Cats in Our Community

Cats are a difficult issue in many communities across the Nation.  Chadron too has found that cats are difficult to address.  Our community, like many others, are making continued efforts to study the issue and attempting to find a workable solution.

With that in mind, please observe the following recommendations concerning cats:

  • Cats, like dogs, can be dangerous.  Do not attempt to catch or pet ANY unfamiliar animal.
  • The trapping, removal, and release of cats to places outside our community may be considered animal neglect or abuse.  Please refrain from taking such actions.
  • The feeding of Free Roaming or Feral cats can cause the creation of a colony.  These colonies, or groups of cats being fed, create difficult situations between neighbors  and may be actionable by the Chadron Animal Control Authority under General Nuisance Ordinances.
  • If you are aware of cats being fed in large groups, or you are the recipient of cats disturbing your property, please feel free to contact the Special Services Officer, Chadron Police Department at 308-432-0510.

Many people may find stray cats wandering on their property a nuisance. Unowned cats in the community are in survival mode, searching to meet the basics of life: food, water and shelter.  Property and home owners can take steps to ensure their property is less tempting, here are a few simple prevention measures:

  • Do not put any kind of pet food outside, even for your own pets
  • Make sure your trash is kept in containers with tight-fitting lids
  • Don’t leave your garage door open and unattended
  • Eliminate or close off areas that could shelter cats from inclement weather, under decks and porches or other types of enclosed spaces on your property
  • Use measures to minimize the presence of rodents that may attract the cats; keep the yard mowed; remove spilled bird seed from the ground, keep the yard free of lumber and debris that could harbor rodents

If you are already experiencing a problem with stray cats on your property, you can try some of the following humane home remedies that are designed to scare cats away without harming them:

  • Create some flickering random light reflections as a deterrent; place some plastic bottles half filled with water in your yard borders. Cats see the distorted reflections, get spooked, and hopefully slink away. Perhaps even more effective (but maybe a bit unsightly) is to string some unwanted CD's together with knots in between to keep them apart. These can then be hung across flower beds and vegetable plots or hung from trees.
  • Cats are wary of snakes.  It could be worth a try to place some fake rubber wriggly snakes at the base of your plants.
  • A garden plant has been developed called Coleus Canina that cats, dogs and even foxes will avoid. Coleus Canina is also known as the "pee-off plant" or the "scaredy cat" coleus This Coleus is attractive and has excellent foliage and small spikes of blue flowers in the summer. It releases a stench that cats can’t stand. It is said to only smell to humans when touched. The plant is an annual, but can easily be propagated and cuttings kept in a frost-free place over winter. Plants need to be established before the smell is released. They need to be in drier rather than wet soil and planted every 1-2 yards.
  • Other herbs or natural deterrents worth investigating are rue and citrus.  Research has also indicated that the following may work as well; blood meal, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.

Because it is a cat’s natural instinct to dig and deposit in soft loose soil, moss, mulch, or sand, the following suggestions may help protect your gardens:

  • Emptying used tea leaves in the garden soil can also work.  This is a natural remedy that will not harm the soil.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the yard or the area where you want to keep cats away; you might also try coffee grounds.

Further suggestions:

  • Scatter fresh orange and lemon peels or spray with citrus-scented fragrances.  Coffee grounds, vinegar, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus – also deter cats.
  • Either plant the herb rue or sprinkle dried rue over your garden.
  • Use plastic carpet runners, spike-side up, covered lightly in soil.  They can be found at local hardware or office supply stores
  • Artfully arrange branches in a lattice-type pattern or wooden or plastic lattice fencing material over soil.  You can disguise these by planting flowers and seeds in the openings.  You can also try embedding wooden chopsticks, pinecones, or sticks with dull point seep into the soil with the tops exposed eight inches apart.
  • Obtain Cat ScatTM, a non-chemical cat and wildlife repellent consisting of plastic mats that are cut into smaller pieces and pressed into the soil.  Each mat has flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals, but discourage digging.
  • Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large, attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging.

PLEASE NOTE:  The use of suggestions listed above should be used in moderation and in a way that would not offend neighbors or violate Chadron City Ordinances for Garbage or Nuisance.