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How do I keep cats off my hood?

heath_oheath_o Member Posts: 2
I hope this doesn't seem like a stupid topic.

Anyway, the cats in my apartment complex like to
use the hood of my car as a body warmer on cool
nights. This wouldn't bug me if it were not for
the paw prints and scratches left behind. It seems
that this always happens right after I wash my
car. I'd kill 'em, but my wife wouldn't like me
too much if I did that.

Anyway, is there anything out there that would
keep cats away from my car? I know there are some
sprays that cats don't like the smell of, but I'm
not going to use that on my car. Any ideas?


  • vileplumevileplume Member Posts: 3
    my parents have cats and i have the same problem whenever i visit home. i currently throw a painter's canvas dropcloth over the car, but it slides off too easily. i've started to consider putting a rag rug or a bath mat over the hood instead. maybe that will work for you?
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    We've asked this question a lot around here, most recently in the Paint and Body Care topic, I believe.

    I have the same problem. So far, nobody has suggested anything humane.

    vileplume might be on to something, though. Perhaps one of those rubber backed bathroom throw rugs might have more chance of staying put.

    My first thought was to wonder if the rubber backing might scratch the hood as the cat takes off, but couldn't be worse than the cat's toenails!

    Of course if any dirt or dust is on the car under any covering and the covering slides around, scratches are a likely result.

    What I wish I could find is some way to scare them, not hurt them, but make them afraid to get up on it in the first place.

    (Our host Bruce may prefer that we take this conversation to Paint and Body Care, let's see if he asks us to do that. :-) )

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    Just get a dog that like cats (for a meal:)

    Maybe this is not humane, but it is natural selection, just like nature intended.


  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    I have two dogs that are located (often) right inside the gate that is not ten feet from the hood of my car. The cats have no problem understanding that the gate means all of that barking and carrying on will get no closer. :-)

    I live in the middle of the city, and no way would I let my dogs run loose. Nor, for that matter, would I leave them in my car without me!

    Every time this subject comes up, some folks just have to suggest various ways of hurting or killing the cats. I for one would appreciate if we could skip those kinds of comments this time around. Thanks.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference.
  • j_colemanj_coleman Member Posts: 143
    Doesn't anyone make a pad that you can plug into your car battery that will deliver a slight electric shock when an animal jumps on it? I would buy one.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    I wasn't trying to be cruel. I was attempting a natural solution.

    Dogs gotta have fun too!



    OBTW, my 97lb German Shepherd gives our 20lb orange tabby a wide berth in the house.

  • heath_oheath_o Member Posts: 2
    I'm kinda new around here, so I haven't seen this topic before, and I did do a search but I didn't find anything.

    I have since my first post found something called the "Scraminal" that gives out a high freq. noise that cats don't like but it is trigered by a motion detector. So, by the time it goes off the cat would have already been on the hood. It runs on a 9v battery. This might work for people who park in the same spot every night, because it would train the cats in the area to keep off the car. However, I live in an apartment complex, so I don't park in the same spot every night.

    What would be nice is a device that gives off the high freq. sound all the time, so I could just turn it on and not worry about it.
  • burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    How about a big piece of flypaper? Then if you caught a cat you could just crumple it up and throw it away-just kidding, Pat. I wouldn't use a non-slip bathroom carpet because the rubber backing can sometimes react with acrylics, as anyone with a light colored acrylic floor may have discovered. Since felines are intelligent and persistent, I can't think of any solution except a cover.
  • btroybtroy Member Posts: 92
    Heath, I would recommend trying the Scraminal. I don't have personal experience with one, but I don't think the problem you identified is really a problem. The cats will learn to recognize your car even if you park it in a different spot every day. They are easily smart enough for that. Maybe it will take a little longer, but they will eventually learn that your car is not a good napping spot (assuming the device really is annoying to them). I had a cat once that could recognize our cars driving into the neighborhood and tell them from other traffic just by sound alone.

    I've also seen a mild shock pad marketed for this kind of thing (keeps them off furniture or cars). I think it must be plugged into household current, so it may be inconvenient, but I bet it would work also.

    I agree with the anti-cruelty comments. I like animals. I don't believe the products I am talking about are designed to actually harm a cat. It's just a training device that helps people get along with cats better, which is good for the cats in the end, even if it requires a scare or two to work.

    By the way, you should count yourself lucky. Sometimes a tomcat will regularly "mark" the hood of your car with a strong, nasty scent. Then you have a cat problem you can "enjoy" whenever you turn on the heat or AC. Not good.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    burdawg - Interesting point on the nonslip backing, I hadn't thought of that. And about the big flypaper - ;->

    btroy - I have two of those pad things that work great for keeping my dogs off the couch when I'm not home. One is battery powered, but not water proof. The other does indeed require household current, and I'm sure it isn't waterproof either. Who ever knows when it might rain around here? (Not the weather folks, that's for sure.) But truthfully, I wouldn't want either of these laying around on my hood for fear of the exact scratches I'm trying to keep the cat from creating, you know?

    I keep thinking I will ask these great people at this wonderful specialty pet store I go to, but it seems like the cats are smart enough not to accost my car just before I go, so I keep forgetting about it (it's 45 minutes away and I stock up so I don't have to go very often). I'll be going again in about two weeks, and I am REALLY going to try to remember this time.

    The Scraminal sounds like it has definite possibilities, and I agree that it is likely a cat can learn which car is which, regardless of where it is parked. Or even better, for its own sake, perhaps the cat would learn to stay away from ANY parked car.

