How Do I Keep Cats Away From My Yard and off My Property?

Updated on November 15, 2016

How Do I Stop Cats From Claiming My Territory as Their Own?

First of all, have you observed the cats to see why they are coming into your yard?

  • Are they looking for food or water? If they are eating from your garbage cans, you'll need to remove this food source. You need containers with lids to keep the garbage from being torn into. If the cats are eating your pet's food or water, then you'll have to remove the dish as soon as your pet has finished.
  • Are they using your yard as a litter box? One of the best ways to keep cats out is to cover the tops of all your flower or vegetable beds with chicken wire. Cats can't stand walking on the chicken wire and will avoid it. You can use wire snips to cut holes where you want holes for plants. When you need to access the bed (to add mulch, for example), do it in the late fall after most of the outdoor plants have been killed by frost. You can then place the chicken wire back on the top of the bed and keep the cats away. Use small stone mulch in your flower and vegetable beds because cats don't like having to dig through rock or other hard substances and they will go to places where it is easier to dig. Another great mulch that will keep cats away is pine cones.

What are other ways to keep the cats away?

  • Water is the ultimate weapon. Cats hate getting wet, so just purchase a super soaker water gun or two and every time you see a cat, let 'em have it. And if that doesn't work, buy some of the scarecrow sprinklers that turn on when movement is detected. You would never believe how fast cats can move when the water comes on all at once. It won't be long before the cats will feel very unwelcome in your yard.
  • Purchase a plastic predator. Try plastic barn owls and rubber snakes. You'll have to move the owls or the snakes about once a week or so or the cat will catch on it isn't real.
  • Use cat repellants. Use plants like the scaredy cat plant, rue, lavender, or pennyroyal. Most of the plants that keep away cats will also keep away dogs and deer. You can also toss mothballs up under buildings or along fence rows but know that small children should also be kept away as moth balls are poisonous (and they'll also deter rodents and snakes). You can also use cayenne pepper flakes and bone meal fertilizer. You will also find commercial products sold that are supposed to keep cats, rabbits, and deer away, but be sure to pay careful attention to any warnings.
  • Use sound as a repellant. Some devices give off a sound that humans can't hear but cats can and it will chase them away. As the device is motion-activated, it will come on and scare away the cat or cats when they come onto your property.
  • Have cats removed. If you have a lot of feral cats, you can call your local humane society or animal control for advice. They may come and set traps. I happen to like cats, so I always ask what will happen to them once they are caught. I would not let them set the traps if the cat were going to be destroyed once captured. I would have to look for other solutions.

Scaredy Cat Plant
Scaredy Cat Plant | Source
Feral Cat
Feral Cat

Solutions That Worked for Me

  • In my garden I noticed that the cats usually showed up right around daybreak, so I set my sprinklers to come on then and it really helped to keep the cats away. I have since purchased the scarecrow sprinklers and they will even chase deer out of your garden or yard.
  • I have also had great success with a heavy duty super soaker water gun I purchased. I just sit quietly at the edge of my yard and soak down any cat that comes by. Water works better than anything to keep cats away. Once you soak down a cat once or twice, it won't be back. I set up one of the scarecrow sprinklers right beside where I park my vehicles and I rarely if ever have any cat tracks on my vehicles.
  • It helps to think like a cat to determine what it is coming on your property for. If they're attracted to your pond, install either a motion activated sound device or one of the scarecrow sprinklers there. Food is one of the biggest reasons cats and other animals will come into your yard, so practice keeping your environment free of any food source and your garbage tightly covered and your cat problems should go away quickly.
  • Be consistent. Don't leave food out sometimes and then freak out when they come to eat. Don't give them mixed messages. After all, cats are not dumb animals, and they will learn where they are welcome and where they are not.

Questions & Answers

    How do you keep cats out of your yard?

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      • profile image

        John 

        2 months ago

        I love animals & I use to have a cat, a few days a week a lady walks 3 cats off leads approx 10pm 10:30pm & she lets them come onto my property peeing ect.

        without harming them what is the best repelant to use to keep them away & also the lady would get put off as her cats won't enter.

        John

      • profile image

        Sharon Stewart 

        2 months ago

        I’m sorry, but a super soaker only works if you are standing guard over your yard day and night. I just laid new sod 6 days ago and as of today, we have picked up 15 piles of cat crap. The cats are feral...I will be calling animal control to cage them and take them away. I have spent far too much money to worry about what others may think of my inhumanity.

      • profile image

        tess 

        3 months ago

        i have that problem also every morning when i go outside i always see a file of poop in my purch, we live in apartments area and useally the only poop in our place, we tierd of cleaning that cat poop..thats why i gogle to fined out whats the best way to do i hope it works.

