25 Easy Ways To Keep Cats Off Your Vehicle

25 Easy Ways To Keep Cats Off Your Vehicle

Every neighborhood has that cat that just won’t stop getting on cars. There’s something with cats and vehicles, they love them. This wouldn’t be a problem if the vehicles don’t get scratched up from those long nails. The paint isn’t the only thing that gets damaged though. The cat can get under the hood and potentially damage some engine components.

Pets are cute and all, it’s hard not to love them. But in scenarios like these, it’s just annoying. No one wants claw marks and paw prints on their vehicle. So, you want to keep the cat off your car. How do you do that? There are a couple of solutions, some less some more ideal. Here are 25 easy ways to keep cats off your vehicle.

  1. Ask the owner to keep it inside
  2. Ask the owner to clip its claws
  3. Buy a repellent spray
  4. Mothballs
  5. Get a car cover
  6. Install motion lights
  7. Install motion sprinkles
  8. Ultrasonic Repellent
  9. Cayenne Pepper
  10. Dry herbs
  11. Make a repellent
  12. Sprinkle Powder
  13. Static Mats
  14. Alarm System
  15. Brewed Coffee
  16. Lemon peels
  17. Orange peels
  18. Remove food
  19. Wash Yard
  20. Switch parking area
  21. Park in a garage
  22. Training
  23. Dog Bark App
  24. Ultrasonic Sound App
  25. Remote Horn

There you go, plenty of options to choose from. Let’s expand a bit.

How To Keep Cats Off Cars

How To Keep Cats Off Cars

Ask The Owner To Keep Cat Inside

Now, the ideal solution would be to have a chat with the owner. Of course, if it’s your cat that you are having problems with, you keep it inside.

The thing is, all of these solutions work differently. For instance, some cats won’t be bothered by noises or odors. Most would be but there are exceptions. That’s why it’s best to keep cats away from cars.

I know that pet owners can be quite protective, but I’m sure most people would understand if you approach them reasonably. Explain how you mean well and explain your situation. If the owner does not agree to keep the cat inside, try the next solution.

Ask The Owner To Clip The Cat’s Claws

Cats have sharp claws. I think cat owners know exactly what I’m talking about. They are so sharp that they can scratch the paint job.

Well, if the owner won’t agree to keep the cat inside, you can ask them if clipping the nails would be acceptable. The thing is most people like to let the cat outside. So, asking for clipping is more reasonable.

With this, you eliminate the potential danger of the cat scratching your car. As long as the cat does not get under the hood, you should be okay.

If you are having problems with a cat that sleeps under the hood of the car, this doesn’t work exactly.

Buy A Repellent Spray

There are a lot of repellent sprays online that you can choose from. These carry a scent that will repel cats. It’s a good, effortless solution to stop the cat from going in your car.

Don’t worry, this is not dangerous for the cat in any way. It’s just a scent that the cat will dislike.

The only problem is, you can’t know what scents the cat is used to. So, you may have to try several repellent sprays until you find the right one.

Do not spray on the paint though. Just around the car. Around the tires, and on the bumper. Avoid parts that corrode easily.

If the smell starts getting inside your car, get a refreshing air freshener for your car.


Are you familiar with mothballs? The smell of mothballs is another scent that cats can’t handle. You can find these online, not expensive at all.

Just put the mothballs in a paper bag, and poke holes in the bag so the smell comes out. Place multiple bags around your car, on the hood, and on the roof. The places where you saw the cat resting.

Be careful, mothballs are good cat repellent but have an unpleasant smell. So, get an air freshener for your car.

Get A Car Cover

Here is another simple solution that requires no effort, a car cover. I’m going to be honest, car covers are expensive, so this is also an expensive solution.

A car cover will not stop the cat from getting on your car but it will protect against scratches. Also, the cat won’t be able to get underneath the cover, so it can’t reach the hood.

Remember, a bad-quality car cover can do more harm than good. So, if you are willing to go for this solution, get a high-quality custom-made car cover.

Install Motion Lights

Cats are sneaky and subtle. They do things when no one is watching. As soon as someone sees them, they start freaking out.

So, when you blast them with lights all of a sudden, they will stop and back off. That’s why motion lights in your yard may stop cats from getting in. Just install lights that are set off by motion sensors.

This does not work with every cat though. Some cats won’t be bothered by the lights. Or, after three or four tries they may get used to it. Still, it’s worth trying.

Install Motion Sprinklers

Unlike lights, water sprinklers will definitely get stop cats from getting in your yard. This works as long as you park your car in your yard.

Cats hate being sprayed with cold water. As soon as the motion sprinklers start spraying, the cats will runoff. It makes no sense for you to wait for the cat so you can turn off the sprinklers. That’s why sprinklers turned on by motion detectors are better.

Install the sprinklers on several locations so if a cat walks in, the sprinklers will start. The only bad thing about this is that your yard may get wet when you don’t want it to. Also, you may get sprayed sometimes too.

