cats. While cats and other garden pests can’t stand the smell of mothballs, they are highly toxic and can kill cats, dogs, and other pets when ingested. Fortunately, there are several approaches on the way to get rid of feral cats and stop strays from using your yard as their personal litter box.
Best Way to Get Rid of Feral Cats
Both feral cats and stray cats can quickly ruin your garden with smelly cat pee and fecal matter and can be found lounging around on neighborhood cars and other vehicles. They also like to eat pet food that you’ve left out for your outdoor cats and other pets.
They are known to cause a disturbance with their fights and incessant meowing while riling up your indoor cats. What’s worse is they spread diseases and other parasites, like ticks and fleas, making it even more important to find natural ways on how to get rid of cats.
However, there are a multitude of ways to fend off stray cats and make your yard an unpleasant place for them to explore. Check out these helpful tips.
Remove Their Food Source
If you have a stray or feral cat problem, get rid of stray cats by removing their food sources. Make sure that your trash cans aren’t overflowing with garbage, and that you use a tight-fitting lid to secure your garbage cans. Don’t leave any organic food scraps sitting outside because this attracts unwanted cats from around the neighborhood.
Keep in mind that cats can live on very little, making it impossible to remove their source of food from your area altogether. Avoid feeding the cats.
Leaving food out for stray and feral cats conditions them to stay because it is easier for them to obtain food. Leaving food out can also result in even more cats appearing in your yard. Deter cats and other creatures like raccoons and squirrels by getting rid of food bowls outside. If you have an outside dog, ensure that its bowl is empty before going to bed at night.
Remove Sources of Shelter
Cats, like many mammals, look for warm and dry spaces to shelter them from the elements. If they aren’t able to find a suitable place to stay, they move on to the next house. If you have any small openings under your deck or porch, use plywood or chicken wire to fence it off.
Both are inexpensive and useful materials for keeping cats out. Ensure that the door to your shed closes tightly and that you remove woodpiles so cats can’t make their homes in these areas.
How to Get Rid of Cats – Use a Cat Repellent Spray
While cats like strong odors, like those emitted by fish, they dislike others. Several cat repellent spray options contain ingredients and smells that repel cats.
Cats especially don’t like the scent of citrus so you can use orange and lemon peels. You can also use other household waste, like coffee grounds and essential oils that contain lavender, citronella, and eucalyptus.
How to Get Rid of Stray Cats from Your Garden
Whether it’s your neighbor’s cat or a stray cat from the neighborhood, keeping cats out of your garden can be challenging. These stray cats may be attracted to your garden for several reasons, including hunting for mice to eat and finding a place to stay out of the elements. If you’re dealing with stray cats inside your garden, here are some home remedies for getting rid of cats.
Line Your Garden with Chicken Wire
Cats don’t like to walk on chicken wire, making it a great cat deterrent. Lay the chicken wire on top of your mulch or soil before you plant your plants. Use wire cutters to cut holes in the wire that are large enough for planting your plants.
Chicken wire will prevent the cats from digging in your garden. You can also erect a chicken wire fence around your garden to keep cats out.
The fence doesn’t have to be very high to be effective. Generally, cats won’t attempt to climb over fences unless they are strongly motivated to do so.
Install Motion-Sensing Sprinklers
Install a motion-sensing sprinkler system to spray encroaching cats. The first time a cat tries to get into your garden, the motion-activated sprinkler will spray them with a burst of water, causing them to avoid the area in the future.
Set the sprinkler to activate at night when animals are more likely to set it off. As a bonus, your flowers and grass will get watered in the process.
Toss Citrus Peels into Your Garden
As stated earlier, cats hate the smell of citrus fruits, including lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit. The next time you are juicing or eating one of these fruits, throw the rinds and peels into your garden.
With the citrus peels in your garden, stray and feral cats should give your garden a wide berth. Planting a citrus tree in your yard won’t be as effective in getting rid of cats because the smell isn’t as potent.
Spread Cayenne Pepper Around the Area
Sprinkling cayenne pepper around the edge of your garden, or wherever you want to keep cats out, is an effective cat control method. When cats walk across the pepper, it sticks to their paws, which causes issues when the cats groom themselves.
