Cats Peeing & Pooping on Neighbor's Property

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  • Critter urinating on the porch

    (5 replies)

    i think it’s neighborhood cats. Maybe it’s something else. I have seen a couple of cats come to our porch at night. Something comes and pees on our porch while we sleep. It especially seems to like our porch furniture and the hammock. I have used vinegar, baking soda and dish soap mixture to clean. I have sprayed peppermint spray, orange oil spray. I have even sprayed spray designed to repel pets. But, they always come back and pee. I am tired of using my precious weekend washing and cleaning with no result. I’m the only person in my family who is not severely allergic to cats and dogs (everyone else has epipen prescribed for cats and dogs), so I end up doing the massive cleaning. I am at my wits ends. Am I doomed to devote hours upon hours of my life washing porch floor, wall, rug and furniture?  We love our porch and because we live in a small house, the extended living space on the porch is precious. Any effective ideas to repel cats and possibly other critters will be appreciated. 

    Check out a product called Critter Ridder which I have used effectively on our deck to repel skunks, cats and raccoons. It is not a poison but is composed mostly of hot peppers which the animals smell and do not go near. I place it around the perimeter and close to the deck as well as on the steps. It is available from Ace or Amazon.

    There is a product called PetSafe SSSCat spray that you should try.  Basically it's a can of compressed air with a motion detector.  When the cat or other animal gets close to it, it will spray a loud blast of air.  It won't hurt the cat, but it will scare the living daylights out of it.  I would buy a couple of them and place them strategically around your patio.  I used this to stop my cat from scratching at my bedroom door all night, and after the very first night of placing the spray can by the door the cat never did it again - ever!  Good luck!

    Hi there, that stinks!  Literally.  My dear old cat passed away, but before he did, he had some incontinence problems.  I have a big container of special cat pee enzyme cleaner you can have if you like.  It's supposed to dissuade them from continuing to mark that spot.  Message me to arrange a pick-up.

    You might try a motion-detection sprinkler -- google motion-activated animal repellent.  The original (which we have) is called Scarecrow, but there are less-expensive knock-offs now.  It attaches to your hose and detects moving heat sources.  When it goes off, it's quite startling, even when you know it's coming.  Note that raccoons will quickly figure out how to go around it, so you need to place it where they can't avoid it.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Neighborhood cats turning yard into litter box

April 2011

Our yard seems to be the junction for every outdoor cat and stray in the neighborhood. I clean up cat poop most days of the week and have a dedicated brush and bucket for cleaning off the family shoes. Yuck! I tried a few sprays when we first moved in, but nothing seemed to work, and I eventually gave up. Lately though, it seems worse than ever. Any suggestions? anon

If the neighborhood cats are wandering around and making your yard a litterbox, I would get a humane trap and set it in your yard. When you catch the culprit(s)they will usually have a collar with a phone number if the pet owner is responsible. You can then call the owner and explain the problem, that their cat is causing a problem in your yard so your kids can't play or you step in cat poop and drag it through your house, etc. If you happen to trap a cat with no collar, call animal control and have the cat picked up. love pets hate poop in my space

We had a similar problem. Neighbors suggested we plant something called ''Lambs Ears'' at the border of our yard. Cats don't like it, apparently. It has sure done the trick for us. It multiplies voluntarily every year. We have to tend it very little except to cut off the dead growth occasionally. I hope you find it works for you as well as it does for us. Judy

Are you certain that it is cats? have you seen them? If not, consider that your yard may have become the neighborhood raccoon latrine! Generally, I think cats bury (or at least try to bury) their poop; raccoons just leave it lying there. If it might be raccoons, you will want to do some research to get them to move on since raccoon excrement can harbor pretty bad bugs. We had that problem for a while, and finally got them to move on by setting up a strong solar-powered motion-detector light focused on the spot, frequently cleaning the area (wear disposable gloves!), and piling a thick layer of mulch on top of the area (or maybe they were ready and it was just a coincidence). Do a web search for raccoon latrine and you will get loads of hits.

