Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How To Keep Stray Cats From Spraying a Yard

By Angie Mansfield ; Updated September 21, 2017
Stray cats can be major pests in your yard.

Cats that have not been neutered spray urine to mark territory and advertise their presence to potential mates. The smell can be overpowering in areas popular with neighborhood cats, and the strays may begin using gardens and flower beds as litter areas because they prefer the softer soil. Homeless cats can spread diseases through scratches and bites to children or pets that get too close. While strays can be difficult to deter, there are steps you can take to help keep the cats from spraying in your yard.

Avoid feeding strays and ask your neighbors not to feed them.

Use garbage containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent stray cats from breaking in and finding food.

Eliminate entrances to crawl spaces, building foundations and the areas underneath decks to reduce the available shelter.

Blend three jalapeno peppers with just enough water to create a liquid in a food processor.

Leave the pepper solution to steep for an hour and filter it through a piece of cheesecloth into a jar.

Mix in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, a couple drops of dish soap and a squirt of white glue.

Combine one part of the pepper solution with 10 parts water in a spray bottle, shake well and apply liberally to affected areas.

Re-apply the pepper repellent frequently until the cats move out of the area.

Apply a commercial cat repellent such as predator urine to affected areas.

Contact animal control to remove the cats as a last resort; most stray cats are not socialized as pets and will most likely be euthanized.


Things You Will Need

  • Garbage containers with tight-fitting lids
  • Three jalapeno peppers
  • Water
  • Food processor
  • Cheesecloth
  • Jar
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Dish soap
  • White glue
  • Spray bottle
  • Commercial cat repellents


  • Any repellents, including commercial repellents, need to be re-applied frequently to deter cats and may still not be effective.

About the Author


Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.