19 answers

What to Do About the Neighborhood Cats?

This group of moms always has really good advice and I have an odd question...

The cats in our neighborhood have taken to hanging out on our patio furniture. We have the comfy chairs and a couch on our porch. The porch is covered, so we don't have to worry about removing the cushions in case of rain, but the sides are open, so its not a screen porch. I had friends over and when they got up from the furniture they were covered in cat hair ICK! I looked and the cushions were all covered in cat hair!! We've tried putting the cushions on end when we are no longer sitting on the furniture but then cats sit on the top edge of the cushions. Because they are big cushions, I don't want to have to take the cushions in and out every time we want to use them. The cats also pooing in our flower beds. Any thoughts on what to do? 3 families on our street have cats so I am not sure which cats are using our furniture. We are a pet free home, b/c I don't want to deal with the hair and the mess!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, thanks so much for all of the ideas. We ended up putting large trash bags over the cushions and that seems to have done the trick keeping the little bugger off the cushions. I just tuck the trash bags under the cushions when we want to enjoy our patio furniture. We also threw out the kids sandbox that the cat had apparently thought was there for him even though it had a cover on it (unfortunately the kids weren't so good at keeping it closed)- ICK

Featured Answers

I always heard to lay down a sheet of aluminum foil on the area where you want cats to avoid. They don't like the way it feels on their feet. We used this to train the cat to stay out of the crib before out little ones slept in it.

You've been given some good suggestions already, but I'll add that cats don't like the smell of citrus. It would be worthwhile to get some lemon or orange essential oils to spray around the areas where they tend to hang around. They aren't terribly expensive, and a little goes a long way.

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The easiest solution might be to throw a blanket over the furniture and take the blanket off when you want to use the furniture.

Some people believe that cats should live only indoors, and some don't. Some people believe couches can be on porches, and some don't. (See recent attempt by city of Minneapolis to ban couches with cushions from all porches.) I personally wouldn't start a neighborhood battle over this. As for cat poop in flower gardens - there is probably squirrel and bunny poop in there too.

I see you got alot of advice on how to deter the cats from your space. Frankly- I go with the advice of the owner is the problem deal with them.

Animals belong only on the property of the owner. They are in violation if they are anywhere else without being leashed and attended to.

We had cat problems when my kids were little. It is unsanitary to have cats using your flowerbeds etc. as their litter box. If they were to do this in a pregnant ladies yard and she was exposed to the amonia,the neighbors could be held liable for any complications to that child.

You will need to address the neighbors that have cats. If you don't know the people you could just mail letters to the whole street. You have the right to trap any animal and turn it over to animal control. State that in the letter.

If it were racoons no one would hesitate to tell you to do this. If it were dogs there would be no contraversey over trying nicely to keep them out. It would be looked at as a safetly issue. Same with cats, they scratch and bite too. No one would think to let their children roam the neighborhood and utilize other's yards without permission. Why do they presume to let their animals do it?

With all that said... yes I own cats. Are you shocked?! I have two. One loooooves to be outside. She is ALWAYS in a harness and leashed to a run from the house to a tree on far side of yard. The leash is measured to keep her far enough away that she cannot jump any fence but she can climb the tree.

There are ways to approach without being nasty or aggressive. Just be informative of the problems, the laws, and the options you see that you have. Tell them you really dont want to go to extremes but you cannot, will not live with unwanted animals in your yard.

good luck and be strong.

Can you put a couple of objects on them like bricks or something? I think that might help!

Normally, I don't mind cats around my house. If you know who the cat belongs to, tell the neighbor to keep the cat indoors. If you don't know who it belongs to, hang signs in the neighborhood. However, you may need to do what I did when a cat decided to spray on my deck (YUCK!). So I borrowed a large live animal trap from a neighbor (used to catch raccoons). I caught the cat, took it to the pound, and never saw it again. FYI (not neccesarily for S. N :) Owners need to KEEP CATS INDOORS IN SPRING BECAUSE CATS EAT BABY BIRDS!

I always heard to lay down a sheet of aluminum foil on the area where you want cats to avoid. They don't like the way it feels on their feet. We used this to train the cat to stay out of the crib before out little ones slept in it.

I had a similiarly annoying problem with my neighbors' cats. There are about 5 that roam around, along with 2 large dogs. My issue was they come and terrorize my small puppy on a leash, and worse yet...make a bed in my basement window and spray it with their potent scent! My laundry room is in my basement and just opening the door to the basement, you could smell it! I was irritated to say the least. Found some helpful info online. I walked the perimeter of my home with an Irish Spring bar of soap and potato peeler to keep them from coming close to the home and spraying or pooing, or teasing my puppy. It worked for about 2 months. I need to do it again. I try to scare them away everytime I see them in the yard but end up just looking like a good ball. They could care less. If I knew whose they were, I would definitly say something. They are on my property affecting my home & kids. I put my dog on a leash so my neighbors aren't burdoned by him, I even bring him inside if he yelps or barks at a neighbor when they go outside in their yard!! I wish my neighbors were as considerate. I've also heard coffee grounds deter them. And I did use that too, it was less noticeable to the naked eye than the soap. GOOD LUCK!!

Hi S. -- I feel your pain! My own cats use my porch much more than I do, and I have just designated one side of the cushions for them and one for us. There are spray products available in pet stores that repel cats, but they have to be applied every day or two. When i do de-hair the cushions I use those lint rollers that you tear the sheets off. They work best for me.

Good luck! L.

I sympathize for you - cats are very hard to keep away from an area they don't belong.

You got a lot of great advice, but the one other thing I can suggest is that you may want to try a cat repellant spray. you can buy it at some of the large chain pet stores, and I have gotten it from my vet's office to keep our cats away from my live plants.

The bad thing about the spray is that it smells so bad that humans are disgusted by it too, so DON'T spray it directly on your cushions! I would spray the perimeter of your porch. Good luck!

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