Categorized | Cat

Tips To Deter Feral Cats From Your Yard

Even if you are a cat lover, you probably wouldn’t want uprooted saplings in your garden or to step on cat poo when you are walking round your yard. And yet, that is exactly what happens when you cannot stop feral cats from encroaching in on your territory. When keeping ferals off, remember that they are nothing if not persistent, and that you’d have to keep at it for a while if you are trying manual methods of deterring them.

1. Cats are fussy creatures
Take advantage of that fact and water down the yard boundaries so that their delicate feet step on muddy ground if they venture in. However, to successfully try this method, you’d have to have a really large yard because cats, as we know, can jump really well. In case watering down the ground does not work for you, use chicken mesh or large pebbles or similar rough textured material on the ground. Cats like to laze around and will find it irritating if the ground is not clear enough for them to loll on. Also, they like to dig loose earth when relieving themselves. The idea of sifting through pebbles may not appeal to them.

2. Prevention is better than cure
Cats, as we noted earlier, are persistent. And you cannot possibly cover your whole yard with unwelcome material. It is best if you can prevent their entry to begin with. Anything that causes a lot of noise will scare them. You can keep tin cans strung on a trip-wire of sorts that will cause a huge ruckus when the cats brush against them. That will make them run away and if this keeps happening, they will probably want to keep away for good. But with ferals, you never know, and it might be a better idea to try humane electronic repellants.

3. Show them who’s the boss!
This will require that you keep steady vigil for a couple of days with a water pistol or a garden hose. The moment they try to enter, scare them off with water. No self respecting cat will like the idea of water being sprayed on its well kept fur and will likely give up after a couple of tries. Problem is, there could be new feral cats arriving who do not yet know how unwelcome you can make them feel. And it may not be a plausible solution to stand around with that garden hose forever.

4. Plant stink bombs
Cats don’t like strong scents and there are suggestions that dried blood or commercially available grainy / powdery substances with cat predators’ urine scent in them can keep cats away. Problem is, you might be inviting such predators if they happen to be nearby and then you’d have a bobcat problem! Also, field mice might want a taste of that blood meal and then you’d have a really bad situation with your garden plants. There are certain plants and trees that cats are not too fond of, apparently. Try planting rue, lavender or scaredy cat plant (coleus canina) and see if this works. In our experience, most ferals will just seek out an alternative spot – still inside your yard. But its worth a try especially if you can line the boundary wall with such plants.

5. Starve them away
We don’t literally mean that – please be kind to animals! What we do mean is that if you keep your yard full of food crumbs, you will be inviting feral cats and heaven knows what else. Cleanliness is highly recommended since food is one of the most important things that could attract ferals to your yard given that they have no human to provide for them.

6. Afford them no shelter
Again, not to be taken to mean cruelty – but if you don’t want ferals around, keep your doors closed. Any garage or tool shed or similar structure that can make them want to seek shelter in there for breeding is best kept closed at all times unless you are working inside it. Finding a safe spot to raise their litter is one other important reason ferals might want to visit you.

7. Help them
Use humane traps to ensnare them and then turn them over to Trap Neuter Return programs. One reason you are having to brainstorm for ideas to keep feral cats away is that their population is unchecked. Too many cats means too many problems for humans and a miserable existence for them with not enough food or unclaimed space. If you can get yourself to use this method of keeping cats away from your yard – at least once in a while, you’d be doing everyone a favor, including the cats.

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