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C2008-15

Dear Christopher Cat

We just moved to a new neighborhood, and our two indoor cats quickly adjusted to their new home. However, two neighborhood cats come to our house and spray our doors with foul-smelling urine.

I tried a chemical pet deterrent, but it didn’t work. How can I keep these cats away?

Christopher Responds

Those hooligan cats give all of us a bad name.

You can discourage them from visiting your new home by installing a motion-activated deterrent.

One such device is the ScareCrow sprinkler. Its infrared motion detector senses approaching intruders and blasts them with water.

The unit sprays two to three cups of water per blast, and it covers up to 1000 square feet. One 9-volt battery provides enough power to fire 5000 times, more than you’ll need to teach the entire neighborhood of cats to stay away from your house.

Another device is the Garden Ghost, a motion-activated cannister that shoots compressed air up to three feet.

If the hooligans are unowned, unsterilized free-roaming cats, check with your local humane society or feral cat network to find an organization that will help you trap them so they can be sterilized. Once they’re sterilized, they’ll be less likely to spray.

It’s unlikely your indoor cats will spray near the doors the outside cats visit. However, it’s easier to deal with a problem when you catch it early, so check those areas frequently.

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