How To Keep Stray Cats Away From Your Porch

a grey cat looking out of a window at a ginger cat sitting on a porch

Have you got a problem with the local cats? Do you need to know how to keep stray cats away from your porch? Are these furry invaders scratching up your woodwork, winding up your own cat or dog, or leaving a mess on your porch? Do you need to find a way to keep these cats away from your house?

Check out our tips for humanely keeping these stray cats away from your home and off your porch:

Use A Spray Deterrent


Cats don’t like being surprised by water sprays. They never get used to it and the experience quickly teaches them to avoid areas where they get sprayed. 

For a small outlay, you get a motion-activated water spray that you can conveniently set up to spray at unwanted intruders and keep them away from your property. If you have spotted where a stray, community or feral cats are accessing your property you can dissuade them from coming onto your property by hitting them with a burst of water. A couple of attempts and they will learn that they need to stay away! 

You’ll need to be able to get a water supply into your yard, power for the motion sensor is usually via a battery. This is an effective method of keeping cats away from any aspect of your house. You can use a motion-activated sprayer to keep them completely out of your yard or away from certain areas. You may need to use several set-ups to create a field of fire to cover all access and approaches used by local cats!

calico cat rubbing face on garden pot
Calico Cat Marking With A Cheek Rub

Use An Ultrasound Deterrent


Maybe you don’t have a water supply in your yard? Fear not there are other options for keeping cats away from your porch. You could try a motion-activated ultrasound deterrent. These devices basically emit an abrupt sound that scares an approaching cat but is at a frequency that people can’t hear so you or your neighbors won’t be disturbed. You set them up in the same manner as the water deterrent – by covering the approaches to the area you are protecting and then waiting for the kitty to stumble into the zone and set off a blast that scares them off. They are relatively cheap coming in at about $30 apiece but they are very effective.

Use A Commercial Deterrent Spray


You could buy a deterrent spray online and spray down your porch if you want to keep cats off that area. These sprays are full of natural ingredients that cats dislike. Cat’s sense of smell is far superior to ours so when they smell garlic, cinnamon, or citrus it comes across as an offensively powerful odor to them and they like to get out of the area and away from the powerful smell at the earliest opportunity.

Not so great at keeping cats out of your yard or away from large zones like the water and sound deterrents are but if you have an enclosed or small area you want to deter cats from entering or hanging around in then a deterrent spray is a decent option. Coming in at around the $20 mark, you need to spray regularly and probably won’t see a reaction until you have laid down a good layer of odor. The smells are usually pretty mild and unexceptional to humans and the sprays are safe for children and the environment. 

Plant Catnip


This option may be counter-intuitive but you could plant some catmint or catnip. If you want to keep your porch free of cats and cats away from your house then why not make an area away from your house more attractive by planting catnip? Catnip has a powerful effect and may be irresistible to local cats. Planting catnip could be a win-win. They get a buzz and you get a cat-free porch!

a stray calico cat with one eye laying on a porch

Make Your Own Deterrent Spray


You can buy a spray but you can also make a homemade cat deterrent spray. Cats don’t like citrus smells so creating a spray from lemon juice with a bit of water might be all you need to get rid of the local cats. You can use it liberally all over your property – but you will need to spray every day to keep the odor levels up. You can mix in mustard, black pepper, and cinnamon to ramp up the power if you need to go the extra mile.

Provide A Scratch Post


Another tactic for luring cats away from your porch. Cats love to scratch as part of their grooming and marking rituals. If you have cats that are scratching furniture on your porch or you think they are marking territory at your house and bringing other cats in to investigate, then providing marking and grooming areas away from your home might entice them away from these areas. Provide a cheap scratch post at the end of your yard so they lose interest in your porch.

Provide A Marking Area


Another tactic to lure cats away from your porch or home is to provide them with a superior area for marking thereby removing the need to mark nearer your house. We are not talking about installing a scratching post but providing a facility for other types of marking – a cat toilet area.

Cats like to mark by spraying and leaving scat around the place. If this is on your porch it is going to drive you nuts. Provide an area away from the home that cats will find more suitable. You want to provide an area of loose, sandy, or well broken up ground that is easy for cats to dig and potential even install a post that they can spray against. It could just keep them off your porch!

Remove Potential Food Sources


Are stray cats coming to your porch for food? Is your porch a food source? If you have a trash can on your porch this may need repositioning down the yard. Even if your trash can is secure the odor it emits could have inquisitive cats coming to investigate. Get anything that might be deemed a food source or engage a cat’s curiosity off your porch. 

cat sitting in open doorway looking out onto street

Make Access Harder


If you have cats on your porch can you find a way to physically prevent them from getting onto the porch? How about a bit of landscaping using sharp gravels? Maybe your paths and areas around your porch might benefit from being re-laid with gravel that cats don’t like walking over!

What size of gravel to deter cats? Small gravels like pea shingle will be too reminiscent of litter and may actually attract cats. 20Mm shingle may be too easy to walk on, 40mm is best to make crossing hard. Then consider shape. Don’t opt for river gravels that are smooth and rounded, opt for gravel with sharp edges. If you don’t fancy walking on it then local cats are likely to dislike the sensation. A little bit of homemade deterrent spray may make such a path or covered ground impassable to cats and keep them off your porch!

Plant Vegetation Cats Dislike


A great way to keep cats off your porch is to plant some really nice stuff in planters and line them on your porch. Of course, what is really nice for you is well chosen to be abhorrent to cats! Think lavender, rosemary, chives, lemon balm, pennyroyal, rue, geraniums, scared y cat plants, and curry plants. Planting any of these along your porch should be enough to keep cats away.

If you need to know how to keep stray cats off your porch to stop your cat from spraying in the house then hopefully some of these tips will do the job for you when you put them into practice. If we had to recommend just one we would go with the water sprayer. It consistently works for so many people it has to be the best option available.