I explore ways to keep cats of cars. However, I’ll state at the outset that I don’t see a need to keep cats off cars because:
- a cat has never climbed onto my car, and
- even if they did I wouldn’t mind. Cars aren’t that important to me…
…..but I do understand that in colder climates cats might use car hoods (bonnets) more often as places to perch and for warmth and some people, who I will presume are almost always men, intensely dislike cats sitting on the hood of their car because they might scratch the precious paintwork. Fair enough; even cat lovers must respect people who like to keep their cars in pristine condition.
When cats jump onto cars or get off they might scratch the car.
“When it’s time for the cats to get off of the vehicles, they sort of slide off. Each foot leaves four little long scratches in the clear coat…..” (a visitor to the Metafilter website).
The best idea, in my opinion, is one which is safe for cats and which is simple and effective, which is to buy a decent car cover and put that on the car and then place a tarp over the car cover to prevent claws puncturing the car cover. If the car cover is of sufficiently high quality there’d probably be no need for the tarpaulin.
That’s the winning idea. Do you have a better idea?
Declawing cats. This is definitely a no-no. It would be completely absurd and cruel to declaw your cats for the sole reason of protecting a car. A cat is a sentient being; a car is a lump of metal. In any case, often stray cats sit on cars and you can’t declaw all the cats in the area. Also you can only declaw cats in North America so this idea is a non-starter anywhere other than N. America.
Ideas I don’t like (but others will)
There are two types of cat repellent:
The effectiveness of these cat repellents is somewhat dubious. I am sure some might work and some might not. Their effectiveness is dependent to a certain extent on the character of the individual cat. As these repellents are not 100% effective and as a car cover and tarp is 100% effective (and safer for the cat), I’d consign these repellents to the trash bin.
Ideas about spraying the car with substances that a cat might dislike are not good; not only because it is unfair on a cat looking for warmth and safety but also because if a car owner is concerned about the paintwork they don’t want to spray stuff on the paintwork that not only probably smells unpleasant but may also damage the paint!
Photo of cat on car: Ryan MacMinn