Facts about the animal kingdom

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: June 4, 2019
How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat

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Cats are animals that are found in abundance in our streets. This is mainly because they have a very short gestation period, which means they can cause overpopulation in a very short period of time, but this is a discussion for another day. In this article we will try to give you some tips for shooing away stray cats from the vicinity of your home or garden.

The cat may not even be a stray. It might simply be your neighbor's cat who is enjoying complete freedom to wander around the neighborhood. We all know what this means. Cats? extraordinary hygiene customs mean that they normally do their business far away from where they eat. However, it may be the case that this ?far away? happens to be located right in your garden, and in doing so they dig up the ground and destroy any plants they feel like.

To deal with this, we at Animal Wised will give you some tips for shooing away stray cats from your property.

You may also be interested in: Should You Feed Stray Cats?

Steps to follow:


The first thing you need to consider is that cats, despite being well fed, tend to be constantly on the move in search of food. This will therefore be your first order of business. Namely, don’t feed them in places where you don?t want to regularly see them. You might be doing so unconsciously, such as leaving bins outside so that your home doesn’t smell, but this can be the turning point for drawing them to your property.

As such, it?s highly possible that you wake up on more than one occasion to find your bin bags ripped up with their contents strewn all over the place, due to a stray cat looking for a simple chicken strip or some tasty leftovers. So now you know; don?t leave any leftovers outside.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 1

By delving into the range of items which can be used to shoo away stray cats, we’ll start by taking a look at citric products, which are a simple and economical solution. One option is to distribute strips of lemon and orange peel in the areas where cats might be getting onto your property. You can also rub them over walls, pots etc., with the aim of getting the smell to linger for as long as possible.

This scent won’t last indefinitely, and the process will need to be repeated every 3-4 days. However, it’s been proven that cats don’t like citrus smells.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 2

You can even opt for a more constructive solution, such as planting certain plants that give off a smell that repels stray cats. For example, lavender and thyme are visually attractive plants that give off a smell which is pleasant for humans but which drives felines mad.

You can also find and plant a type of shrub called Coleus Canina, commonly known as the ‘scared cat plant’. This is also a very beautiful plant, tipped with blue flowers, but the cat will try to avoid it at all costs. Humans, on the other hand, aren’t able to smell the plant unless they get down and physically touch it.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 3

A more drastic and somewhat more aggressive solution may be to sprinkle ground pepper in strategic areas in your garden. This will cause the cat to get an itchy nose when it smells it, giving it an annoying sneezing fit as a result. After the cat experiences this a few times, it will consider the area to be an uncomfortable place and will stop coming back.

The smell of coffee is also too strong for the cat’s nasal passages. Sprinkle coffee beans in the areas where they tend to gather, and you’ll get the desired adverse effect.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 4

When we talk about architectural elements that stop cats from entering on your property, we are referring to the installation of a fence (one of the typical ones found around chicken coops) around the perimeter of your home. It will be even more effective if the fence tilts outwards, as this will make it even more difficult for cats to climb it.

The installation or use of automatic irrigation systems can also be useful. If you turn these systems on when the cats are loitering nearby you will manage to scare them away, provided that they are one of those that can’t stand water. By doing so you won’t be causing them any harm, but they will start to consider your garden as an unpeaceful place.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 5

It might be the case that not all the advice we have given you will be effective in shooing away the stray cats that loiter around your home, since each cat is different and they all have unique personalities and their own way of coping with difficulties. What we can ensure you of, however, is that getting hold of the right combination of items will turn the rooms and access points of your property into an obstacle course for the cat, without actually harming it, making it move on to pursue its interests in a less hostile environment.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 6

All of these tips are techniques that you can employ to shoo them away. However, you always have the option of adopting a stray cat and saving a life. You can be sure that (in its own way) it will be thankful for it.

How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat - Step 7

If you want to read similar articles to How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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How To Shoo Away a Stray Cat