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How to Keep Neighborhood Cats out of Your Yard

How to keep my neighbors cat out of my yard. How to get rid of cats in my area. Is it allowed for people to let their cats loose in the neighborhood? What can I do about all the cats in my area? Learn how a home owner can legally deal with cats coming into his or her yard. Not everyone likes cats in their garden, how to prevent your garden from becoming a cat hangout.

Not everyone likes cats in their yard. If you are a home owner and are tired of your neighbor's cats in your yard there are several solutions. A few things that you may not legally be able to do will also be listed at the end of the article.

Find Out Your Local By-Laws

Many cities have by-laws in regards to cats going outside. Where these laws exist they usually require the cat to be contained on its owner's property. As such you would be free to catch any cat that comes onto your yard, but the only thing you can do with it would be to take it to your local pound or animal shelter. The owner would have to pay a fine to recover their pet, and would be instructed to keep it on their property. Many owners simply do not bother claiming their cat.

Talk to your Neighbors

If there is a local cat by-law you can also talk (nicely) to your cat owning neighbor, reminding them of the by-law, and informing them that you intend to start trapping cats on your property.

If no law exists you can still ask your neighbors to keep their cats better controlled and managed.

You can also submit a letter to the editor overall reminding cat owners to keep cats on their property in areas where laws exist on this regard.  If published it may help increase awareness of a problem and encourage more responsible ownership.

Better Fencing

While this may seem like an unfair burden to you, it is often the best solution; build a fence to keep cats out of your yard. Chain link fences are cat proof. Normally your neighbor should share the expense of putting in a fence, but ultimately the responsibility to pay for it may solely be yours if they do not want a fence. Other systems involve hanging netting inward, and upward, from your existing fence. Such fencing systems are available at some pet supply, or livestock supply stores.

Make your Yard Less Attractive to Cats

If you have bird baths and bird feeders the local cats all know your yard is the best hang out. Removing these can reduce the cat's desire to visit your yard. Having automatic sprinklers that come on in response to motion in the yard will make your yard very unattractive to cats. Chasing the cats out of your yard may “train” them not to come back, however it will also thwart any attempts you may have later of catching them and taking them to the shelter.

Certain plants are said to keep cats away, however I do want to note that I have never had success with such plants in general, so would not suggest you waste too much time replanting your garden. Of course planting something such as catnip would defeat your purpose as it will act as a calling card to bring cats into your yard.

You should note that a well planted yard, thick with ground cover, will reduce the possibilities of a cat digging in your yard.

There are products available from pet supply stores that have smells to keep cats out of certain areas, however they may not be enough to keep the cat out of the yard altogether.

Get a Dog

One of the best ways to keep cats out of your yard is by having a dog. Of course you should not get a dog purely for this reason, as a neglected dog will have problems all its own.

What you Cannot Do

In most areas it is illegal to pick a cat up and take it anywhere other than to your local shelter.

Cornering the cat and spraying it with the hose is entirely cruel and unfair to the cat itself, and may result in you being charged with cruelty. Chasing it out of the yard with the hose is different than cornering it and soaking it.

Placing poison in your yard is usually illegal in most areas.

Shooting cats on your property may or may not be legal, you need to check the local laws, in most areas it is illegal.

Luring the cat off its own property so you can catch it is illegal in most areas.

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Comments (8)

I am not a cat person, so your pieces of advice are noted down..

Does a pet dog keeps these cats away? Anyways.... nice read, Brenda.

Ranked #26 in Cats

Great article.  Most people allow their cats to roam in my area.  

Here in NZ cats are very much outdoor creatures, coming in only to sleep  or when they need cuddles. When we go away and our cat sleeps in the garage I think all the neighbourhood cats come and party with him! Although older now, he looks after the invaders into our property quite nicely himself!

Ranked #14 in Cats

Interesting article.  My cats have always been in the house.  The neighbor cats can be a problem but all the cats that get in my yard I know the owners so I kind of have to put up with them.

Ranked #8 in Cats

Anyone who would poison a cat or shoot a cat had better stay out of my crosshairs.

As forme, the neighborhood cats are welcome in my yard. I feed them.

Good ideas on keeping out other people's cats, but other than building a chain link fence around your property, or keeping them inside all the time, how you keep your own cats on your property?

Ranked #1 in Cats

Karen, it is actually pretty easy to keep cats on your own property. When I lived in the city I built a cat run for my cats. They could go in and out from a kitchen window - I had fenced the area between my house and the fence beside my house - using 2 x 4's and chicken wire.  I had a door made in the pen at one end so I could go in too if I needed.  I put logs in the enclosure to make it interesting.

My sister did the same only made her cat's an enclosure under their deck, the cats use a basement window to get into their outside space, she used stucco wire rather than chicken wire, and I think it is a better choice.

People can leash train their cat.

There are fence systems you can attach to a current fence that make it hard for cats to jump over the fence, these systems only work if there are no trees the cats can climb.

If the cats already know how to get out of a yard, and are use to it, building a cat enclosure is the best option. 

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