November 1, 2009 "Ask Seth"
How can I teach my cats to stay off my car?
I have 5 cats and they just love to climb all over my cars. Is there anything I can do to break the awful habit?
Melinda, Martin KY
Cats have been known to walk on car hoods. Personally, I noticed this more in the colder months. This is because the car is warm and the cats enjoy laying on them. I have asked some of my peers and these are some of the solutions I got:
- Use a car cover. I know this is not so practical but this was the most common answer I got. It makes sense, but who wants to fuss with that every time they go out? Below are some other suggestions.
- Place aluminum foil on the hood. It will make a crackling sound when walked upon, which will discourage your cats from walking on the car.
- Use a plastic rug protector (like the one you put under a computer chair). Place it upside down on your car hood. The little raised bumps will be uncomfortable for your cats’ paws and will discourage them from continuing this behavior.
- Cats dislike the smell of bitter apple. You could spray just a little on your car hood. Please be careful for I do not know what exactly that may do to paint or a clear coat.
- Orange peels and tea bags have been placed in gardens to keep cats out. Try lining the driveway with these and see if this works.
- Finally, speak with your vet about animal repellants. These are designed for foxes and coyotes, but would most likely work on cats. Find a product that is non-toxic and biodegradable. One product called Shake Away for domestic cats uses the scent of foxes and coyotes to keep cats away from a particular area.
I hope this helps and please let me know which works for you. I am excited to hear back from you in the near future.
Seth Mayersohn, CVT