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Dealing With Stray Cats

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Dealing With Stray Cats

Some neighborhoods have many stray cats wreaking minor havoc in trash, gardens, etc. There are ways to resolve this issue and perhaps help the cats as well. This is a guide about dealing with stray cats.



Here are questions related to Dealing With Stray Cats.

Question: Caring for Stray Cats

I am trying to help some stray kittens. One has pus in its eyes, runny eyes. One is blind. They are wild kittens. I have tried a lot of different medications. Is there something I can make at home to use? Meds are very costly when wild cats just keep coming.

We do not have a no kill shelter in Fontana or one that will take them. I am caring for 50+ cats, none of whom are house cats. The cost for food has wiped me out. If anyone knows of someone to help with food it would be of great help. Thank you for your help.

By Double D


Most Recent Answer

By Michelle Belt [1]08/28/2009

I am right there with you. I had about maybe 25 at one time. I learned of TNR < Trap Nurture and release > It does work. After the males were fixed, which I only paid 40.00 total to have about 10 males fixed, I found 99 % of them homes. People want cats that are all ready fixed or kittens. I have 3 outside left to find homes for.. Hang in there , it does work out, please contact your local SPCA and ask about TNR. They worked out a deal with me for 40.00 for 10 it is usually about 30.00 per male cat. Aas far as food is an awesome place to start people are kind on there and will help. Good luck and keep us posted.
Michelle in PA

Question: Neighborhood Cats Bullying Pet Cat

I let my cat out for her daily wander, but she keeps getting bullied by other cats. They are coming almost to our door. She is desexed. What can I do?

By Sharon V.


Most Recent Answer

By Dena R. [3]11/09/2013

She needs a cat run to keep her from getting hurt.

Question: Finding a Home For a Stray Cat

Thank you for any response first of all. I live in a condo. A stray cat has found her way here. I am highly allergic and so therefore have never been able to appreciate cats. But this little one is so sweet. She really likes me. All the cat people that have come say they want her until she meets them and she GROWLS. Her back goes up and she is not happy. Then she wraps herself around my legs. I have contacted all the shelters in my area and everyone is full. The SPCA is pretty far for me to go after work, I may not even make it there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have listed her in the local newspapers and on craigslist and nothing.

Sandy from Baltimore, MD

Most Recent Answer

By penny (Guest Post)12/06/2008

No answer for you. I have 12 strays that I can't fine a home for them. Don't know what to do.

Question: Stray Cat Problem

How can I keep stray cats out of my garden?

Gina from Philadelphia, PA

Most Recent Answer

By Chris G.09/29/2013

We have 3 cats. Sam 13 is fine we have two other Birman male and female all neutered. We have just moved into our first home and a stray cat is coming in every night and peeing on the couches and also on the bench tops.

How do we stop this? I'm pregnant and worried about when the baby comes This stray tries to get in their room. We haven't been able to catch it and it comes in through the cat door please help

Question: Dealing With Stray Cats

I have too many cats and don't know what to do. I have one inside female kitten who's been spayed, she's no problem. I have two female and one male indoor/outdoor cats who have also been neutered, they're no problem (although one doesn't get along with the others).

However, There are two outside male strays, presumably unneutered, although one has a flea collar on so someone owns him and may have had him neutered; two female strays unspayed, one with 2 kittens (male and female) unneutered. The outdoor females and kittens are not friendly enough to get near, they run whenever we go outside, but will eat food we put out for them.

My question is, if I can't get near them how do I get them neutered? If I don't get it done, we'll be absolutely overrun with cats and I know it has to stop before that happens. What do I do? Can someone please help?

Bonnie from Tuckerton, NJ,

Most Recent Answer

By catlover05/14/2015

I had the same problem and was able to solve it and get it under control, although I never thought I would. Cats would multiply in my neighbor's shed. The kittens are endearing and we fell in love with 2 & adopted them. Two turned into 9 adopted for indoors all spayed & neutered but I decided enough, and I contacted someone who told me to trap & neuter the remaining outdoor ones.

Trapping with the specific cage didn't work for me so I used my own cat carrier. I waited till one was good n hungry, soon as they poked the head in, I gave them a little shove in & closed the cage door. I tried to be careful that the others wouldn't notice or it might be harder to trap them. I had appointments with my local low-cost spay/neuter clinic & took 2 at a time in separate carriers every 2 weeks. I cared for them the required 2 weeks for recovery and back out they went.

