Whether you use your backyard as additional storage, as a BBQ area, or a hangout spot, chances are you consider it as an extension of your house. Consequently, you want to take good care of it and make sure it’s clean and comfortable. However, it’s hard to feel clean and comfortable when you have stray cats (or your neighbor’s cat) hanging out all over your outdoor furniture. Unwanted cats in your backyard will give you headaches due to either constant noises, strong smells from spraying, messing around with your garbage cans, or shedding hair all over the place. Besides those common issues, stray cats may also carry ticks, fleas, or even diseases like rabies, which can result in much greater problems.
Needless to say, you want to make sure your outdoor furniture stays free from unwanted cats. While this might be a frustrating and recurring issue, there is no need to pursue radical solutions like injuring the cats. In this guide, we will cover several different solutions that should ensure you keep all cats off your outdoor furniture.
It’s important to remember that every situation and every cat is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. However, a combination of these solutions should allow you to enjoy a cat-free, stress-free backyard.
How To Keep Cats Off Outdoor Furniture
Below are the solutions that will be covered in this guide:
- Aluminum Foil
- Naphthalene Flakes & Moth Balls
- Liquid Cat Repellent
- Lemon & Orange Peels
- Ultrasonic Repellent
- Double-Sided Sticky Tape
1. Aluminum Foil
The first solution in our list is pretty simple and can be pursued with a material you most likely already have at home: aluminum foil. Applying aluminum foil to surfaces has been a well-known method to try to keep cats away. The premise behind this solution is that most cats don’t appreciate the way foil feels or the noise it makes. In theory, it makes sense since cats can hear very high pitches (much more than humans), so I can see how the sound of foil could be very unpleasant. In practice, however, not every cat is bothered by it.
The quick video below shows a simple experiment where the owner covers the hallway with aluminum foil and waits to see if the cat will walk over it or not.
While the cat does walk over the foil, you can see it is very cautious and hesitant. So even though stray cats might be able to walk over the foil, they might not be able to get comfortable around it. And if they are not comfortable, chances are they will look for a different backyard to hang out.
Our first proposed solution is to cover some portions of your outdoor furniture with aluminum foil, especially the ones where cats would normally sit on. You can keep the foil there while no one is using it and simply remove it when you want to use your backyard. While this is not guaranteed to work on every cat, it might be the right solution for you.
2. Naphthalene Flakes & Mothballs
Solution number 2 on the list involves adding naphthalene flakes or mothballs to your backyard. These products are normally designed to kill moths and other insects that might reproduce where there is stored fabric. However, since they contain insecticides, they can also be very useful to repel other animals as well.
These products can come in several forms, like flakes, balls, or powder. The end goal is the same, but different forms suit different needs better. Some products (older versions usually) contained naphthalene, which is considered to be pretty toxic and flammable. Newer products, on the other hand, usually contain paradichlorobenzene (PDB), which is a safer product yet will have the same results.
Adding mothballs to your backyard can be a useful solution to keep stray cats off your outdoor furniture. When mothballs are new, they might have a strong-ish smell, but that smell goes away with time. Cats are more sensitive to smells though, so even though humans won’t be able to smell them, cats still will.
We recommend that if you choose to use this method, you look for mothballs that contain PDB rather than naphthalene. This will provide a better and safer environment for all animals and humans alike. If cats or kids accidentally ingest a mothball, that can lead to serious intoxication. Additionally, you should keep the mothballs inside an open, yet unreachable container (a small cage). This will make sure that the mothballs cannot be ingested.
Similarly to our first solution, solution number 3 can also be adopted with an item from your kitchen: vinegar. Vinegar is a natural solution to keep stray cats away from your outdoor furniture, simply because cats really dislike the smell of it. This is considered to be a safe solution since cats will not be harmed if they attempt to ingest vinegar.
Many people choose to spray some of their indoor furniture with a solution made with white vinegar and water in order to keep cats away from it. If you are choosing to keep cats away from your outdoor furniture, you should spray undiluted white vinegar as it will be a much more powerful repellent.
The video below shows how much cats generally dislike vinegar. The smell of one salt and vinegar chip was enough to make the cat gag.
4. Liquid Cat Repellent
If you’re not particularly interested in making your DIY solutions, you can purchase a liquid cat repellent at a store. Our fourth solution involves spraying a liquid repellent, which is usually a formula made out of strong, concentrated substances that can also be used for deep cleaning. The most popular one we could find on Amazon was the Pure Cold Pressed ORANGE OIL Concentrate – 32 oz (D-Limonene) By Green Gobbler, which has 848 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars.
This oil is made out of concentrated orange oil, and can also be used for cleaning. Customers have said in reviews that the orange scent is awesome, that it can kill ants and roaches, and that it has also served to keep cats away from outdoor areas. It can either be used to spray your furniture or you can keep a little container with it.
The reason why cats will stay away from it is that they strongly dislike citric scents. While this product will allow you to keep cats away from your backyard, it also has the benefit that it is non-toxic.
5. Lemon & Orange Peels
Our method number 5 is essentially a home-made version of method number 4. Since cats don’t like citric smells, you can use lemon and orange peels to keep them away from your outdoor furniture. Easy, simple, and cheap, using citric peels can be a very effective solution. The video below shows how powerful orange and lemon peels can be in order to keep stray cats away:
6. Ultrasonic Repellent
Another solution that requires you to spend some money is purchasing an ultrasonic repellent. These products emit an ultrasonic sound that will repel not only cats, but also dogs, mice, and birds. They are completely chemical-free, making them safe for humans.
The best one we found on Amazon is this Ultrasonic Pest Repellent, which has 578 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars. This is actually pretty cheap, as it only costs $19.99! As long as you have sunlight in your backyard, this should be the perfect solution for you. It is solar-powered, water-proof, and it is motion-censored (only making the noises when it detects animals). Additionally, it is very easy to set up as you can either mount it on the ground or hang it on the wall.
These are becoming increasingly common, and while Amazon has great options, you can find a good one in pretty much any home and garden store.
7. Double-Sided Sticky Tape
Our final solution involves adding double-sided tape to surfaces where the stray cats normally sit on. You could add it to the cushions of your outdoor lounges or to the arms of the chairs, depending on what you think is best.
The reasoning behind this alternative is that cats get extremely bothered by sticky surfaces and therefore will avoid approaching areas they know are sticky. This solution is also a great one as it won’t bring any harm to the cats.
The video below shows an instance where an owner combined our #1 and #7 solutions in order to keep the cat away from the counter. While the aluminum foil by itself didn’t work, the combination of both methods certainly did.
Like we previously mentioned, some solutions will work in specific cases and some won’t. While all of the solutions mentioned above have worked in the past, it is important that you see which one will work best in your case. At the end of the day, what matters is that you keep cats off your outdoor furniture, allowing you to fully enjoy your home.
We have provided you with plenty of solutions, now be creative and see what works best! If individually they don’t work, try combining several of them together. At the end of the day, you just need to remind yourself that this is your house and you should not have to keep up with stray cats. Good luck!
Extra Recipe for Home Made Repellent
As a bonus, we wanted to add a recipe we found that seems pretty promising. This solution combines oranges, lemons, and soap. Hope this works!