I’m launching an advice column.
Here’s the first entry. This column is soon to move to its own site. Enjoy!
I have recently moved into a new neighborhood. The homes here have been here for years, but the house is new to me. My problem is that the neighborhood cats LOVE MY CAR. The car is in a carport area that is not enclosed. My car is black and I like to keep it clean. The cats have muddy paws leaving cat tracks and mud behind when they jump up and lounge on the hood. I have a problem with the cats spraying my cover to my grill. They play and fight and make noises throughout the day and night under my house. I see them using my flowerbeds as a sand box. I am so frustrated that I want to sell this house and move, just because of the bullying from the cats. What do I do?
Catty in Arnaudville
Here’s to solving your cat problem. The first and most obvious solution: Get a dog.
Assuming that you don’t want a new best friend and constant companion, here are a few other ways to help with your cat problem.
Did you know cats hate citrus smells? In fact, citrus actually repels cats. Did you know there are citrus scented car waxes? If a cat gets crazy and decides to jump on your car anyway, the new wax job will protect your car from the paw prints. Also scatter lemon or orange peels around the area. You could even try pouring lemon grass oil or citronella oil.
But wait, there’s more.
You could sweeten the pie by luring them to one distant corner of your yard or property. Plant catnip in that area.
Well, there are motion sensor devices that scare off cats with high frequency alarms. They’re not very expensive. Or you could repel cats with granules derived from coyote urine. Sounds gross, but should work (would keep away skunks and raccoons too). The only tricky part is you’d have to reapply after rain, but if you park in a covered area, the coyote urine granules might be effective. If you’d prefer to use something slightly less weird than coyote urine granules, cats also hate cayenne pepper. Sprinkle it around your carport or where you park.
If you’re in the mood for gardening, there’s a border plant called Coleus-Canina that is marketed as an effective deterrent for cats. The herb rue may help as well.
Do keep me posted as to what you tried and what worked for you — heaven forbid, what didn’t. If you’re willing to try two or three of these potential solutions, I believe you’ll be rid of the cats.