    I'll tell you something else a cat can be known to do which is really frightening. Crawl into the engine compartment, and not get out before the car starts. A friend of mine's cat was killed this way. :-(

    heath_o, if you try the Scraminal, let us know what happens. And meanwhile, I'll report anything I can find from my pet store when I get there again.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Heath, you mentioned you did not want to spray anti-cat scent directly onto your car. Would it work to spray it on the ground around your car, and keep them away? Or, you could just pop the hood when you park, and after the cat jumps on a hot manifold a time or two, he'll leave your car alone :-)
  • davesl99davesl99 Member Posts: 5
    I have a thick polycotton cover that usually protects my paint against cat scatches. If I notice paw prints on my cover I will add a second outer cover (old and torn up) that takes the brunt of the claw damage. It seems to go in cycles-- a cat will hang out on my car for a night or two and then move on. Just my 2 cents but I would never harm a cat.
  • btroybtroy Member Posts: 92
    I bought 25 pounds of 5d nails and welded them point-up every 2 inches to every horizontal surface of my car. I'm trying to figure out how to wire them to the coil. So far, it's been effective.

    Mad Max
    (Just kidding)
  • theliztheliz Member Posts: 26
    Leave a tuna-trail to the cat owner's car, smear alittle on the hood, and lay a little blanket on the hood for the cat to sleep on. Maybe the cat-owner will get the messege (after all, why punish the cat, he does'nt know better). Good luck.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    I like that! (So would the cat) :-)

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • mazda94mazda94 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem. Mothballs are your solution. Put them in cups and place them on the hood, trunk, this will solve your problem.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    you have to catch those little buggers and then it takes a microscope to tell which sex they are.
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 584
    in order of effectiveness.

    1. The cat and mouse game. Go buy a 50 cent mouse trap and set it on the top of your vehicle. Bait it w/sardine for good results. The trap will not be strong enough to do any serious damage to kitty. Lesson will be learned.

    2. Go to city pound and sign out a cage trap. They should have them there. Chances are there is a leash law and cats are no exception. Trap the animal and haul it off for disposal.

    3. Clean out your garage and begin parking your car in there. Close the door at night. Pretty simple, just a hassel to do cleaning.
    They like to prowl at nite. Remember to roll up windows, they like to get inside and rub their butt all over your seats.
    If you don't have a garage, then consider building one. They are great to have. You won't be disappointed.

    Mothballs? Hmmmm.....
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    1. The mousetrap most certainly COULD hurt the cat. I suppose you could place a towel or something over it, so that when it snapped it would merely scare, not catch. But I wouldn't want the trap jumping all over my hood!

    2. There are lots of places that don't have leash laws for cats, and again, there is no need to hurt the cat, it is not his/her fault.

    3. You may be fortunate enough to own your home w/a garage. There are lots of us who either don't own where we live, or don't have enough property (or even funds!) to build a garage.

    The area I live in neither has cat leash laws, nor would let me build a garage, the lot is too small (according to whoever decides those things).

    I like the mothball thought. My problem cat seems to have moved on for now. I may just try the mothball approach if he returns. Seems to me you could put some mothballs in a couple of small containers and put them at the base of the windshield to avoid having the containers possibly scratching the hood.

    Thanks, mazda94, for the suggestion.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • ataieataie Member Posts: 84
    I had this problem with cats getting under the cover in my boat, parked in the driveway.

    The cage from animal shelter is very humane and will not harm the cat. you can pick one up, set it with a little food, it just traps the cat and it won't harm it. the city will even come by to pick it up and will bring you another cage if needed. I caught 3 cats this way. 2 of them were neighborhood cats.

    you'll be amazed at how fast people will get tried of going to animal shelter and paying $25 or so to get their cat out. and if they don't have an owner then it's a much more humane way for them to be put for adoption than get run over by cars....

    and about my boat... I didn't know about this until summer when I took the cover off. well, I needed all new interior, as the stupid cats had shredded the seats and carpet.

    but the cat problem was solved.
  • theliztheliz Member Posts: 26
    Did you try the tuna-trick? I laugh my [non-permissible content removed] off just thinking about it! Forget the mothballs, go for the tuna!
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    Please, no [non-permissible content removed]-laughing in Town Hall. We're respectable folks.

    Your Host, Bruce
  • theliztheliz Member Posts: 26
    opps, it will not happen again.
  • pat84pat84 Member Posts: 817
    There are some alternative foods that may lure cats to their owners cars. Bait fish or sardines smeared on the cat owners car may be more effective than tuna. If you get lucky, the cat owner may have left his car unlocked. The obvious place for the tuna,bait fish,sardines,anchovies, etc. is on the inside of the cat owners car with either the door or window open.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,308
    When I owned my GMC 2500 truck, my problem was not cats ON the hood, but UNDER it. Back in high school, before going to school one day, I popped the hood to check the oil. There, perched in a position certain to cause massive feline damage had I started the engine, was my sister's new kitten. From then on, I would pound on the hood once or twice before leaving. On more than one occasion, this saved the life of both that cat and that of our neighbor's cat. Now ten years old, the cat still lives...and puts paw prints all over my mom's Accord.
  • jmelchiojmelchio Pittsburgh, PaMember Posts: 23
    My wife had this problem. A mechanic told her to sprinkle pepper on the hood. The pepper gets on the cat's paws, and eventually into its mouth. I doubt it does any serious harm, but it was effective.
    We haven't had the problem in a couple of years now.
This discussion has been closed.