Living in harmony with neighborhood cats, particularly the feral or stray ones, may sometimes require the collective efforts of the entire community. There are several simple actions your neighbors can take or that you can assist them in accomplishing to promote a peaceful coexistence with these neighborhood cats. These actions typically involve using natural deterrents and repellents, which serve to address some prevalent concerns and alter the behavior of the cats in a non-invasive, safe manner. This helps ensure that the cats remain an enjoyable part of the neighborhood, rather than a nuisance. The following expanded list of natural cat deterrents and repellents presents these straightforward solutions:
For those finding issue with cats leaving paw prints all over their vehicles, an effective solution could be investing in a car cover. This protective layer not only shields your car from dust and weather elements but also prevents cats from climbing and walking on it, hence avoiding any unwanted paw prints.
If you’re trying to deter cats from specific areas such as gardens, flower beds, or certain property zones, consider using scents that are naturally unappealing to cats. Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and certain scents like fresh orange or lemon peels, organic citrus-scented sprays, vinegar, or essential oils such as lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus, can effectively discourage them from entering these areas. Scatter these around the locations you wish to protect, and cats will likely steer clear.
Furthermore, you might want to incorporate the herb rue into your gardens or landscaping. Rue, either in its fresh form or dried and sprinkled around, is known to be an excellent cat deterrent. Its pungent smell is typically disliked by cats, thus keeping them away from the areas where this herb is present.
Plastic carpet runners, when positioned with the spiked-side facing upwards and concealed lightly under the soil, can deter cats from wandering around gardens, flower beds, and other landscaping areas. The unpleasant sensation beneath their paws discourages them from walking over these areas, making these runners an effective and easily deployed deterrent.
Chicken wire, when embedded securely into the ground with sharp edges rolled underneath, can create a surface that cats dislike walking on. The uncomfortable texture of the wire dissuades them from stepping or lying on it.
Using branches to form lattice-like patterns or deploying actual lattice fencing material over soil can also discourage cats from digging. The complex structure prevents cats from easily accessing the soil underneath.
Insert wooden chopsticks, pine cones, or sticks with blunt points into the soil, spaced approximately eight inches apart with the tops sticking out. This irregular arrangement makes the surface less appealing for cats to walk or lounge on.
Alternatively, you can consider investing in Cat Scat plastic mats. These mats, when pressed into the soil, serve as deterrents due to their flexible plastic spikes. Although harmless to cats and other animals, the spikes are uncomfortable enough to prevent them from digging.
Another visually appealing solution would be to cover the exposed ground in flower beds with sizable, attractive river rocks. Their heavy weight and irregular shape can prevent cats from digging, all while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your garden.
If you’re willing to use technology to aid in your efforts, consider installing an ultrasonic animal repellent or a motion-activated water sprinkler like CatStop or ScareCrow. These devices emit sounds or spray water when triggered by motion, respectively, effectively frightening off any cats that venture too close.
If there are specific locations where cats are gaining unwanted access, consider physically blocking or sealing these entry points using chicken wire or lattice fencing. Make sure to inspect these areas before sealing them to ensure no cats or kittens will be inadvertently trapped inside.
Providing outdoor shelters can also contribute to peaceful cohabitation. Shelters should be discretely located to ensure the cats’ safety, ideally in secluded spots away from zones where their presence isn’t welcome. This will give them a safe haven without disrupting the daily life of the neighborhood.
Creating makeshift ‘litter boxes’ can help to manage where cats choose to relieve themselves. You can make these using wood frames filled with sand or peat moss. Avoid using actual cat litter, as it absorbs water and can quickly become unsanitary. Strategically place these litter boxes around the neighborhood to offer cats an alternative to your neighbor’s yard. It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of these areas by regularly replacing the contents.
The smell of cat urine can be combated by thoroughly spraying the affected areas with white vinegar or using natural enzyme-based products, such as Nature’s Miracle®, Fizzion Pet Stain & Odor Remover®, or Simple Solution®. These can help neutralize the odor, making the outdoor spaces more enjoyable for everyone.
If you or your neighbors have taken up the responsibility of feeding the cats, it’s crucial to do so on a regular schedule each day. Regular feeding times ensure the cats are well-fed and reduce their need to search the neighborhood for food. Food shouldn’t be left out all day, and feeding areas should be cleaned promptly to avoid attracting other wildlife or insects.
Finally, implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program can significantly help manage the feral and stray cat population. By spaying or neutering the cats, you’re not only controlling their numbers but also resolving many behavior-related issues such as yowling and spraying, which can contribute to a more peaceful cohabitation with our feline friends.