I did 12 cats like that. I feed them and care for them. I went online to learn how to make individual shelters for each cat, made of storage totes, reflective insulation & straw to keep them warm & dry in our cold NJ Winters. I lined my whole back porch with the 7 shelters. You can do it. It takes effort but its very rewarding. All the best to you.

Question: Help with Stray Cats

I have 4 stray cats that hang out on my back porch. I have a male neutered cat inside. Apparently, one of the strays is also a male (unneutered) and he has been spraying my house--gross! I have a 2 year old and I don't want him to go out and play when this cat sprays. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this stray cat to stop spraying or to get him to leave? Help please! melissa in wv

Most Recent Answer

By nina (Guest Post)07/30/2008

I've also heard citronella oil works (outside!), but avoid using it on cement or similar surfaces as it will stain.

Question: Keeping Stray Cats Out of Your Yard

Help! These stray cats are peeing at my front door, patio, and lawn. How can I get them to stop and go away? The neighbor across street feeds them and they seem to come on my side of street and do there business and lay on patio and steps. I have allergies. What can I do to get them to stop?

By Anne

Most Recent Answer

By SusannL [28]03/15/2014

Ask the animal shelter in your area for traps. Lure the cats in with cat food and then take them to the shelter. Stray animals spread disease. Your neighbor is aggravating the problem by feeding them. Feeding is easy. Is she willing to adopt them and take them to a vet for the necessary inoculations and care? Is she willing to buy litter boxes and keep the cats in her home? Probably not. Perhaps, you could try telling her about your allergy. If she really is kind maybe she will put the humans in the neighborhood first and stop luring cats to your property.

Question: Helping Stray Cat and Kittens

The stray cat that I have been feeding gave birth to a liter of five kittens two weeks ago. The box that they were living in was too small and smelled awful so my neighbor and I decided to transfer the kittens into a bigger box. We used the same bedding as the old box and moved them rather quickly as the mom was eating.

Now two of the five kittens are missing and mom won't go into the new box to feed the remaining three. What do we do now?

By Bobby from Philadelphia, PA

Most Recent Answer


There was most likely something wrong with the three kittens that are no longer there. I know it sounds awful but it's animal instinct to take the weak or sick ones away to die :-( It's also possible that mama has her own nutrition deficiency. In that case she would definitely choose the strongest babies that she knows will survive with her own limited resources to feed them.

Please just leave them alone and let nature take it's course unless she completely abandons the remaining babies. Once they are completely weaned you can take them in and find homes for them.

Question: Discouraging Cats From Using Yard as Litter Box

My son and daughter-in-law just purchased a house and the cats around their house seem to think that it is their own litter box. Is there something that can be put out to repel them, without harming them.

By Jerry from Greenwood, DE

Most Recent Answer


No moth balls either! They are highly toxic to all animals, humans of any age and the environment (especially if anything edible grows in the yard). They are meant to be used 'only in a closed storage area' for clothing'! They can also cause respiratory problems!

Anything citrus will help greatly to repel the cats but needs to be refreshed after a short time or after rain or snow. Over time the cats simply won't bother entering the yard anymore so placing or spraying the citrus won't need to be done forever ;-)

Question: Stray Cat Bullying Resident Cat

Mom has an indoor/outdoor cat. Recently a hungry stray has been hanging around and we have left food out for him. Now, he comes by all the time and that would be OK, but he started to attack mom's cat when she's outside. She won't go out when she sees that he is out there. Should I stop feeding him so he goes back across the street where I think he came from?
He is huge and eats twice as much as mom's cat! We were not prepared for this stray taking over our lives and bullying our own cat, that can't go on. Any ideas?

By Terry O.

Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny [9]12/08/2014

Great advice from Abigail. She is spot on. One thing you can try to make the intruder feel less comfortable is to use a squirt gun or a squirt bottle with a strong stream. It won't hurt the cat but they do hate being squirted. He will quickly feel less welcome on your property. If the cat is truly a stray and really needs feeding you can get a local cat rescue group to trap him and find him a home. Good luck.

