Cats that have become separated from their owners for one reason or another are known as feral or stray cats. They can become a nuisance to neighborhoods because they breed rapidly, often having six to eight kittens at a time. Besides using your yard as a litter box, they pose a serious risk because they can spread disease to you and your pets with just a simple scratch. These animals are often scared of humans, making them likely to bite or scratch if you attempt to capture them. There are several measures you can take to get rid of cats without putting yourself at risk.
Stray cats frequent areas where they can find food. The most important step you can take in ridding your property of these unwelcome guests is to remove their source of food. Keep your garbage cans tightly covered. Just like bears, feral cats are masters at getting into trash cans when they are hungry. If you feed your pets outside, be sure to pick up their bowl when they have finished eating. Sweep up any spillage to prevent other animals from making a meal of it.
Feral cats are usually very wary of people and will seek cover. Sheds, barns and entrances under the house or patio are ideal hiding places for them. Making these areas inaccessible will deter these uninvited visitors.
If you are a dog lover, consider posting one in your yard to deter the cats. Most cats are smart enough not to go near a large canine, or even a small but loud one. Make sure that your dog is up to date on his shots so he doesn't contact any disease should he be bitten or scratched. Don't allow your dog to harm the cat, as violence is unnecessary.
Like most animals, cats have very sensitive noses. This can work in your favor when you are trying to keep them off your property. You may want to cut the ends off of large chili peppers and squeeze the oils around the perimeter of your yard. The oil will irritate the animal's nose, driving it away from your yard.
Wild cats are very determined, as their survival depends on it. If the above ideas failed to fix your problem, it may be time to hire a professional trapper. Trappers use humane and effective methods to remove the animals from your property.
Keep in mind that feral cats are wild animals and precautions should be taken when attempting to get rid of them. Never attempt to capture them yourself, as you will put yourself at risk for injury and disease.