By the way - I first tried leaving bowls of ammonia out, as many site suggest, and they actually pooped right into the bowls! R.K.

i feel your pain. some columnist (?) suggested something that works great. instead of abatement, turn to courting. plant a selected area of your yard with a boatload of catnip. seem the cats will go there, roll, munch, poop... then leave. there's no keeping them out, this manages where they go! kitty biscuit free

Put coffee grounds onto the ground. Do not use these for more than two weeks around plants. However, should keep cats away. Tobacco (loose, in the unusual case that you chew tobacco) works too. Anon.

My neighbors are complaining about my cats

Nov 2005

Recently, two of my neighbors came to me regarding my cats pooping in their gardens. Basically, they want it to stop. My cats are indoor/outdoor cats and always have been. My mother's cat recently came to live with us, so now we have three to deal with. I have litter boxes, but they don't use them because they prefer to go outside (in my neighbors' yards, apparently).

I don't want my cats to poop in their gardens because I value my neighbor's right to have poop-free yards. One neighbor laughed derisively when I offered her the suggestions I saw on the BPN archives. I gather she doesn't want to try any of those methods to help repel the cats from her yard. What can I do?

I think the only way I can get my cats to stop doing it to change them from indoor/outdoor cats to indoor only. I am skeptical that I can make this change happen but I'm willing to give it a try. If anyone has done this I would love to hear how long it took, any tips, etc. Trying to be a good neighbor

I have the same problem, and I'm embarrased to admit that I have 2 indoor/outdoor cats plus feed a bunch of neighborhood strays, so I have exacerbated this problem for neighbors. I don't have any solutions, but just wanted to remind you that rainy season is coming. For my cats that means a lot more inside time and a lot more inside pooping. Good luck! anon

Hmmm...I've been in your situation and I too have had the knock on the door from a neighbor. Not only was my cat pooping in his yard, but he was fighting with other cats (noisy) and beating up his cute, but ding brained persian.

I listened with great empathy, and then apologized profusely. I also reminded my neighbor that cats have ''different'' boundaries then we do, and I cannot control the whereabouts of my cat. I encouraged my neighbor to use water and to feel free to scare my kitty out of his yard. I also offered to bring my cat in earlier at night before the prowling and fighting began. However, I did reiterate that my cat may continue to wander onto his property and I do NOT have control of that, and I gently mentioned that there are also MANY other cats in the neighborhood who poop and fight!

Your neighbor has to then decide if 1) he/she will set up a barrier to keep the cats out of his yard or garden; and/or 2) they have the legal right to trap your cat(s) when they are on his/her property. Now, you don't want to totally piss off your neighbor that he/she would want to do action 2 above!

Retraining three cats to be indoors after they've had a taste of the good outdoor life is VERY difficult. You can also set up a litter box area in your yard for your cats and encourage them to use it. This has worked well for me in the past. Or send your neighbor flowers and offer to clean up the poop at the very least if they continue to complain. An apologetic cat owner

Good for you! I wish my outdoor-cat-owning neighbor was as good as you! My neighbor was totally unhelpful when I asked him to keep the poop away from my yard and garden during my pregnancy. (Toxoplasmosis, deadly to a fetus, is carried in cat feces.) Indoors is the right idea. Cats live longer and healthier indoors, and so do the neighborhood birds.

I also wanted to comment on your remark: ''One neighbor laughed derisively when I offered her the suggestions I saw on the BPN archives. I gather she doesn't want to try any of those methods to help repel the cats from her yard.'' She probably has tried them already. I tried them myself, plus I have a dog -- and yet I still have cats, cat poop, and dead songbirds in my yard. (The Scarecrow, the heat-activated water sprayer, does work over a small area, but then you also get wet dogs and kids.) You're Doing the Right Thing

My planter box is a giant kitty litter box, and I hate it, so I understand your neighbors. I also am on the other end: My partner has two in/outdoor cats, who contribute to the nasty poop problem. I'd bet your neighbor has tried the obvious cat repellants etc., and like me, hasn't had any luck. So here's what you do: apologize sincerely, and offer to come over and clean up the poop on an on-going basis. That, or keep your cat inside.