Question: Cats Peeing and Spraying Under House

I have a bad cat problem in the town I live in and just discovered there are some living under my trailer. They are peeing, pooping, and spraying under there. I would block it off, but I have like 5 feet of snow and ice all around my trailer. They are also spraying my back door and all of these smells are starting to come in. Any ideas on how to stop it all would be so nice. Thank you in advance.

By Kala S.

Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]11/26/2013

Since it is winter, you can't do a cleaning out from under your home. If your trailer is skirted, (which I assume it is, otherwise how do you keep your plumbing from freezing), you should be able to figure out how the cats are getting in, and pile up snow and ice in those spaces, blocking off the way the cats get in. They are using the space as a litter box because they have good digging under there.

Do make sure that there are not cats under the trailer when you block off the entrances, easier said than done, as I once had to do this, and we trapped a cat under there, who was hurt. He was a walking skeleton when we discovered him, and we had to have him put to sleep. Anyway, that should keep the cats out in the winter, if they can't get in.

I found that splashing a very generous amount of lemon scented Mr. Clean over the spots where tom cats were spraying covered up the smell (which you can't wash off very well when it is -40F), and discouraged them from spraying there. They do not seem to like the lemon smell, and it is not an unpleasant smell for people. Absolutely do not toss a bunch of moth balls around. That smell is as bad, if not worse, than the cat pee smell, and besides that is poisonous to everyone, you and the cats. I've tried it, and it is totally disgusting, and I don't think it works anyway.

I have found that a cat repellent that I purchased at a hardware or garden supply store worked quite well to keep cats off of sections of the lawn, but it has to be replaced every time it rained. It might work okay under a trailer. However, you also have to be careful about the smell of such things, as sometimes it is just as bad as the cat smell!

Question: How Do I Keep Cats from Peeing in My Yard?

I hope you can help. First things first I like cats and dogs, but where I live I seem to attract the tom cats. They leave their calling smell (strong pee?). What's the best thing or way to try and stop this?

By Tony from Liverpool, UK

Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]05/02/2011

Do not put moth balls around the yard!!! If anything smells worse than cat pee, it is moth balls, and they are poisonous to you and animals and birds as well. Horrible things. There are products you can buy that are "cat repellants" that you sprinkle around your yard. These work for the most part, but you have to keep reapplying if it rains. You might try orange peels, lemon peels, grapefruit peels, as cats are not supposed to like citrus. I had very good results using lemon scented Mr Clean full strength splashed on the area that the cats were spraying. They were spraying the front of my house and near the door in the winter. I splashed the full strength lemon scented cleaner on the sprayed areas (because it -30, and I was not prepared to be out there scrubbing!!) This covered up the smell, and seemed to repel the cats. Worth a try, as I don't think that it is harmful to plants or animals or insects.

Question: Cats in Garden

The neighbourhood stray cats have decided to use my gardens as their own personal litter box. I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to deter them. I found a product at Walmart, but it was quite expensive. I'm way too cheap for that.


Most Recent Answer

By gannon (Guest Post)04/09/2005

My grandmother scattered rose bush clippings around her gardens. The cats disliked the thorns pricking their paws, so left her plants alone.

Question: Keeping Stray Cats Out of Your Home

We have a year old spayed cat. She is an indoor cat at night. We've been finding lately that when we air our house out, we've got stray ginger cats coming in. They are spraying through our house, eating our cat's food. They're also fighting with our neighbor's cat, and we've all had enough.

By Sue H.

Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny [9]11/03/2014

Can you put screens on your windows. I did when a few bats flew into my bedroom one night to say hi.

Question: Caring for Stray Cats in the Winter

I had 3 kittens make a home under my mobile home in the summer. Now it is winter. I made a mistake and fed them. The problem is is that I had a company come out to weatherize under the home. They said the cats destroyed everything under there. They completely sealed the skirting down so they cannot go under there. I'm worried because it's winter and am afraid they won't survive. The shelter won't take them and they won't come in. Do I need to worry?

By Lynn from OH

Most Recent Answer

By Lizzyanny [9]11/26/2013

If you want to offer shelter to these cats there are shelter you can prepare for them. Try googling shelter or houses for feral cats. Some shelters are inexpensive. Some are quite elaborate. If the cats are no longer hanging around they may have moved on. If you are still feeding them, I think it is a nice idea to consider shelter for them.

