Nuisance cats

There are essentially four reasons a cat will visit your property: hunting and looking for food, looking for shelter, investigating new territory, and tomcats looking for females in heat.

There are a number of things you can do to discourage them, including desexing your own cats. Plus:

  • Secure rubbish bags and bins
  • Feed your pets indoors
  • Mow your lawns regularly (long grass provides a habitat for mice and lizards and encourages cats to hunt)
  • Use wire mesh or boards to block off areas where strays may seek shelter, like under your deck or porch
  • Keep garages and sheds closed

Tips to stop cats toileting in your garden

Sprinkle eggshells, chilli flakes or pepper, citrus, tea and coffee grounds or cinnamon. You can also try laying bark and pinecones. Cats hate not having soft ground to walk on.

Once you know where they're toileting, you can spray diluted water and vinegar in the area, or leave ribbed water bottles out. The motion of the light reflecting in the water makes them nervous and might deter them.

Another good deterrent can be planting things in your garden that they don’t like. Garlic, geranium, rue, garlic and lemon thyme are all winners. Cats love catnip, so don't plant that unless you want lots of visitors.