Deterring animals from your yard often includes animals like squirrels, skunks, and raccoons. However, you might not want stray cats in your yard either. With a few residential landscaping changes, you can better keep stray cats off of your property.
Install Sprinklers With Motion Sensors
Cats generally don't like to get wet and will avoid your yard when the sprinklers are turned on. However, if they only go on once or twice a day, you might have problems with stray cats during other times of the day. You can remedy this by having motion-activated sprinklers installed in your yard. There is a sensor inside the sprinkler heads that will sense when a cat or other animal is in the yard. This can trigger the sprinklers and cause them to turn on until the cat or other object is out of the way. However, also be aware that the same sensor will go off if your family members or own pets go near the motion-detected sprinklers.
Utilize Cat Repellents
There are also some repellents that work great on stray cats. They will not injure the cats but will give the cats a good reason to look elsewhere. For example, cats don't like the scent of citrus as it is a little too strong for them. You can use orange or lemon essential oils to sprinkle around the perimeter of your home. While orange and lemon peels are also useful, they can attract bugs, so they might not be your best option. Also consider using other essential oils that deter cats, such as lavender, citronella, and eucalyptus.
Be Careful What You Plant
When you are planting new flowers and trees in your yard, try to avoid plants that tend to attract stray cats, such as mint. They love the smell and taste of mint and will be attracted to your yard if it's there. If you do want to grow mint, keep the plants in containers inside your home or in a covered patio or sunroom. Also avoid plants that tend to create a catnip-like sensation for cats, such as honeysuckle. However, if you plant rue, the cats may avoid your garden.
Use Prickly Materials in the Yard
It is also a good idea to add materials to your yard that are prickly, which stray cats will not favour. You don't want to injure the cats, but such plants will make it hard to dig and give them a reason to avoid your property. For example, you can have pine cones or rose clippings on the ground of your yard, particularly near vegetation. Holly leaves can also be too prickly for cats to step on.