Picture of Critter Deterrent
Our neighborhood, like many in the states I imagine, is crawling with feral cats. For the most part, I don't mind them; they keep the pigeon population down, they don't cause a lot of damage or raise much ruckus. (I do wish they would quit reproducing, though) We managed to rescue a kitten recently and she is adapting well to her new, cushier life LOL

Unfortunately, there is one male that insists on marking our front door. Every. Freaking. Night. There are few smells in the world more pungent than that left by a territorial cat. My boyfriend was at the end of his rope and wanted to trap the cat to turn over to animal control - a solution that didn't sit well to me as I know that amounts to a death sentence. So, to the drawing board where I came up with my pressure switch triggered Sonic Critter Deterrent. It went off 4-5 times the first night, and we haven't seen or smelled the cat since.

Step 1: The Supplies

Picture of The Supplies
Door alarm (got mine at the local dollar store): $1.00
2 pieces of cardboard or box (I found this box that the post office left at the office last year to introduce their program, it is a size we never use): Free
Aluminum foil: Pennies
Weather stripping (this was left-over from fixing a laundry room door): Free if scrap, A buck or so if purchased

A small amount of wire will be needed, your soldering gun, some spray adhesive, a bit of copper or aluminum tape
A humane death is a better fate than the trials of a domestic animal without a home. They face animal abusers, wildlife, cars, poison, frost bite, I could go on and on.
Phoghat3 years ago
Believe it or not (to turn a phrase) I live in Mexico and we don't have a problem with feral cats (I hesitate to speculate why exactly) but I do have a problem with a neighbor's cat who comes around to "visit" my little "Baby", so any harsh control methods would be frowned upon.
Your solution sounds like a perfect solution to my problem, and I'll give it a go.
I don't know what part of Mexico your in. There is a feral dog problem in some parts. You probably know but they run in packs and they don't look anything like the dogs people keep as pets. I'm thinking that is the reason for not having feral cats. They probably kill them.
bkennelly (author)  Phoghat3 years ago
Awesome - hope it works as well for you.
(I did forget to turn it off one morning, so I had the pleasure of seeing a solicitor step on it & jump)

Thanks for the patch :-)
DIYDIVA23 years ago
I'm really glad you found a way to just scare him off without hurting him. I'm a cat lover. I do agree that ferel cats are a problem. They need to be neutered. They spread diseases to house cats that are let outside. This is one reason mine don't go outside. The smell from a male cat spraying is hard to get rid of. Before I got my boy fixed he sprayed several of my dresses and jackets. White vinegar diluted with water will take care of the smell he left on the porch. I'd say 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. For clothing a 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the wash gets the smell out.
wrenawild3 years ago
The best way to stop that smell is to just neuter the cat. Feral cats are an epidemic but only the community can get it under control. $20 feral cat sterilization at your local SPCA. A lot easier.
omnibot3 years ago
Good idea. Could we plz see a video? Bet'd be funny :D
bkennelly (author)  omnibot3 years ago
I wish I could have caught him in the act - I imagine it was pretty comical - but he always came in the dead of night :-)

Maybe I'll set up the camera and catch the next solicitors that come to the door LOL
Oh, plz do :D
fegundez13 years ago
we also have boy cat scent problems. My wife found that although very stinky it is water soluble!So when our front steps or any other area gets the spray she uses my watering can and just goes around the porch at cats rear height and sprinkles it away. I will use your trick though on the neighbor brats that think 2am and 2pm are the same:)
bkennelly (author)  fegundez13 years ago
Indeed, we just got worn down cleaning up the door every morning - and of course our pets (2 dogs, 3 cats) found the smell fascinating

I had trouble with neighborhood kids using my garage door as "base" for their game of tag while waiting for the school bus every morning. Since I worked nights, the banging as they slammed into it was quite unwanted at 7 a.m. No amount of pleading seemed to work. So, I started sleeping with my garage door opener and as soon as a kid touched base, I'd make the door *jump*. Scared the snot out of them and they started using the tree next door :-P
chuangt2u3 years ago
Very good.

I like your thinking!