Stray Cats



I don’t want cats in my garden, what should I do?

Kittens:   If there are kittens living in your garden, please contact us for advice. It is important not to take them away from their mother when they are too young. Please call us on 07 349 2955

Adult cats:   Not everyone enjoys having cats in their garden. Here are some tips for keeping cats away from your garden…

Rubbish bins:

  • Close bin lids fully and do not overfill
  • Do not leave bags of rubbish around
  • Deter cats from digging in your garden
  • Scatter orange or lemon peel around, or spray with citrus-scented fragrances
  • Scatter coffee grounds, vinegar, pipe tobacco, lavender oil, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus oil
  • Put chicken wire on top of the soil. Roll over any sharp edges to avoid hurting the cat
  • Place wooden sticks in a lattice pattern or use wooden or plastic lattice fencing material over your soil
  • Cover exposed ground in flower beds with large, attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging

 Stop cats sitting in your garden or deck:

  • Apply cat repellent fragrances around the edge of your garden, on the tops of fences or walls, and on any favourite digging areas or plants. 
  • Install an ultrasonic animal repellent
  • Get a motion activated spray deterrent
  • Buy a motion activated water sprinkler
  • Check out your local pet store, hardware store or garden centre for what’s available

Cats are sleeping under my house or in my shed:

  • Block or seal the location the cats are entering with chicken wire or lattice. Check the cats are not inside and there are no kittens
  • Provide an alternative shelter (similar to a small doghouse). Shelters should be hidden to keep the cats safe, and placing them in secluded areas can help guide the cats away from unwanted areas.

Cats are yowling, fighting, spraying, roaming, and having kittens:

                           These are all mating behaviours displayed by cats that have not been desexed

  • Desexing (spaying or neutering) will stop these behaviours. Male cats will no longer compete and fight, spray, and roam. Females will stop yowling and producing kittens. After desexing, hormones leave their system within three weeks and the behaviours usually stop entirely
  • To combat the urine smell, spray the area thoroughly with white vinegar or with products that use natural enzymes to combat the smell, check out options at pet stores or hardware stores.

If the cat is still around after a week come into our centre and get a paper collar or you can  print it out.  Paper-Collar-Template-Double.pdf (Thin card is less likely to rip off).   Put your details on the collar and put the collar on the cat.  If this cat is owned, the owner is likely to see him/her within 48 hours and hopefully will get in touch with you to reassure you it is owned.  90% of collared cats are reunited with their owners

The SPCA Rotorua Animal Centre is frequently filled to capacity with animals.  It is often the first thought of a caring citizen to pick up a stray cat and bring it directly to us for care.  However we have found from experience that most "stray" cats do actually have a home to go to; they merely appear to be lost because they are wandering far from home.   Please remember that some cats have large home ranges so it is natural for them to roam around the neighbourhood.

If you have found a cat:  

  • Do not feed it, especially if it has just arrived on your property. Just ignore it and do not let it inside. Cats wander long distances and have a very good sense of direction. They will usually find their way home, but if they think your home is a nice holiday house, they may prefer to stay!
  • See above to print off a paper collar which you can print, fill in your contact details and put on the cat you suspect is a stray
  • Download our lost and Found-Pet-Generic-Flyer.pdf and distribute it in your local area.
  • If the cat is still hanging around after a few days and you are sure it has been there the entire time i.e. it has not been going home to sleep at night or during the day when you are at work, then perhaps it is disorientated.  Please try the following options:
  • Ask your neighbours directly if the cat belongs to them of if they know where it may be from.
  • Go door-knocking with a photo as far and wide as possible around your area to ask people if they recognise the cat.  Ask your neighbours to help with this if you are short on time or have issues with mobility.
  • Put a notice up in your local vet clinic and shop or supermarket.
  • Call the SPCA on 07 349 2955 and leave a full description of the cat, for example: short haired or long haired, colour, breed (if known), sex, age, street and suburb where the cat was found and any other distinctive things that may help such as the colour of the collar he/she is wearing, whether it has one blue eye and one green eye, or any unusual markings.
  • Advertise the cat on Trade Me.  It is currently free to advertise a found cat under the ‘Pets and Animals’ (lost and found) section.
  • Post a photo and description on Facebook.  
  • If you have no luck in finding the cat’s owner then please contact us again.

We love to reunite cats with their owners, however a cat must be truly lost before we need to step in.  Please remember our limited resources and always telephone first before bringing a stray cat directly to us.  You can help us by using the above process first, then only as a last resort should the animal come to our centre.  

If a cat is injured or sick, as well as disorientated or lost, please phone us immediately for advice.

 If you have not heard back from the owner and the cat is still visiting, please Get in Touch  for advice from there.

Please remember that cats have large home ranges so it is natural for them to roam around the neighbourhood.

We really appreciate your help and thank you for supporting us