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Do Fake Snakes Keep Cats Away? (And Toxic to Cats?)

Do Fake Snakes Keep Cats Away? (And Toxic to Cats?)

You’ve been complaining for days about how the stray cats in the neighborhood keep you up at night. Every night, the stray cats usually gather in your yard and make a lot of noise. You don’t know how to keep them out and are at your wit’s end. One idea your friends have given you is to use fake snakes. But do fake snakes keep cats away? 

Acting on a cat’s fears is the most effective way to keep them away. Use the things that terrify them. Cats can hear and sense things that people cannot since they have a keen sense of hearing and smell. Water, loud noises, surprises, strong odors, slithering movements, cucumbers, and dogs are all things that terrify cats.

You can use a variety of tactics to keep cats from entering your garden or yard. This article will show the effectiveness of using fake snakes and highlight other alternatives that you can use to keep cats away.

Do Rubber Snakes Scare Cats?

Rubber snakes do indeed scare cats. Although cats don’t naturally fear snakes, the snakes slithering movements scare them. The cat will become scared if you place rubber snakes in your yard since it will believe they are real snakes. A cat that a genuine snake has ever bitten will avoid the rubber snake like the plague. The cat becomes scared when they see anything that makes them think of snakes.

Rodents are the primary prey of both cats and snakes. The two compete for the same prey, and cats often become alarmed when they notice a snake slithering around. You can easily scare away stray cats by placing rubber snakes in your yard.  Remember to put the fake snake in different places so the cat believes it is real. 

Snakes will not mind eating a cat when they come across one. Cats and dogs are frequent prey for snakes like carpet pythons. By wrapping their bodies around the cat or dog, the snake suffocates them to death.

Are Fake Snakes Toxic To Cats?

If you choose the right brand, fake snakes are not toxic to cats. Most reputable manufacturers use thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) with styrene added (SEBS), a safe material. They use SEB mainly because they know that most people buy fake snakes for their kids to play with. Its resistance is similar to that of natural rubber. SEB also makes the elastic part of diapers, teethers, and toothbrushes.

You should pay close attention to the material used to produce fake snakes when you want to buy them for your kids or keep cats off.

Is Vinegar a Good Cat Repellent?

Cats tend to hate the strong smell of vinegar. Because cats naturally dislike strong odors, vinegar is a good cat repellant. It is an effective, natural, and humane method to keep cats away. Why not use vinegar to repel your neighbor’s cat or stray cats from your yard or garden? Use vinegar to keep your cat out of places inside your home where you don’t want them to be.

Here are two methods you can use to repel cats using vinegar:

1. Soaking items

The best way to keep cats away from indoor and outdoor plants is to use items that have been soaked in vinegar. Place some sponge, newspaper, or rags soaked in white vinegar where you don’t want cats. Avoid using spray mixtures on plants because they might destroy them.

2. Spray mixtures

You can choose between using vinegar straight up or diluted for your sprays. It is best to experiment with several mixture strengths to determine which is most efficient at keeping cats off. Spray the mixture around a garden’s perimeter or on the fence, posts, and extras. When spraying indoors, ensure you spot test any surface to avoid damage. 

Do Mothballs Keep Cats Away?

Some people still use mothballs to repel cats. Even though they are poisonous to them. Most cats won’t eat food that is placed close to mothballs since the smell is so overwhelming. A cat that inhales mothballs is more likely to experience anemia, an upset stomach, and liver or kidney damage.

Some of the chemicals in mothballs are extremely dangerous to a cat when inhaled, consumed, or absorbed through the skin.

Due to the harsh smell of mothballs, most cats avoid them. However,  a few mischievous and curious cats will play with mothballs. Serious health problems can result if the cat unintentionally swallows the mothball. You can imagine how harmful mothballs are, considering their primary purpose is to kill insects.

Using mothballs to keep cats away is not the most recommended method. The balls are also toxic to other animals and birds. They contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. As much as you want to keep cats away, you should use a more humane approach. 


How Do You Keep Stray Cats Out of Your Yard?

Cats that wander into your yard are not the most welcome visitors. Their growling noise at night upsets you the most. Additionally, they are leaving litter in your yard, which makes it smell awful. You don’t want to kill them, but you want to keep them out of your yard. These are the safest methods for preventing stray cats from entering your yard.

