The growing number of stray and feral cats in the United States is becoming a serious problem. The Feral Cat Coalition estimates that the number of stray cats exceeds 60 million. In addition to the tens of millions already roaming the streets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that another 5 million domesticated cats are abandoned each year. With more than 65 million stray cats on the loose; it’s important to protect your home and garden.
The Difference Between a Stray Cat and a Feral Cat:
A stray cat is a cat with a home, somewhere. Some owners allow their cats to wander about freely; other strays have traveled too far and don’t know how to get home. Either way, theses types of cats are domesticated. Feral cats, however, are usually abandoned cats. The offspring of abandoned cats are not domesticated, but they are comfortable living near human populations.
Common Problems Associated With Stray and Feral Cats:
Lawn and Garden Destruction: It’s hard to keep a flowerbed clean or healthy when it’s being used as a litter box. Stray cats are also notorious for digging through garbage cans, shredding trash, and emptying coy ponds.
Reduction of Bird Population: The overpopulation of undomesticated cats is resulting in a smaller and smaller population of songbirds and some endangered species. Feral cats are more primal, feeding mainly on birds, and keeping a bird feeder won’t be easy if they’re in the neighborhood.
Danger for Household Pets: Feral cats can also be a danger to smaller household pets like hamsters, gerbils, and ferrets.
Menacing Attitude: Stray cats are less likely to harm you than feral cats, but dealing with either can be risky. When they feel threatened, feral cats may scratch, claw, and even bite. As possible carriers of the rabies virus, it’s important to keep them away from your home and family.
Natural outdoor cat repellents are a safe and easy way to avoid unfortunate incidents with stray cats. The most common forms of natural feral cat repellents come in liquid and granule form. Repellent spray is great for protecting large areas of your yard, and can also be used directly on smaller areas and plants that need a little extra protection: sandboxes, flower beds, bird feeders, etc.
Granulated outdoor cat repellents are great for creating boundaries for stray cats and pests. They are often used to line the edges of yards, fences, and gardens. Natural cat repellents are safe and nontoxic. In fact, many granule forms of cat repellent can also be used inside the home. Essential oils produced naturally by plants are combined to create odors that are unpleasant and misleading. While feral cats are often more predatory than domesticated strays, they do fear the smell of larger predators. Outdoor cat repellents often mimic smells that cats would find dangerous—fox or coyote urine.
Natural stray and feral cat repellents are completely organic and chemical-free. Liquid and granule repellents are easy to find, easy to afford, and easy to use. A safe choice for your home and family, natural repellents are a responsible and pet-friendly way to avoid strays.
(Photo Credit - Pinterest)