You work hard to keep your house clean and cozy. Unfortunately, every time you walk up to the front door, you get a noseful of cat urine. Having feral felines use your porch as a toilet is frustrating, but don't despair. You can stop the smell without harming the animal.
As soon as you finish sandblasting and refinishing your front porch, the neighborhood tomcat comes over and lifts his leg on every corner. You get a whiff of his "perfume" every time you open the window. The first step is cleaning the area thoroughly. Pick up a bottle of enzymatic cleaner from your local pet store. These specialized cleaners break up the enzymes in cat urine that make the area smell like a toilet to animals, even if you constantly clean. Once the urine smell dissipates, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, dilute it with water and make a 50:50 vinegar-water batch. Spray all of the corners of your porch, including underneath. The vinegar smell repels the neighborhood feline gang.
You adore your potted plants and have them scattered all over your yard. However, replanting flowers has become quite the chore since your plant pots seem to be the neighborhood litter box. Clean the outside of the planters with the enzymatic cleaner. Clean up any solid waste and mix a small amount of white vinegar in with the soil. At this point you'll want to cover the soil with aluminum foil, pine cones or large, sharp-edged pebbles. These materials aren't comfortable for kitties to walk on. They'll learn that your plants not only smell funny, they hurt to dig through, forcing them to go elsewhere.
Lawn and Garden
The last thing you want is dead yellow spots in your grass or fresh growing vegetables coated with cat urine. Head back to your neighborhood pet store and pick up a carton of cat-repellent granules. These granules blend perfectly with soil -- without harming your grass or plants -- and keep unwanted furry critters away. Simply sprinkle the granules around the perimeter of your lawn or stir them into the soil the next time you work in your garden. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully for optimal protection. Some varieties last for up to one month.
If you're not having luck with granules or vinegar, use citronella spray or mix grated orange peels in with your soil. Most kitties despise the scent of citrus. Also, don't use any ammonia-based household cleaners to scrub away urine markings in your yard. Ammonia smells like urine to cats, so you might wind up enhancing the problem rather than getting rid of it.
Talk with your neighbors about the issue. Maybe your next-door neighbors let their kitty roam as pleases, but they aren't aware of how much he damages your property. They may be willing to keep Max inside, rather than allowing him to navigate through the neighborhood.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.