How Can You Get Rid of Feral Cats Permanently?

Get Rid of Feral Cats Permanently

As much as domesticated cats are adorable to have, stray or feral cats can be a nuisance.

If there are stray cats that like to visit your yard and stay there, they can cause many problems.

They can attack your pets, spread fleas, and use your yard as their litter box.

If you are experiencing these problems and looking to get rid of stray cats, you are in the right place.

Below I will discuss some of the best tips and home remedies that can work for you.

We will later also look at a few things you need to avoid while keeping the feral cats away…

How to Keep Stray Cats Away?

There are many ways you can get rid of feral cats permanently.

Some of them that are commonly used by DIYers as well as Pros include…

1. Keep Your Yard Food-Free

Stray cats are always on the hunt for food.

They are mostly carnivorous and usually feed by hunting rodents, reptiles, birds, and more.

They can also feed on other cooked foods as well if they cannot find birds and animals.

Food is a big motivator for them, and they visit places frequently where they can find food.

Their sense of smell is incredibly heightened, and they can detect any food source from a mile.

That is why you should never leave trash or food outdoors.

If you have pets in the house, you should not be feeding them outside either.

Instead, ensure that all eating activity happens indoors.

That will remove the incentive for cats to lurk around your property.

However, it is crucial to store your trash properly too.

Always keep your trash in bags, and then make sure that the trash can is well-sealed too.

That way, the cats will not be able to get inside.

2. Use Cat Repellents

Utilizing a repellent is perhaps one of the easiest ways of removing feral cats from your property.

There are many repellents available on the market meant to discourage cats from coming to your property.

These cat deterrent sprays and tablets contain strong odors that cats dislike.

However, apart from commercial repellents, you can use these scents to repel stray cats:

  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ground coffee
  • Citrus-scented sprays
  • Orange or lemon peels
  • Citronella

Spraying these scents in your yard, on your fence, flowerbeds, and porch will work wonders in keeping feral cats away from your property.

3. Install Water Sprinklers

If there is one thing that cats dislike the most, then it is being showered with water.

You can take advantage of this and install water sprinklers around your property if they are not already there.

Make sure they are installed in such a way that you or someone in your home can have access to it at all times.

After doing this, you can turn the sprinklers on as soon as a feral cat comes near your property.

When they get wet the first time, they will make it a point to stay away from your property.

After all, they wouldn’t want to be sprayed with water.

Water is an effective method, and you can use it for other animals that may enter your property.

It is a sure way to permanently keep all pests and animals off your property.

4. Design A Landscape That Discourages Cats

Accessibility and convenience are one of the biggest reasons stray cats enter a property.

If they like your yard and there are opening through which they can enter, they will take this opportunity to find their best habitats which include attics, porch, drainage pipes, sewers, etc.

These can be a perfect place for them to hide and use as their litter box.

That is why it is essential to take the necessary steps to make your outdoors uninhabitable.

The first thing you should do is look for openings from which a cat might enter.

Once you find them, you can seal them so that they can’t gain access.

The next step you should take is to create a landscape that would deter them from coming again.

You can include sharp foliage, add thorny bushes, apply strong odors, and create rough surfaces.

For example, you can include pebbles, sharp edges, twigs, and wires in your garden bed.

Such sharp objects and strong odors will ensure that the feral cats don’t step foot on your property again.

The more comfortable and inviting a house looks, the more chances there are of stray cats using the property as a shelter.

5. Use Humane Traps

You can always set up traps, but you have to keep in mind that they need to be humane.

After all, you don’t want to harm another living being intentionally.

However, you should only use a trap if there are no other pets in the house.

Otherwise, your pets may become trapped too.

Set up a trap, and once you catch the feral cat, you can hand them over to your local animal control officials.

They can help find a shelter for the cat, and it won’t be your problem anymore.

You can also find a shelter or a home for these cats yourself.

However, many people don’t prefer this option because feral cats can be a nuisance to keep around.

6. Use Plants as a Repellent

Yes, you read that right. You can use plants as repellents too.

That is because some varieties of plants release an odor that cats strongly dislike.

Keeping many such plants in your yard means that the feral cats will stay away.

One plant that will work wonders at keeping feral cats away is the Coleus Canina.

Many people have also termed it the “Scaredy Cat Plant.”

That is because the plant releases a strong odor that is disliked by cats and many other pests.

However, if you can’t find this plant in your area, other plants such as rue and lavender work too.

The feral cats will be able to detect these plants’ scents from a long distance, and they will not dare to come near.

keep feral cats away

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Feral Cats

Once they hide in a safe location, stray cats can reproduce kittens every 4 months which might increase their population.

As the number of cats increases in number, the more troublesome the condition can become for you.

If you have exhausted all methods of getting rid of feral cats, you can take the matter into your hands by utilizing these home remedies:

7- Scent of Vinegar

Our sense of smell is inferior to cats, so we can’t tell how pungent vinegar is.

However, cats can smell this strong odor from a mile away and dislike it.

So, vinegar is an effective home remedy that can keep feral cats away from your property.

Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it outdoors, such as in your yard, porch, driveway, and other outdoor areas.

As soon as cats come near these areas, they will smell the vinegar and retreat.

A cat will not visit any object or area with vinegar on it.

8- Ammonia

Utilizing ammonia to keep stray cats away is a tried and tested method.

Many stray cats have the habit of digging soft earth in the yard or garden, and then they litter in it.

