If you're constantly finding smelly surprises in your yard, outdoor cats might be mistaking it for their litter box. Their feces and urine can burn your lawn and their digging can do significant damage to plants and flowers. To avoid this, do what you can to keep unwanted cats away.
Place a fence around the yard if you don't have one already, and top it with chicken wire that's slanted outward. Outdoor cats might be able to climb the fence, but they won't be able to get past the outward-slanted chicken wire.
Install a motion-activated sprinkler system in your yard. When a cat enters your yard, the sprinkler system detects her motion and activates. The sudden blast of water will scare away the unwanted visitor. Make sure to turn off the sprinkler system when you go in the yard.
Startle unwanted cats when you catch them in your yard. Arm yourself with an empty soda can that's partially filled with dried beans or gravel. Seal the opening of the can with sticky tape. Shake the can so the noise scares away the cats. With consistency, they might think twice about going potty on your lawn.
Scatter lemon or orange peels in your yard. Cats dislike the scent of citrus and will stay away. Alternatively, use cayenne pepper, lavender oil or coffee grounds.
Place an upside-down carpet runner in open areas where cats like to go potty. Lightly cover the runner with soil. Cats dislike standing on the nubby surface and won't go in your yard. To protect flowers and plants, cover the soil around them with pinecones or rocks.
Create a separate potty for outdoor cats so you can somewhat control where they do their business. Provide a pile of sand or soil to act as a litter box, and plant catnip around it to attract cats to the area.
Items you will need
- Chicken wire
- Motion-activated sprinkler system
- Soda can
- Dried beans or gravel
- Sticky tape
- Lemon or orange peels
- Cayenne pepper, lavender oil or coffee grounds
- Carpet runner
- Pinecones or rocks
- Sand or soil
- Catnip plants
- Outwitting Cats; Wendy Christensen
- San Francisco SPCA: Deterring Cats from Your Yard and Garden Feral
- Projects for the Birder's Garden; Fern Marshall Bradley
- UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program: Living with Neighborhood Cats
- David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images