How to Scare Away Stray Cats

The best way to repel stray cats without harming them is to adapt your home and use natural repellents. Here we tell you all the tricks on the subject.
How to Scare Away Stray Cats

Last update: 22 December, 2021

The need to scare away stray cats can be an important one for people with allergies, phobias or who are caring for species that may be harmed by the presence of these felines. A dog running off because it wants to chase a stray cat, a pigeon coop in a yard, or even another cat at risk of catching a viral disease – all are valid examples of possible mishaps.

Of course, you must do this without causing them any harm. So how do you do this, and is there a method that’s both effective and ethical? This article answers these questions and more, so don’t miss it.

What attracts stray cats to homes?

The first thing you need to find out is why cats are coming to your home and not somewhere else. You may never find out, because these are animals that travel long distances at night in search of food. Perhaps your home is just another stop on their route.

However, there are always certain factors to control when dealing with stray cats. To keep them away from your home, the first thing to think about is whether your home has any of the following attractions:

  • There’s garbage accessible to them, so they come to scavenge for food.
  • Your house or garden has populations of small mammals and birds, such as mice, sparrows, or domestic birds.
  • Your home has nooks and crannies where felines might take refuge from the cold or for breeding.
  • You welcome animals into your home that attract them, such as prey (rodents and birds) or other cats.
  • Your home is part of their territory, and they come to it for marking and foraging.

There are more reasons why a stray cat might approach your home, but it depends on your particular case. The tips below are general and apply to all situations. We also recommend that you add your own solutions to the above formula.

Stray cats can be attracted to your home for many reasons. The presence of prey animals is one of the most common.

How to scare away stray cats.

How do I scare away stray cats from my house or garden?

There are many ways to keep stray cats out of your home, from basic measures to home remedies. The most effective way is to use a combination of as many as you can carry out, as some measures are not effective on their own.

Basic measures

The first thing you need to do is to eliminate the reasons why stray cats come to your house. To do this, try implementing these basic measures:

  • Don’t leave litter outside and within reach of cats.
  • If you feed wild birds in your area, use tall feeders that are inaccessible to cats. Moving the feeding spot outside your home is also a good idea, but always a safe distance from the ground, trees, fences, and other high points.
  • Cover nooks and crannies that they may be using for shelter (obviously, without leaving any of the adult kittens or kittens locked in).
  • Use enzymatic products to clean your house and outdoors, especially in areas where mice are urinating and defecating.
  • Repel all animals that are prey for the cat, such as mice, rats, or birds. Of course, never end the life of an animal for this purpose.

Home remedies to scare away stray cats

These methods are mainly based on using smells that cats hate to keep them away. The most effective are the following:

  • Citrus fruits: Take advantage of the peels of these fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit, etc.) and place them in pots and walls where there are signs of these animals passing through. They hate citric acidity, so they’ll soon move away from your home.
  • Aromatic plants: Lavender, thyme, basil, and eucalyptus are some examples of plants that repel cats because of their strong smell when in a concentrated form. They’re also effective in repelling certain insects, such as wasps or ants.
  • Pepper: This solution is somewhat more aggressive than the others. Sprinkling pepper in strategic places in your garden or yard will cause your cat’s respiratory tract to itch, driving it away immediately. Fortunately, you won’t cause any real damage to the animal in the long run.
  • Coffee: Besides being another odor that cats hate, it’s an excellent fertilizer for your plants. Just be careful with the concentrations released.
  • White vinegar: Spraying the areas with vinegar where stray cats urinate not only helps to keep them away, but also effectively eliminates odors.

Physical barriers

If you can build your fences or outside walls with a certain outward slope, you’ll prevent cats from climbing up them. Cat nets are also a good solution to keep animals out of your yard and keep your cats from escaping.

Synthetic repellents to repel stray cats

There are many repellents on the market to keep stray cats out of homes, but make sure they don’t cause any long-term damage. Many of them are made from natural products that are harmless to cats, but check with your vet to find out which one is right for you, as some of them may be harmful to other species in the area.

Using synthetic repellents should always be one of the last options.

A group of cats.

It goes without saying that traps, poisons, and other techniques that harm or frighten these animals are not an acceptable or effective way to get rid of their presence. Urban wildlife has the same right to life as anyone else and should be respected, whether you like their activity in the environment or not.

Finally, if these solutions aren’t working for you, try contacting associations and cat colony caretakers in your area. These people have very useful knowledge and resources to manage the presence of these animals in the most ethical way possible.

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