      • profile image

        al 

        3 months ago

        There is a stray cat that comes and scratches my porch at night! It has scratched about a quarter inch through the wood across a wide area at the top of my porch steps! Suggestions?

      • profile image

        Dog lover 

        3 months ago

        Sandy, you are awesome.

      • profile image

        theresa 

        4 months ago

        what to use to keep cats away from my house

      • profile image

        Hate Cats 

        5 months ago

        We have chicken wire in the flower beds, it doesn't work as the cats just poops right on top of the wire. We have tried so many things to keep the cats out of our yard but nothing seems to work. These cats do not dig to pee and poop, they just go right on top. We have so much poop on our lawn and if you do not keep picking it up on weekly basis it gets gets worse. I do blame the cat owners as they do not have litter box for their cats, they just let them go all over the neighborhood. Also the cats do not get their shots or not even neutered, so every year the cats keep having kittens and the neighbor has about 9 cats. They even pee on our front door, it is so disgusting and they are all over our cars and now we have cat scratches on the cars.

        If there is anything we can do to keep these cats out of our yard, I would love to know.

      • profile image

        Jon 

        6 months ago

        I use a box non kill trap with tuna or milk catch them and offer to sell them back to neighbor for 500 bucks each if they don’t pay and they never have I relocate cat about 50 miles away

      • profile image

        Sick of cat 

        7 months ago

        I do not like these cats, and their owner apparently doesn’t care about them because they always in our yard. Enough is enough. Thanks for the tips, I’m not being bothered with other people animals

      • profile image

        Jen 

        7 months ago

        its not the cats its their owners. A responsible owner does not let their animals run or roam freely like cats do. Here's my thoughts if you keep letting your animals run freely pissing and shitting on my property then I have the right to do whatever I need to do to stop it including eliminating the problem however works best and most cost effectively for me And since I am paying for your lack of control over your animal I will use any and all options including poisons sorry folks but keep your freaking animal ALL ANIMALS that you are responsible on your property otherwise you can pay the bill for the physical damage they do to my property

      • profile image

        John 

        7 months ago

        We've had over 25 cats between the two of us in our lifetime. Our last two died at 18.5 years old and they were indoor cats.

        I HATE PEOPLE WHO DON'T CONTROL their cats. Animal control is worthless even with photos of their cats defecating in our garden. We've used cayenne that cost over $100 - too expensive to keep using it. I have a squirt rifle that scares them but doesn't keep them off. There is chicken wire which should not be our problem - the neighbors put it down - and when I have to clean it up, it's a killer. Most people don't understand - let their cats roam and crap and urinate and we suffer from it.

        I spoke to our enemy (she's one of two owners) who laughed that a neighbor told her about one of her cats who craps and urinates over her yard. Simba also tries getting in her house and is persistent (our friend has a cat). Princess left a dent in the top of my car and Simba got stuck in our garage and pissed on a number of items that had to be tossed. If we could move, we would ... we're working on it but we think we

        missed that window of selling time.

        Mothballs are toxic even though animal control said we could use it. We won't. When we put soil or mulch down, a cat will be there quickly. I stuffed branches in our tree to stop them from climbing their. It looks ridiculous.

        If any of you can think of a way to use "heavier" balls to hit the cats (I can't do a sling shot at my age), let me know. I don't blame people for hating outdoor cats but they should focus their anger on the owners. I need something cheap - not a water thing that does off - that works. I will go back to pricker if need be and that looks atrocious, too.

      • profile image

        Angry man 

        8 months ago

        I have a major cat problem the neighbours across the road have over 25 cats there always on the road in my front yard shitting everywhere this has been a constant battle as they breed like rabbbits none are desexed or micro chipped the local council is useless why isnt there cat laws to to keep them in side the owners are unaproachable i have tried every thing the only thing that works is my water sprinkler the whole street is pissed off yet the owners still wont do anything next option air rifle silencer and scope cats are a bloody pain in the arse

      • profile image

        Sandy 

        11 months ago

        This will probably piss a few people off, but you know what, then we'll all be pissed off together. I HATE cats. Really don't see what they are good for. No personality, no affection (I know, I know, not ALL cats, but most). I can't stand their sneakiness, and the way they climb all over EVERYTHING, including your toilet seat, eewww. Especially ewww if they just climbed out of their toilet. When I lived near the water, I kicked every cat I saw into the river every chance I got (they ALWAYS came back, so chill out if your panties just got ruffled), cats are very good swimmers, they just choose not to because they have no personality and are useless. And what do you think the first thing that comes out of any cat owners mouth that hears my opinion on cats?? "Oh, no, not my cat. You would like my cat. My cats cool. My cat isn't like other cats". GIVE ME A BREAK. Uh, yes, your cat. And yes, I would hate your cat too. And no, your cat is not cool, and yes, your cat is exactly like other cats, it's a cat.

