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How to repel neighbor's cat

16 years ago

My neighbor's cat is sneaky (probably there's several cats from different neighbors!). I don't see any cat when I'm gardening. However, on some days I find their poops already in my yard. Not sure when they did their business on my yard.

Is there organic ways to prevent this?



Comments (57)

  • sha_sha
    16 years ago

    I think the cats sniff the pepper powder and it irritates their noses.

    Good luck,


  • wmbjrnj
    16 years ago

    What's worked for me (I have 2 cats) is pushing plastic forks in the ground handle first, with a small part of the tines (1/2") above ground level. I place several around plants and areas I want to protect. I find it's especially helpful with seedlings which they can unearth. The cats don't appear to like the feeling of scratching something that seems to be scratching them back.

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  • leo_in_md
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I already put one clear plastic bottle with water in the center of the large "potty area" (I currently only have one bottle). Mikta: so I don't set the bottle on it's bottom but on it's side?

    I think I want to try putting some slice of shallots/red onions. Heck, even I can't stand the fume that makes tears in my eyes. So hopefully this will work on cats too and I guess it wouldn't hurt them as hot peppers. I don't think they even want to go near it.

    I read somewhere that a gardener put rose clippings around the perimeter and one time s/he heard a cat wen't "YEOOOWW!" and it never came back to their garden.

  • leo_in_md
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Never mind about the red onions. The fume don't last long. Unless I know specific frame time when the cat does it's business. Do you cat owners know when they usually do it? Dawn, morning, afternoon, evening?

  • pablo_nh
    16 years ago

    Catch it in a Havahart. Spraypaint a bullseye on it. Release.

    Whatever your real intentions- the cat owner may start thinking more responsibly :)

  • dchall_san_antonio
    16 years ago

    We were successful keeping cats out of our daughters' sand box by putting carpet tack strips in the sand. Of course the girls had to learn to take them out before jumping in.

  • ntaylor_2006
    16 years ago

    I have 3 cats, plus a multitude of neighbourhood cats and dogs - it's a bit like the wild kingdom here. Anyway, my cats do of course love all that open, freshly tilled soil, but they bury their stuff. I'd actually rather have that then all of the un-buried doggy-doo everywhere.

    That having been said, what about those inexpensive 'watch-frogs' they sell at Wal-mart?? You could put it near the spot(s?) that they frequent. It might be a deterrent. I have used rose/raspberry canes over areas I have seeded to keep them away, as well.

    All I can say is it may be easier to live with it than to try to train a cat. 8-))


  • leo_in_md
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Pablo: LOL

    David: Where did you get the carpet?

    Nancy: That's a great option. I'll consider the watchfrogs.

    I found these also:


  • dchall_san_antonio
    16 years ago

    I did not use carpet. I used the nail strips used to keep wall-to-wall carpet from moving around. I get them at Home Depot for about $0.50 each. They're 3-4 feet long and easily broken into smaller pieces.

    One of my neighbors keeps birds in a cage outside. She had cats perching on her fence to harass the birds. She nailed some of these strips to the top of her fence and the cats quit coming around.

  • leo_in_md
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    David: OK I know which one you mean. I've seen those. That's pretty cheap!


  • lucymay6
    16 years ago

    So, what did you decide to do? And did it work? I'e got a neighbor with 4 cats who use our raised beds and my daughter's sandbox as their personal toilets. I'd love to figure out a way to stop them.

  • lynxe
    16 years ago

    "Would spreading hot pepper powder on their spots work?"

    Possibly an urban myth, but I've read of cats that have scratched their eyes out or at least injured their eyes due to the pain. To my mind, if there's even an outside chance that the story is true, I know I'd live with the cats using my garden as their personal litter box over harming one.

    Try pieces of aluminum foil. Or something. Anyway, depending on the size of your garden, you'd need a heck of a lot of pepper.

  • chesnok
    16 years ago

    i wouldn't be surprised if chile pepper is very dangerous to cats' eyes.
    once i scratched near my eyes, forgetting i had just been chopping up peppers and had capsaicin on my fingers. my eyes burned badly for 1/2 hour. my eyelids are actually scarred and they itch a little pretty much every day. this was 2 years ago.
    i wouldn't ever use chile peppers to repel cats.

