Repel a cat

bigdogmom48June 19, 2010

We live in an area with lots of wooded areas and lot sizes that vary from 1 to 2 acres. For what ever reason, our neighbor's cat insists on doing her business just outside our back door. As you can imagine, the smell is not pleasant. I use a product to kill the odor, but have to respray about once a week. Do any of you know of anything that would actually repel the cat so it finds another place for its toilet?

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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Can you catch her at it? If so, you might try keeping a water bottle handy and spraying her when you catch her at it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 4:19PM
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Maybe the stuff to keep away rabbits like fox urine. But if you catch it by your home a good strong squirt with the water hose would probably work too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:23PM
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Cayenne pepper

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:26AM
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When we had a similar situation, we bought a motion detecting water sprinkler. It worked very well :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:35AM
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The motion detecting sprinkler is pretty handy on small properties like yours, and is not cruel. Please don't put out caustics like cayenne pepper, the injuries a cat can receive are horrible and may be permanently disfiguring. Since this is someone's pet (irresponsible though to let the cat wander) you may be held liable for injuries. Have you spoken to the cat's owner about kitty's habits?

You can put in catnip plants around the perimeter of your property. Chances are the cats won't be as interested in passing a nice druggy border. Many of my English friends do this to keep neighbours' cats out of their gardens.

You will need to remove the smells left by the poo. I tried a number of things but found that just burying the stuff deeply-under enough soil to cover it well, then topped off with plenty of mulch-is enough to prevent the cats from smelling their former potty. Mulch itself is a deterrent, cats prefer loose soil.

Make the spot unattractive to digging. You can get plastic mats with tiny 'spikes' on them-some sort of carpet protector. Put them spikes-up round the potty area. Cats can't dig, the spikes bother their paws, they find another potty. And these are a great weed barrier. Some people tack down hardware cloth in the area, it does the same thing as the mats.

I'd love to know where you found a repellent that only needs weekly application, and is it effective on dogs too?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:04PM
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Clean the area, then spread thorny prunings around - roses or bougainvillia.

They sniff before they dig. Sprinkling chili pepper powder will discourage them, as will dousing the area with ground-up citrus rinds in water.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:15PM
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The cayenne powder is a quick easy and inexpensive fix! The cat will sniff it and leave. Of course, someone will always find a problem with everything but it would be rare for a cat to be injured by cayenne powder.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Thank you all for your responses. I will definitely try some of these ideas. Harebell, I use Sol-u-Mel to kill the odor, but it doesn't repel the cat. It also literally takes tobacco smoke or skunk smell right out of the air. I haven't had to try it on actual skunk spray, fortunately, so I don't know how it would work on that.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 4:34PM
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If you are a coffee drinker, the leftover coffee grounds will often keep cats away. It works better if you keep dumping coffee grounds in the same area over time. Had heard this before, but hadn't thought much about it until I realized the neighborhood cats stopped pooping in any area where grounds were dumped regularly.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:18PM
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bigdogmom48, I'll have to find some of the Sol-u-mel. Never heard of it so of course am keenly interested.

"The cayenne powder is a quick easy and inexpensive fix! The cat will sniff it and leave. Of course, someone will always find a problem with everything but it would be rare for a cat to be injured by cayenne powder."

carmen_grower_2007, I have a problem with it because I've seen the "rare" cats who suffered from it. A "quick sniff" is sufficient to cause contact and the results are painful and can be disfiguring. Why would anyone want to take that chance? Confession: I made the mistake of putting a healthy sprinkle of it round a planting that I didn't want our dog uprooting-I had read the tip here on GW somewhere. The discomfort that poor fellow suffered after a snootful of cayenne didn't cause lasting harm to him thank goodness but was enough for a rather expensive trip to the vet. Poor dog. And having seen the cats who come in when others use your "quick easy and inexpensive fix" is enough to cause nightmares. I'm sure that not every cat has been harmed by the cayenne strewn about but enough are. Some have been my feral colony, who can't be easily caught for medical treatment of the burns they've received.

quasifish, thanks for the tip about coffee grounds. I have used them successfully and completely forgot how effective they are. I saved grounds for a while by throwing them into a sack in the freezer, adding cut up citrus peels for good measure. When there was a big full sack I'd strew it about wherever I wanted the cats to avoid pottying. The combination was really pretty on the gardens, it smelled good, and disappeared quickly. And the cats found a place to potty a little farther from the house so we didn't have to stroll in it or smell it. Everyone is much happier for it. It works in winter in the snow too.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 11:13PM
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Harebell, Sol-U-Mel is a Melaleuca Product. I have been a Melaleuca Customer for nearly 7 years and swear by their products and the company. Everything is environmentally friendly and actually works like it is supposed to work.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:52PM
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