        So needless to say, I'm at the end of my rope with the neighbors 3 cats that roam the neighborhood, laying on people's cars, pooping and pissing everywhere, DESTROYING my front lawn that I have been trying to bring back to life after drought season last year. Why should cats be allowed to roam where ever they want? They should have the same exact rules as dogs. Not everyone is happy to see the neighborhood cat and welcome then with open arms.

        So although these recommendations are more civil than what way I would really like to go (Big 5, lil Daisy BB shooter) I will attempt a civil way to erraticate these annoying, foul, dirty, selfish, animals.

        I truly apologize to any cat lovers who are offended. I live being offended everyday. Wheres my apology or empathy? There isn't any, so carry on. It's just my opinion.

        P.S. Now dogs! Completely opposite feelings when it comes to dogs. I adore dogs. Cat people need to give up on the cats and invest their time and love into something that gives you that back.

        Oh yeah and another thing, kittens are acceptable, until they grow up. Then they're cats, so I hate them again.

        Best regards...

      • profile image

        i hate cats 

        12 months ago

        Keep your dam cat in your house or on a lead

        how would you like it if i let my dog shit and piss in your garage,yard or garden

      • profile image

        Sheila 

        13 months ago

        The Animal shelter said Mothballs are harmful to cats ... Will not Hurt them Buy they hate it it will KEEP them away

      • profile image

        Sue 

        13 months ago

        I have 2 house cats, but had a problem lasy year with cats coming in my garden and messing all over the lawn. I bought loads of ground pepper in Aldi and sprinkled on the lawn - this has worked a treat.

        I would be mortified if people killed / poisoned cats, please use alternative measures. I would be devastated to lose a pet cat

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i noticed that cats like gardens, where they can poo and urinate, I wish i had cemented my garden

      • profile image

        Toni 

        4 years ago

        Thank you for your information on chasing cats off of one's property. I have cats with collars ambushing the wild birds I am trying to keep alive for the winter and I feel any cat in my yard is fair game. But please do not use moth balls in your home or outside because as Thomas mentions, moth balls are highly toxic. They can get into the ground water and poison drinking water and also poison wildlife. Also, any kind of poison used to kill cats can also kill beneficial wildlife. Plus, if caught, you could be sued. I have cats pooping in my garden, too -- it's disgusting. You must blame the owners and not the cat -- the cat is just doing what a cat does. The sharp sprays of water seem to be the best deterrent -- in the summer, I use my hose but it's not always conveniently handy. I'm buying a super soaker ASAP.

      • profile image

        Me 

        5 years ago

        Have lavender in my garden but it makes no difference. And I have gravel in my carport and the carport is now used as alitter tray, despite having installed a cat alarm (cat alarm has worked for the past 18 months, but seems they might have gotten used to is somehow).. So am tempted to use poison soon as we are really fed up with the neightbours' cats shitting in our garden!!

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 

        6 years ago from Orange County, CA

        I wish I had this hub during my cat problem a few months ago. Voting this Up and Useful.

      • Michael Adams1959 profile image

        Isaiah Michael 

        6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

        Lavender is great my first comment I forgot to put that in we have several lavender plants around our garden

      • jenniferg78 profile image

        jenniferg78 

        6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

        Great info. I wouldn't mind planting some lavender in my yard!

      • Michael Adams1959 profile image

        Isaiah Michael 

        6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

        Well it may be inhumane but anti freeze also works though it kills them. I would only use it in extreme circumstances though. As written you said it best water is great. I have soaked a few cats and laugh as they run away. I had one cat that would comme to the edge of the yard and just sit. It had been sprayed a few times and didn't like it at all.

      • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

        Thomas Byers 

        6 years ago from East Coast , United States

        Thanks for the comments. They are appreciated.

      • Pamela-anne profile image

        Pamela-anne 

        6 years ago from Miller Lake

        Good info for us that are trying to expand our green-thumbs and want our gardens to grow without the overflow of stray cats wandering amongst our flower-beds!

      • Millionaire Tips profile image

        Shasta Matova 

        6 years ago from USA

        This is good information for keeping feral cats out of the yard. My neighbor cats come over to use my property as a litter box. I have tried spreading coffee grounds around the yard, and that does work to deter them, but I have to keep putting them out to keep the coffee smell strong.

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