It can be quite a lot to deal with when you decide to go out for a drive and see stray cats all around your car. It could even be your cat or a neighborhood kitty; whoever the perpetrator may be, these furry friends can cause quite a lot of damage to your vehicle.

Cats do not usually intend to damage a car, but they do so outside of their typical habitat. Stray or outdoor cats love to lay in warm areas, so they usually find the hood of your car quite comfortable. Even if you do not catch these cats in the act of playing on your car, the scratches on the paint, tarp tears, and cat prints will be there to prove they were there.

Whether you are a cat person or not, it is essential to note that vehicles are highly vulnerable to cat damage. It can be not very pleasant to deal with scratches on your car, not to mention how much you will spend on paintwork. This is why it is necessary to take the measures needed to keep cats off your car, and this article outlines the best methods to apply.

Images courtesy of Anders Nord

Different Ways to Keep Cats off your Car

Before applying any of the methods below, keep in mind that all cats are not the same; there are different breeds. This is why you should get the approval of a medical assistant to ensure that the product you will be using is safe for the cats lurking around your vehicle. 

Use Mothballs

Mothballs have an unfavorable smell capable of keeping cats away; even humans find this doesn’t smell very good. Using mothballs is the simplest and cheapest way to get rid of cats lurking around your vehicle. A bag of mothballs costs between $5 to $15, making them quite affordable.

After purchasing the mothballs, place them in and around your vehicle, behind your tires, on the hood and the roof, and near the trunk. The scent will drive out any stray cat that wants to use your car as a resting spot.

Unfortunately, the smell will linger around your vehicle for quite a long time, which can be difficult for you to drive in. If this is a method you choose to apply, it would be best to purchase an air freshener on the side to get rid of the scent from the mothballs.

Also, it is essential to note that mothballs are highly toxic to felines (a cat), and if they are consumed, they are likely to cause medical problems such as liver damage and neurological issues. They contain Naphthalene, a poisonous compound to cats, and should only be used as a last resort.

Images courtesy of ENOZ

Use a Car Cover

Another effective way to protect your car from scratches and damages caused by cats is by purchasing a cat cover. Car covers are pretty expensive, but they are a good investment. If you decide to use a car cover, keep in mind that they will not repel cats from your car but will protect your vehicle when cats decide to use it as a playground.

A car cover has an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that once you purchase this item, you do not ever have to worry about buying items to protect your car from cat damage. It also does a great job of protecting your vehicle from harsh weather conditions.

The disadvantage is you will have to take it off when going out and put it back on when you come back; this can be stressful for some people.

Images courtesy of Freddy G

Install Motion-Controlled Sprinklers

Cats hate water, and that is common knowledge; what better way to keep cats out of your car than installing motion-controlled sprinklers near your vehicle. This comes in handy because you cannot keep an eye on your vehicle 24/7, but the motion-controlled sprinklers can. The minute the sprinklers detect any movement beside your vehicle; they are automatically activated.

The water will help scare away any cat around your vehicle, so you can always rest assured that your car is protected. Ensure that your windows are constantly rolled up so that your vehicle does not get wet. You are also at great risk of getting soaked if you forget to turn off the sprinklers.

Images courtesy of Pawel Czerwinski

Cayenne Pepper Works Too

Cayenne pepper is an excellent alternative if you cannot stand the scent of mothballs and do not want to risk hurting the cats. It is known for doing an excellent job of repelling cats away from vehicles. You do not need to pour the pepper into your vehicle; only sprinkle it around.

If you do not have cayenne pepper, black pepper works fine. Note that it will take a few days to get rid of the cats entirely, and once you stop using them, they are likely to return. So the key is to keep using it in larger amounts even when the cats seem like they are no longer coming back.

Images courtesy of Elle Hughes


You can either choose to activate your car alarm or invest in a motion sensor pet alarm. Both choices are equally efficient and will do an excellent job of getting rid of the cats, but one makes more noise than the other.

Car alarms will get activated when the cats come in contact with your car and produce a loud noise, thereby scaring the cats away. Although, this loud noise can lead to annoyed neighbors, especially when they come on during odd hours of the day.

Ultrasonic pet alarms are less noisy and good for keeping cats off your car. They cost around $30 to $50 and are an excellent investment; they use motion sensors to detect the movement of the cats, and immediately the alarm will be activated to scare them off.

They are less noisy because their ultrasonic frequencies are too high-pitched for human ears, making them inaudible.

Images courtesy of Alexey Soucho

Change Where You Park Your Car

Cats are more attracted to easily accessible vehicles parked outside and under the sun. It is best to park in a personal garage or a dark public parking garage; this should help to keep the cats out. Another effective method you can try is to change the location where you park your car.


Most of the methods written above are DIY solutions and easy to apply; they will do an excellent job of keeping cats off your car while also protecting them from any medical damage.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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