How to keep cats away

By Stacy MantleHaving their front door “sprayed” by roaming cats is probably the number one “complaint” of neighbors. There are a number of solutions to this problem.

· Aluminum Foil: Cats do not like the way aluminum foil feels on their paws, or the sound it makes when stepped on. Placing a large piece of foil in front of, or taping against, the door is an inexpensive and simple way of stopping the problem.

· Scat Mats: There are several different types of scat mats. Some have raised points on them that won’t injure the cats, but does deter them from entering the area. These mats can be purchased from pet stores for less than $12.00. Another type of scat mat can be plugged into a nearby outlet and produces a static electricity charge that, when stepped on, will create a small static charge which keeps the cat away. These types of mats can be a bit more expensive, varying between $50-$100.

· Motion-Activated Sprays: Ssscat is a motion-activated sensor that produces a safe spray and a loud noise when activated. They have a range of 3-10 feet, and this can be adjusted for height and range.

· Doublestick tape: Place double stick tape on your doors. Sticky Paws offers a wide selection of sizes and they will not harm your doors or windows. Cats do not like the feel of the tape, and will run away.

These are highly effective methods and quite inexpensive. Often these stop-gaps are only required for a short time period. The goal is to create doubt about a cat entering the yard.

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Cats resting in garden areas are probably the number two complaint. So, to keep cats out of your garden, you can try several things.

· Ornamental Pebbles/Gravel: cats do not like to walk on these, and they look nice in yards.

· Water: Keeping an area moist will deter cats from entering the garden.

· Plants: There are several plants that work well for keeping pets out of your garden and/or yard. One of these is Coleus Canina, a newly developed plant that cats (and all types of animals) hate. It releases a stench that animals cannot handle. However, it only smells to the human nose when touched! It’s a pretty plant and works in nearly all types of landscaping and climates.

You could also try using the herb, Rue. The blue leaves create a nice garden accent, and cats seem to hate the odor. Cats are not keen on the smell of citrus either, so you could try using orange or lemon peel in your yard as a deterrent. Other things that have been successful are coffee grounds, blood meal, cayenne pepper, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.

Keeping pets out of your yard entirely requires a little more work and a lot of patience, but here are a few options. Note that these solutions generally only need to be activated at night, when strays are most active.

· Water Bottle: Fill a clear plastic bottle halfway with water. Replace lid and set in the middle of the lawn. If you have a large lawn area, place two or three out. The theory is that cats are frightened away by light that travels through the bottle of water, giving off little “flashes.”

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· Blank or Scratched CD’s: these work the same way as a water bottle by reflecting light and causing doubt in the cat when he/she enters your yard.

· Motion Activated Sprinkler: When a cat or other pet walks in front of it, they set forth a 3-second burst of water. They run about $50-100.

· UltraSonic Cat Deterrent: These systems operate on a 9-volt battery, and when a cat comes into range, it sets off an ultrasonic sound, undetectable to humans. Often they run about $60.

I hope these suggestions help! Remember that it is always best to start out with a little, and then move into the power tools. It will be much more effective in the long run.

Read more articles by Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Pet Foods.

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