Pet, stray and feral cats are all domestic cats and belong to the same species. However, stray cats and feral cats differ significantly in their relationship to and activities with humans.
Knowing how to recognize the difference can assist guide how best to engage with a cat or what, if any, action would be in each cat’s long-term interest, whether you’re a shelter employee, vet, or cat advocate—or share your neighborhood with neighborhood cats.
When we say a cat is “socialized,” we imply that she is used to and appreciates the human company. On the contrary, a cat’s socialization is exposing her to personal interaction, human places, and human views, scents, and noises. It’s a lengthy process that’s influenced by various elements in a cat’s existence and necessitates the time and effort of caring individuals.
Kittens learn to engage with people from a young age by being carried, spoken with, and played with. Suppose a kitten does not acquire acclimation to being held and petted by humans during this critical period. In that case, she will grow up fearful of people and not be adapted to or comfortable living in a home.
Cats, both pet and stray, are socialized with humans.
Ferals have no experience with humans. They are mixed and connected to their feline family members, but they do not have the same attachment with humans.
The phrase “community cat” refers to any Felis catus species member who is not owned and lives in the wild. Feral and wandering cats are both considered community cats. Community cats exhibit a wide range of activities and levels of sociability, but they are often unadoptable since they would not want to live indoors.
Do Tea Bags Repel Cats?
Some tea bags do repel cats, and it’s a good idea to keep your used ones for burying in the garden as they can also help repel other pests and unwanted guests like rats and bugs.
Cats are repelled primarily by the scent of the tea bags, so they won’t always work 100%. The effectiveness will largely depend on what type of tea you have at home and how you utilize the tea bags to repel cats. Below are some other scent-based methods of repelling cats:
- Rue, lavender, and pennyroyal, as well as lemon thyme and Coleus Canina, are unpleasant to cats. Sprinkle a handful of them around the garden. (Pollinators and other beneficial insects can also be attracted to any interplanting methods.)
- Cats avoid citrus solid odors. Instead, peels should be thrown directly into the garden soil.
- Spritzing the soil with brewed coffee grounds may also assist. Most local coffee businesses offer complimentary large bags (two kilograms)!
- Cats are supposed to be put off by the smell of human hair. So, reclaim your territory by emptying your brushes into the yard! (Mothballs are poisonous to both cats and people, so these are not a very good idea.)
- You’ve probably seen commercial cat repellents in the market. Know that these products mimic or imitate predator urine odors. It’s promoted as organic and non-toxic, and many are also believed to be plant-friendly. Do your homework.
Do Cats Like Tea Bags?
Cats do not like tea bags in general as these can carry scents that can repel them. Citrus odors have long been thought to be repulsive to cats. You may take advantage of this by scattering orange peels across your garden to deter cats or spritzing a citrus aroma on any indoor cloth you don’t want your cat to keep scratching.
Citrus fruits can be eaten, but many of them will avoid citrus. This is because the peels and plant material can induce various symptoms in cats, including dermatitis, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Some gardeners use lavender plants to keep deer away, but you can also use them to keep cats away. Eucalyptus and geranium, and plants, for example, emit an odor that cats loathe.
Remember that geranium, lavender, and eucalyptus are all mildly poisonous to cats, and they carry the risk of triggering dermatitis, depression, anorexia, nausea, and too much salivation. So take note of these if you have home cats and they end up swallowing any of these materials.
Some basic ways to repel cats are:
- Tightly cover trash cans or use bungee cords to secure lids.
- A car cover can prevent paw prints if cats climb and walk all over cars.
- Disperse fragrant items that don’t appeal to a cat’s sense of smell, such as organic coffee grounds and citrus-scented sprays to keep cats away from gardens and specific areas of the property.
Is There Anything That Will Keep Cats Away?
Many other methods can help repel unwanted feline visitors:
- If your visitor has a favorite spot, thoroughly clean it with a hose (or rainwater from your rain barrel) to remove any lingering odors or urine spray. Clean your doors, patio furniture, and other surfaces with eco-friendly liquid castile soap. Cats return to exact spots in human properties, so remove their previous claim to your garden to avoid repeat offenses.
- A wire-mesh fence can be used to create a barrier. Most experts propose a height of at least 1.8 meters and a square area of 5.1 by 5.1 centimeters. It’s even better with an overhang.
- A light spritz from a squeeze bottle can help cats erase their favorable relationship with your landscape. Sprinklers that are activated by motion can also keep cats away. Just remember when they’re on and follow the rules during shortages in the summer.
- Wind chimes, motion-activated bells, or even pebbles in jars that rattle when cats disturb them are all excellent options. Other motion-activated gadgets emit a wavelength that cats can’t bear but is incomprehensible to people, such as ultrasound devices.
- Consider putting a litter box outside. Mint, honeysuckle, and catnip are all favorites among felines. A small sandbox should be placed nearby. Sure, you’ll have to clean up and dispose of cat feces correctly, but it might help keep kitty — and her business — away from your vegetables.