How do I keep neighborhood cats out of my yard? How do I keep the cats in my yard and out of my neighbors'?
Many of the citizens we have spoken to do not want their visiting cats euthanized, they simply want them to stop coming onto their property. Spaying and neutering alone will reduce the spraying, yowling, fighting and help with keeping them closer to their home. Feral Feline Project has listed a variety of solutions for all the different situations The dead bird complaint is the easiest to correct. To prevent cats from killing birds, hang the bird feeder up higher out of the jumping range of the cat. I have a caretaker who feeds the birds and fifteen feral cats and he has yet to see a dead bird in his yard. Always clean up the bird seed. Bird seed attracts rodents and other wildlife, which can attract coyotes.
- There is fencing available specially made for cats. This fencing prevents cats from climbing out and climbing in. Human Society of the United States has listed links to help find the best solution regarding cat fencing (link).
- The neighbor who wants to keep the cats out of the yard can purchase an automatic sensory sprinkler or an ultrasonic alarm. Both devices are activated when motion is detected. The sprinklers spray water at the cat and the ultrasonic alarm sends out a high-pitched noise scaring the cat away. Once the cat leaves the sprinkler and alarm stop, immediately. The sprinkler could be used for the summer months and the sonic alarm for winter months. I have included a web link for more ideas on great deterrents (link).
- If feral cats are living under your deck or shed you first have to get them to vacate. Playing a loud radio and illuminating the area should cause the kitty to move out. Be advised that there could be kittens under the porch, so you have to give the mom time to relocate them. Contact your neighbor who feeds them to tell them what you plan on doing and about the kittens. The caretaker must have a suitable shelter in their yard for the cats to move into. Once the cats have vacated, you can use lattice to cover the space or hole.
- The feral cat caretakers should be using an outdoor covered litter box. This will reduce the cat’s urge to fertilize the neighbor’s flower garden. Cats love loose and sandy areas for their bathroom stops. Make sure a cover is provided or create a make shift structure to keep rain and snow out of the litter box. It must be cleaned and changed frequently, just as an indoor litter box.
- Cats love to sleep and sunbathe on a soft surface and that is why your neighbors' patio chairs are a hot spot. Your neighbor can purchase a pet repellent spray at a local pet store. It has to be reapplied on the chairs after it rains or snows. The caretaker can purchase inexpensive patio pads or something equivalant so the cats have something soft to sunbathe on in your yard instead of your neighbors. Remember, you should have a strudy, straw filled shelter so they can get out of the rain, cold and snow. Patio chairs are not suitable to keep them warm and dry.
- Raccoons, skunks and opossums love cat food. If this is an issue, the caretaker should have a feeding station set up for their cats. Alley Cat Allies has instructions to build a feeding station (link). The idea is to keep it up high enough where the cats can jump up and reach it, but the raccoons, skunks and opossums cannot. Cat food should never be left out overnight; once dusk arrives the cat food must be cleaned up and removed.