View Full Version : Cats

April 19, 2005, 10:41 PM
I have a family of cats living under my house, and I cannot get rid of them. I come home and they tear off for my crawlspace as fast as they can. I can't seal it up now, as I am afraid of killing them down there and having to deal with the smell. They are feral, but I cant shoot them with a gun as that is illegal within city limits. So to get to the question, what would you recommend. I was thinking of getting a pellet gun, but I doubt that would be enough to actually kill them.

Colonel Klink
April 19, 2005, 11:22 PM
Had a similar problem with just one cat. Rented a cage/trap from the SPCA and set it out upside down with food in it. Cats are smart enough that the trap may not work when first put out. Hence having it upside down. After the food was gone three nights in a row I turned over the trap and set it with food inside. The next morning I had a very very pissed cat.

I took him to the animal shelter for them to dispose of. You may need to do this many many times so you might want to buy a trap. I think they aren't expensive. Do not attempt to make any of them a pet.

Good Luck!

Raymond Losli
April 20, 2005, 12:01 AM
AhhhhhHa Ha Ha ... you know Spring time is here & ya know what that Means.
They will be Dropping you a Litter or 2 under your House.
Meow, Meow, Meow. ................. :D

April 20, 2005, 12:02 AM
OTMH, you have several options.

Option #1. Smoke them out, then seal it off so they can't get back in.
Potential drawbacks: Smoke leaks into your house, and the cats just find a new place to hide.

Option #2. Get a serious pellet gun. As in .22 cal, 800+ fps. It should have plenty of power for a cat (I have no problem with one-shot stops on skunks with mine).
Potential drawbacks: Quality pellet guns can be expensive, and if the neighbors see you, you could get in trouble.

Option #3. Set traps. They are cheap, and effective, and you can either kill the cat with the trap, of hold it for relocation (or kill it when you get to it).
Potential drawbacks: You trap the neighbor's toddler (or your own).

Option #4. Buy a boa constrictor.
Potential drawbacks: You now have a new pet to take care of.

I am sure there are more ways to get rid of them. This is just OTMH.

April 20, 2005, 09:08 PM
You CAN kill a cat with a pellet gun, but you'll have to be very good to drop them on the spot so they don't crawl back under the house. It's also much easier to wound a cat with a pellet gun than it is to kill one--having a cat turn up in the neighbors yard leaking with one of your pellets in it is not a good thing. In case anyone wonders, I'm NOT speaking from experience.

In your situation I'd probably use another approach even though I have several very nice airguns that would do the trick.

Trapping works and is much less likely to get you in trouble.

April 20, 2005, 10:11 PM
I've always heard that cats like the taste of antifreeze... at least for a little bit. *cough* Supposedly it tastes sweet... at any rate it poisons them. Personally I'd go with the "havahart traps" (http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/A33644.htm) as it would tend to get you in less trouble with the neighbors (don't wanna inadvertently kill one of their pets). You can get similar traps at any Tractor Supply Company, I believe, and another plus is that they're good forever, so if you get invaded later on by, say, skunks (they love living under houses, unfortunately :rolleyes: ) you can catch them and dispatch them in a more discrete manner.

Edit: If you dont wanna shell out the $40 for a havahart, an afternoon with chicken wire, bar stock and an arc welder will yield a functional trap. You could also use chicken wire, iron pipe (1/4") and pipe joints, thereby negating the necessity for the welder. You can get the "leg trap" style traps cheaper than the havaharts, but I definitely wouldnt recommend them. You're more likely to catch yourself or a neighbor's pet than what you're going for, and the cat can always chew its leg off to escape. Seems a bit inhumane to me, too... just my $0.02 though. :)

April 20, 2005, 10:17 PM
a 22 short in a long gun works very well and not a sound it worked for me ...
had cats taking fish from my pond ....no longer a problem

Art Eatman
April 20, 2005, 10:56 PM
Try with mothballs. Get a box and throw about a fourth of them as far back in as you can. If the cats do a temporary move-out, close the holes.

The mothballs will evaporate and the camphor smell will go away...

:), Art

April 20, 2005, 11:09 PM
I'm surprised nobody mentioned getting a terrier type dog.

April 21, 2005, 01:28 PM
Yeah, a dog is not really on option for me right now, but I really like the mothball idea, i think I will give that a try. The problem with the boa constrictor is that they dont eat often enough to do the job quickly, and I really dont want kittens. :rolleyes:

April 21, 2005, 01:46 PM
I'm not sure that mothballs would work. My dad tried to get rid of our skunks that way, and the next day we found the mothballs sitting outside the hole.

April 21, 2005, 02:54 PM
Get some ammonia and mix it with water. Put it in a weed sprayer, fire extinguisher or other forceful spray device. The best thing is a pressurized fire extinguisher. Last resort is a hose-mounted car-washer.