  • trancegemini_wa
    16 years ago

    "I'e got a neighbor with 4 cats who use our raised beds and my daughter's sandbox as their personal toilets. I'd love to figure out a way to stop them."

    sandboxes are easy they just need to have a cover on them when theyre not being used. you can use anything like a sheet of wood or tin (with sharp edges bent over) or even a tarp or wire mesh to keep it covered and keep the cats out, if they cant reach the sand to dig it up they wont go there. usually the best way to keep cats out of a garden bed is to make it hard for them to dig, things like the plastic forks mentioned above, or sticks/small branches poked firmly into the ground make it uncomfortable for them to dig around.


  • seedspreader
    15 years ago

    The only thing that i have found that works on cats is some thing called "JAYS FLUID" its a strong smelling treacle like stuff that cats don't like. What you do is get some tea bags(5 or 6) and dip them in a mixture of 50% water and 50% Jays fluid then put them in the corners of where the cat(s) are messing and thats it no more poo you have to replace them after about 2 months but the cats hate the stuff so much that after a while they stop comming in the garden all together, because they have a very good sence of smell they dont go near it. You can buy it on ebay in the uk. P.S you dont have to put the tea bags in the sand pit just near it or under some thing that the smell will get out but your children cant get to. i have a bark play bit for my daughter and ive had no problems since ive started to use it.

  • father_o_4
    15 years ago

    There are two products that will keep the cats gone. One is the organic liquid fence garlic spray (which I have used for dogs) that is very effective; however you will have to reapply at least everyother day. There is also a product called animal away that emmites a high pitched sound that the cats hate.

  • edarin
    13 years ago

    Cheap & Effective:

    In the spirit of the plastic forks and carpet nail strips ideas, you can buy those ugly vinyl carpet protector sheets (Grandma used to place them in front of doors) but turn them UPSIDE-DOWN. The harmless plastic teeth on the underside will cause cats to do a little dance for you before running away!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Carpet Protector

  • rootdoctor
    13 years ago

    I have house cats, 2, and enjoy them. I do not enjoy stray and outdoor cats spraying my bushes, house, and eating the abundant birds, etc in my yard. I use a pellet rifle only pumped twice. 3 x 9 scope so I know I will just sting it's bottom. I don't want to kill them, just sting em and send em running. Most it has taken was 3 hits with a stray tom who now frequents yards 4 streets over. Some of you may cry foul and say "cruelty", but it's really not. Just an alternative form of education if you will. TiMo

  • flora_uk
    13 years ago

    If you want to try seadspreaders idea you'll need to look for 'Jeyes' fluid. But be careful not to let it touch the plants because it will kill them. I have had success with wire netting, prickly twigs and prunings laid over seed beds. Cats will only dig loose soil so between established plants just don't keep disturbing the ground. If it's a little hard they won't dig.

  • megan_9
    12 years ago

    I have a neighbor who takes in every stray in the neighborhood and then lets them run wild. They urinate on my porch, my car and poop in my gardens all around my house. I have a dog so I didn't want him to be affected. I used store bought cat repellent and cayenne pepper but it only works for several have to put it down at least once a day until they stop (which can take forever). Also, once you stop they will eventually return to the area. I got rid of them for a year but they are back! It was a waste of time and money...I am now trying the motion detector sprinkler...problem is it is my front porch so how do I go in and out without getting hit and it leaks down into my storage under my wood slatted front porch (just like their urine does). Is there anything legally that could be done to my neighbor? I don't want to hurt our relationship but it is horrible!

  • greenskin
    12 years ago

    May I suggest THE most effective way to remove the kitteh poop from your garden?

    Get yourself a dog :)

    (The problem with most of smelly stuff is that it evaporates when it's placed outside. I have heard somewhere that if your kitty makes trouble in your home, for instance, has tendencies to crash Xmas tree down - use some orange essential oil and place it underneath, rub it on lower branches. You see, kitties hate the smell of oranges, lemons etc., if you see a way you can use it against them - go!)

  • elliecampagne
    11 years ago

    Things I have tried with no success....

    Tea leaves,
    citrus peelings,
    spiked seed heads
    coffee grinds (can't afford to cover the whole area)
    human urine
    and as a last resort....'tack strips' that the cat pushed aside, flipped over and continuously poops in between the strapping.

    This cat & accomplices are 'thugs'..just like their owner. But there are THREE of them, and today was the last straw. It sprayed all over my recycling bins! This is war!! Have A Heart trap is next and good riddance to these ferrel cats whom my neighbor feeds but does not take care of beyond that. He's as bad as they are.

    ARGH!! It has cost me three individual plantings, plus the loss of tomato plants, as well as attracted a host of flies.... and now we are painting and prepping to put the house on the market, and the last thing people need to smell when they walk behind my house towards the gardens and garage is cat spray!! HELP!!!

