I was under the impression that the house had been vacant for close to a decade, but I was mistaken. Stray cats had taken over and claimed the property as their own. Two cats had laid claim to my front porch, and three more had taken over the garden as their territory. *sigh* Termites, cave crickets, and now cats. Awesome.
They didn’t appreciate the newcomer, and showed their displeasure by reminding me who was boss. Several times I stepped outside…and into cat poo.
They would spray and mark their territory all over the garden. The last straw was seeing large clumps of cat hair stuck to my patio chair cushions.
I’m sure there are benefits to having an outdoor cat population. I’ll admit I have not seen a rat, NOT ONE, since I moved into the neighborhood. If you’ve ever lived in Baltimore City you are aware how impressive that is. I’m sure part of the reason are the cats.
I also learned about the pros and cons of indoor vs. outdoor cats from a very long and unnecessary thread on my neighborhood Nextdoor site. Apparently, several of my neighbors have “outdoor cats” and lets them roam the neighborhood.
Regardless of your stance on cats, I don’t want my patio and garden smelling like cat piss all the time. So I needed to find a way to get rid of the cats without harming a possible beloved family pet.
First, I tried using coffee grounds. I read that this would keep the cats away, and fertilize my yard. I saved my coffee grounds and when I had enough, spread them around the yard and porch. Coffee grounds does not work. I found a cat hanging out under my shrubs, laying right on top of a pile of them. He just starred at me as I walked up to the porch. Mocking me and my coffee grounds.
Next, I tried moth balls. I put moth ball packets under the cushion chairs and in containers around the front porch. It worked! Apparently cats dislike the smell of mothballs and it keeps them away.
It was time to defeat the backyard brood. I didn’t want to go wild with the mothballs in the garden because frankly I don’t like the smell either. I had read that gardens often have plants growing in it that attracts cats. Considering how overgrown the garden was it was definitely a possibility. So I cleared out all of the overgrown ground covering and bushes in the backyard.
This seemed to solve my cat problem! Without the overgrown brushes and ground covering to hide in they had moved on. I haven’t seen or smelled evidence of cats in weeks!