Cat Problems on Outdoor Furniture

Q. When I leave my cushions out on my lawn furniture, the neighborhood cats like to come and do their business on them. What can I use on or near them to keep them away? Sometimes it’s very late when our friends leave in the evening and I’m a bit too tired to clean everything away so I wait till the morning. Thank you. — Beverly

Cats hate the smell of ammonia.

Bunch the chairs and place a piece of plastic or a tarp over top of them.  Your guest can help to bunch them together.  Keep the tarp outside but near your furniture for easy placement. Use some stones or something heavier to keep the cover in place or add weights to the ends of your cover permanently.

I use orange oil available in furniture finishing stores to keep cats out of places I don’t want them near. You might try saturating a cotton ball with it and putting it inside the c}sion, or depending on material, just mist it around.  Cats don’t like the scent of citrus, and this has always worked for our cats.  I wipe house and garden plant leaves with it, and place orange peels in the pots they are planted in so they will leave them alone, too.  It works for us. ~~Cyndy~~

I, too, have a problem with cats and cushions, except that the cushions are on my loveseat (in thelivingroom) and the cats are mine.  I have washed the cushions (foam rubber) in rather strong bleach water (their covers were washed separately) and that took the smell out.  It took them a LONG time to dry, however, as the foam rubber is very thick.  When I put them back on the loveseat, I sprayed them with a heavy solution of white vinegar and water.  That worked for a while, but I have had to remember to re-spray pretty often.  Hope this helps.  Becki

We fought similar cat problems for a couple of years before discovering that they seem to really HATE the smell of citrus fruits.  You can purchase orange oil or lime oil air fresheners (not the fake stuff), but they can be a little pricey.  As an alternative, try attaching dried orange/lemon peel sachets to your chairs, or even slip a few in a small pouch under each cushion.  Not only will cats find the chairs less inviting, but you’ll have the benefit of nicely scented chairs!  Just be careful about allowing peels to touch visible fabric; the oils in them can cause "wet-looking" stains.

An additional tip I was given by a veterinary assistant: If you’re having trouble removing the existing cat scent from soiled fabric, try using vanilla.  Check around baking stores or Mexican import shops to find the clear kind so you don’t have to worry about staining.  For whatever reason, vanilla really does seem to do a surprisingly good job of masking even the most stubborn cat scents.

We fought similar cat problems for a couple of years before discovering that they seem to really HATE the smell of citrus fruits.  You can purchase orange oil or lime oil air fresheners (not the fake stuff), but they can be a little pricey.  As an alternative, try attaching dried orange/lemon peel sachets to your chairs, or even slip a few in a small pouch under each cushion.  Not only will cats find the chairs less inviting, but you’ll have the benefit of nicely scented chairs!  Just be careful about allowing peels to touch visible fabric; the oils in them can cause "wet-looking" stains.

An additional tip I was given by a veterinary assistant: If you’re having trouble removing the existing cat scent from soiled fabric, try using vanilla.  Check around baking stores or Mexican import shops to find the clear kind so you don’t have to worry about staining.  For whatever reason, vanilla really does seem to do a surprisingly good job of masking even the most stubborn cat scents.

My mother used moth balls to keep cats out of her flower beds.  Maybe it would work here also

Petco. has a Great product that not only remove stains and odors, it will detour cats from returning to the site of the crime.  It’s made of a protein enzyme that cats DO NOT like and humans CAN NOT smell.

15 thoughts on “Cat Problems on Outdoor Furniture

  1. k says:

    my city has an animals at large law..I bought a trap trapped the cats took them to the humane society and the owners had to pay to retrieve them..my yard is fenced and I have a child with meningitis, cats carry diseases..I don’t think the owners would let me poop dig and shed in their yards..most neighbors were supportive

  2. M Cowles says:

    . My neighborhood is old and not the best taken care of however some of us try really hard to keep our home and yard clean and respectable . I cannot understand why it seems ok for these cats to wallow all over my things leaving hair on everything. Making it impossible to sit on the porch due to hair and smell. They walk all over the cars and yet no one will take responsibility for them. The city will pick up a stray dog but refuse to even set traps for the cats. Oh wait..the city will provide a trap for the small price of $50.00 for us to pay for trying to trap something that should not be there anyway…these are not pets they are stray disease carrying pieces of worthless crap and I really wish the city would uphold their ordinance regarding strays. All these remedies seldom work , can get expensive . Guess I’m just complaining but I’m getting too old to be chasing cats

    • Amanda says:

