How to Reduce Nuisances from Community Cats

Here are tips from Pet Community Center and the Humane Society of the United States to help reduce nuisance behaviors from community cats.

  • Reduce temptation: Secure your trash lids so garbage isn’t a temptation for cats looking for food. Position bird feeders at least 12 feet from grass or shrubs where cats could hide while waiting to pounce. Also, hang feeders at least 8 feet above the ground and 8 feet from trees.

  • Use fragrance: There are several fragrances that naturally repel cats, so you can put these around your yard: orange and lemon peels, citrus spray, coffee, vinegar, tobacco, lavender, lemongrass, citronella and eucalyptus.
  • Use a cat-safe repellent system: Search online or visit your local home supply store to find ultrasonic cat repellent devices or motion-activated water sprinklers. There are also non-toxic cat repellent sprays.

  • Make your flower beds less inviting: To stop cats digging in flower bets, make them less comfortable by burying items in the dirt. You can use plastic carpet runners with the bumpy side up, small-gauge chicken wire or lattices, and irregular shaped rocks and pinecones. Just be sure there’s nothing sharp that could hurt a cat’s paws.

  • Don’t leave food out: Community cats should be fed what they can finish in one half-hour visit. Any remaining food should be removed, and any scraps or trash cleaned up to avoid attracting other wildlife.

  • Support TNR: Male cats that aren’t neutered are more likely to yowl, fight and spray urine – all mating behaviors. Neutering male cats can help reduce these behaviors.

Want to know more? Check out our Community Cat Toolkit for an overview of community cat care, case studies, tools for citizens and more.

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