So, if you want feral cats to stop using your yard as their personal toilet, you can use ammonia.

The best way to do this is to mix one part of ammonia with one part of water and spray it around any soft earth or your entire yard.

It will emit a strong smell that cats dislike, and they will not come again.

However, one thing to keep in mind is not to use this method if you have other pets in your home.

The odor is strong, and even domesticated pets will be repelled by it.

So, it is best used when you have no animals in the house, and you want to get rid of the ones that come into your yard.

9- Lemon or Orange Peels

Last but not least, you can use lemon and orange peels to keep feral cats away.

Scatter these peels all over your yard and other outdoor areas.

You can also keep them near openings that the cat might utilize to come in.

Doing so will keep them at a distance, and they will not enter your home.

Things You Should Not Do While Repelling Feral Cats

While it is important to know what to do, it is also crucial to know what not to do.

Even if you are facing an out-of-control feral cat problem, you should not take these steps under any circumstances:

  • Unleashing aggressive dogs
  • Shooting (even with non-lethal pellet guns)
  • Poisons
  • Toxic substances
  • Inhumane traps

Many individuals employ these techniques to keep feral cats away, but they are harmful to the cats.

You don’t need to go towards the extreme, as the various ways stated above can work wonders.

You may also be violating local laws kept in place to protect stray animals.

So, always use methods that are not detrimental to the health of the cats.

If you still can’t get rid of these stray cats, then you can call your local animal control authority, or you can use some natural home remedies.

Stray vs Feral Cat

What is the Difference Between A Stray Cat and A Feral Cat?

Although there are distinct similarities between feral and stray cats aesthetically, they are quite different in terms of how they interact with people and what social cues they take.

This can be essential when determining the proper procedure when approaching a cat, as failing to identify the type can lead to potential injuries to the one in contact.

Regardless, both types of cats are domesticated.

The key difference between feral and stray cats is whether they are used to people or not through a process known as socialization.

Like humans, in order to function in a sociable manner, cats need to be exposed to other cats and humans. Feral cats lack these interactions with people and are solely used to depending on themselves.

Strays are previously socialized cats that have simply lost their home, though they are also self-sufficient in feeding/hunting.

With these aspects in mind, here are some other differences that can help anyone identify a stray cat vs. a feral cat.


These cats live a rather secluded lifestyle.

Feral cats have likely never had any natural interaction with humans, though stray cats can potentially become feral if they haven’t experienced human interactions for significant periods of time.

Once feral, they come to fear people and actively avoid them when possible.

Socializing is a complex process that is not recommendable to any extent, especially if the cat is over four months of age.

Feral cats do have the potential to become socialized, though chances are slim. Kittens under four months can possibly become socialized.

If a feral cat has been rescued before four months, the 4–8-month period can be used as a social measurement.

Their behavior during this time will come into play and can be an easy way to determine if the socialization process is working.


Stray cats have been socialized at one point in their life and have simply been separated from their home.

It is possible for stray cats to become feral, given minimal interaction with humans.

Though they can become feral, stray cats have shown a greater potential to become socialized once again if they are brought back into a home.

This will take time during a ‘re-acclimation,’ but it can be achieved with enough care.

black-footed cat

Which Is the World’s Deadliest Wild Cat – How Do They Attack?

As the age-old adage goes, “It’s always the ones you suspect the least.”

This can easily be applied to the likes of the black-footed cats common in the southern parts of Africa.

Not only is it the smallest cat on the continent, but it also happens to be the number one killer known to man.

Fortunately, this cat is native only to Africa and has yet to appear elsewhere in the world as an invasive species.

Despite their killer instincts, these cats are tiny, standing at only 8 inches two, under two feet long, and often barely break the 5-pound mark in terms of weight.

While you might not cower in fear at the sight of one, black-footed cats are a killing machine in the animal kingdom, the likes of which a lion or a cheetah could only dream of becoming.

Black-footed cats have earned the ‘killer’ title for a good reason.

Numerous scouting and reporting teams have recorded that these cats kill over ten birds or rodents each night, averaging between 10-14 depending on environmental factors.

For most of the animal kingdom, these small creatures aren’t an issue.

Unfortunately, smaller mammals will constantly have to look over their shoulder as the black-footed cat could be in pursuit at any given time.

How do they attack their prey?

Domesticated cats are well known for their ninja-like ability to be quieter than a mouse.

Due to their natural patterns, which help them blend with their surroundings, and their small stature, it was historically difficult to track them during their prime hunting hours at night.

Recent advances in camera technology helped cross this barrier.

What was found were interesting hunting behaviors that can be broken down into two groups: fast hunting and slow hunting.

Fast hunting involves the cat bounding toward its prey in the hopes of flushing out smaller mammals like birds or mice.

At times, there appears to be no method to their approach.

Slow hunting involves a calculated approach as they identify and surprise their prey.

Additionally, they sometimes sit and wait for an animal to come to them; they’ve been noted to wait up to two hours in this position.

Final Words

That was your complete guide to keeping feral cats away from your home.

Keep in mind that both stray and feral cats are problematic.

Since they are born and raised in the wild, they can carry diseases and parasites which can be spread to humans.

Cats can be stubborn, and utilizing the above-mentioned ways only once won’t do the trick.

Instead, you will have to use these ways to keep cats off your property consistently.

Once you use them consistently, you can say goodbye to feral cats from your property forever.

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