      THIS!! Well not the old part, but this is my EXACT situation!! We used to have a morbidly terrible stray cat issue. There were hundreds! They would mate and birth on my front porch and under my house!! The fleas were ridiculous! We sealed up all holes that we thought the fleas were getting through, and got in the habit of beating our clothes off before entering the house, because the outdoor fleas would attach themselves to us and catch a ride inside. I ended up having to get rid of my OWN babies (2 purebred long hair ragdoll cats) because we fought fleas for years, with little to no results and my babies were miserably covered in millions of fleas. None of the veterinary stuff worked. The pills, the drops, the dips and the powders were all just a waste of money after 48 hours of being back in the house. I even got rid of my carpet, to no avail. I had ugly bare floors AND a nasty flea infestation. None of the exterminators would guarantee flea treatments, and would charge me $100+ to come out once a week to spray the house and yard. I complained to the city on a weekly basis, and all they did was refer me to the local “humane society”, who was only interested in picking up/trapping dogs. They wouldn’t even sell me a trap for the dang cats! But they would offer advice: ” when you do get a trap, just trap them and bring them to us and we will spay/neuter for a reduced fee of $25 then you HAVE to release exactly where you trapped them.” What the French toast?!?!? You’re kidding me right??? Release these nasty violent mongrels BACK onto MY property???? Helicopters no!!! By the time I went over everything I had spent on flea treatments in a 5 year timespan and found out it was almost $15 thousand; I gave up and had to get rid of my INDOOR, preciously well-behaved cats, because they were suffering and nothing I did worked to help them and rid the fleas. I took them to the vet, had them dipped and housed, until someone bought them after a week or 2.

      Apparently, someone else in the neighborhood took care of it, because I have only seen 2 strays in the last 3 years. One of them “belongs” to my neighbor. Still wild and mean, and she won’t even let the neighbor touch her. Yet my neighbor keeps feeding the little stain and I’ve been noticing big chunks of white fur on my porch furniture lately, so she’s hanging out here. The other stray is a tomcat and only comes around when the neighbor’s wild female is in heat. Of course that leads to wild kittens, but so far, she’s only had one in each litter that survived and she effectively removed them from the area once they were old enough.

      I will try these “remedies” AGAIN and see if they work better for 2 cats, than they did for HUNDREDS. But I’m not hopeful, after that 5 year battle, and giving up ever owning another housecat or house animal and spending over 15 thousand dollars in total on stuff like this AND the “strong” treatments. Apparently my neighbor doesn’t have flea issues, or she wouldn’t feed the little stain 😐

      • Amanda says:

        Forgot to mention that my babies never had fleas, until the stray population exploded one summer, and I had them for several years prior to the neighborhood stray infestation. They had never “roamed” around outside, or even BEEN outside except once or twice when I first got them, and when we would take trips somewhere. We walked them around on a leash and they were scared to death of the outdoors. They were both spayed when I bought them, so I know they didn’t contribute to the stray infestation. God I miss my babies 🙁

        • Angela says:

          Had a flea problem once and after bathing my two yorkies I rub them down with olive oil and even place a few drops in their water. I even rub my cat down with it when she lets me (under her belly mostly and no more fleas.It’s been over 10 years and they are alive and well and I do not buy flea collars, sprays, powders, pills, etc. Haven’t had a problem since…

  3. Barbara Patterson says:

    In the past I have went to Lowes and brought carpet runner the plastic kind cut them to the length of your porch furniture pillows and turn them upside down on the Sticky Side at night .take them off when you getting ready to sit on them cats don’t like that it stick their paws so they won’t jump up on the porch furniture pillows.

  4. Paul van Diemen says:

    I purchased 2 clear office chair matts from Costco ($20 each) and cut them up in the appropriate seat size for our outdoor comfortable furniture. Just lay them down upside down on the furniture when not in use. The nubs are taller than the ones found on carpet runners. So far the neighbors cat has not jumped on any of our chairs with the matts. Just measure the chair seat areas (use a cardboard template if you need to) and lay them out on the matts with a permanent marker. These matts are heavy duty and I had to use tin snips to cut them. Be patient it takes time to cut these. These matts do not take away from the outdoor furniture colors since these are clear. It works!

  5. Laura says:

    Moth balls anywhere is a terrible idea. They are highly toxic (to humans as well as animals). Check any source on them and it will confirm this. This is an old practice that should absolutely be stopped.

  6. ccd says:

    We have feral cats around here. It’s not their fault that they are feral. We have successfully captured 4 of them to be neutered/spayed and released them. One more old elusive female we hope to catch. Two kittens that might be adoptable and are getting fixed when they are four months old. No more babies and they keep mice and snakes out of our yard. Most neighbors appreciate them catching rodents. Humane solution as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Joan says:

    Anywhere you want cats to pee, use ammonia! It’s a componant of urine! I manage a small feral community that I’ve mostly tamed to me, but before they came to my house (i’m somewhat allergic) the many squirrels spread the fleas and wild chickens brought “sticktight” fleas, a nasty parasite that only attach to cat’s ears, by eyes and somtimes around mouth, to me, they’re like a flea/tick cross here in central Fl. So, it’s not solely cats spreading vermin, it’s varmints! But I use a lg. screen strainer to spread diatomacious earth on ground, and also rub it into cat’s fur that’ll allow it. Completely safe! You could eat it , many swear by it for organ cleansing, etc., just keep out of eyes.it’s ancient diatoms ground to powder. It sratches insect’s exoskeleton causing insides to dry out; taking about 2 days.I sprinkle it on rug and every where it meets wall. Inexpensive for a 50lb bag. Keeping your home flea free is very time consuming and labor intensive. You must stay on top of it, vacuuming 3x a week gets a lg. %if them. Research on google, a lot of great advice.
    (Btw. Salt on carpet is supposed to work well also.)

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