So you have a problem. A neighborhood cat keeps invading your space. There are two possible scenarios at play here, either you are a cat lover with your own kitties and a neighborhood Tom or inquisitive stray keeps invading their territory; or you have no cats, but are constantly visited by other cats from your neighborhood – this can be a real problem if you are one of the 30% of Americans who are allergic to cats or have a sensitivity to cat hair. Keeping cats away from your home can be made even more difficult by the fact that they are largely nocturnal, so they might come into your space while you are asleep, or alternatively if you work during the day you can’t always be around to shoo them away.
To help with this relatively common issue we have compiled a list of 6 useful solutions for keeping cats away from your home. Depending in which of the two categories you fall into above, not all solutions will apply, but we are confident you can find one that works for you.
AN ELECTRONIC PET DOOR
An electronic pet door is the perfect solution for cat lovers. These high tech pet doors use an electronic signal transmitted from a microchip or your pet’s collar. When your cat is nearby the signal unlocks the cat door allowing your kitty to come and go as he or she pleases. However, when your cat moves out of signal range the door is automatically locked keeping strays or unwanted cats out. This is a great solution if another cat is stealing your cat’s food or coming into their space to fight with them. These solutions aren’t always cheap though with low end solutions starting at around $80 and going right up to a couple of hundred dollars for fancier models. They also require custom installation and if you aren’t the most tech savvy person, setup can also be a bit complex, so this should all be considered.
Another high tech solution for keeping cats at bay is an ultrasonic cat repellent device. These are generally used to keep cats out of a yard, but they can be repurposed to keep cats away from your home by placing one near a door or access point. These devices make use of a motion sensor and are triggered whenever a cat or person walks into their detection field. They then emit an ultrasonic sound frequency which cats don’t like, but is inaudible to humans (so you won’t be disturbed). These devices are usually plug and play so they can be setup really easily in your home. One thing to note is that this option isn’t viable if you have your own cats as they will still trigger the device and be repelled by it.
A LOCKABLE WINDOW LATCH
Probably the easiest way to keep cats out of your home is to make sure there is no easy access point. The problem with this is that it just isn’t practical to keep all your windows and doors closed. This reduces airflow and ventilation in your home and can lead to stuffiness and the development of mould and damp. A great solution to keep windows open, but restrict the opening to not allow cats to enter, is the MiniLatch by LockLatch. This easy to install DIY device fits onto any window or door, whichever way it opens and whatever it is made of. The MiniLatch adjusts between 1.8″ and 3.1″ – the perfect opening to let fresh air in but keep troublesome cats out!
Cats are as intelligent as they are opportunistic. They will quickly determine whether they are welcome in a home and respond to negative feedback. If another cat is coming into your home while you are there one of the most effective things you can do is chase it away. If the cat is consistently made to feel unwelcome it may stop coming by. One thing you can do to make this more effective is to keep a spray bottle with water on hand. A few quick sprays will send the kitty running for the hills, without physically harming it in any way. After a while it will get the message that your home isn’t a safe space. While this is a simple and cost effective solution if a cat is hungry or desperate enough simply chasing it away won’t do the job.
Cats are extremely sensitive to smells. They use their sense of smell to navigate, find prey and determine whether an area is safe for them. Knowing this, there are quite a few options for using scent as a cat repellent, ranging from DIY solutions to more specialised commercial cat repellents. It’s a little known fact that cats don’t like the smell of citrus, so spraying some lemon juice or citrus essential oils at access points (or even just leaving some orange peels lying at your door) can be enough to keep cats away. If this doesn’t work, there are other solutions. Pet stores will sell predator urine, which can be sprayed in key access areas. This is usually taken from larger predators; which cats instinctively view as dangerous such as foxes or coyotes. A few sprays around the yard will send strong signals that your home is off limits.
DON’T PET OR FEED STRAYS
If you are a cat lover this can be really difficult, but feeding or being too kind to neighborhood cats sends the wrong signals. They will start seeing your home as a source of food or affection and will be far more likely to return, leading to many of the problems we have outlined in this article. So our advice is, if it isn’t your cat don’t treat it like it is. Cats have territories they move in and the last thing you want is a cat seeing your home as an extension of its territory.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found something you can use to solve your cat problem. There are so many variables from the type of home to the personality of the cat that there won’t be a one size fits all solution. Perhaps you’ve faced this problem and come across a different solution. Why not email us ([email protected]) and tell us and we will add it to our next article.
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