Spray the hell out of them. They hate ammonia.

May 17, 2005, 05:19 PM
paintball gun

May 17, 2005, 06:34 PM
Air Guns really arent the way to go. My cousin tried to dispatch an opposum that got stuck in his garbage can. He shot it in the head many times and it didn't do a whole heck of a lot. I had to crack it over the head with a 2x4 to put it out of its misery.

Try the chemical approach, as mentioned, to stink them out if you don't want to spend much money or worry about having animal rights activists on your butt. Just make sure that they don't have even better places to hide. Stay away from smoke bombs as they may create a fire hazard. That would get the cats out in a hurry though.

May 17, 2005, 07:31 PM
The hav-a-hart traps work. I was with Critter Control Inc. for a year, and in that time I must have trapped hundreds of feral cats. Use canned fish of some sort (we used mackrel) you will be successful. Otherwise, any of the other methods mentioned will work. I am not a fan of the pellet rifle idea. If you had God's own pellet rifle, and the cat was standing still for an indeterminate time frame, yes it would work. But since likely neither of those are the case, if you are going to kill them, use a gun up to the job. 22 cal rifle will work of course. I had excellent success with a bow as well.

May 17, 2005, 08:54 PM
Yes, getting the havahart is worth the extra five or ten bucks over el cheapo box traps. I recently got one to solve my possum problem and it is both sturdy and easy to use, but the clones I have used in the past all had difficulties with intermittant escapes and with jamming of the mechanism. Added bonus is the havahart only takes two hands to set but the off brands seem to need three.

Cat food works well with both cats and possums. The first critter I caught in my new trap was my elderly cat and the second was a possum. Cat was a little bit ticked off, but no worse for wear.

Shopping around is important. There is a price range of about $25 between sellers for a cat/possum sized trap.

May 17, 2005, 10:50 PM
Cayenne pepper powder covering the ground just inside your crawl space.

May 17, 2005, 11:37 PM
First of all, no air-guns or paintball guns. Not unless you *really* like stink.
If you puncture a cat's skin within 24 hours the skin will close up and the pellet wound will fester into an abcess. If it bursts (and it will) that cat will bring the stink of Hades wherever it goes, especially under your house.

Smoke bombs, noise makers and the like probably won't work either. Cats will often freeze in place when terrified and run only as a last resort. Smoke bombs pose a fire hazard as well as stinking up the house (like spraying ammonia under there would also).

Go to your local pet supply store or check Petco online for sprays designed to repel cats. You'll need several cans and some old blankets, towels or baby diapers. Spray cloth until soaked, then place half-way over one of your crawlspace screens that is upwind of the typical kitty location. Repeat on several screens so the smell wafts through the crawl space. This stuff doesn't smell wonderful to humans either, but you can leave the house for a day and air it out later.

Once cats have vacated, repair the screens with new ones (Lowe's, Home Depot both sell snap-in screens in several sizes, just add a little epoxy on the edges for a permanent fix). Just be sure to inspect under the house before sealing up the last opening, otherwise you'll have to deal with the consequences.

If cats continue to visit, do try to trap them so they can be humanely taken care of, one way or another. Lastly, if you're trying to run a cat out of your garage, tool shed, etc... use a can of compressed air, such as "Dust Off". The hissing sound it makes sounds like a combative cat and usually scares them off. The IsoButane propellant smells nasty to them too, giving further incentive to leave. Just be sure you're not blocking the exit!

May 18, 2005, 01:07 AM
how about a 110 or 220 conibear with a touch of tuna, when u hear the "THWACK", that is the sound of kittys demise....simple effectivetive and painless. unless u get hungry and reach for the tuna.

May 18, 2005, 03:33 AM
Tuna Surprise with D-Con being the surprise ingredient. Cats eat tuna surprise and go someplace else to die.

May 18, 2005, 02:04 PM

May 18, 2005, 03:10 PM
The bad thing about poison is that they may just crawl back under the house to die because it's their new home.

The petco thing is a good idea with the cat repelet.

Also the traps.

An airgun will not kill a cat (unless it's a dang good shot), only .22 and above. The only bad thing about having ferels under your house is that they love to tear things up (like your HVAC ducts if under the house).


May 20, 2005, 09:57 AM
The conibear idea would be tons of fun. Ive used those on everthing from squirrels to raccons and beavers, very effective trap indeed. Although, if you don't know what you are doing, they can put a serious hurtn' on you real quick like. :eek:

May 22, 2005, 12:30 AM
Set an appropriately sized conibear trap over the entrance/egress hole. Set trap at dusk, remove dead cat at dawn. Repeat until all pest are removed then seal up the hole. Just bag up the dead cat and put it in the garbage.