As a dog owner, I clean up my dog's poop. As a cat owner, it's your reponsibility to clean it up. That should solve the problem, or at the very least, appease your neighbor to some extent. I'd ben happy if some errant cat owner would take some responsibility and come an clean up my yard! -- I hate cat poop

How to keep neighbors' cats out of my yard?

May 2003

Does anyone have advice on how to keep cats out of my yard? I don't have any pets & am constantly having to clean up after neighborhood cats. The smell is really bad in the planter area around my front porch and it is becoming very annoying. I am open to any advice. Thanks!

This column was in a recent SF Chronicle Home and Garden section:

-- Scatter pinecones in the areas the cats like to visit, especially under bushes. Ponderosa or other prickly cones work best.
-- Buy a commercial cat repellent and scatter or spray it in the places where the cats are doing their business.
-- Sprinkle heavy coats of pepper in those areas (I use about one 4-ounce can) where they are leaving their calling cards. fiona

We were plagued with the same cat problem (have a neighbor with 6 outdoor cats !) and our yard was a virtual litter box. We got a motion sensor sprinkler and the cats were gone in 3 days. I couldn't recommend it enough. We move the sprinkler around our yard every few months to keep the cats on their toes but, in general, the cats don't come around. The one we got was a scarecrow from and cost about $ 100 (you could probably find something cheaper if you shopped around). Best of luck.

I was reading the message threads about cats using outdoor gardens/planters as litter boxes. That was an ongoing problem for me. I solved it by cutting squares of chicken wire, placing them around my plants, and putting some soil over top so the wire is not unsightly. The problem solved without great cost or effort. The cats try to dig and do not like the feeling of the chicken wire impeding their activities. This is a very frustrating problem and I did not see this particular solution posted. Thanks. M.

Smelly porch from neighbors' cats

Feb 2002

We just moved to a new home where neighborhood cats have established a habit of sleeping and urinating on the back porch. Is there a way to: 1. get rid of the smell (we no longer dare store any items out there) 2. discourage the cats from coming back? Thanks Anne-Marie

This guy Bill came up with the most effective cat pee smell solution we have ever seen. This stuff works better than anything in the pet stores (we tried Nature's Miracle and a few others, but the smells persisted). Brian

Our porch and yard are neighbor cats' toilet

March 2001

Our next door neighbour has 5 cats who use our front steps/porch, front yard-back yard as toilet. Up to one year ago we had a dog that, while not a cat chaser, would at leat intimidate the cats enough so that they would stay away. Sadly the dog is now gone and the cats have taken over. The smell is becoming unbearable and there are feces all over. Taking to the neighbour is pointless as he is a peculiar guy , to say the least. He told us once that the cats were here before you otherwise he does not speak to us... How do we keep the cats away? I cannot get another dog, I do not want to use chemical repellants since we have a toddler and I do not want to hurt the cats.

Ground up orange peels supposedly repel cats. Worth a try! Deborah

Cats using child's sandbox

We've got the classic turtle sandbox. What do you do when a neighborhood cat uses it for a litterbox? Scoop it out? Sanitize it somehow? Toss out the entire sandbox? How often do you refresh/renew the sand? How do you get rid of the old sand?

If neighborhood cats have been using your sandbox, you need to replace the sand. Scooping it out will only get the poop, not the urine, and the sand is ruined. It isn't considered hazardous waste or anything, so you can just dispose of it as conventional waste. To prevent it in the future, you just need to cover up the sandbox when it isn't in use.... a lot of sandboxes now come with lids. Otherwise, you'll have to make one.