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How to Deter Cats

Deterring cats is very similar to deterring unwanted urban wildlife. Aim to discourage the animals from finding your yard comfortable if they should pass through.

  • Though it is not illegal to feed free-roaming cats, if you do not want them in your yard or house, do not allow them access to food. Do not feed your cat where other cats have access to its food, and do not leave dog food out at night where cats can get to it. Cover trash cans securely.
  • If you feed birds, clean up often under the feeder to deter ground-feeding birds and mice. Consider placing an electronic device, such as CatStop, near the feeder. These devices emit a sound that birds don't hear and cats don't like.
  • Eliminate access to places where cats might shelter, which also tend to be places they would seek to have their kittens. Block access under the house or tightly skirt a mobile home. Block access under sheds and decks. Be sure there is no access into the attic of your house.
  • Eliminate brush piles and be sure firewood is tightly stacked.
  • Install a motion activated sprinkler (one model is called the ScareCrow). This can be moved around to different parts of the yard. Remember, every cat doesn't have to be sprayed every time. You just want to create an unfriendly environment for them.
  • Landscape your yard so there are no areas with loose soil, especially sandy soil. Landscaping techniques that deter cats (most of which also help to retain moisture) include:

    1. Weed Cloth
      • If planting a garden or annuals, cut a hole just big enough to fit the plant.
      • If planting annuals or perennials that will be spreading, cut the weed cloth back as the plant matures to allow spreading. Unestablished plants are the most vulnerable to cats' digging.
      • If covering with rock or mulch, avoid fine or light grades like crusher fine or pecan shells.
    2. Chicken Wire
      • Bury chicken wire just below the surface to deter cats from digging.

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