  • tapla
    11 years ago

    Well, it starts with a Havahart trap and a little tuna near the dump site. Once you have the cat in the bag, sidle up on your neighbors porch with this, all memorized:

    "Hi, is this YOUR cat? I thought it might be. Sorry - I didn't mean to catch him; it's just that some kind of animal has been using my garden as a toilet. When I was working up the soil the other day, I came up with a handful of excrement. I figured it was a coon, so I set this trap for it." (Apologize for having detained the cat again, and tell him you hope you catch whatever it is sometime within the next week or so).

    If that doesn't work, you fall back on:
    "Hey neighbor - this is the second time your cat has wound up behind bars, and I haven't caught any other critters yet, so I'm beginning to suspect that just maybe it's your cat that's stinking up the greenery. Do you thing you could keep a little tighter reign on him?"

    By this time, the cat's prolly too smart to get caught a third time (I can tell you how to snare it, but God it'll be noisy), but your neighbor is stupid & prolly won't know that. Hopefully, he'll have received the message by then & your problem will be solved. It might also help to imprint the phrase 'trip to the pound' in his mind if you have to make that second trip - just a thought.


  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)
    11 years ago

    Some years ago now I was a roommate in a house that was having cat problems and negotiating with neighbor was going poorly, so we just went ahead and trapped cats and took them to the shelter. We told the neighbor where the cats were. Never had a problem again.


  • wayne_5 zone 5b/6a Central Indiana
    11 years ago

    My suggestion is to make a nice sand box for the kitties....a place they can't resist.

  • pussyblaster_yahoo_co_uk
    11 years ago

    I moved to a new home with a small rear garden recently.

    there are three cats (at least) i've started to recognise that come through the garden using the flower beds to poop in and also they eye up the birds on the feeder.

    i like cats, but not when they mess up my garden. we tried garlic pellets but they get washed away with the rain.

    i use a water pistol. mini super soaker. it really does the trick.

    when i see a cat in the garden i quickly go outside, where my loaded weapon is waiting. with my arm outstretched, i make those stupid noises that cat owners make to entice kitty over then BLAST! cold shower for kitty!!! they get out pretty fast after that!!!

    i have even gone 'hunting' down the path which links all the back gardens in our street. 'here kitty kitty', then BLAST! what a great buzz. take the fight to the enemy!

    revenge is sweet!!!

  • dlparker667_yahoo_com
    11 years ago

    I have a newely painted (White) 5' high concrete wall around my property. My neighbor, accross the street, has adopted 2 ferrel cats and they bored at his shed behind his house! How can I deter these wild things from jumping up on my walls and leaving their paw marks where they climb? I am tired of cleaning the dirty paw marks from my walls.
    Dennis. April 13, 2011

  • organic_wonderful
    11 years ago

    I've got a good feline casserole recipe I can give you, lol.

    I personally have had success with a product we get in the UK called 'Lion's Roar'. It consists of small pellets that are soaked in the essence of lions dung/urine. Cats seem to stay far away from this when I sprinkle it around my plants, since when they smell it they sense that a lion has recently been there and made it their own territory.

  • marthacr
    11 years ago

    I looked up the lion's roar, which actually seems to be Silent Roar. I may get some. How long have you used it? Is it something you could put along a fenceline?

  • charlietexas
    11 years ago

    there once was a cat that did the business on the red rock used in a fancy little garden. the gardener tried various this and thats to push along the little feline to no avail until one day someone suggested spreading lime atop the rock, a thin layer to be sure, a layer that went away in a short time but was proven to be very successful in detering the cat of leaving his baggage. just saying.

  • BlueEyedDude707_aol_com
    10 years ago

    My neighbors cat comes in very stealth and just ruins my car cover in one clawing session. I have since put the ruined cover over my new one. This cat is now scratching through it and into my new one. These covers are $125.00 each. Before i catch and remove this cat from my town i would like to see if there is something i could do to just keep these cats or cat from shreading my car cover... HELP !!! anyone that can please say how....... Thank you..

  • zzackey
    10 years ago

    We use a Havahart trap. Our previous neighbor used to bring home stray cats all the time and never had them fixed. I think she had about 30 cats at one time. We would catch the cat in the trap and then soak it well with the garden hose. Let it sit an hour and soak it again and let it go. Only one cat was dumb enough to come back onto our property.

  • riverfarm
    10 years ago

    Aren't there laws in your towns about letting animals run loose, especially if they damage property as in the case of the car cover? I know that cats are difficult to contain, but that's the owner's problem, not yours.

