How do you get rid of stray cats around your house? How do you repel them from pooping in your yard? Will mothballs keep such cats away? These and many other questions have been answered in this guide.
Stray cats, also known as feral cats are a nuisance to have around. These are not like domestic cats which are kept as pets.
Stray cats are considered as pests because they pose a health challenge to other pets. These can be found in large numbers in public spaces as well as the odor they spread by territorial spraying. If you are faced with this problem, we will show you how to get rid of stray cats.
Identifying a Stray Cat Infestation
Just as there are just as many feral cat varieties as there are domestic cats. These come in different colors and fur patterns. However, they typically have unkempt/rough furs; they weigh between 7 to 9 pounds and 2 feet long. They look leaner due to the absence of care. Male feral cats have more fat padding around their faces.
Stray Cat Habitat and Feeding
Stray cats are mostly urban dwellers. Being close to humans affords them a level of security from the wild. Stray cat problems are more common in urban centers. Some of their best habitats include empty homes or buildings, attics, drainage pipes, sewers and any other favorable locations.
Stray or feral cats are mostly carnivorous. They feed mostly by hunting prey consisting of rodents, reptiles, birds among more. Stray cats will feed on cooked foot as well.
How often do Stray Cats Reproduce?
A large population of stray cats might make you interested in knowing how often they reproduce. Stray cats can have litters all year round. They reproduce kittens every 4 months. Kittens are heavily dependent on their mothers for care during their early years. They need to be hid in a safe zone until when they can venture out.
Nuisance Caused by Stray Cats
There are lots of uncomfortable situations you are likely to experience if you live in an area with stray cats. This is even truer for areas with a large number of stray cats. If you love cats, then you need to get rid of stray cats. This is because your domestic cat pet is in danger of being injured or infected with a disease. Common nuisance posed by stray cats include;
Can Stray Cats Be Domesticated?
Having been without human contact for a significant time, there are little cases, if any of successful domestication. It will be a long process until they are successfully tamed and adopted. However it is easier to get rid of stray cats safely than domesticating them.
- Disease Transmission
This is most common among feral cats. Some of the diseases carried by them can be spread to humans too. However, domestic cats are the most vulnerable to these disease attacks. Such diseases include feline leukemia, scabies, cat scratch fever, rabies and feline AIDS. Exposing your cat to these can lead to serious health risks.
- Having Several Around
The more the number of stray cats around, the more unbearable it becomes. Some of the common reasons include the loud noise made when fighting. This is more often among a large stray cat population. The strong odor from liquid discharged by male members adds to the problem. This is used as a form of territorial marking.
Some of the reasons a large stray cat population will stick around a neighborhood is the presence of an adequate source of food. The presence of a good shelter is also responsible for such. To save yourself the risks, there are several ways to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of Stray Cats
Having mentioned some of the problems caused by stray cats, we need to focus on the “how” of ridding your surroundings of them. So, what are these control strategies? There are several of these. They include the following;
Cats are known to dislike being sprayed with water. You can exploit this by installing motion sensor water sprays around your home. Of course these will be installed in a way that you or any other person do not set the trigger off. Once cats get wet the first time, they will stay away from such areas in future. You can install water sprinklers around your home to keep them off.
Using Cat Repellents
Use of repellents is also known to be effective in keeping stray cats away. Most of these repellents have strong odors disliked by feral cats. Such include ground coffee, fresh lemon/orange peels, commercial cat repellents and lavender. Other repellents include eucalyptus, citronella, and also citrus scented sprays. All of these work effectively to keep stray cats at bay.
Stop Feeding Them
You may be compounding your stray cat problems by feeding them. Stray cats will welcome any generosity from their hosts. In fact, feral cats may invite other cats within their group to join the party. So what do you do here? Simply discontinue feeding. Pet food kept outside should also be taken in. Trash cans should also be properly covered.
By eliminating all sources of food, stray cats have little incentive to stick around your home. This strategy should be used in combination with others for best results.
Make your Home and Property Uninhabitable
Another way to get rid of stray cats is by closing all openings they can use to gain access. Your porch may serve as a perfect hiding place for stray cats. By sealing all such openings, you will have succeeded in making your home or property less attractive to them.
Call in Animal Control Experts
Several pest control services offer animal removal services. Having a large population of stray cats around can be overwhelming. In such situations, this may be the best option to use. Pest control services have technicians who are well trained to remove animals causing a nuisance to you. They will assess the situation with a view to using the most appropriate control strategies. This is one of the easiest methods to use especially when faced with a difficult situation.
Using Dogs as a Deterrent
For this method to be effective, you will need to get a big dog. This scares away stray cats and allows you to have a defined territory that is out of bounds. While considering this option, you need to note that your dogs may get into a fight with these cats occasionally. This can result in bits or scratches. You should observe your dog(s) regularly and seek the help of a veterinarian whenever a bite or scratch is noticed.
Setting up Traps
This too is an effective way to get rid of stray cats. However it is only best to use when you have no pets around. Your pets may end up getting trapped in the process. When using traps for stray cats, you need to use protective gear when releasing them to avoid bites or scratches. These cats may be infected and will spread diseases when not properly handled.
Stray cats are either euthanized by pest control services or taken to no-kill zones where they are released into the wild. No kill zones are usually locally away from residential areas. You can choose any of these methods depending on your choice.
Using Plants as Repellents
Some types of plants are known to release scents which are disliked by cats. To take advantage of this, simply have such plants around. They include rue, coleus canina and lavender among others. Other repellents that can be used with these include orange and lemon peels. Cats have a much more superior sense of smell than humans. They detest the smell of these plants and citrus peelings.
As long as the scent remains, cats will avoid such areas. This is a cost effective way of keeping stray cats away. The only problem here is if you keep cats as pets. Under such circumstances, this method will not be effective as it will also affect your pets.
The use of ammonia is highly effective for repelling cats. Cats will usually dig up soft earth in your garden or around your home to pass off waste. By mixing one part of ammonia with an equal amount of water, it will give off an unpleasant smell. This is much disliked by cats and can be used against stray cats. Placing this solution in such areas will keep them at bay.
If you are using this method while having cats as pets, it will affect them too. It is best used when you have no cats. Stray cats will keep away from your property due to the strong odor released.
Vinegar also has a strong smell disliked by cats. To keep stray cats away, you need to either dilute white vinegar with water or use full strength. These should be sprayed around your home. Stray cats will keep off from areas that give off this smell.
Knowing how to get rid of stray cats involves a whole lot of process. Some of the most effective ways have been listed above.
Whether you have a single case of stray cat disturbance or are overwhelmed with a difficult mass invasion, the above measures will help you take back control of your property.