Stray cats can be annoying, especially if you are trying to encourage birds into your backyard or around the house.
The good new is that there are many cat repellent home remedy ideas for the garden and inside the house that are simple and effective.
Cats can do damage to trees and shrubs by scratching, they can also dig up garden beds, use gardens as their litter boxes, destroy seedlings, plants and seed beds as they dig up bare ground.
Cats leave repulsive smells in backyards when spraying and marking their territories. Cats also shriek and fight at night.
Many people are allergic to cats. Many people don't want stray cats in their garden - so what can they do to keep the unwanted cats out?
This article review your home remedy options for keeping cats out of your yard, and certain rooms in your house, by using effective cat repellents and other activities to keep them out and discourage them.
To repel cats you need to know what they don't like and install the things they hate.
Cats have lithe small bodies that can squeeze through small opening and they are good climbers and remarkably good jumpers and determined cats can leap over most fences even those 2 metres high (6 foot).
Various cat-proof fences have been trialled including adding a PVC pipe capping on top of the fence so the cat cannot walk along it or get a grip when jumping up. The PVC could also be painted in matching the colors to that of the fence. However, it did not stop determined cats that loved the challenge. When the extra slippery panel was added below the PVC cap determined 'Houdini' simply took a long run up and jumped over the entire fence.
Research in New Zealand for fences designed to keep feral cats at bay, have shown that fences have to be at least 2 m high, which is higher than most domestic yard fences.
One design that did work was a fence topped with loose netting angled into the property at an angle of at least 35 degrees. (see the image).
Cats cannot climb at an angle without secure footing or grip.
The total width of the fence makes it harder for cat to jump right over the fence, but it should be at least 1.8m high.
The type of netting required is similar to a tennis net, flexible fiber netting with openings small enough so that the cats can’t poke their heads through it and get caught or pull themselves right through it.
The key part of the design is to ensure the netting is ‘floppy’ when jumped on so that it feels unstable and insecure enough to deter the cats from climbing over it.
Rigid metal mesh does not work as a barrier because cats can climb over it.
Cats hate water and being wet. Cats especially dislike being sprayed with water. So, whenever you see a cat in your yard, turn the hose on them. However, cats prowl around at night and so you need an automatic way of blasting them with a spray of water. You can buy motion detector devices linked to sprinklers and sprays to help repel the cats. Many people have sprinkler systems anyway for watering and so fitting a motion detector is not a major extra expense. Cats will soon learn to stay away. You can also keep a water pistol full of a water and vinegar mixture handy to spay at the cat. If you make contact cats will stay away.
Citrus and Spices - Cats really hate anything with a citrus scent such as lemons, grapefruit and oranges. They also don't like many spices. You can spread citrus peel around garden beds or leave a row of whole oranges and lemons along the edge. Dried spices added to jars with holes in the lid can be used as smell deterrent sentinels. Rosemary, cayenne pepper, dried mustard, and lavender all repel cats because they don't like the smell. Try spraying cloths with orange or lemon scented air freshener and put the cloths around the areas you wish to protect. Other known cat repellents are pipe tobacco, lavender oil, coffee grounds, lemon grass oil, eucalyptus oil, citronella oil and mustard oil.
Moth Balls and Peppers - These are known to repel cats, but they are toxic and so are best placed in sealed containers with tiny holes, especially if children use the area. The same applies to cayenne pepper and other peppers. While cayenne pepper is not toxic, it can burn the cat's tongue, feet, nose and eyes. It is also a hazard for children that ay play in the area.
Thorns, chicken wire and ground covers - Close planting your garden will make it unattractive to cats. Do not leave any bare ground that is not protected by a repellent such as citrus peel. Cats are creatures of habit, and they will reuse a favourite toilet spot over and over again. If you can locate these spots, cover the area with spiky or thorny twigs. You can also protect bare garden beds planted with seeds or seedlings by covering it with strips of chicken wire mesh laid flat on the soil surface which will deter cats from using it.
Keep Bare Ground Moist - Cats don't like wet soil, and so always water bare ground each evening to deter cats from using the area at night. So keep your soil surfaces moist as this will deter cats.
Fit Plastic Guards to the Trunks of Young Trees - Fitting plastic guards around their trunks will stop cats using them as scratching poles.
Fit mesh over Your Garden Ponds - This is needed to keep your fish and frogs safe.
Plants that are Effective Cat Repellents - Many plants give off smells that deter cats. You can grow some of these plants in pots as a mobile scent barrier, or plant them permanently in the garden if suitable. Some of the plants that cats dislike are:
Stone Mulch - Cats usually won't use areas mulched in sharp stones.
Commercial Ultrasound Devices - these operate operate on a high frequencies that are inaudible to humans but unbearable for cats. They are easy to install and they are usually linked to a motion detector that triggers the high-frequency sound, scaring off the cat.
Homemade Sprays and Infusions - These can be used to protect garden beds with seedling's. Mix a 1/4 cup of dried herbs such as cinnamon, rosemary, cayenne pepper or lavender in 2-3 cups of water and boil the water on a stove. Strain the mixture though a cheesecloth and transfer to a spray bottle. Use the spray on areas surrounding the bed you want to protect. Vinegar and eucalyptus oils are also useful deterrents
Used Coffee ground and Citrus rinds - Add these to flower beds or garden to keep cats out and provide a mulch.
Onions and Dried Pepper Flakes - Cats hat the smell of onions and bell peppers and so you can rub a sliced onion on garden borders or deck chairs to keep cats away. Spread onion slices and dried pepper flakes and left-over portions around your garden areas.
Cotton Balls Soaked with Essential Oils as Interior Cat Repellents - Soak cotton balls with a few drop of essential oils such as lemon, lemon grass, eucalyptus, tea tree cinnamon, citronella, lavender, orange and rosemary oils. Insert the cotton balls into the corners of cupboards, closets, lounge chairs or rooms you want to keep the cat at bay.You can also place them around the base of pot plants that cats may be using. You can also run the oils around cupboard door jambs and shelves of book cases and cupboards.