Neighborhood cat 'marking' our deck

funyellowOctober 11, 2010

This is probably going to sound like a really stupid question but here goes.

This morning I wake up to find something wet all over the bottom side of my grill cover, which had dripped onto my (brand new, freshly stained) deck. it turns out it's animal urine - ugh. My strong suspicion is that it's a neighborhood cat who i always see in my yard (we woke up one night a few months ago to it having a 'turf war' screeching at another cat which had tried to move in on it - the cat had apparently claimed ownership of our construction-woodpile and was fending off an intruder.)

Anyway, my own housecats like to hang out at the screen door where this "marking" happened. After cleaning it up I got to thinking, is there any way to discourage the neighborhood animals from marking my deck again? I don't care if they roam in my yard, but after spending so much time and money on putting our deck together I'd like it to stay stain-free for a little while! :)


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Maybe Sss-Cat? Put it right by where he is marking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sss-Cat

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 11:59AM
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Put out a live trap and then take the cat to the humane society or call the owners to retrieve it. How were you to know it was their precious Fluffy that was spraying on your deck. And if it isn't theirs take it to the Humane society. Politely tell them if you wanted an outdoor cat you would have got your own. You shouldn't have to feel guilty for keeping these critters out of your yard.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:04PM
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A motion activated sprinkler works wonders...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:24PM
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One of my pet peeves. Personally I think cats should have to be licensed and chipped. Someone shouldn't have to have their property ruined because someone thinks their cat needs to be outside. In our area they are so overrun with cats that animal control is just putting them to sleep. Plus they charge you, since they can't determine who actually owns the cat. So if you capture them, be prepared to pay if you take them to animal control.

So unfortunately you are going to have to spend your money to deal with this problem. The sprinkler should work, though they are fairly expensive. Also, you might want to put it on a timer. Otherwise you'll end up getting wet.

If the cat has to come up, say a stairs, try putting packing tape, sticky side up in the area. You would want a lot of tape. You want it to be really thick. They also make "scat mats" that you use to keep cats off the counters. However, I don't know if you can use them outside.

A cheaper version of the timed sprinkler is just to stay up with water hose on the ready. Or one of those super soaker water guns. You would need to let the cat get close enough so you can really soak it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:26PM
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In Edmonton cats are licensed and if caught with out one it's a $250.00 fine. Even if it is in your yard and they see it does not have a license. Sure does help keep them home.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 9:08PM
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I am having a similar problem with a cat that is using my front bed as a toilet. Not a pleasant smell as you approach my front door, and it infuriates me that people think it's ok to let their cats roam and do this. I have a dog, and if I let my dog roam, I'd be fined in about 5 minutes. When I walk her, I always have poop bags with me, and I don't let her pee on my neighbors' lawns.

I do have one of the motion sprinklers on order. They are about $50. Thanks, ignorant neighbor...not only do I have to smell your cat's nasty pee on my property, I have to spend MY money to try and fix the problem.

Believe me, I would LOVE to trap this cat and turn it in to animal control. Let the thoughtless owner get fined instead of me paying. But to do this I'd have to spend even more for an effective trap.

Whoever the owner is, they are lucky that I'm a nice person. Others would deal with the problem in a not so nice way.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:29PM
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Weed I had a cat doing the same thing by the front door. Nothing like smelling cat when you walk to the front door! I pegged chicken wire and lightly covered it with bark dust. It help deter but he would sometimes just leave it uncovered. So I went to cheap mouse traps lightly covered in bark dust. That seemed to motivate him to move to another location. Also decorating the yard with river rock, slate, and boulders in areas that seem to attract them will hopefully make them go to someone else's yard. If all else fails training the dog to chase the cats is a pretty easy task.

Now since we have got our own neighborhood coyote you just don't see any cats. Anyone who gets a cat now doesn't have a choice but to keep it inside. Actually better for the cat and also neighbor relations.

I have nothing against cats, just their irresponsible owners.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:30AM
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If you are unaware of the cat's owner, it may not have one. Many free-roaming cats are unowned strays, or the offspring of them. Removing the cat only creates a vacuum that another, un-neutered cat will soon occupy. Check with your local animal shelters for free TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) clinics in your area. Many will loan you a live trap and assist you with the process. Please know that many so called Humane Societies and Animal 'Shelters' are in no way humane or sheltering. Most will kill feral cats. It's not the cat's fault that it doesn't have a home. Neutering male cats will accomplish several things.
1. No more offspring
2. Decrease or eliminate offensive urine spraying
3. Decrease or eliminate fighting behaviors
4. Keep the local rodent and snake population down
For more info and resources, see

Spay and neuter your pets.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:07AM
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Thanks cactuscats for your positive, compassionate AND rational input.
Anne-Marie --quite distressed by some of the postings

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:13AM
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I love cats which is the main reason I keep my five always indoors. It's for their own, poisons, other animals , diseases,cruel kids& people. For the inconsiderate person who wants their cat "to experience" the outdoor life, think of your neighbors.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:42AM
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"Thanks cactuscats for your positive, compassionate AND rational input. "

I'll second that. I know it can be annoying when a cat is spraying at your place, I had a neighbours cat who would spray on my front door everyday, and I later found out he was going to my next door neighbour as well and doing the same thing. If he'd been neutered then he would have been much more likely to stay home and it often stops the spraying/marking behaviour altogether.

I did solve the problem by using a citronella based spray around my porch and it seemed to keep him away, but I had to keep reusing it to keep it effective.

I wasnt sure who the cat belonged to but I think it may have been the little old lady across the street because i didnt see the cat after she went into a hospice/home.

I think a lot of people with males cats perhaps dont worry about neutering because they know the cat won't have kittens, but even for a male cat neutering is so important, because as cactus cat pointed out, unneutered males cause so many problems with their behaviour and most of it is caused by their hormones. but how do you get people to do the right thing?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 4:48AM
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I didn't know that spraying was a 'un neutered male' behavior - i thought it was just them claiming my yard!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:04AM
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well it's actually both. Un neutered male cats are very territorial so they try to claim a large area as their territory, they'll fight with other cats in that territory and they'll mark the territory by spraying to send a message to other cats. Usually once they're sterilised and especially if it's done young they lose that hormonal drive that makes them so territorial and do these things, so he is claiming your yard but a sterilised male just doesn't usually have the need to do that, or be so aggressive to other cats or stray so far.

Unsterilised females will spray and it's hormonal for them as well, when they're coming into heat they'll spray to let male cats know "Im here, come on over and we'll hook up" :) but they dont spray as a territorial behaviour and it's specific to their heat cycle

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:22AM
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