Mitigating Nuisance Behaviors

It is important for the well-being of the community cats for you to listen to neighbors and resolve complaints.

Here are some helpful tips for managing common nuisances:

Cats are spraying, yowling and fighting. Spaying and neutering the cats will reduce and/or resolve these behaviors. To combat the urine smell from spraying, clean the area with white vinegar or a product with natural enzymes such as Nature’s Miracle.

Cat food is attracting insects and/or wildlife. Keep the feeding area neat and free of leftover food and trash. Feed cats at the same time each day during daylight hours. Remove leftover food after 30 minutes.

Cats are digging in my garden. Cats naturally dig and deposit feces and urine in soft or loose soil, mulch or sand. To prevent this behavior you can implement scent deterrents or physical barriers or provide a small area of tilled soil or sand for toileting. Keep it clean! Most scent deterrents must be refreshed frequently because rain can dilute their effectiveness.

Scent-based deterrents. Sprinkle, spray or spread orange and lemon peels or citrus-scented fragrances, coffee grounds, pipe tobacco or citronella.
Physical deterrents/barriers. Plastic carpet runners (spike-side up covered lightly with soil), chicken wire (sharp edges rolled under), wooden chopsticks, pinecones, river rocks or Cat Scat™.

Cats are lounging in my yard or on my porch. Apply cat repellent liberally around the edges of the yard, the tops of fences and on any favorite digging areas or plants. Install an ultrasonic animal repellent or motion-activated water sprinkler such as ScareCrow™ or CatStop™.

Cats are sleeping under my porch or in my shed. Block or seal the location with chicken wire or lattice once you are certain the cats are not inside. Be sure to search for kittens before confirming the cats have left. Provide a shelter for the cats. Shelters should be hidden and away from unwanted areas to keep cats safe.

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