Feral and outdoor cats have much larger territories than people realize. Unfortunately, this means that curious, hungry, or scared cats frequently wander where they shouldn’t be.
Having unknown cats in your yard or garage can become a nuisance.
Here is how to keep cats out of your garage:
- Cover all access points.
- Use cat repellents.
- Cover up your trash.
- Contact a No-Kill Shelter.
- Offer alternatives.
In this article, I’ll go into more detail about how you can use these methods to keep cats away from your garage in a humane way, including all the different kinds of cat repellents you can use, so read on.
1. Cover All Access Points
Keeping all possible entryways closed may seem like an obvious point, but still, one that is easily overlooked.
Of course, you should keep your garage door closed, but more than that, keep an eye out for any other routes cats might take to enter the garage. Look for gaps in the wall or the roof and get those boarded up after ensuring that you are not trapping any cats or kittens inside.
If you have any other kind of ventilation in your garage, you might want to consider putting barriers like chicken wire or wire mesh over them. The wire will allow light and airflow while keeping the cats outside.
Don’t rely on your openable window panes, as most cats are clever enough to nudge those open if necessary.
Additionally, garage doors tend to take time to close, which is more than enough time for a cat to slip in. So make sure you keep an eye on the doors as they close if they’re automatic. Your physical presence should also be enough of a deterrent.
2. Use Cat Repellents
Cat repellents come in different types. Repellents refer to just about any kind of equipment that keeps cats away from a particular area, which works by disturbing the cats’ extremely sensitive senses.
Here are all the different kinds of cat repellents you can use.
Noise Oscillator/Ultrasonic Deterrent
Noise Oscillators or ultrasonic deterrents work by sending out sounds at high frequencies. These deterrents work by using an infrared field that detects movement and raises an extremely irritating alarm to cats.
While they have a reputation for not working, it’s because people can’t figure out how to install them correctly. If you use an ultrasonic deterrent, be sure to install them at the right location and be aware of the range of the infrared field when choosing where to place them.
Motion Activated Sprinkler
Much like a noise oscillator or ultrasonic deterrent, a motion-activated sprinkler has an infrared field that detects movement and will spray the cat with water.
Of course, you’ll have to be careful when you switch them on, so you don’t get sprayed every time you park your car or move in and out of the garage. Still, these sprinklers ought to be effective deterrents to stray and feral cats in your area.
Scent repellents for cats work by relying on their extremely sensitive sense of smell.
Surrounding and filling your garage with scents cats hate is a great way of keeping them away. You can use citrus and cayenne pepper in different ways across your property, as these are scents that cats dislike.
There are commercially available cat repellent sprays that you can consider purchasing. You can even make your own like the one in the following Youtube video. That way, you can be sure that the spray is humane and won’t actually hurt the cat, but rather, keep it away from your garage.
Most cats are good climbers and can jump farther than you think. If your garage has ledges, you might want to consider lining them with aluminum foil. Cats hate feeling the sensation of foil on their paws and will jump off right away.
3. Cover Up Your Trash
When dealing with feral or stray cats, an important thing to address is the cause.
Cats might be coming into your garage looking for shelter, but equally, they might be coming onto your property because they smell food.
The primary attraction for feral and stray cats is food that is easily available, and cats are perfectly happy to eat from the trash. Trash doesn’t even have to be particularly funky to attract cats and other wildlife like raccoons and opossums.
Ensure that you keep your bins well covered and sealed when they’re outside.
Having bins that the local wildlife can’t open is especially important if you have raccoons around. While they may not get into your garage, they won’t be closing your bins after they’re done, and the smell will attract cats to your garage.
4. Contact a No-Kill Shelter
If you find that none of the methods you’ve used are working, you can try contacting a shelter. While shelters cannot always care for feral cats because of space constraints, they will help trap and remove the cat from your area.
However, you must contact a no-kill shelter for help.
More often than not, shelters are too full and don’t have the resources to keep any rescues for long periods. In a regular shelter, likely, a cat that cannot be adopted within a short time will get euthanized, which is understandably something you’d want to avoid.
While a no-kill shelter may or may not be able to keep the cat, they will be able to help trap it and find another space for it, so it’s not a nuisance to you.
5. Offer Alternatives
Before you think about offering the cats in your area an alternative to what they’re looking for, you need to ensure that the cats are not fertile. TNR, or Trap-Neuter-Return programs, are the most effective way of dealing with feral cats in your area.
While you might want to remove the cat entirely, the problem will persist because of the vacuum effect, which is where removing a cat from an area only creates room for another cat to move into unclaimed territory.
If you’re having trouble with cats in your garage, the first step to figuring out a peaceful coexistence is the TNR program. The program involves trapping the cat, taking it to a veterinarian to get it spayed/neutered, and returning it to its outdoor home.
If the cat had been scouting your garage as a possible shelter for its kittens, spaying it will ensure that you no longer have to worry about more cats messing up your property.
After you’ve done this, you can offer an alternative shelter in the area.
Cats trying to get into your garage are probably looking for someplace warm and dry. Even a cardboard box in a covered area with a simple 100 Watt bulb covered in tinfoil will be a sufficient alternative that keeps cats out of your garage safely and humanely.
Keeping cats out of your garage involves some basic but important steps of ensuring that all access points are covered and all potential food smells are covered.
You can use cat repellents that use the cats’ sensitive senses against them, like noise oscillators, motion-activated sprinklers, scent repellent sprays, and aluminum foil.
The most humane thing to do is offer the cat a safe place to rest. Use a TNR program that ensures that the cats are neutered and released back into their territories, keeping other cats away from the area.
- Amazonaws: How to Use an Ultrasonic Cat Deterrent
- Humane Society: Outdoor cats FAQ
- Alley Cat: The Vacuum Effect
- Stack Exchange: How can I keep stray cats out of the garage?
- Alley Cat: How to Live With Cats in Your Neighborhood
- David Suzuki: How to keep cats out of the garden
- Quora: Stray Cats
- Neighborhood Cats: Keeping Cats Out of Gardens and Yards
- Cat Center: Keeping Cats Out of Your Yard
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.