May 22, 2005, 02:22 AM
If you know someone with a good dog that you could just borrow for a bit, that would be the best solution. Do you own a bow? I've seen more than one cat killed with an arrow, and they are almost always dropped on the spot.

Dave R
May 24, 2005, 05:42 PM
Here's another option that saved my life. Might work for you.

Back in the '80s when I lived in rural CA, we had a family of skunks move in under our house. It got to where they were "letting go" a coupla times a week and we got real desperate. We called everyone in the book. Exterminators, animal control, police, everyone. No one would help us. Got so desperate we called everyone again.

Finally, my wife got this little ol' lady (or at least thats' what she sounded like) who told her "Hon (I love that. Hon.) Here's what ya gotta do."

"Send your husband out at 4am, when they're likely to be out. Have him carry a radio under the house. Not a battery radio, a plug-in radio. And an extension cord. Hook it up and set to play as loud as you can without bothering you in the house. And no classical music. We're talkin' hard rock, hon. In a few days, retreive the radio and patch the holes they were using to get in."

It worked for me.

May 25, 2005, 03:23 AM
Classical music works on many 2-legged problems; like bug repellent. :D

May 25, 2005, 04:34 AM
Throw a guillotine around the crawlspace hole and IR trigger (like at 7/11's).

Instead of *Ding Dong* it would be *Click Chop* :D

May 25, 2005, 06:52 AM
Live trap them with a can of tuna fish.

May 26, 2005, 09:21 PM
Since you can't shoot them inside the city limits call your local animal control and tell them to come get them, that is their job after all. Might as well get something for all of those tax dollars you send them.....

May 27, 2005, 09:21 AM
Animal controll will offten trap them for you, not always though, depends on agency policy and resources. If not get a trap and contact animal control about taking them, or any animal shelter for that matter, or they may refer you to a local vet who contracts for animal controll services. Worst case many vets will do no-exam euthanasia for a cat sized animal for around 20-30 bucks.

Stratagy to make them move out is ill advised because they will continue to breed and populate the area unless they are either removed or rendered sterile.

Poison, bare wires and other kill traps opens the possibility of hurting someone else's animal, or some other person for that matter. Some of these ideas as well as use of an inadequate powered gun (read air gun) could also subject you to animal cruelty prosecution.

May 27, 2005, 01:49 PM
My 2 cents is, if you're handy you can make a one-way gate. Cats crawl out, cats can't get back in. Give it a day or two for total evacuation, then seal it off for good.

May 27, 2005, 04:36 PM
Mfree - excellent idea. Should be easy enough to make, if you seal off all openings except one and put plexiglass over it with hinges on the outside they should see the light and go push on it and get out, but if the edges are beveled down smooth they won't be able to pull it back open from ouside. Might even put a light spring on the outside to hold it down a bit more too.

The only other thing I can think of sounds crazy but might work. Go to the local zoo and ask for some lion dung. Spread the lion dung around and maybe they will leave the area to avoid the big cat that they smell just moved in.

3 weelin geezer
June 1, 2005, 12:55 AM
Good idea about the bow but how are you going to get to the cat? crawl in after it or maybe use one of those barbed arrows with a string attached? I love cats. They are real cuddly and cute until they crap in my lawn and I go to remove the "pecan" before I mow the lawn. P.U.! I vote for the bolt .22 idea real late (to minimize the lookey lou neighbors ) at night with a flashlight and a laser sight crawl under there and take care o'bidness.

June 4, 2005, 04:53 AM
220 Conibear and a can of smelly fish for bait. $10-15. Used with care (it will kill and maim larger animals and hurt curious children) you only further task will be disposing of dead cats.


June 13, 2005, 11:51 AM
Come on now, Cats in the hunting section? You should be ashamed of yourself :p Seriously, I live in Smyrna and had a similar problem. Animal Services will help you out.

July 21, 2005, 04:09 PM
If they usually come and go by a certain access - leave it open then go to the othe side of the house (or more than one side if you have to) and shoot a CO2 Fire extinguisher under the house. Makes a heckuva noise and has the advantage of being really cold - so that will get them all out from under fast. Then just close all accesses. The CO2 is odorless and won't leave any residue.

An aside story: I worked out at Lowry AFB in Colo when they were closing it and there were a few dozen ferral cats that had taken up residence under the old abandoned barracks. A lady I worked with was a bigtime cat lover and belonged to a "keep em alive no matter what" organization. I happened to be working on the Saturday that about 8 middle-aged cat ladies tried to catch them nets (kinda like fishing seines)...it was one of the most hilarious things I ever saw. Those ferral cats are serious athletes. The ladies chased em around for a couple hours then gave up. Total caught: zero

and finally on cats - new U.S. record for cat ladies: Ruth (82 years young - can you believe it?) near Wash D.C. was recently found to have 187 live cats in her house!! :rolleyes: