How to Get Rid of Stray Feral Cats

It is no privy to birders that cats killing birds is one of the greatest shuttlecock conservation threats, and feral cats, vomit colonies, neighborhood cats, outdoor pets, and strays kill about two and a half billion birds per year. fortunately, birders have many easy, effective techniques to discourage feral, stray, and lost cats from invading the landscape they ‘ve made friendly for birds. With care and consideration, it is possible to protect birds without being barbarous to cats .

Feral cats not entirely kill birds and other wildlife but besides cause other problems when they become accustomed to visiting the lapp yards. cautiously cultivated flower beds can become open litter boxes. Garden sheds can become breeding grounds for litters of unwanted kittens. Trees, fences, or other structures can be territorial markers for spraying males. aggressive cats can attack pets or fight for district, causing region disturbances. Wandering cats may tied transmit diseases, fleas, or other pests to your pets. little children have flush been bitten or scratched by aggressive, wandering cats .

For many birders, however, it is the menace of feral cats killing birds and scaring birds away from dame feeders and birdhouses that is the biggest problem. When cats are part of the region, it is necessity for birders to take steps to discourage unwanted felines from visiting the yard .

Stray Cats vs. Feral Cats

It ‘s worth making a distinction between a tame family cat belonging to a nearby neighbor who occasionally wanders into your yard, and a truly feral guy, which is typically a creature that has never known domestication and which is quite hazardous. Both animals can kill birds and create other mayhem, but with a wandering domestic cat, you normally have recourse by locating the owner and asking that they control their pet. A digress domestic pet may wear a collar and sometimes will be notably sociable with people. If an animal restraint agency picks up this type of cat, there ‘s a good chance its owner will be contacted or that the animal will be adopted .

A true feral cat, on the other handwriting, is normally quite skittish around people, and it will be perceptibly barbarian in its demeanor. such cats are much beyond domestication, and unfortunately, some will wind up euthanized by animal control agencies. An ongoing community exercise of neutering and spaying domestic animals is ultimately the most humane approach to the feral kat trouble .

The methods used to get rid of stray cats may differ, depending on if you ‘re dealing with a true feral vomit or just a mobile favored .

10 Ways to Get Rid of Stray Cats

How to Discourage Stray Cats
The Spruce / Alex Dos Diaz

Remove Food Sources

feral cats will stay in any area where food is ample. Avoid feeding your own pets outdoors and cover folderol scraps securely to deny unwelcome cats an easy meal. Do not add any kernel scraps to a compost pile. Keep grills and barbecue pits clean to avoid enticing smells .

Remove Shelter

All wild animals need a plug home to sleep and to raise their young. Board up holes in old sheds or garages, under decks or porches, or in simpleton shelters such as woodpiles or window wells to avoid providing this shelter to feral cats .

Create Discomfort

Cats, particularly well-cared-for pets, are well known for their sexual love of relaxation, and making a yard uncomfortable can discourage visitors. Fill flower beds and areas where cats lounge with sharply pebbles, shell shards, or a layer of chicken wire so the grind will be uncomfortable .

Crushed eggshells on dirt ground to deter feral cats closeup
The Spruce / Steven Merkel

Remove “ Temptation ”

Unaltered males will be attracted to any female cats in inflame. Pet owners who spay their female cats are less likely to attract wandering males. unaltered females should be keep indoors during their heat cycles .

Use Commercial Repellant

Cats have very lament senses of olfactory property and taste, and commercial repellents are available to discourage unwanted cats. lifelike repellents to sprinkle on flowerbeds or gardens include moth balls, ammonia-soaked rags, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, citrus peels, coffee grounds, and citrus-based sprays. Reapply repellents after heavy rains or long periods for the best potency .

Use Scare Tactics

antique frighten tactics can discourage cats from visiting a cubic yard regularly. supersonic sirens, motion-activated sprinklers, and motion-activated lights can all be useful. If cats are jumping on a wall in one area, a sensitive doorbell or can of beans or marbles that will fall when the cats jump can be effective to scare them away .

Homes where dogs are allowed to roam in fenced-in yards are less probable to be visited by feral cats, specially if the engender is one renowned for chasing, such as a terrier or herding dog. If your chase has a history of actually catching little animals, though, it should not be allowed to chase cats, as it is illegal to measuredly wound a domestic computerized tomography .

Motion-activated sprinklers with water shooting out to scare feral cats
The Spruce / Steven Merkel

Contact the Owner

If it seems likely the digress cat-o’-nine-tails is a domestic positron emission tomography that barely happens to be wandering, you may already recognize the pet, or it may have a collar and designation tags that allow you to contact its owner. Be fair but firm about the problems this darling causes in your yard. positron emission tomography owners have a responsibility to control their animals, and most owners will respect this. You may, however, need to firmly indicate that calling animal control is an option if the problem continues .