  • karlsbikerchic_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    do they still have the watch-frogs at walmart

    I have a neighbors cat that is attracting strays and am finding cat pooh in my yard.


    10 years ago

    well my parents may not like it but i set a old vacume cleaner that is old broken and sounds horrible and a lamp outside on the deck connected to a x10 module. i have the control panel /trigger switch right by my bed. when i hear the neighbours cat screeching at our cat through the glass door and our cat pounding on the door, i push the switch and the vacume cleaner of doom comes to life. voila no more annoying cat concerts outside our house

    10 years ago

    ^the vacuum cleaner is only there to create a lot of noise nothing more. a bright lamp and loud vacuum cleaner is enough to scare the cat away.

  • rlv4
    10 years ago

    Larry the Cable Guy does a skit called "I believe..." and my all time favorite is "I believe no matter how hard you try, you cannot baptize a cat".

    I believe one should still try!

  • holbyandbusby
    10 years ago

    There was a test case (in the UK) put by one disgruntalled gardener about cats damaging property cos there is a law against livestock (which includes pets) straying on to other peoples property and causing damage - which includes defecating - However the case failed as a cat was considered to be too difficult to controle without restricting it's liberty in an unacceptable manner.

    So no chance of prosecuting owners in the UK then

  • greenleaf_organic
    10 years ago

    You know cats can be vindictive. I once lived where we had a problem cat doing its business in ours and our neighbors flower beds. My neighbor used moth balls to deter the cat. Well, the cat jumped in the open window of his truck that night and went # 2 on his seat! I used cayenne pepper in our flower bed and the cat peed on the windshield of my car! Finally we had to resort to "stingers" with the bb gun pumped up just enough times to sting it. Even with that it took numerous hits to finallly keep the cat from coming back. I think that cat should win some kind of award! :) (I laugh now but it was not funny at the time!)

  • terrene
    10 years ago

    People should consider the possibility that if they ARE successful at ridding their yard of cats, and some of the methods suggested on these threads are no less than cruel, the result could be an explosion of the population of small rodents. Voles having a field day decimating the roots of their prized perennials. Moles tunneling through their lawns. Chipmunks tunneling holes everywhere, which can undermine walkways, create cavities next to house foundations, and are often subsequently occupied by yellow jackets. Etc. etc. These rodents cause much worse damage than dealing with a few cat poops. And next they will be coming to Gardenweb wondering how to get rid of yellow jackets instead of cats.

    I am thankful for my cat's hunting skills, and the occasional neighborhood cat that wanders through. Although I have a large yard and gardens, and we don't have feral cats here.

  • rlv4
    10 years ago

    Not to mention the population explosion of all those pesky songbirds and lizards! I love how cat lovers are always touting them as effective rodent control. Our neighbors have several "barn cats" (which is just another name for "stray") that crap in my driveway, dig in my trash and stalk birds at my bird feeder. Even with all those cats their property is riddled with gopher holes... Go figure.

  • simplegreenguy
    10 years ago

    Ah so many cats and so few recipes!!!!

  • AMaji
    10 years ago

    Why not just go and talk to your neighbors about their cats? If they refuse or are unable to restrain them, then I support a previous poster's idea of painting a target on them. Another suggestion, though not organic, is just to scare them by firing at them but taking care not to injure them. Hopefully, that will scare them away.

  • gargwarb
    10 years ago

    Okay, here is what you do. You're going to need:

    Spray paint (one can - white)
    Lip stick (red, blue, yellow)
    1 red rubber ball
    Wash rags (100 varied colors and patterns)
    1 red wig
    1 bottle of tequila
    15 mounted novelty singing fish
    1 burlap sack
    2 square feet of leather
    1 cubic foot of foam
    1 box of thumb tacks
    heavy leather gloves
    bamboo (15 pieces, 3 feet in length)
    1 bag of leaves
    1 can of tuna

    When the circus comes to town, use the shovel to dig a hole in your yard 2 feet, 11 inches by 2 feet, eleven inches wide by 4 feet deep. Cover the whole with bamboo and leaves. Set open can of tuna in the center of the leaves.

    Spray paint yourself bright white and apply lipstick around mouth and eyes. Use the rubber ball for a nose. Place wig on head. Use wash rags to make a clown costume. (Don't use all the rags. You'll need a few for the monkey's costume).

    Sneak up to the clown trailer behind the circus and position the novelty singing bass in a "choir" formation. Set 1 bottle of tequila just beyond the furthest singing fish.

