Community (feral) cats are members of the domestic cat species just like pet cats, but are not socialized to humans and are therefore not adoptable. Cats have been living outdoors near humans for more than 10,000 years. They typically live in groups called colonies and have strong social bonds with their colony members.
How does Trap/Neuter/Return work?
An established cat colony will defend its territory, limiting the addition of new cats to the group. For this reason, leaving spayed and neutered cats in a colony is the best deterrent to population growth. This approach stabilizes the colonies and eliminates many of the problems people find annoying about community cats. Spraying and urine odor abates, mating yowls are eliminated, and fighting is reduced. If you have a concern about community cats within Union County, please contact us to see if there is grant funding available to address the issue.
Cats in Your Yard
Whether they are community cats, or a neighbor’s cat, there are simple tips to help divert outdoor cats away from certain areas.
CATS ARE GETTING INTO MY TRASH.
Explanation: Cats are scavengers and are looking for food.
Quick Solutions: Place a tight lid on your trashcan. Exposed trash bags will attract wildlife as well.
CATS ARE DIGGING IN MY GARDEN.
Explanation: It is a cat’s natural instinct to dig and deposit in soft or loose soil, moss, mulch, or sand.
- Scatter fresh orange and lemon peels or spray with citrus-scented fragrances. Coffee grounds, vinegar, pipe tobacco, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus also deter cats.
- Plant the herb rue to repel cats, or sprinkle dried rue over the garden.
- Use plastic carpet runner's spike-side up, covered lightly in soil. They can be found at local hardware or office supply stores. Or, set chicken wire firmly into the dirt with sharp edges rolled under.
- Artfully arrange branches in a lattice-type pattern or wooden or plastic lattice fencing material over soil. You can disguise these by planting flowers and seeds in the openings. You can also try embedding wooden chopsticks, pinecones, or sticks with dull points deep into the soil with the tops exposed eight inches apart.
- Obtain Cat Scat, a nonchemical cat and wildlife repellent consisting of plastic mats that are cut into smaller pieces and pressed into the soil. Each mat has flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals, but discourage digging. Available at www.gardeners.com.
- Cover exposed ground in flowerbeds with large, attractive river rocks to prevent cats form digging. (They have the added benefit of deterring weeds).
CATS ARE LOUNGING IN MY YARD OR ON MY PORCH.
Explanation: Cats are territorial and will remain close to their food source.
- Apply cat repellent fragrances liberally around the edges of the yard, the tops of fences, and on any favorite digging areas or plants.
- Install an ultrasonic animal repellent or a motion activated water sprinkler, such as CatStop or the ScareCrow. Available at www.contech-inc.com
CATS ARE SLEEPING UNDER MY PORCH OR IN MY SHED.
Explanation: The cats are looking for a dry, warm shelter away from the elements.
Quick Solutions: Physically block or seal the location the cats are entering with chicken wire or lattice once you are certain the cats are not inside. Be sure to search for kittens before confirming that the cats have left-especially during spring and summer, prime kitten season.