Call Animal Control

Most communities staff animal control specialists who will address crazy animals or at large domestic animals that are causing danger or nuisance. The degree of participation varies depending on your residential district. Some agencies will actually take measures to trap and remove a true feral vomit ; others will come foot one up if you have trapped it yourself .

Use Humane Traps

spring-loaded humane traps can be effective for catching feral cats that can then be turned over to wildlife control condition officials or local shelters and rescues. place traps in areas where the cats patronize and bait them with appropriate food or appetizing scents. Be aware, though, that you may trap a unlike animal, such as a raccoon or opossum.

Spring-loaded metal humane trap to catch feral cats with blue bowl of cat food
The Spruce / Steven Merkel

work With Neighbors

A feral cat ‘s territory normally extends well beyond a single yard. lecture to neighbors about the problems with feral cats and encourage them to take alike steps to discourage unwelcome visitors. Neighborhoods that work together broadly have fewer problems with feral cats .


Watch Now: 7 Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden

Techniques to Avoid

No matter how debatable feral cats may be in the cubic yard, there are sealed techniques that should never be used to keep these undesirable visitors aside, including :

  • Poisons or any toxic contamination
  • Shooting, even with non-lethal ammunition or pellet guns
  • Inhumane traps, including glue traps
  • Aggressive dogs

These techniques are difficult to control, and using them against feral cats can violate local laws. furthermore, because these methods are unpredictable, using them can have negative consequences against unintentional targets such as neighbors ‘ outdoor pets or early wildlife .

It is always knowing to take steps to protect backyard birds from cats by choosing condom birdhouses and feeders, avoiding ground eating, and providing dependable covering for birds to take shelter. By protecting the birds and using unlike tactics to discourage any feral or roll cats, it is possible to keep feral cats out of your yard and ensure birds are safe.

What Causes Stray Cats ?

A stray cat—whether it is merely a wandering local domestic house cat or a true feral that has bred in the wild—will be drawn to your yard because it has features the cat finds attractive. In the case of the typical family guy, this means the creature is able to find food, urine, and shelter. Bird-lovers who have positioned birdhouses, bird feeders, and watering stations may find that neighborhood cats come in droves to hunt birds .

How to Prevent Stray Cats

Preventing isolated cats from spending prison term in your yard is largely a matter of denying them the habitat they prefer and creating an environment that is actively hostile to them. It is significant to use respective techniques to keep feral and digress cats out of your yard. While one tactic may be effective against one vomit, using several techniques can be more effective to keep other isolated and feral cats from moving in when the first guy has moved out. other options include :

  • Designing landscaping specifically to discourage cats: Sharp foliage with strong odors, thorny bushes, stinging plants, and sharp-edged mulch can all be part of a bird-friendly landscape that discourages cats.
  • Supporting trap-neuter-release programs, feral sanctuaries, or other community programs that care for feral cats in humane ways. These programs may help reduce the feral cat population over time.
  • Supporting local adoption shelters and care facilities so they can provide cats a safe, healthy home rather than permitting strays to run loose. The more support these facilities have, financially or through material donations and volunteers, the more cats they can care for.


  • Can feral cats be hunted?

    Although feral cats are sometimes regarded as vermin, particularly in rural areas where they can become quite ample, it is a trespass of animal cruelty laws in about every jurisdiction to wound or measuredly kill a domestic species such as Felis catus, the common house kat. only animal control agencies are authorized to painlessly euthanize domestic species, even animals that roam as feral creatures .

  • Will a stray cat go away on its own?

    Depending on the size of its available territory, a roll kat ‘s visit to your yard may be very sporadic. Or, if it ‘s a domestic vomit that escapes occasionally, you may see it entirely rarely. But feral cats that find good shelter and food sources—or the hormone olfactory property of a nearby likely mate—will very probable visit your cubic yard on a closely permanent basis, unless you take measures to discourage them .

  • Can I simply ignore a stray cat?

    In many ways, a true feral cat can be seen as another form of wildlife, and some homeowners may regard its hunt of shiner, chipmunks, rabbits, and early garden pests to be absolutely acceptable. precisely as bird-lovers dislike stray cats, some gardeners may welcome them for the marauding benefits they offer, precisely as a fox or owl is welcomed. however, if you find that multiple cats are frequently prowling your yard, this is no longer a natural phenomenon, and it ‘s probably time to take steps to control the population .

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