1. Mesh Covers and Wire Fences

Putting a wire fence and mesh cover around your house is an excellent option if you can afford it. However, it’s also a good idea if you merely want to keep stray cats out of a specific area, like your vegetable garden.

Most stray cats give up trying to scale the fence and enter the enclosed area. Additionally, these barriers will deter pests like mice and rabbits.

2. Motion Activated Sprinklers

Cats don’t like surprises, but some can help keep stray cats from entering your yard. Simply identify the stray cats’ entrance to your yard and place a motion-activated sprinkler there. Given that cats also dislike water, the unexpected spray of water from the sprinkler is the reason enough for them to stay out of your yard entirely.

3. Unpleasant Smell of Foods

Don’t be surprised to learn that some of your favorite everyday meals are hated by cats. You can use the peels of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapes, limes, and lemons to keep cats away. Additionally, you can use banana peels, tobacco or coffee grounds to keep cats away from places where you don’t want them.

However, it is essential to note that cats shouldn’t eat the above items as they can be fatal. Therefore, if you already have your cats, this might not be the ideal way to get rid of stray cats.

Does Having a Cat Keep Snakes Away?

A large snake won’t be scared of your cat and won’t stay away. Small snakes, however, will not approach cats. If the snake is 6mm long or less, it will not present any danger to your cat. In its panic mode, the cat will kill the snake. Cats usually don’t feed on snakes, but they can in rare circumstances. 

When a cat encounters a small snake, it will try to smack it with its claws. The cat intends to stop the slithering movements of the snake. Because the snake is small, it may not frighten the cat as much as a larger snake. If a cat is hungry enough, it will eat the small snakes. 

What Smell Do Cats Hate?

Cats tend to have an intense smelling sense. Even the faintest of smells to you can be overwhelming for the cat.  While some smells may not bother you, your cat might not be too pleased. Some people use these scents that cats hate to keep them away.  The following smells will keep cats away;

  • Garlic: Food smells good when added garlic, but not to your cat. Cats can’t stand being in an area that smells of garlic because they find it so overpowering. You can crush the garlic and scatter it in places where cats frequent. Another option is to boil and make it into sprays to use in your garden.
  • Spices: Most spices have overpowering aromas that your cat will hate. Your cat won’t like the smell of spices like cinnamon, pepper, and chili flakes. If you want to keep cats away from your garden or any other area, sprinkle some spices there. Most spices cause the cat to sneeze unceasingly and irritate its paws.
  • Essential oils: Essential oils including citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass irritate cats. Cats can’t stand their overpowering, unpleasant odors. They can be made into sprays and used to keep cats from areas where you don’t want them.

Best Natural Repellants For Cats

Most people usually don’t intend to kill cats to rid their homes of them. They would prefer more humane ways to prevent cats from frequenting places they don’t want them to.

The most popular repellents are natural ones because of this. Natural repellents don’t harm cats and won’t kill them, but they do prevent them from visiting certain places. The best natural cat repellents are listed below;

1. Herbs and plants

Consider growing cat-repelling herbs and plants around your garden or the fence’s edge. Geraniums, common rue, pennyroyal, and curry plants (not the food spice) are the most popular plants that repel cats. The herbs are herb rue, rosemary, and citronella.

The herbs can also be dried and scattered over the places you don’t want the cats to access.

2. Water

Water can be used as a natural cat repellent because cats naturally fear it. While this method might be tiring, once the cats associate a particular spot with water, they will avoid it.

When you see a cat or cats in restricted areas, fill a spray bottle with water and use it to spray them. Use the garden hose if you are in the yard.  One or two times is enough for the cats to get the warning.

3. Make the ground uncomfortable

To keep cats away from specific places, scatter some natural cat repellents like coffee grounds, pine cones, or tobacco on the ground. After a few cubic meters, place plastic forks to make the ground difficult for the cats to walk on. You could also cover the ground with chicken wire.


It’s not a bad idea to use fake snakes to repel cats, especially if you have any lying around that your kids are no longer playing with. If rubber snakes aren’t your thing, we’ve provided you with additional options.