    Clap hands to activate singing fish.

    When the clowns come out to investigate, they will see and head straight for the tequila. Clowns love tequila.

    Sneak into their trailer and steal their monkey. Put monkey in sack. He won't suspect a thing. Remember, you'll be dressed look like a clown.

    Once home, fashion a tiny saddle from the leather, foam and thumb tacks. Make tiny monkey clown costume with remaining wash rags.

    By this time you should have at a cat in your pit. Don your leather gloves, remove cat from pit, place saddle on the cat, place monkey on saddle.

    By instinct, monkeys have the ability to control cats and will ride the beast home. Monkeys also have an uncanny ability to find home. In that way they're sort of like homing pigeons but in an emergency you can milk a monkey (mammals).

    By the end of the evening the cat is gone, the clowns have their monkey, the monkey has a steed and the cat has a belly full of tuna and a new family of drunken clowns and singing fish.

    Repeat as necessary until no cats remain in your yard.

  • simplegreenguy
    10 years ago

    I think you are going a little to far with the 100 rags. We all know 98 would be sufficent.

  • GrassRootsSupporter
    10 years ago

    Depending on your garden/pot style you could also use stone mulch instead of regular. Cat's can't dig through rock chunks. It hurts their paws. :)

  • simplegreenguy
    10 years ago

    This explains so much my grandfather was a circus clown!

  • bayoufilter
    10 years ago

    Scotch tape. You know the stuff.
    Buy a 4-pack or bigger. Deploy 8-foot-long strips in and around the beds affected.

    Enjoy the show! Replace/repeat as needed for the other cats.

    This came courtesy of the Chile-Heads Mailing List years ago. It came with a side-splitting anecdote of effectiveness. Involving the neighbor's pampered but un-restricted fluffy show cat.
    The cat and the neighbor were educated at the same time.


  • luxrosa
    10 years ago

    I love cats, and am fostering a stray kitten, and am not bothered by a little bit of cat poo in my garden, but my neighbor has a problem with several stray cats ( more than 8) pooing in his garden so we asked at nurseries and found a woman with lots of experience of dealing with cat poo in gardens and she advised to use hot chile powder (it is only c. a third as hot as cayenne pepper powder depending on the brand, the order of the list of ingrediants will tell you with the greatest amount of ingrediant first on the list, but hot enough to discourage cat poo activity, and we've found it has worked to good effect for us and the felines. I've seen several cats approach the border where the chile powder covered dirt was, put their head down within a few inches of the ground to smell it and turn tail and skedaddle.
    You must replace the chile powder ( a mixture of garlic, cumin and hot chilli peppers, usually cayenne) after a rain or after watering or most likely the cats forget there was once a deterent there and will poo again in your garden.
    Because cats have a far better sense of smell than humans do, adult cats are observant enough not to rub something hot and smelly in their eyes.
    I don't use chile powder where kittens are found.
    we bought the chile powder in bulk so it was cheap, and spread c. 1 Tablespoon over every square foot in the areas where the cat poop was found in my neighbors garden.
    within a couple months the cats stopped pooing there. (it may have worked earlier than that were it not for the fact that he forgot to replenish the powder after it rained, twice.)
    Also, if a cat has a choice between pooing on bare dirt which is easy for them to cover up, and therefore protect themselves from a predator tracking them, which is a survival trait in felines, or pooing on a layer of wood chip mulch that is 3 to 4 inches deep, and would recquire much more digging effort with those little claws, it will choose the bare dirt every time, I use a thick layer of large size wood chip mulch around my newly planted plants. The large size breaks down more slowly than the smaller chips.

    I hope this info will help you to teach the cats better potty manners. Cats are smart folks, in my opinion.


  • mommyandme2
    10 years ago

    While the Boogie Bass story is hysterical, I vote for Scotch tape. We have 2 indoor cats here. A female, apparently in heat, showed up at our house one night & sat on the outside windowsill of our living room window. She showed up 2 nights in a row in the early morning hours. Our (fixed) cats went crazy. The 3rd night we attached wide, double-sided tape to the window sill. We heard some noise, but not a lot. The next morning, we removed the tape, which was covered with cat hair. The stupid cat came back for one more night but the window sill had fresh tape. We have never seen the cat again. In a garden, maybe the double-sided tape could be affixed to cardboard or boards. Dennis: maybe try putting some tape on your walls.
    It appears that the stickiness of the tape sufficiently freaked out the cat so that he never came back. - Laura