A high percentage of people experience problems with a neighbour’s cat coming into their home or garden.
The main reasons a cat is coming to your home is to look for food, shelter, attention or to fight with resident cats.
Fortunately, by making small adjustments to your home and garden you can stop unwanted cats from visiting.
How to Stop Cats from Coming into Your Home
Sometimes a visit from a neighbour’s cat is no problem at all but if they are spraying, marking, stealing food or fighting it can quickly turn into a big issue.
That’s why it’s better not to encourage other cats into your garden (even if they’re friendly) as if you do, it is likely they will return time and time again which could potentially cause issues in the future.
To stop cats from coming into your home you can:
Adapt Entry Points
If a cat is coming into your home they are likely going to be using a cat flap or an open window as their way in and out.
If you own a cat you will want to ensure they still have easy access into the house so it is better to install a cat flap as this gives you more control.
Ideally, it should be a secure microchip cat flap that only opens for your cat.
This will prevent other cats from following your cat inside and will significantly reduce the problems you experience with other cats within your home.
If you cannot upgrade your cat flap try to keep the area around the entrance clear and uninviting.
While your cat may love to walk into a nice full bowl of food it is better to offer food elsewhere in the house as if it is positioned near the cat flap it may entice another cat in.
Introduce Garden Deterrents
A good cat flap can make all of the difference if the neighbour’s cat is entering your home but if you are having problems with cats coming into your garden, it will require other solutions:
- Avoid leaving food outside or don’t feed other cats outside
- If you have bird feeders in your garden, keep them in high places to reduce the temptation for cats to catch the birds.
- Keep flower beds watered as cats don’t like to walk on damp ground
- Secure fences or hedges to prevent other cats from entering your garden
- Install plastic spiking on the top of your fences to keep your cat in your garden and other cats out
When You’re Home
If you’re at home and see the cat in the garden then shoo them away by clapping, this
should make them leave and will indicate to them it’s not an area they should be visiting.
You should never pet cats that enter your home or garden.
It can be tempting to be affectionate to friendly cats but it will only encourage them to hang around and return.
There are certain smells that cats do not like, you can apply these scents around your garden and doorways to keep cats away.
While there are commercially available cat deterrents you can also make use of natural home remedies.
Most cats do not like the smell of:
- Certain essential oils such as lavender, citronella, lemon thyme or peppermint
These are all possible options for spraying (or sprinkling) around your garden and doorways to deter cats from your home and garden.
If the main issue is cats coming into your garden and destroying your flower beds, the following textural techniques can help keep cats away from certain areas:
- Place pebbles or rocks over soil
- Place rose bush cuttings over flower beds
- Plant short twigs throughout the flower area
- Scatter coffee ground or crushed cinnamon
- Place aluminium foil around the perimeter of the flowerbed
You may find these simple visual deterrents are enough to keep cats away:
- Hang old CDs from branches around common entry points
- Place a one-litre water or wine bottle with water by your doorway or entrance
Finally, you might find it useful to contact somebody about the issue:
Speak to the cat’s owner.
Approaching the owner in a non-confrontational way can help as they might be able to help prevent the cat from entering your property (if their cat is male and the owner is willing to consider getting him neutered this may help solve or reduce the problem too).
If the visiting cat is a stray, you can contact your local rescue centre as they may be willing to collect and care for the cat.