Eventually, the cats will learn this unpleasant experience is caused by your yard and will move on to other non-spicy locations. Spread the cayenne pepper wherever you see the cats.
Use Live Traps or the TNR Method
One of the most effective ways to get rid of cats is through the use of a live trap, like the Havahart Live Trap. This is also one of the most humane ways to deal with unwanted cats in your yard and works best for those who are looking for long-term effects.
The TNR method consists of trapping, neutering, and releasing stray and feral cats. After you’ve caught the cats, take them to your local animal shelter and have them spay or neuter them.
Put bait such as tuna, sardines, or cat food in the trap and place the trap in an area that cats frequent. When you’ve caught a cat, leave the cat in the trap, because feral cats are known to scratch and bite, which could lead to a severe infection.
To calm the cat down, place a blanket over the trap. Once captured, relocate the cats to another area or take it to the humane society for neutering and releasing back into the wild.
Plant Smelly Plants in Your Yard
Some plants will give off a smell that cats hate. One plant that you could place in your garden is the Coleus canina, which is also known as the “Scaredy-Cat Plant.”
It is a useful cat repellent as well as working on dogs. Other plants that you can use in your garden to get rid of cats are lavender, rue, and pennyroyal.
Use Critter Ridder Spray
One of the best natural ways for how to get rid of cats is with an organic cat repellent spray known as Critter Ridder. The natural spray contains black pepper, capsaicin, and piperine. These ingredients irritate cats, and they dislike the smell and taste.
Spray the Critter Ridder directly around the areas around your house where you’ve noticed cats congregating. The natural animal control spray comes in both granular and liquid forms and is effective at repelling not only cats but skunks and raccoons, as well.
Use a DIY Natural Cat Repellent Spray
When it comes to home remedies for getting rid of cats, you can make a DIY natural cat repellent spray with lemon oil. Most cats hate the smell of lemon oil, and when used in a high enough concentration, it can effectively get rid of cats from your yard.
Add the fresh rosemary into the spray bottle. Then add the lemon juice and white vinegar. Replace the lid and vigorously shake the bottle to combine the ingredients. Spray the repellent where you want to keep cats out.
Use Natural Means to Scare the Cats
If you are looking for natural ways to get rid of cats, you can always get a dog to scare the cats off your property. If you aren’t a dog person, you can also place rubber snakes around your property where the cats will see them. Just the presence of their natural enemies will be enough to keep the feral and stray cats from hanging out around your house.
Use the Urine of Predatory Animals Around Your Property
Another easy way that you can get rid of cats is by applying the urine of coyotes or foxes around your property to keep feral and stray cats away. Unfortunately, if you live in a coastal area, this might not be the best method to use since you will have to reapply the urine frequently for it to be effective.
Place Dishes of Ammonia in Your Garden
Cats are known to use gardens and soft dirt areas as their personal litter boxes. If you want to keep them from doing their business in your yard, you can apply a solution of equal parts ammonia and water to the area. Place the solution in a shallow dish and set it in places that the cats frequent.
The smell of the vapor deters the cats because they can’t stand the way it smells. You can also place the solution in a spray bottle and spray it in areas where cats frequent.
Use Ultrasonic Devices
Several ultrasonic cat deterrent devices on the market are quite effective at getting rid of feral cats. The devices operate on a high frequency that is unbearable to cats.
Install the equipment so that it faces your garden. The motion sensor in the device detects the presence of the intruders and then gives off a high-frequency sound, scaring the cat off.
Dealing with unwanted stray and feral cats can be a frustrating experience. The methods noted here for natural ways to get rid of cats will help you free your yard of these nuisances.
Be sure to regularly change your tactics because new cats to the neighborhood won’t be as sensitive to your methods. Switching the modes often leads to greater success.
We hope you found this ultimate guide on how to get rid of stray cats helpful. If you found the tips on homemade remedies for getting rid of cats helpful, share these techniques on how to get rid of cats on Facebook and Pinterest.