How do I shoo this cranky neighborhood cat away from our house?

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Awwww, wookit wittle Nacho!

Theresa asks:

I have a pest. It’s a cat — who wants to fight my cat.

My Nacho cat lives inside our rental unit and she’s the queen of her domain. But every now and then — and sometimes, every goddamn night — there is a neighbour cat who comes around, fronts up to one of the windows, and tries to fight Nacho. Nacho gets her tail all fluffy, runs tensely from window to window, screeches and yowls, and punches the window with her paws. Because she can’t get out to release her frustration on neighbourcat, she tends to take it out, via her claws, on our human legs. Ouch. And as a result, Andy and I end up cowering in fear whenever Nacho’s hackles come up like that.

How the hell do you keep a cat away from your house? This cat ain’t here to poop, and it isn’t just casually wandering past. It’s here to fight, or mate, or something. Is there anything we can do, aside from scaring it away once it arrives?

Comments on How do I shoo this cranky neighborhood cat away from our house?

  1. This might sound strange, but have you tried taking some of your cat’s used litter to sprinkle under the windows? That way your cat can “mark” his territory. Otherwise, you might really have to get aggressive and call animal control on the other cat if you are serious about the situation wanting to stop.

    • My mom does this same thing. She emptied her cats’ entire used litter box around her property line twice, and it has kept neighboring cats and dogs from trying to enter her cats’ territory for months now. Even though your kitty doesn’t venture out of doors, this should give the neighbor the message that this is her place.

  2. In NZ, where I am, it’s normal to let cats roam as they choose and come in when they want. We used to live in a house where the next door neighbours cat used to sleep on a chair on our front porch and regularly wander inside, even.
    I would suggest coffee grounds; cats hate them and used coffee grounds are great for the garden as well.

  3. We’ve got two neighborhood cats (indoor/outdoor cats owned by neighbors) who frequently come by to taunt our dogs. Okay, well technically I think one of them is just curious about them, because he never comes any closer than the end of the driveway and runs away the second they start barking, but the other will saunter up, pretty as you please and plop down on our front porch and sun himself while the dogs go crazy. He clearly thinks it’s hysterical. This particular cat also gets into our trash, so I’m none too happy with having him around. We’ve got lots of flower beds so I think I’m going to try the coffee grounds trick and see if that gets rid of him. I haven’t been able to get close enough to him to catch him to read his tag to see who he belongs to.

  4. We have a cat who’s been coming around and nomming on all the fish in our pond.. we started with 10 and now we have 3.. we’ve had to cover the pond in mesh but it’s not really ideal..

    • Agreed. I had redirected aggression problems with my cats thanks to neighborhood cats, and this helped. We got a Scarecrow:

      Plus I’ve added some plants outside that are cat deterrents, here is the list of plants that I’m fairly certain are not poisonous just odoriferous: lemongrass, garlic, lavender, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon balm. Many of mine have died, so I’m not sure what works and what doesn’t

      I also started putting my citrus peels into the blender then making a barrier with the mix. If you have a yard putting things that cats dislike walking on in front of windows is always an option too, such as debris from plants or certain types of mulch or chicken wire.

      I also did things inside, like I moved the things the cats liked to sit on away from directly looking out the windows, and used feliway in the house for about two months for my cats to settle down.

  5. We have this problem too, not sure if anyone mentioned sprinkling cinnamon around where the cat goes, but it seemed to work for us

  6. I was going to suggest the predator pee. They sell all sorts of OMFG GO AWAY CAT devices at home improvement and pet stores. I tried trial and error buying them and spraying them on the outside window frames.

  7. try planting ‘society garlic/false garlic’ in your flower beds. pretty purple flowers, nice green foliage, smells awesome (who doesn’t love the smell of garlic? makes me wanna go cook!) and it keeps cats away form your home.

    • Heh, I have society garlic planted in my yard, and that has not stopped cats from coming in (and pooping right next to it)!

  8. Don’t know if this is an option, but you could keep a squirt bottle of water or a bottle of canned air (like the ones used for blowing dust out of computers), and squirt the cat outside whenever you catch him. Might piss him off enough to keep him away.

    • I have used a squirt bottle to fire ‘warning shots’ at cats on our garage roof. They drive my dog insane sitting up there! But if it’s my neighbor’s cat, I end up feeling like an a-hole, ’cause it’s basically her territory too… 🙁

  9. I’ve watched My Cat From Hell sometimes and Jackson uses motion sensor water sprinklers and air cans to get rid of outdoor cats that are invading the property. I don’t know if that might help.

  10. My son had a problem with a neighbor cat coming in his garden. I bought him a movement sensitive sprinkler that turns on when the cat enters the garden. It cost about $70. You hook it up to a garden hose.

  11. Using plants that deter cats is the way forward if you don’t want to use any of the commercial deterrents available. Planting Coleus Canina (also known as Scaredy Cat) strategically around your garden will definitely help. Other plants to consider are Curry Herb and Lemon Balm, Rosemary and Lavender.


  12. I have a pair of breeding owls!
    One day when i was getting some chicks out i turned round to see a cat put it’s paw into the cage and get a chick and put it in it’s mouth!
    I am quite worried about this because i want my owls to breed and they might not be getting the amount of chicks that the should be getting!
    I have tried to get it away but nothing seems to work.
    Has anyone got any ideas on how i could get it away!

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