What Keeps Cats Out of Barn Hay?

What Keeps Cats Out of Barn Hay? thumbnail
Feral cats are semiwild and often resist it when people touch them.

Feral cats often find homes inside of barns where they find protection from the elements. Sometimes, barn owners enjoy the rodent reduction seen after a cat moves into the barn, but other times, the cats themselves are the unwanted pests. You can keep cats away from your barn or other property in many ways.

  1. Motion-Activated Sprinkler

    • Few things cats hate more than water, so a motion-activated sprinkler set up in the area in front of a barn door might be just the trick to keep cats away from your barn. After being sprayed a few times, the cats will find a less-watery home elsewhere. These sprinklers are designed to frighten the cats, and will train them to keep away during the summer.

    Unscented Repellents

    • Since scented materials can contaminate hay, they might not be the best option for repelling barn cats. Repellents like ultrasonic devices or scents that only bother cats can help keep cats out of your barn. Ultrasonic devices can be motion-activated and mounted in a barn or just outside of its doors. The noises that ultrasonic devices emit are frightening for cats, but humans are unable to hear them. Plants like the Coleus Canina planted just outside the barn emit a scent that cats hate but do not bother humans.


    • Trapping and relocating a cat might be another way to deal with an unwanted barn cat. This option might not be ideal for barns infested with many cats. Place a humane box trap inside of the barn and bait it with tuna or some other cat treat. Check the trap every day, and once the cat is trapped, contact your local Humane Society or animal control office for assistance. It is important to give food and water to the cat if you've kept it in the cage for longer than 12 hours.

    Other Options

    • Other options that might not be ideal for keeping cats out of hay include sprinkling ground hot pepper, peppermint oil, lemon peels or mustard oil around the barn. This could ruin the quality of the hay if used inside the barn, but sprinkling these strongly scented materials around the barn's perimeter may help keep cats from entering. You must replenish these types of materials after rain or heavy winds.

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