Help. I don't want to have to shoot the neighborhood cats.

12/02/2009 12:08:00 AM
Here's the deal: We've got a few feral cats all up in my patio furniture every night.

I believe these cats live in our yard, then at night, they visit our patio to sleep.

This is fine, they need shelter from the Cabo elements (???), or whatever. But the thing is, they're sleeping on my chair cushions and leaving shrapnel (dirt, pieces of sticks, mud... everything the Three Little Pigs would need to fashion their varying homes) all over.

HOW do I get these cats to STAY OFF OF MY CUSHIONS?! I'm serious. What do I do?

I don't clean the cushions so that they can dirty them the next day.


And truth be told, I'm a little afraid of these cats. They, like birds, appear to be twitchy and explosive. They're Latin cats.

I've tried a, "Keep off!" sign, but I don't think these cats are English-speakers.

Note: The cats are good to have around; they eat rodents. I get it.

Second Note: I'd like to find a solution for getting the cats to stay off my furniture every night; I do not want to physically harm them.

So, what do I do?


  1. I know this would be a pain, but could you bring in the cushions when you're not physically using them?

  2. I know there are different scents you can put on your furniture to keep pets off. You can't smell it but it grosses them out. Check out the different online pet stores that have supplements and stuff.

  3. Well, those were my two suggestions: Remove the cushions (if possible) and/or use that Bitterroot (or whatever it's called) spray to fend them off. I did recently hear, though, that the spray wears off after 24 hours. So it could be a minor investment if the cats don't learn their lesson and keep coming back for more.

    Motion lights? Motion-activated dog-barking noises?

  4. Wire the the chairs with electricity and shock the feces out of them! Of course this would probably backfire and you would shock yourself too.

  5. That bitterroot stuff WP mentioned or a combination of Listerine and water put in a spray bottle and spray on the chairs. I would do a test spot just to make sure it doesn't stain. It shouldn't but as I am unsure of the fabric on your chairs test it just to be safe. Cats like humans hate the taste of Listerine.

    I hope you don't have to shoot any cats....seems like it could be messy!

  6. put a piece of foil on the cushion when you get up. the sound when the jump up on it will scare them away.

  7. let me know if any of these suggestions works for you! we have a stray cat problem in our yard. it wouldn't be a problem except my two charming dogs think that kitty poo is snackfest '09- so no, i don't want any stray cats coming into our zone.

  8. Turn the chairs upside down for the night.

  9. no no no! Get some X-Mats: Or these things ( I've also heard cats hate tinfoil, so that's worth a try first.

    I know it's probably a little out there for ya, but you might look into TNR (trap, neuter, release). In the US there are a ton of programs that help you do this cheaply or free and in just a few months/years, you can really make a difference in the feral cat population (which is actually bad for people, cats, and wildlife -- like planting non-native, invasive plants).

  10. I second the foil remedy... it really works!

  11. i have NOTHING to contribute to the ideas, but the mental picture of you covering your cushions in foil several times a week (and the amounting fees this will incur) makes me smile.

  12. Startled cats on foil makes me laugh too.

  13. Hey, Kylee, I read "Debt Proof Living" by Mary Hunt and recently came across this question and answer:

    Dear Mary,
    We have two neighbor cats that think our front flower beds are their own personal porta-potties. They have found a spot right next to our front door to do their business and we can't keep them out of it. Do you have any suggestions? Cindi, Oregon

    Dear Cindi,
    Cats hate the smell of citrus. So, instead of throwing away orange, lemon and grapefruit peels, soak those rinds in a large container of water. Pour the water into a spray bottle and spray the area. Experiment to see how often you need to repeat. One other home remedy to repel cats is to sprinkle used coffee grinds in the garden. Neither of these repellants is harmful to the cats or your soil.



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