Ultrasonic Repellent

Have you ever seen one of those devices for protection against dogs? The ones that let out an ultrasonic sound. Well, these can work on cats too.

Most pets don’t like sounds like that. Do you have to wait for the cat though? No, there is a device that you install in your yard. When the cat touches sets off the motion sensor, the sound will automatically start the ultrasound systems.

This device will get rid of the cats on your car for sure. However, the device is quite expensive. Also, it may start bothering the neighborhood dogs.

Cayenne Pepper

The taste and the scent of cayenne peppers are another cat repellent. So, you can use it to stop cats from getting on your car.

Crush the black pepper and sprinkle the powder around your car. The cats will still try to get in but with each try, you are training it to stay away.

You may have to reapply the powder once you see that it’s gone.

Dry Herbs

Dry Herbs

There are a lot of dry herbs that work similarly to cayenne peppers. You can try sprinkling these around your car if you have kids playing in your yard.

You can try several options here. Go for the ones with a strong scent like lavender, rue, or rosemary.

Make A Repellent At Home

If you have essential oils at home, you can make your own repellent spray. Just make sure that the oils are not dangerous to cats.

Mix the oils and water in a spray bottle, and spray around your car, on the bumper, and around the tires. This is a fail-and-try method. It may take some time until you figure out what scents work.

Sprinkle Powder Repellent

You don’t have to use a repellent spray. If you don’t like how it smells, or if it does not work. Try using sprinkle powder.

There are several sprinkle powder cat repellents you can find online.

Static Mats

I don’t like this option but that does not matter here. I just want to give you as many options as possible.

Static mats are floor mats that emit electricity. The charge is not dangerous for cats but it can be a bit cruel.

You can try placing mats around the perimeter where the cat will step on it. Remember, if we are talking about a neighbor’s cat, have a chat with them before doing this.

Also, this is not that effective since the cat can just circle around the mat.

Install An Alarm System

If you have an alarm system on your car, the cat has set it off at least once. Did you see how the cat reacts?

Well, the basic alarm system will make the cat run off but not stop it from getting on the car. Also, when the cat is running away, it may scratch the car badly.

That’s why it’s better to install an alarm system around the car. There are pet alarms you can find online. You stop the cat before it gets on the car. Consider this as a yard motion alarm.

Brewed Coffee Beans

An alternative to cayenne pepper and dry herbs is coffee. Cats don’t like this scent and smell. Try this if you don’t like the other options.

You don’t place this around your car though. Place the brewed coffee beans around your yard. The cat will think twice about entering your yard at all.

Lemon Peels

Lemon Peels

Another strong scent that you probably thought of is lemon. You can try placing lemon peels around your yard or around your car.

You may have to do this once or twice a week for it to be efficient.

Orange Peels

Orange peels work the same way as lemon peels. It’s just a matter of what you have on hand. If the cats ignore the lemon peels, try using orange.

Remove Food From Your Car

The reason why cats are hanging around your car may be the fact that you have food wrappers in your car.

If this is the case, just clean your car regularly. Make sure it has some strong aromatic scent so the cat won’t be attracted to it.

Wash Your Yard Regularly

Wash Your Yard Regularly

Cats are creatures of habit. They will go where they can find a familiar scent. So, if the cat peed in your yard or on your car, it will come back for sure.

That’s why you need to remove any familiar scents from your yard. The way to do that is just to wash your yard regularly with a garden hose.

Of course, you can’t do this if you are causing water problems to your neighbors.

Change Your Parking Area

This solution is only for car owners that park in the street. If you are parked in your yard, just skip this.

The thing is, the cat probably is attracted to your parking spot. If you change it, it may stop the cat from coming.


Another thing you can try is to train the cat to stop going near your car. There are several ways you can try doing this.

One way is to spray it with water any time the cat comes into your yard. Or, you can try intimidating the cat. However, if the cat is not yours, you first need to ask permission from the owner. Maybe you can do this together.

Dog Bark App

Dog Bark App

Dogs scare cats, we all know that. A dog barking will notify cats that they should not come near the sound.

I’m not saying that you should sick your dog on the cat. Just install a dog bark app on your phone. The thing is, you have to wait for the cat to come so you can turn on the sound. It’s not ideal but it’s a way to train the cat to stay away.

Ultrasonic Sound App

If the ultrasonic repellent device is too expensive, you can just download the sound on your phone.

This comes with a price though, you will have to wait for the cat to come near your car. Try this if you are willing to stake out the cat.

Remote Horn

You can install a remote horn on your car that is set off with the remote key. Again, this is a solution that requires you to stake out the cat.

Once you see the cat near your car, just press the key for the horn to go off. It’s an alternative for pet alarms.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

Is Vinegar A Good Cat Repellent

Yes, vinegar has a strong acidic smell that cats don’t like. Don’t spray it on the car paint though, it will corrode it.

What Scents Do Cats Hate The Most

Citrus smells like lemon and orange. Dry herbs smell like rue and lavender. The mustard smell is also something that cats don’t like. Minty smells as well.

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