Pets aren't for everyone, especially when it comes to cats. While there are many laws regarding the proper containment of dogs, they don't typically apply to cats. Trespassing felines can destroy gardens by defecating or urinating on plants, kill or chase away birds from a feeder, and be an all-around nuisance. Fortunately, there are several humane ways of keeping a cat off a fence and out of the yard.
You can try several humane approaches, including the use of scented oils, sticky tape, sprinklers, or aluminum foil, to keeping cats from walking on your fence,
Concentrated Scent Applications
A number of concentrated, scented oils are natural deterrents to cats. Citrus, including lemon, lime, and orange, as well as eucalyptus and citronella, are offensive to a cat's nose. Spraying these oils along the top of a fence can help deter cats from walking on it. However, the oils may need to be reapplied after a rain or periodically throughout the season to ensure their potency.
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Double-Sided Sticky Tape
Double-sided sticky tape is an easy method for deterring a cat from walking on a fence. Cats do not like anything that sticks to their paws or fur and therefore will avoid the area at all costs. This method works best on plastic or metal fences as the tape may not adhere well to wood fences. The double-sided tape may also require occasional replacement due to buildup of dust, dirt, and pests over time, making it less sticky.
A motion-activated sprinkler can be placed at the base of a fence to discourage cats from walking on it. A sprinkler can also be positioned to point at the fence and go off whenever it senses movement along the top. Cats have an extreme aversion to water, so being soaked by your sprinkler will easily deter them from using the fence as a personal walking path.
Creepy Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil works in two ways. First, it manipulates the light around the area, making the cat unsure of whether the fence is a safe place to walk. Second, cats do not like to walk on foil. This may be due to the noise it makes or the texture of the aluminum foil if it is crinkled. It can be nailed along the top of the fence to aid in keeping cats away.
Wire or String
Either a taut wire or string can be strung between small posts on top of the fence. Cats cannot balance around the string and therefore will no longer attempt to walk along the top. Ideally, the wire or string should be 3 to 6 inches high. This is high enough to prevent the cat from being able to maneuver the area, but not high enough to allow the cat space beneath the wire to walk.
Plastic Spike Strips
Small, plastic spike strips also prevent cats from walking on a fence. These plastic strips, sometimes known as bird spikes, utilize small plastic spikes or bumps that cats do not like to walk on. They can easily be nailed or otherwise affixed to the top of a fence and are also not easily visible, making them ideal for someone who does not wish to detract from their landscaping while warding away unwanted felines.