If you live in a neighborhood with pets, you know the frustration of stray cats in your yard. Roaming cats can pose a nuisance for a lot of different reasons. Perhaps their presence is evidenced by your shrieking hounds wanting to be let outside for a rousing game of “chase” much to the chagrin of your neighbors. Or you go out to your car only to discover the noxious and now ever present pungent smell of cat urine which permeates your yard. You don’t even own a cat, and you’re dealing with issues you’d really rather not. Yes, stray cats taking up residence on your property can be a problem.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, the number of stray and feral cats has reached epidemic proportions. Animal Control reports that there are approximately 70 million stray or feral cats in the United States today. Of course, this is merely an estimate as feral cats are resistant to human contact making it nearly impossible to obtain an exact figure. If 70 million is a conservative estimate, there may be many more than that still.
Facts About Strays
The truth is stray cats are quite different from feral cats. They are typically not aggressive by nature. However, they do contribute a host of issues to an otherwise tranquil home.
Among the problems stray cats can bring into your yard are:
- Feces and urine marking
- Destruction of property through scratching and digging
- The potential spread of illness transmittable to other animals and even humans
- The possibility of fleas and ticks
- An attack against your other animals
- Excessive noise disturbances
If you’ve experienced any of these stray cat-related issues, you may feel at your wit’s end. While you feel compassion for animals in need, it’s hard for any family to operate with these disturbances taking place. It is critical to find a solution that works for the cat and for your neighborhood.
What You Can Do
As an animal lover, you don’t have the heart to do anything that would cause harm to the cat wreaking havoc with your home. But lately, you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to dream up ways to encourage Fifi to pull up stakes and find a home elsewhere.
Here are some things that you can do to keep stray cats out of your yard
Make use of materials which repel cats
Sometimes the simplest thing to do is to make your yard as inhospitable to a cat as you possibly can. There are a number of strategies that you can employ to help you accomplish this. Since cats do not like the feeling of chicken wire on their feet, laying some of it in your garden beds is often sufficient to keep stray cats away. Alternatively, you can use any material which will scratch against a cat’s paw pads, making their feet feel irritated and itchy.
Other cat-repelling items you can use include dried citrus rinds or any scent containing dried blood, plants such as lavender and rue, water guns or sprinklers, or even items emitting ultrasound frequencies which are unpleasant for cats to listen to.
Build a space in a safe zone to attract stray cats
You’ve heard the phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them”? This is a prime example when that adage will work. If you’ve tried making your yard a cat-free zone only to discover that YOUR stray cat seems to love everything you’ve attempted to get him to flee in horror, you might just want to choose a spot where you WOULD like Frisky to live and make it as cat friendly as is humanly possible. Having carefully chosen your stray cat’s new home, you can then plant catnip in and around it. Most cats love this fragrant plant. It has a calming effect on them. Many love to play with it and others to eat it.
Be sure to add a box filled with sand near your catnip. This will act as a natural haven for your cat to dig, and when nature calls, to do his business. Access to plentiful toys that make him feel good and a great place to dig and take care of his bathroom needs; what more could Frisky want?
Keep your yard pristinely clean
Like dogs, cats have a keen sense of smell, and there may be aromas present in your yard that are drawing stray cats there. Among some of the best things you can do to eliminate cat attractants are cleaning your barbecue regularly, ensuring your trash cans have lids on them, and making use of enzymatic cleaners to remove any spraying on your home. It is also wise to close off any open areas where cats may choose to build shelters in which to hide as well as to provide protection from the elements.
Assist the help of your neighbors
We all need a helping hand from time to time. Perhaps your neighbor has been feeding the strays in the area, and when they are done at her house, they come flocking over to yours. While you appreciate her kind heart, it may be time for a chat. Two heads are better than one. Working together may provide the best solution to rid your little section of the community of stray cats for good.
Contact animal control
When all else fails, sometimes you just need to call in the professionals. Animal Control officers know what is necessary to remove stray cats from your yard permanently. They will be able to inform you of the most humane and legal means you can take to eliminate the problem you are facing.
Request assistance from Feral Cat Trap/Spay and Neuter programs
Part of the reason the United States is facing an epic number of homeless cats is because a good number of them are not spayed or neutered. This is leading to a population explosion which is nearly possible to eradicate. Feral Cat Trap/Spay and Neuter programs are doing an excellent job of providing better quality lives for these cats by eliminating their opportunity to procreate then releasing them back into their natural habitat where they can continue to thrive.
Get yourself a terrier!
Many terrier breeds are marked by intensely high prey drives when it comes to small animals. Some of them are not well-suited to co-habiting with cats and will chase and even kill one if given opportunity. While you would never want to allow your dog to harm a living being, the very presence of a cat-hating dog may be enough to keep the strays in your neighbor’s yard instead of yours.
Looking to keep stray cats out of your yard for good? Follow these simple tips to achieve success!