Restaurant dumpsters are often sources of food for stray and feral cats, especially because they’re frequently left open and only emptied once they’re completely full. If a dumpster in your neighborhood seems to be attracting cats, talk to the restaurant owner about strategies for keeping the trash more secure. Remove or block sources of shelter. Cats seek a warm, dry space for shelter from the elements, and if they’re unable to find a nesting place, they will move on to the next neighborhood. Fence off the area under your porch or deck, and make sure your shed door is tightly closed. Cover any small openings under porches, decks, or foundations.
If you notice cats gathering in a particular place in your area, figure out what they’re using for shelter and block access to it. Plywood and chicken wire are inexpensive, yet effective, materials for covering openings. The sight and sound of these natural enemies will cause cats to give your property a wide berth. It’s a well-known fact that cats and water do not mix, so felines will happily stay out of the water’s range and off of your lawn. An added bonus is that your grass and flowers will get a nice watering in the process. Sprinkle pepper around the area.
The cats will be bothered by their spicy paws at grooming time, and, with habitual application, will learn that your property is the culprit. You can temporarily keep them from spending time in a certain area by sprinkling plenty of pepper around. Sprinkle pepper under your porch, in your shed, on your back patio, or wherever you see cats playing or napping. Pepper works on grass, too, but you will have to reapply it frequently, especially after heavy rains. Contact your local shelter or animal rescue for advice. You may not realize all aspects of your situation and the possible solutions. The most humane and effective way to get rid of cats long-term is to first trap them so you can take them to be neutered or spayed.
Buy a cat trap, a plastic or metal trap with a door, and bait it with tuna, sardines or cat food. Place the trap near where the cats regularly feed and cover it with a blanket. When you catch a cat, don’t let it out of the trap. Make sure the vet you use is aware in advance that you’re bringing a feral cat in, as they may not handle feral animals. Cover the trap with a blanket to calm the cat down. Take the cats to the veterinarian.
Many vets have programs that allow them to spay or neuter feral cats at no cost, since the feral cat population is known to be a problem. Call around to vets and shelters in your area to find a program suitable for your situation. Spaying or neutering the cat is a humane way to keep it from reproducing and control local cat populations. Know that once you bring the cat to the vet, you’ll be responsible for it afterward. Return the cat to the neighborhood. There are a various reasons to return cats to exactly where you trapped them. The animal is likely already feeling traumatized and will adjust best to familiar turf.
Remember: the end-goal of the Trap-Neuter-Return strategy: to prevent the continuation of breeding of free-roaming cats, so that the cat may live out its life in peace. In order for the Trap-Neuter-Return method to be an effective way to control a cat population, most or all of the cats in the population need to be trapped, neutered or spayed, and returned. In time, the population will decrease, since the cats won’t be reproducing. If you employ the Trap-Neuter-Return method, it’s safe to feed the cats once you bring them home, since they will no longer be reproducing. Call animal control if you can’t control the population on your own. Animal control agencies usually trap the cats and euthanize them.
Unfortunately removing cats from where they are living creates a vacuum effect. New cats quickly move into the vacant area and start using the resources to thrive and survive. The most effective method of reducing the population of cats in an area is TNR. You may also be able to ask animal control to help you employ the Trap-Neuter-Return method if you’re uncomfortable trapping cats by yourself. Don’t take cats to the animal shelter. Most shelters don’t accept feral cats, since they are most often not adoptable. Feral cats are often shy and unsociable, so they shouldn’t be invited into people’s homes. I have a cat that is coming through the doggie door and I cannot shut it. I need a natural herb to repel it so it will go away. Try spraying the outside of the doggie door with white or apple cider vinegar. All cats are different, but most cats hate the smell, and it is nontoxic. Are mothballs an effective cat deterrent? Why does a stray cat keep attacking my pet rabbit? Cats naturally attack smaller animals.