How to Keep Stray Cats off Your Porch: Try These Options!

Cats lounging on your porch or doing their business in your front yard can be more than just a little annoying. If you have dogs, they likely go insane, shattering the silence with their barking whenever cats are on your porch. Sometimes it seems like our feline friends live to drive dogs crazy. But even if you don’t have dogs, you may just want the cats to stay off your property. Whether they are stray cats or belong to someone in the neighborhood, there are several easy solutions you can enact today. So read on to discover how to keep stray cats off your porch.

Gather Information

Whenever you have a cat problem, it’s a good idea to find out whether the cats are stray or they belong to someone. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. If the cats have collars, chances are they belong to a neighbor. But finding out which one can be difficult. If you happen to know who the cats belong to, consider discussing the issue with them. They may be willing to keep the cat indoors (which is much safer for the cat). If not, they probably know what will be the best deterrent to keep the cat off your porch. 

If the cats are strays, consider finding a shelter or non-profit that offers Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) services. This can help keep the stray cat population in your area under control. If you do call an animal control service, realize that a lot of the cats that go to shelters will end up being euthanized, unless the shelter is expressly “no-kill.” This is why it’s important to contact a TNR program or a no-kill shelter.

Wash Your Porch

Before you decide on using any of the options below, it’s well worth washing your porch off. Using bleach and water or an enzymatic cleaner, like Nature’s Miracle should do the trick. One of the reasons cats keep coming onto your porch is because they’ve marked the territory as their own with their urine. Once you’ve cleaned off their markings, it will be easier to deter them with any of the tactics below. 

Deter With Water

It’s a well-known fact that cats hate water, so it’s an easy, low-cost way to deter them. You can do this in any number of ways. A regular spray bottle works, as does a garden hose, or even a cup of water if you’re quick enough. If you have kids, arm them with water guns and give them a mission to spray any cats they see on your porch. Enough of this and the cats will learn that your porch=wetness. They’ll find somewhere else to congregate. 

Repel With Smell

Smell is another useful way to keep stray cats off your porch. There are many scents that cats hate, so spreading them around your yard and porch can work wonders. Here are some you can use. 

  • Citrus – Sprinkle citrus juice around, and place fruit rinds around your porch. You’ll have to repeat this process every few days as the smell fades until the cats stop coming back. Non-toxic orange cleaning solutions also work for this. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Cats hate this vinegar solution. Mix it with equal parts water and spray it around your porch. 
  • Mint – That minty mouthwash you have in your medicine cabinet can be mixed with a bit of water and used as a cat deterrent, as well!

Deter With Plants

Plants are also a great option. This is also based on the fact that cats can’t stand certain smells. You can place these plants around your front yard or directly on your porch in planters. 

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Citronella
  • Holly
  • Blackthorn
  • Rue
  • Lemon balm

Use Repellent Spray

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You can also use a specially-made repellent to help keep cats off your porch. This one, from Nature’s Mace, has some good reviews but also several that claim the product doesn’t work. So, you may be taking a chance if you decide to go this route. The overall reviews for this product are positive, and the bad reviews may stem from improper use of the product. So make sure you follow the directions to the letter if you purchase a commercially-made spray.

Use an Ultrasonic Repellent Device

There are a ton of ultrasonic repellent devices on the market. They are solar-powered and have a motion sensor that activates a sound that only animals can hear. This, combined with the flashing light that many of them have, send cats running. The best one on Amazon seems to be from Broox. It has a 110-degree zone and works anywhere inside 30-feet. So you can place it in front of your porch to scare cats away. It has a solar panel and the option of charging it with a USB cord. 

If you decide to shop for one of these on Amazon, make sure to read the reviews carefully. There seem to be some shady practices going on with many of the sellers of these products. The vast majority of the reviews are for different products, which is disconcerting. The one from Broox mentioned above is legit, according to my research. It has a lot of positive reviews that are actually for the product.

Try an Automatic Sprinkler

Similar to the ultrasonic unit, this one hooks up to your garden hose and uses a spray of water to deter cats (and other animals) from coming onto your porch, or garden, or yard, etc. It has an adjustable motion sensor so you can change the sensitivity if you have plants nearby that move in the wind. You can also adjust the arc of the spray. 

Pretty soon, the stray cats will associate your yard with a spray of water and will steer clear. It’s powered by batteries (included) and shoots short but effective sprays, so it’s not wasting water and running up your bill. Check it out here

Block Off Openings

It’s always possible that the cats are drawn to your porch (or under it) for shelter or food. If you have mice or another food source under or around your house, it’ll be hard to keep hungry cats away. But you can make sure to block off any openings that allow access to underneath your house or porch. If the cats can’t get to the food or shelter they’ve found at your house, they’ll move on eventually.

Create a Sanctuary Nearby

Sometimes the easiest way to keep cats off your porch is to give them some other place to hang out. If they like your porch for shelter or food, it’s worth asking around to find out who, if anyone, is feeding them in your neighborhood. You can then ask that person or persons to move their food source to a different location and/or build the cats a small shelter where they can spend their time, instead of wreaking havoc on your porch. 

This is a more involved approach, but it may be necessary if none of the other options work. It’s not likely that it will come to this, seeing as how the options above usually work. 

Solutions for Porch Furniture

Sometimes cats are attracted to porches because of the comfortable or scratch-worthy furniture there. If you think this is one of the reasons cats are congregating on your porch, there are some furniture-specific solutions you can try. Cats don’t like certain sensations on their paws, which accounts for many of the solutions on this list. However, the options above may work just as well to keep cats off your porch furniture. Every situation is different so you may need to try a few out until one works. 

  • Double-Sided Pads – These are sticky on both sides to keep cats from scratching items up. 
  • Furniture Protectors – These are sticky on one side and slick on the other, making it impossible for the cat’s claws to find purchase.
  • Aluminum Foil – Cat’s don’t like the feel of foil under their paws, so sticking some of this on your porch or furniture may work. 

What Not to Use to Keep Stray Cats Off Your Porch

There are several suggestions online that can cause injury or death to cats and other animals alike. All of the solutions above are humane, and I would like to take a moment to share some solutions that you shouldn’t use. 

  • Mothballs – It’s true that mothballs can keep cats away, but they can also cause health problems for animals. The chemicals in mothballs are considered carcinogens by several health agencies and should never be used in any form other than directed on the packaging.
  • Essential Oils – Cats don’t like the smell of essential oils, but if they get some on their skin, in their lungs, or in their stomach, it can cause serious health problems and even death. If you have indoor cats, it’s also a good idea to keep essential oils out of reach and avoid using the new potpourri sprays that use them. 
  • Pepper – While sprinkling pepper around your porch or garden is common advice to keep cats away, recall a time when you were handling peppers and accidentally touched your eye. That’s essentially what you would be doing to cats, which is no fun. Stick to the humane treatments above. After all, cats aren’t irritating you on purpose, although it may seem like they are sometimes.
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Justin Childress is the creator of He is also a devoted husband and father of his 1 year old son Gabriel. Justin enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, of course, contributing to

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