Q: I live in a condominium complex that requires pets to be on leashes. My immediate neighbor lets his cats run free, even though the association board sent a notice to all residents informing them the leash rule applies to dogs and cats. His cats sit on my porch and at times have gotten trapped in my garage. Can you recommend any products I could use to keep the cats away?
— E.J., Salem
A: Some years ago, Hinckley dog trainer Bill Oliver told me motion-activated sprinklers are good for keeping cats away. They work because cats hate both water and surprise.
Another approach is to sprinkle citrus peels or mothballs to repel the cats. You can prevent animals from eating the mothballs by hanging them in mesh or cheesecloth bags.
If the cats have to cross planted areas to get to your porch, you can try covering the soil with things they don’t like to walk on, such as large pine cones, rough pebbles or thorny branches.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.