Feral cats are members of the domestic cat species, but are not socialized to humans and are therefore not adoptable. Because feral cats are not socialized and not adoptable, they will most likely be euthanized at a shelter or pound.

Trap-Neuter-Return is the only proven method for reducing the feral cat population. Feral cats have been living outdoors near humans for more than 10,000 years. We understand that not everyone enjoys having cats in their yards, and these simple tips will help you discourage feral cats from taking up residence on your property.

Easy Solutions to Cat Behaviors

Cats are getting into my trash cans.

Cats are scavengers and are looking for food.


  • Place a tight lid on your trash can. Exposed trash bags will attract wildlife as well.
  • See if neighbors are feeding the cats. If they are, make sure they are doing it on a regular schedule.
  • Start feeding the cats yourself but remember to keep them on a regular feeding schedule, don't leave food out for more than 30 minutes, and place feeders off the ground and in location that will not disturb neighbors. Feeding cats regularly and in reasonable quantities, will help ensure they don't get hungry and turn to the trash.

There are cat paw prints and/or scratches on my car.

Cats like to perch on high ground.


  • Move cats' feeding stations away from neighbors' properties to discourage cats from climbing on cars or other private property.
  • Purchase a car cover. Or place plastic carpet runners spike side up on cars. This will not hurt the cat but will make the cat uncomfortable and it will not want to sit on the car

Cats are digging in my garden

It is a cat's natural instinct to dig and use the restroom in soft or loose soil, moss, mulch, or sand.


  • Scatter fresh grounded orange and lemon peels or spray the area with citrus-scented fragrances. Coffee grounds, pipe tobacco, oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, and eucalyptus also deter cats.
  • Cats will only go the restroom where they can dig. By placing chicken wire with the sharp side facing down, lattice fencing, or river rocks over the soil will keep feral cats from using your garden as a litter box. You can disguise these by planting flowers and seeds in the openings. You can also try embedding wooden chopsticks, pinecones, or sticks with dull points deep into the soil with the tops exposed eight inches apart, this will act as an obstacle and deter cats from this area.
  • Establish a litter box by tilling the soil or placing sand in an out-of-the-way spot in your yard. Make sure to keep it clean and free of deposits.

Cats are lounging in my yard or on my porch.

Cats are territorial and will remain close to their food source. Ensuring that cats are neutered will dramatically reduce their tendency to roam and keep them from unwanted areas.


  • Apply cat repellent liberally around the edges of the yard, on the tops of fences, and on any favorite digging areas or plants. This can be bought at most animal supply companies.
  • Install and a motion-activated water sprinklers, this will not only keep cats from hanging out in your yard but it will also help to maintain your lawn.
  • Make sure your not unintentionally providing a food source or shelter for the cats. Keep your yard clean, make sure there is a tight lid on your garbage, and do not feed household pets outdoors.

Cats are sleeping under my porch or in my shed.

The cats are looking for dry, warm shelter away from the elements.


  • Once you have located the area in which the cats are making entry make sure to look for any remaining cats or kittens before sealing off the area.
  • Use lights and a radio to make the cat uncomfortable to they will move out on their own.
  • Also use scents such as coffee grounds, citrus peels, and ammonia to deter any cats from making new homes on your property.

Cats are killing birds.

Being predatory animals, feral cats may occasionally kill birds. However, the real cause for the decline in the bird population is the loss of habitat, urbanization, pollution and environmental degradation. Researchers estimate that in the U.S. alone, nearly 100 million birds die from collisions with windows and buildings every year, eighty million birds die from collisions with automobiles, and another 67 million from exposure to pesticides on crops. These figures do not even take into account the millions that perish due to pesticides used on golf courses, lawns, and gardens.


Place all bird feeds high off the ground in areas where cats cannot climb to reach it or hide around it. Try limiting the amount of seeds that fall on the ground by using liquid bird food, putting smaller amount of seeds in feeders, or by purchasing cat resistant bird feeders.

Cats are yowling, fighting, spraying, roaming, and having kittens.

These are all mating behaviors displayed by cats that have not been spayed or neutered.


The most effective way to eliminate these behaviors is by having the feral cat spayed or neutered. These behaviors are driven by the cats' sexual hormones once the cat is sterilized usually within three weeks these behaviors are eliminated.