How do you get rid of a cat that keeps coming back?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Getting rid of a cat that keeps coming back can be a challenging task, but there are several steps you can take to address the issue. Here are some suggestions:

1. Understand the cat’s behavior: It’s important to understand why the cat keeps coming back. Is it searching for food, seeking shelter, or looking for companionship? By identifying the underlying reason, you can address the specific needs of the cat.

2. Reduce flat and soft surfaces: Stray cats are often attracted to flat and soft surfaces, such as garden beds or piles of leaves. Clearing these areas or covering them with deterrents like prickly twigs or mesh can discourage cats from returning.

3. Use natural cat deterrents: Cats dislike certain scents and textures. Planting strong-smelling herbs like lavender, rosemary, or citronella around your property may help deter them. Additionally, spreading citrus peels or coffee grounds can also be effective in keeping cats away.

4. Use non-toxic cat repellents: There are commercially available cat repellents that use natural ingredients like pepper, garlic, or vinegar. These can be sprayed around your property or specific areas where the cat frequents to discourage them from returning.

5. Undo their territory mark: Cats mark their territory by leaving their scent through urine or scratching. By cleaning these areas thoroughly with enzyme-based cleaners, you can remove the cat’s scent and discourage them from revisiting.

6. Call your local animal shelter: If the cat keeps coming back and appears to be a stray, contacting your local animal shelter or animal control can help. They may be able to capture and rehome the cat or provide advice on how to handle the situation.

7. Secure your trash: Stray cats are often attracted to garbage bins in search of food. Make sure your trash cans are securely closed or stored in a locked area to prevent access.

8. Talk to your neighbors: If the cat belongs to a neighbor, it’s important to have a conversation with them. Let them know about the issue and discuss possible solutions together. They may be unaware that their cat is causing a problem and can take steps to prevent it.

9. Ask your local shelter or HOA for a TNR program: Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs are a humane way to manage stray cat populations. They involve trapping cats, spaying or neutering them, and then returning them to their original location. Contact your local animal shelter or homeowner’s association to see if they offer such a program.

Remember, patience is key when dealing with stray cats. It may take time to find a solution that works best for your situation. Additionally, it’s important to approach the situation with compassion and empathy towards the cats, as they may be in need of help or care.