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What do you do with stray cats in Houston?

What do you do with stray cats in Houston

With stray cats in Houston, you can choose to aid them or report them to animal control. 

If you wish to aid them, Houston’s CAP (Citizens for Animal Control) may be one of the animal welfare resources to contact. They do everything from sheltering to adoption, and even have a TNR (trap-and-neuter) program.

But first, determine whether or not the cats you’ve found are indeed feral or stray and not just the neighbors’ outdoor pets. This applies whether you’re planning to aid them or report them. 

This can be determined by keeping track of how they act and look over time. If you believe the cat to be a stray, you can try to locate its owner by posting “found cat” ads in the area. 

You can also conduct a search of online databases that list lost pets, filing a discovered pet report with CAP and any other local shelters. 

However, if you believe the cats to be feral, you can get help trapping them, getting them spayed or neutered, and releasing them back into their original range by contacting FCAP (this is the name for CAP’s trap-and-neuter program).

What do you do with an unwanted stray cat?

What do you do with an unwanted stray cat

If you find yourself with an unwanted stray cat, do what you can to hold the cat down. This may include putting up a fence or using something like a pet carrier, leash, cloth, or rope to corral the cat. 

When getting close to the stray, be careful because you may get scratched or bitten if you go close enough to capture them. 

Be sure to reassure the cat with a calm tone of voice as you approach to keep them from freaking out. 

You can try to lure them over with the smell of strong-smelling food like canned tuna or dried liver, and you should make sure they can see you the entire time. 

If you’re attempting to entice the cat into your vehicle with food, then shut the door and wait for animal control assistance if you are confident that aid will arrive soon. 

Make sure that there aren’t any unfamiliar dogs nearby because the cat may become hostile if you try to travel with it loose in your car. 

Also, do note that cats can get behind the car seat and become difficult to remove, so try to keep it in a carrier or roomy container. 

We recommend calling the authorities if you can’t properly contain the stray cat. Do this regardless of whether or not the cat is hurt or carrying an ID tag. 

Also, leave your number with the dispatcher and ask for a rough time frame for arrival. Keep a watch on the stray cat until help arrives, if at all feasible. 

Specify the road, mile marker, or landmark the unwanted cat is near when reporting its whereabouts to authorities. If you can, get the stray cat to a safe place like a shelter of some sort. 

What is the best way to repel feral or stray cats in Houston? 

What is the best way to repel feral or stray cats in Houston

The best way to repel feral or stray cats in Houston is by getting rid of any possible food sources. 

Don’t risk feeding the neighborhood stray cats by leaving leftovers of organic food out in the open. Garbage cans should not be stuffed to the brim, and they should be covered with a snug-fitting lid at all times. 

It’s important to remember that cats can get by on a surprisingly small amount of food. Therefore, it’s impossible to completely eliminate their food supply.

When you leave food out for strays and feral cats, you condition them to stay. If you leave food out, additional cats may come into your yard. 

Do not leave out poisoned food, no matter what happens. This is animal cruelty and can also lead to other animals in the vicinity (even birds or your neighbor’s dog) being poisoned.

Other Ways to Repel Stray Cats 

Much like other mammals, cats seek out dry, warm places to hide when the weather becomes bad. If they can’t find a place to stay that meets their needs, they move on to the next one. 

Wooden or wire fencing can be used to close off any gaps under your deck or porch. Both of these options are effective in preventing cats from entering a home at a low cost. 

To prevent cats from using your shed as a den, you can secure the door and get rid of any wood piles they could use as shelter. 

While cats enjoy some strong aromas, like those given off by fish, they are repulsed by others. There are a variety of sprays available with chemicals and aromas designed to deter cats. 

For example, you can use orange and lemon peels, as the smell of citrus is particularly offensive to cats. Other common household items, such as used coffee grounds and essential oils like lavender, citronella, and eucalyptus, can be utilized as well.

How can I get rid of stray cats from my garden? 

How can I get rid of stray cats from my garden

Here are some tips for removing stray cats from your garden.

Use chicken wire to enclose your garden 

Use chicken wire to enclose your garden

Chicken wire is effective in keeping cats at bay because they avoid walking on it. Place the chicken wire over the top of the mulch or dirt before you plant your flowers or vegetables.

Cut holes in the wire large enough to plant your seeds with wire cutters. Cats will not be able to dig through the chicken wire and into your garden. 

Put in motion-detecting sprinklers 

Put in motion-detecting sprinklers

Put in a motion-activated sprinkler system to drench the intruding felines. The motion-activated sprinkler will blast the cat with a burst of water the first time it tries to enter the garden, teaching it to avoid the area in the future. 

The sprinkler should go off at night when animals are more prone to accidentally trigger it. A side benefit of this method is that it will water your plants and lawn.

Use citrus peels as garden fertilizer 

Use citrus peels as garden fertilizer

Citrus fruits, such as lemon, orange, lime, and grapefruit, have a strong odor that is offensive to cats. Throw the rinds and peels into your garden the next time you are juicing or eating one of these fruits. 

Stray and wild cats will likely avoid your garden if you use lemon peels as fertilizer. Cats can still be deterred by the smell of an orange tree, but a citrus tree will not be as effective.

Scatter cayenne pepper in the garden 

Scatter cayenne pepper in the garden

If you wish to keep cats away from your garden or other areas, sprinkle cayenne pepper around the perimeter. The pepper becomes stuck on the cats’ paws when they walk across it, which makes it difficult for them to clean themselves. 

The cats will eventually figure out that your yard is to blame for their discomfort, and they will stop coming there. So put cayenne pepper down in any areas where cats have been spotted. 

Set live traps or employ TNR 

Set live traps or employ TNR

Cats may be eliminated with relative ease using a live trap, such as the Havahart Live Trap. If you’re searching for a long-term solution to the problem of stray cats in your yard, this is likely your best bet. 

Set the trap up in a location frequented by cats, and bait it with tuna, sardines, or cat chow. Keep the cat in the trap after you’ve caught it. 

Otherwise, it may scratch or bite you, causing a serious infection. 

Covering the trap with a blanket may help soothe the cat inside. The cats should be moved to a new location or taken to a humane charity where they can be neutered and released back into the wild.

Fill your garden with plants cats don’t like

Fill your garden with plants cats don’t like

Some plants emit an odor that is unpleasant to cats. The Coleus Canina, sometimes called the “Scaredy-Cat Plant,” is a great option for any garden. 

It’s effective against canines, and it also keeps cats away. Lavender, rue, and pennyroyal are some more cat-repelling plants you can grow in your garden. 

FAQs about Stray Cats in Houston

How can I report a stray cat in Houston? 

To report a stray cat in Houston, you can dial 311 for animal control.

Is it illegal to feed stray cats in Houston?

It is not illegal to feed stray cats, but keep in mind that you may be liable for the animal afterwards.

Under the state of Texas, the Penal Code states that it is a crime to not give an animal in your care reasonable food, water, care, or shelter, or to leave an animal in your care without a good reason. 

A violation of the Penal Code is a Class A misdemeanor, but the penalties get worse if someone is convicted more than once. So, people who have been feeding feral cats and then stop doing so could be charged with a crime.

Does feeding a stray cat make it yours in Texas?

If you are feeding stray cats and providing care for them, under Texas law, the animal becomes yours. 

If you have an animal in your care in the state of Texas, whether or not you are the legal owner of that animal, you are responsible for its health, safety, and welfare under the state’s Animal Health and Safety Code.

Whom can I call to pick up stray cats in Houston? 

To pick up stray cats in Houston, you can call (281) 999-3191 for Animal Control.

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