Question: Getting Stray Cats to Stay Out of Yard

I have one, indoor only, neutered, male cat. Lately, the weather here in Florida is starting to be cool enough at night to open some windows to save the electric bill from being so high, with 24/7 central air running. So, I have at least two different cats coming up to the window where my cat, Alex lays, and they both go back and forth loudly meowing and hollering at each other. My cat, as I said is fixed. Obviously, other cats don't probably know that.

But these cats are not afraid of me, and won't leave for nothing. I end up having to close the windows and put the air back on. This is OK for now, because it gets hot during the day still, but soon, when it's too cool to put the air on, then what? My biggest fear is what if these cats start spraying outside? That's going to most likely make my cat start spraying! The whole reason I got my cat fixed, was to help prevent spraying. The vet said he still can do it if he so desires. And this is not a full proof solution to the spraying problem.

So far, they have not sprayed, and neither has he. I want to know, first- why are they here? (The at least 2 different cats outside I seen coming to the windows?) 2.) are they male or female cats? Maybe in heat or something? or 3) are they looking for a fight with my cat? 4) how do I get rid of them? Without having to hurt them, of course! And 5.) and most important- how do I get them to continue to not spray? (Both, the outside cats and my indoor cat.) Please help.

This is very scary at night, with just me and my daughter home and a thin screen keeping them from popping inside. Because they sure act like they will come in if they could. Thanks for any and all help, comments, etc.

By Julie L.

Solutions: Dealing With Stray Cats

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Caring for Stray Cats

I am feeding over 30 kittens and cats. I can not afford to keep feeding them. People get them then move. I would like to find a place for them. We do not have no kill shelters here. Does anyone know what I can do? We live in Fontana, CA.

I also need help with having them fixed. I have 1 acre, they have a good home outside with shelter. Is there a grant or something I could get to care for them. I am on a fixed income now, I have been doing this for 10 years at $40.00 a week and I can no longer afford to. Please help with information or anything.

Thank you,
D.D. from Fontana, CA

RE: Starting a No Kill Shelter

You might try finding a no-kill shelter in your area and ask if they could steer you in the right direction. Also, you might try asking friends and family for donations and get the word out that you need help. After 10 years they are dependent on you to provide food and water. I hope that you will find the help you need. Good luck. (09/05/2008)

By Jennifer

RE: Starting a No Kill Shelter

You could contact the SPCA in your area and see what they would suggest. They are a great organization and put threw a lot of pet adoptions each year. (09/05/2008)

By starxmn

RE: Starting a No Kill Shelter

In the San Diego area we have an organization called Feral Cat Coalition. They might help with spay/neuter issues. If these animals are breeding, you are continuing to perpetuate the problem. (09/05/2008)

By Linda

RE: Starting a No Kill Shelter

Ask your local veterinarian about it. I found an abandoned kitty, went to get her spayed and she was pregnant. So I asked my vet about cheap neuter/spaying for the kittens and she explained there is a state fund to spay/neuter them for $10.00. If your cats are not fixed this would be smart to do. The shelter thing, ask your vet they will most likely know. Best wishes. (09/06/2008)

By Starchild in VT

RE: Caring for Stray Cats

I belong to an all volunteer group in Destin, FL called "Feline Friends". We belong to a national group, Alley Cat Allies. We promote TNR for feral cats. What that means is we trap, neuter or spay and then return the cat to its environment. We set up a feeding station and have care givers who provide food, etc. You can go to and find lots of helpful information. They will also help you in locating a group in your area. Good luck and God bless. (09/06/2008)

By Linda in Destin

RE: Caring for Stray Cats

I know exactly what you mean about financially caring for strays. I have adopted 8 throw away cats in the last 8 years and am living on a very limited income. Maybe ask the local Humane Society for help with donations. Or research how to start a "no kill" foundation. Good luck to you and your kitties. Jann (09/06/2008)

By Jann W.

RE: Caring for Stray Cats

Try posting a notice of what you are doing and what you need to continue doing at your vet's office, local pet stores, laundromat, grocery, animal shelter, etc.; hopefully there are more good people like you who would be willing to help out. Some vets will spay/neuter at no charge or little charge for stray animals. Good luck and god bless you for being an angel to these homeless, helpless animals. (04/28/2009)

By Kaufman