How to Get Rid of Wild Cats in Your Yard


While the wild cats wandering through your yard may be cute, they are a nuisance. Wild cats dig through garbage cans, raid pet food supplies, and spread disease and parasites to your pets. Ridding your yard of wild cats takes determination and diligence, but the health well-being of your pets and your family is worth every bit of trouble.

Wild cats are not as cute and innocent as they first seem.
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Things You'll Need

  • Herbs
  • Pepper oil spray
  • Motion-activated sprinklers
Step 1

Clean up your property to make it uninviting for wild cats. Cats like to hide under thick bushes and in piles of yard waste, so cut back overgrown shrubs, and dispose of branches and leaves to reduce cover for wild cats.

Man pruning shrubs
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Step 2

Feed pets inside, and store food bags in your home or inside a locked shed or garage. Wild cats are less likely to hang around if they’re next meal is difficult to find.

Dog eating from bowl
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Step 3

Plant cat-repellent herbs in your garden to ward off unwanted felines. Cats dislike potent-smelling herbs such as rue, lemon grass and peppermint, and will leave your yard in search of less-offensive territory.

Lemon grass
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Step 4

Spray the perimeter of your property with pepper oil. The hot, spicy scent of pepper will keep wild cats from wandering onto your property. Re-spray the perimeter weekly for best results.

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Step 5

Set up motion-activated sprinklers in areas frequented by wild cats. Hook the sprinkler to a garden hose and push the sprinkler into the ground, turning the motion sensor on before walking away. Most cats hate water and will learn walking into your yard means an unwanted squirt of water.

Sprinkler watering lawn
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Step 6

Call a professional exterminator if the cats become too numerous or aggressive to deal with. A professional will trap and relocate the cats without harming them.

Small metal trap
Photoraidz/iStock/Getty Images

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Tips & Warnings

  • Refrain from feeding wild cats, no matter how hungry they look. If they know you’re going to feed them, they will keep coming back.
  • Never attempt to trap wild cats by yourself. It is against the law to trap animals in many cities; and if you’re unfamiliar with trapping, you could injure yourself or the cat.


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