Keeping Unwanted Cats out of your Yard

At Large/Roaming Cats are prohibited under the Regina Animal Bylaw #2009-44. The Bylaw also states that cats:

  • Are secured on their property and are not allowed to be a nuisance to the neighbourhood;
  • Do not disturb the peace by howling or crying;
  • Do not damage other’s property;
  • Do not scatter garbage; and
  • Do not chase, threaten, or attack a person or an animal.

The Regina Humane Society believes that the safest way to manage cats is to keep them indoors to protect them from the elements, contagious disease and negative human interaction as well as from the dangers of being injured by a car, becoming lost or having hazardous interactions with wildlife and other domestic animals. Cats not secured on their property and/or allowed to roam may become a nuisance in their community by digging in neighbour’s gardens or defecating on their property.

To respond to nuisance cats in your neighbourhood, consider the following options:

1. Talk to the Cat’s Owner

If you know who the owner is and feel comfortable doing so, try talking to the cat’s owner. Politely explain to the owner the impact their roaming cat is having on you, your property and your pets. You may want to refer them to online information about keeping cats indoors or cats and the Regina Animal Bylaw No. 2009-44. Hopefully this conversation with the cat’s owner will resolve the issue. Click here to read the complete Bylaw.

2. Make Your Property Less Inviting

There are a variety of methods that can be useful in helping cats to understand the boundaries of their territory. By creating an environment that is unpleasant to cats, they may learn to avoid those areas in favour of more desirable terrain.

Motion- Activated Deterrents

  1. Bird-X Yard Gard: Ultrasonic motion activated device that will emit a high frequency alarm that is imperceptible to people but annoying to cats. Place near entry points or near problem areas.
  2. Aspectek Yard Sentinel: Sonic and ultrasonic motion activated device that can be set to emit either a high frequency alarm that is annoying to cats; or sonic predator sounds which are audible to cats and humans. Place near entry points to the property or near problem areas.
  3. Contech ScareCrow: Motion activated sprinkler that instantly releases a short startling burst of water when it detects any motion in a yard. This device requires a water supply.

Digging Deterrents

  1. Cat Scat Mat: Cats will not usually enter an area where they cannot walk and dig comfortably. These mats have plastic spikes to discourage cats from digging. They can be placed in garden areas or flower beds, at the base of trees or shrubs, along a fence line to keep cats from entering a yard, or anywhere that cats frequent.
  2. Plastic Chicken Wire: This product can be placed on top of the soil or under a thin layer of soil or mulch in gardens or pots to deter cats from digging. Cats do not like the feeling of the wire on their paws and may become irritated and move on to another location.
  3. Using large or rough surfaced rocks to cover exposed ground or placing rocks into plant pots may prevent cats from digging.
  4. Prior to planting in the garden or flowerbed, lay a lattice on the ground and plant inside the openings.
  5. Use upright chopsticks to surround plants in pots or boxes so the cats cannot jump into them.
  6. Use mulch, bark chips or gravel in your garden or flowerbed. Cats tend not to like rough textures on their paws, so making the area uncomfortable for them will help to keep them away.

Scent Deterrents

  1. Get Off My Garden!: This product is made up of suspended water crystals that slowly release a strong perfumed odour which is intended to confuse a cat’s sense of smell. Use this product sparingly and apply to the edges of the area where the cats are known to frequent.
  2. Natural Scent Deterrents: Cats have a very strong sense of smell and can be sensitive to many strongly scented citrus-based or spicy smells that are pleasant to humans including citronella, lavender, and cinnamon. Scattered orange peels and household vinegar are also natural deterrents.
  3. Plants that are natural deterrents for cats as they can emit odours that cat dislike:
    • Coleus Canina, also known as the Scaredy-Cat plant
    • Helichrysum Italicum, also known as the Curry herb plant
    • Lemon Balm plant
    • Rosemary and Lavender

Planting these plants along the borders of a garden or flowerbed may stop cats from entering the area and causing damage. Property owners may also choose to plant prickly bushes to keep cats out of flowerbeds and gardens.

Other Deterrents

  1. Sprinkler timers: Setting your sprinklers to turn on at popular “cat visiting hours” may help deter unwanted guests.
  2. Remove potential food sources from your property. Keep covers on your garbage cans, and pickup food scraps left over from outdoor pet feedings or family picnics.
  3. Keep gates closed, and shore up any breaks in fence lines. Ideally, fences should be 6 feet high with the support post facing in. Any gaps below fences should be filled in with dirt or bricks. Place mesh netting (angled outwards) or PVC pipe at the top of your fence to prevent cats from climbing over.
  4. Block gaps in the foundation of sheds and porches where cats may sleep or seek shelter.

You may need to use several items and strategies in various areas to determine what will be most effective for your property. The Regina Humane Society does not warrant the effectiveness of any of these products or strategies for the purpose of deterring cats.

3. File a Complaint

If speaking with the owner and creating an unfavourable environment for cats does not deter the nuisance cat(s), you may file a complaint against the owner by contacting (306) 777-7700. All complaints are investigated and complainants are kept anonymous. The primary objective of a Bylaw investigation is to decrease the likelihood of repeated infractions through education of the owner, cooperation, and if necessary, deterrence in the form of legal proceedings. If the owner contests any issued fines, you may be required to appear in court to testify and will no longer be anonymous.

You do not need to trap a cat on your property to file a complaint, you just have to see the cat, be able to identify it, and provide the information to an RHS Animal Protection Officer. Providing detailed accounts, as well as pictures and video, is very helpful.

4. Humanely Trap the Cat

The Regina Humane Society does not capture stray and at-large cats, but does rent humane traps to residents between May and October (weather dependent). Cat traps can be rented from the RHS on a first come, first served basis. Those renting cat traps sign a legal contract to abide by stipulated criteria surrounding their use.

It is illegal to put an animal in distress, a trap must be monitored frequently. Individuals must provide food, water and shelter for the trapped cat until it can be brought to the Shelter. The cat must also not be injured by the method you use to trap and transport it. For more information on humane cat trap rentals, please call (306) 777-7700.