Skip to Content

How To Keep Stray Cats Out Of Your Yard? Recommendations

How To Keep Stray Cats Out Of Your Yard? Recommendations

Some of us love cats, others not so much. But we all agree on something; sometimes, we just want to get rid of them, especially when they claim our yards as theirs. And we keep wondering, how do I keep cats, especially stray cats, out of our yards?

There are several methods to consider. You can try creating less appealing spaces, such as rough areas, by adding plants, such as lavender. You could also try citrus scents and scented oils like lemongrass. This article will tell you a few tricks to keep these fluffy friends out of our yards.

Best Methods To Keep Strays Away

As tricky as keeping cats away may sound, there are a lot of great methods to keep them away from your yard or garden.

Remove Food From Your Garden

Cats will feel attracted to places that have a good source of food. If you have pets, avoid feeding them outside and cover trash cans securely to avoid giving stray cats an easy meal. Avoid any meat in the compost pile and keep grills and barbecues clean to prevent enticing smells.

Create Discomfort

Cats are known for being animals that like to relax, so making your yard uncomfortable can discourage any unwanted cats. You can place eggshells, chicken wire, or sharp pebbles to create some discomfort in some places where cats may lounge.

Remove Shelters


Stray cats often look for places where they feel secure to sleep, give birth, and raise their young. Try to close any openings in old sheds and garages. Also, they might find shelter under decks and porches, woodpiles, window shells, or similar places.

Scare Them

There are a few methods to scare cats out of your yard, which are pretty effective if you find the correct one, and here we have a few that might interest you:

  • Motion-activated sprinklers.
  • Motion-activated lights.
  • Ultrasound Sirens.
  • Sensitive bells or a can of beans or marbles can be helpful for cats that jump on a fence.
  • Dogs that are prompted to chase cats. You have to be careful with this one. It is better to avoid this if you know that the dog is known to harm small animals as it is illegal to harm domestic cats.

Use Traps

We recommend using humane traps to avoid causing any pain or wound to the cat or any other animal. Place the traps where the cats frequent and attract them with appetizing scents or food. This technique is not as precise as others since you could catch a different creature.

Natural Cat Repellent


Suppose you do not want to use a commercial repellant. In that case, natural options could be convenient for the environment and even give the house a pleasant fragrance. Here you have a list of natural repellents for cats that are entirely safe to use:

  • Scented oils and herbs: If you do not want to plant certain plants or flowers, you can try buying dried flowers or scented oils. Things like dried lavender and scented oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, and lavender spread out in your garden may repel cats.
  • Coffee grounds: this might help to drive cats away. Try spreading coffee grounds around your yard. This method is not 100% effective but can help; some cats might be attracted to coffee.
  • Citrus: cats dislike citrus scents. You can spread orange, lemon, or lime peels in your garden. You can look up citrus sprays; these sprays could also be effective.
  • Tobacco: the smell of tobacco repels cats. You can buy some, specifically pipe tobacco, at a smoke shop and spread it around your property.
  • Plain water: this repellent will need active attention from you in the first few days. You can fill a spray bottle with plain water to spray the cats inside or outside your house; most cats do not like to get wet, so this is a less expensive option, but it might be a little bit time-consuming.
  • Vinegar: cats dislike the smell of vinegar, so try to spray it in some areas, indoors and out. You could also try to make a cleaner by mixing water, liquid soap, and vinegar and using it to clean.

Plants To Keep Stray Cats Away


Some plants are good to keep cats away; it is believed that they have certain scents cats dislike. Here is a list of plants you could add to your garden or any other part of your property that will maintain strays at bay:

  • Lavender.
  • Rue.
  • Lemon Thyme.
  • Absinthe.
  • Geranium.
  • Coleus Canina is also called Scaredy Cat Plant.
  • Pennyroyal.

What Methods You Should Avoid

No matter how much we want to get rid of cats coming to our property, there are a few ways of doing so that we should avoid for sure, like:

  • The use of poison.
  • Any toxic contamination.
  • Inhumane traps, including glued ones.
  • Aggressive dogs.

These methods are hard to control, unpredictable, and might violate local laws. These techniques could also lead to negative consequences such as not reaching the target and causing harm to your neighbor’s pet, wildlife, or even birds.

We encourage you to try all of the safe methods we talked about earlier in this post. If none of them worked, here are a few suggestions on what to try next instead of these unsafe methods:

  • Contact the owner. You might think a domestic cat is a stray cat; try to look for a collar with identification. If the cat does not have an identification tag, try to communicate the issue to your community to see if you find an owner. When talking with the owner, be reasonable but firm about what their pet is doing to your yard.
  • You could support your local shelters, adoption facilities, or care centers; this way, they can provide these cats food and shelter. This option is an excellent way to avoid stray cats walking around. You can either provide some financial support or material donations by volunteering or the preferred form of the center.
  • Call Animal Control; their involvement might vary depending on the community. But, getting in contact with them is a way to see what can be done to remove the stray cat from the streets and look for a care center or shelter to give it a home. They might be able to put some humane traps and remove even feral cats, or they could pick a stray cat you trapped.

Calling Animal Control is an option that you could use if you have already talked with the owner of a domestic cat and the problem persists. But if you are considering this, we recommend you notify the owner in advance and give it time to see if the issue gets resolved.


It does not matter which method you decide to use to keep stray cats out of your yard. You always have to keep in mind avoiding any inhumane traps or toxic substances as you may end up breaking the law.

The most effective methods are using scented oils, repelling plants, and tobacco. Alternatively, you could use a system to scare them, such as alarms, sprinklers, and lights that turn on with motion. You also can try natural repellents or commercial ones.

This is a journey of trial and error, so do not feel discouraged if you have tried two or three methods or scents and the cat is not going anywhere. Keep trying; every cat is different and has a unique reaction. There are various methods to experiment until you find one that works for the particular stray cat that is visiting your yard.

If you had this problem before, did you do something to keep the stray cat away? If yes, which methods did you try? And, what worked best for you?