Outdoor PestsWildlife

How To Scare Cats Away at Night

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various humane methods to deter cats from your property at night. From natural repellents to tech-savvy devices, there are numerous ways to keep cats at bay without causing them harm.


To scare cats away at night humanely, use scent repellents like citrus peels, coffee grounds, vinegar, or diluted essential oils. Install motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic alarms. Make your garden less appealing for digging by using plastic mats with spikes, pine cones, or large rocks. Block access to shelter spaces and talk to your neighbors about managing free-roaming cats. Always opt for non-harmful deterrents and respect animal rights.

Understanding Cat Behavior at Night

Cats are primarily nocturnal creatures. Their heightened senses, especially sight and hearing, make the night an ideal time for them to roam around. This behavior often leads them to explore various territories, including your property.

Using Scent Repellents

Cats have a keen sense of smell, which you can use to your advantage. They dislike certain scents, and by introducing these to your property, you can keep them away.


Cats are not fans of citrus smells. Scatter citrus peels around your yard or spray a citrus-scented solution on areas where cats frequent. You can use peels from oranges, lemons, or limes.

Coffee Grounds and Vinegar

Cats also dislike the smell of coffee and vinegar. Scatter coffee grounds in your garden or spray a vinegar solution to deter cats.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, and eucalyptus can act as natural cat deterrents. However, use these sparingly as they can be toxic to cats in large amounts. Always dilute essential oils before use.

Motion-activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers, like the Scarecrow and Spray Away, can be an effective way to deter cats. These devices have sensors that trigger a short burst of water when movement is detected, scaring away the cats without harming them.

Ultrasonic Alarms

Ultrasonic alarms are devices that emit high-frequency sounds, which cats find unpleasant. Devices like PestBye Cat Repeller and Yard Sentinel can be installed around your property. These are safe, humane, and inaudible to humans.

Digging Deterrents

Make your garden less inviting by making it uncomfortable for cats to dig. Use plastic mats with flexible spikes, scatter pine cones, or large river rocks on the ground.

Blocking Access

Seal off spaces that cats may use for shelter, such as under porches or in sheds. Use chicken wire or lattice to block access, ensuring no cats are inside before sealing off these spaces.

Talk to Your Neighbors

If your neighbor is feeding free-roaming cats, ask them to call local animal services to discuss spay/neuter resources and tips on helping community cats be good neighbors.

Remember to always opt for humane and non-harmful deterrents to ensure the safety and well-being of the cats. Causing unnecessary suffering to a cat is an offense under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA). Inhumane methods, such as poisoning, shooting, or using aggressive dogs, can violate local laws and have negative consequences for unintentional targets.

In conclusion, there are many effective ways to scare cats away at night, but it’s crucial to do so responsibly and humanely. By taking the time to understand cat behavior and implementing these strategies, you can keep your property cat-free without causing harm to these curious creatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use commercial cat repellents?

Yes, commercial cat repellents are available in the market. They typically come in spray or granule form and contain scents that cats find unpleasant. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Are there plants that can deter cats?

Yes, certain plants can act as natural deterrents. Cats generally dislike the smell of plants like rue, lavender, pennyroyal, and Coleus canina (also known as scaredy cat plant).

What should I do if cats continue to visit my property despite using these methods?

If cats continue to visit your property, consider contacting a local animal control agency or a cat rescue organization for help. They can provide additional advice and may be able to trap and relocate the cats if necessary.

Can I use mothballs to keep cats away?

No, mothballs should not be used to deter cats. They contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, which are toxic to cats and can cause serious health problems if ingested or inhaled.

How can I deter cats without affecting other wildlife?

Most of the methods listed above, such as scent repellents and ultrasonic alarms, are not harmful to other wildlife. However, if you choose to use motion-activated sprinklers, make sure they are positioned to target cats specifically and not other wildlife.

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