Cats who happen to be strolling around your backyard can cause your cat to spray and urinate outside the cat box. It doesn’t matter if the visitors are well cared for by the neighbors or if they are feral; their presence can upset your cat. Besides the vocalizing sometimes heard at the windows, it is usually easy to determine if outside visitors are causing your cat to have bathroom issues by the locations in which your cat is eliminating or spraying. Typically, cats who are responding to outsiders will target doors, windows, and the perimeters of the rooms nearest to the intruders.
To solve this problem, the outside cats need to be convinced not to hang out in your yard. There are many kinds of deterrents commercially available that can help. Choose carefully, as some of these products can compromise an animal’s health while others are perfectly safe. One safe deterrent emits a sound that is undetectable to human ears, but heard by animals. Others are products that you spray on fences or sprinkle on soil. Lemon also works to an extent. There are many solutions available; just make sure that they will not hurt or poison the cats in any way. If you are purposely feeding the ferals at your house, finding a place to set up the feeding stations that is not viewable from your house may help.
If the outdoor cats belong to your neighbors, try to talk to them. Ask them politely to keep their cats inside. You may be able to sway them by explaining how vet bills are greatly reduced when cats are kept inside 24/7. You can also dazzle them with statistics about indoor cats live much longer than cats who are allowed outside. If that doesn’t work, try baking cookies, Good luck with that.
Feral cats can be trapped, neutered, and returned, though they will need to be managed so that they don’t hang out near the house. If you are feeding them, set up feeding stations away from the house. Contact local feral-cat networks or your local animal shelter for guidance.
Along with making your yard an undesirable place for unwelcome cats, you’ll need to manage your environment and work with your indoor cats. Start by making it impossible for your cats to see outside. You can block the bottom portions of windows using thick paper or fabric. Be creative. If you have children, you can entertain them by having them draw and paint on the paper. The windows won’t be blocked forever. The paper can be removed and your view restored after the problem has been resolved and the outside visitors have moved on. Who knows, maybe your spraying cats will be the inspiration for the next Leonardo da Vinci or Jackson Pollock.
Cleanup is vital. Not only do you need to make sure that the inside of the house if free of urine but you will also have to thoroughly clean the outsides of doors, walls, and windows that could be targeted. It is common for outside visitors to leave calling cards, spraying on the exterior of your house. Your cat’s highly tuned nose can pick up the scent of urine from inside the house. Spend a moonless night outside, armed with a back light and a really good enzyme cleaner. Pay attention to the corners, sides, and bottoms of sliding glass doors and windows. These can be favorite places for cats to spray.
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