Animal Advocates

A Cat Lovers Guide: How to Keep a Cat Away From Your House

If you’ve got an indoor cat, you know they’re more than just pets – they’re cuddly, purring members of the family. But what about those adventurous outdoor cats who love to explore and sometimes come too close to our homes? Don’t worry, we’ve got humane ways to make sure your indoor kitty’s home stays cozy and peaceful, without ferals, strays, or even your neighbor’s outside cat dropping by uninvited. As cat lovers, we understand the desire to treat outdoor cats with love and respect, but at the same time the need to keep them out of your yard. Join me as we explore how to keep a cat away from your house.

how to keep a cat away from your house

Understanding the Risks of Outdoor Cats Around Your House

Before we jump into how to keep cats out of your yard, let’s chat about why it’s important to do so. Even though cats love to explore and have adventures outside, there are a few risks when they get too close to our homes, especially if we have our own indoor cats. From kitty squabbles to unexpected ‘gifts’ left at our doorstep, things can get a bit wild:

Fights and Wounds

When territorial lines are crossed, it’s not uncommon for cats to dish out hisses and arched backs. These ‘kitty scuffles’ can result in injuries that go beyond superficial scratches, potentially leading to abscesses or worse.

Stress and Anxiety

Cats, like us, are creatures of comfort. Stress from feeling threatened by an outsider can disrupt their daily routine and lead to behavioral issues or health complications.

Diseases and Parasites

Outdoor felines may carry a host of infections, from respiratory issues to more serious illnesses like feline leukemia. Additionally, parasites like fleas and ticks can hitch a ride to your yard on a stray cat that most likely isn’t wearing flea and tick preventative.

Marking and Litter Box Wars

When cats mark their territory, it’s a signpost of impending conflict. Adding competition to your indoor cat’s space can lead to inappropriate elimination and discord. If your indoor cat suddenly starts spraying or urinating outside of the litter box, it could be due to an outdoor cat marking your house.

How to Keep a Cat Away From Your House

We know how much you adore cats, but sometimes you have to set gentle boundaries for those adventurous outdoor kitties who might want to explore your home a bit too eagerly, especially when it’s stressing out your indoor cat. Here are some tips to keep them at a respectful distance.

How to Keep a Cat Away From Your House - boundaries
  • Motion-activated sprinklers: When a cat saunters by, a gentle spray of water whooshes out, encouraging them to scurry off and ponder their life choices elsewhere.
  • Ultrasonic repellent devices: They emit a high-pitched sound that we can’t hear, but for cats, it’s a no-go zone. They’ll want to steer clear. Just know, this is going to repel just about any animal that comes into your yard, so if you like your squirrels and birds you may want to try something else.
  • Electronic cat repellents: Depending on which one you choose, when they detect a furry intruder, they will flash with bright lights, make noise, and/or spray a burst of air or water to say, “Not today, kitty!”
  • Cat-proof fencing: It’s like building a castle, but instead of keeping dragons out, we’re gently nudging cats to respect our moat.
  • Sealing off entry points: Check for gaps in fences or under doors and make them inaccessible.
  • Use scent deterrents: Cats are not fans of certain smells, so using scent deterrents can work wonders to keep stray cats out of your yard. Think citrus peels, garlic, and vinegar.
  • Coffee Grounds: Spent coffee grounds sprinkled around your garden are not just great for your plants but also an effective cat deterrent.
  • Prickly Barriers: Placing chicken wire, or prickly plants where cats usually enter can make them think twice. It’s like setting up a little obstacle course that they decide isn’t worth the hassle.
  • Strong-scented plants: Lavender, rosemary, and thyme are not just great for cooking; they’re also excellent at keeping curious kitties at bay. Eucalyptus is another plant well-known for deterring cats.
  • Discourage Digging: Cover any bare soil with textures that make it difficult for cats to dig, like Cat Scat mats, lattice, chicken wire, or large river rocks.

Armed with these kind and gentle strategies, your garden and home can remain a peaceful paradise for you and your indoor cats while keeping the neighborhood explorers safely at bay. Remember, we love all cats, but setting boundaries is important for everyone’s happiness and safety.

Get Rid of Any Sign of Cats

Have you seen a stray cat spraying or noticed urine smells around your home because an outside cat has marked your house as their territory? Yeah, we’ve been there. If you can smell it, your cat can definitely smell it! If feral or stray cats have been spraying your house or other outdoor areas, you’ll have to thoroughly clean it to keep them from coming back to the spot they’ve claimed.

Use a solution specifically meant for cat urine. This isn’t just any cleaning spree; it’s a mission to make those smells vanish and tell those adventurous kitties, “This isn’t the place to leave your mark.” When the scent is gone, it’s less likely they’ll come back to try again.

A few cleaners we use and recommend are:

Encourage Responsible Cat Ownership

Keeping our furry friends safe and happy is important, and that includes the cats that find themselves wandering around outdoors. There are ways you can help the stray cats out, which will, in turn, reduce the number of cats in your yard. Here are a few of them:

How to Keep a Cat Away From Your House - catio
  • Support local trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs: These programs are awesome because they help control the cat population without hurting the cats. They trap the cats, spay or neuter them, and then return them where they found them. It’s a kind way to help. TNR helps resolve many problems with stray and feral cats, such as spraying and yowling.
  • Encourage neighbors to keep their cats indoors: Indoor cats tend to live longer, safer lives. If your neighbor’s cat loves the great outdoors, talk to them about building a cat patio (catio), using an invisible fence, or installing cat fencing so they can explore without wandering too far.
  • Contact local rescue organizations for help with stray cats: Sometimes, strays need a little extra love and care. Local rescues can catch them, check if they’re okay, and find them a forever home where they’ll be loved and cared for.
  • Consider providing a shelter for strays: If you notice some kitties hanging around but not causing any trouble, why not set up a little shelter for them? Just a simple box with straw in a quiet spot away from your house can make a big difference. Remember, make sure it’s away from places where they might not be welcome — think a back corner of the yard where no one ever goes.

Helping out can make a huge difference to these furry wanderers, and it keeps everyone happy – both the indoor and outdoor kitties, plus us humans too! Remember, every little bit helps.

Final Thoughts on How to Keep a Cat Away From Your House

be kind to outdoor cats

It’s important to remember that keeping stray cats away from your house requires a balance between firm boundaries and kindness toward these feline wanderers. Use humane strategies such as sealing off entry points, using scent deterrents, and discouraging digging to keep your yard and home a haven for your indoor cats while still being considerate to outdoor cats.

Additionally, clean any signs of cat marking to prevent repeated visits from stray cats. Support TNR programs and advocate for responsible cat ownership in your community and you’ll make a positive impact on reducing the number of stray cats in your area.

And who knows, you may even make a few furry friends along the way.

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