How to Keep Cats off My Roof

Cats on the roof annoy anyone because of the yowling that they make while up there. To make matters worse, you might have a curious cat that gets stuck on the roof. You don’t want to have to risk yourself going on top of the roof, especially if it rained recently and you have a wet and slippery roof. Don’t do it. Maybe you have a flat roof that makes it easy for the cat to climb to the top.

Cut off the Access Points

While this may not work in every case, cutting off the access points will probably go farther than any other method. Provided you can do this, we would advise that you start with this method. Some of the most common points where cats can gain access to the roof include:

  • Overhanging tree branches
  • Open windows
  • Leap frogging objects
  • Climbing materials like wood
  • Fences

Look for anything that makes it easy for a cat to climb onto the roof and remove it before he can start doing this. You may need to do this multiple times since he may climb onto the roof using multiple access points to the roof. Eventually, he will run out of ways to get up there. For trees, you will want to prune back branches that can reach onto the roof or grow next to the roof.

Motion Sensor Sprinkler

Before we begin, we’d first like to point out that you may need to try multiple methods to figure out what works best for you. What may work for one person in keeping cats off the roof may not work for the next person. The Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler will surprise the cat by giving him a healthy dose of water.

Don’t worry, this won’t hurt the cat. Instead, it will surprise him and send him sprinting from the roof. Install this product near where he likes to gain access. If he uses multiple ways to access the roof, you may want to buy multiple sprinklers for the roof. The sprinkler guards your roof 24 hours per day, and if the cat comes near it, the sensor will turn it on, and he will go running in the other direction, especially since most cats hate water.

Citrus Peels

Cats hate the smell of citrus and usually avoid it. Not in all cases, but you have many times where they dislike the smell. Put lemon or orange peels near their access points, and they may choose to avoid the area. Unfortunately, you will have to keep doing this from time to time if you want it to remain effective since orange and lemon peels will rot. You could use apple cider vinegar as well to stop the cat from climbing onto the roof.

However, beware because orange and lemon peels can harm both cats and dogs. That could also be why they tend to avoid it. While apple cider vinegar can cause diarrhea in cats, it won’t be toxic to cats to where it would kill them. Just use the diluted form.

Cat-Proof the Fence

Especially when the cat can access the roof from a fence, you may want to take the time to cat-proof it to keep him from climbing the fence. For example, you could purchase cat netting that will keep the cat from making the most use out of the fence to climb onto your roof. You could buy ASPECTEK Deer and Animal Fence Netting to keep the cat from turning your roof into his next climbing spot.

Important to Note: You can use cat netting for trees as well.

You could buy regular cat-proof fencing as well to prevent access to the roof. Keep in mind, this fencing may work with some cats, but it may not deter the most determined among them.

Electric Fence for Roof

Some may not want to take things this far out of ethical concerns, but you can buy electric fencing for as little as $25. Electric fencing won’t harm cats, but it keeps them away from your roof. Cats can sense the electromagnetic fields of electric fencing, and they avoid it like the plague. This has the added benefit in that it will keep human intruders away as well.

Is It the Cat from a Neighbor’s House?

While this may not work in every case at keeping cats off your roof, you can tell your neighbor about his cat on your roof. In some cases, he may have no reaction or not know how to stop the cat from doing this, but he may start to keep the cat indoors. This will stop the feline from climbing on your roof. Unfortunately, you have many cases where the neighbor doesn’t care about the cat on your roof, and you will need to come up with your own solution.

Some might tell you to call animal control, but in many cases, cities don’t have laws about this. It won’t work.

Get a Dog to Guard the Yard

Having a dog in the yard will scare the cats and keep them from exploring to where they will learn about how to get on the roof. Still, we wouldn’t advise that you buy a dog for this sole purpose because it may not work, and you’d be stuck with a dog. This could add another reason to why you might want to own a dog, however. If he chases the cats from the yard, they most likely won’t have the time to discover that they can climb the roof.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!

You have cases where nothing you try will keep the cats from the roof. Especially if you can’t stop him from getting access to the roof, you may have to try another method, rather than keeping him from it. Instead, you might install fans at night or leave the TV running to keep his meows from waking you up. In most cases, you don’t have to worry about a cat on your roof. They will climb down when ready. It can cause certain problems, but it usually won’t cause too much of a problem.

Should You Rescue a Cat Stuck on the Roof?

No, we wouldn’t advise you to rescue a cat stuck on your roof. While the cat may be noisy while up there, it doesn’t always mean they’re stuck. In many cases, they will climb down from the roof when ready. Also, we wouldn’t advise that you call the fire department to bring a cat down. You may have heard of this on TV, but the days of calling the fire department to bring down a stuck cat has long passed. Especially in urban areas, fire departments apply a policy where they don’t do that anymore. They have more serious concerns.

Doing it yourself, especially when he climbs up there multiple times, only endangers your own life because you risk falling off the roof. We don’t advise that you climb up to rescue a cat except under the most extreme of circumstances, and only if you have confidence in what you’re doing.

Do this at your own risk.

The Other Reason People Don’t Want Cats on Their Roof

You have one big reason why people don’t like cats on their roofs, and it comes from them pooping on the roof. How do you get that off? You keep them from pooping up there to begin with through some of the tips that we previously mentioned. Don’t let them up on the roof. You could also try putting down a sticky two-sided tape as a way to keep them from going up there. Cats are clean animals, and they dislike anything sticky.

Why Do Cats Go on Roofs?

To prevent cats from climbing on the roof, you may want to understand why they do it to begin with. Cats like to go up high because they can see everything from up high. It gives them a sense of power. At the same time, many of the foods that cats like, such as birds, live in trees, which causes them to hunt for birds in trees. Think of a roof as another type of tree to a cat. It gives them another vantage point to where they can spy out birds.

Since roofs go up high, cats like to climb them to see things better. Most cats like to be up high whether in the house or outside on the roof. They feel safer while up high because they can see everything. Many of the threats like dogs, which would chase them, can’t reach them when they’re up on higher spaces. This also gives them a sense of security. You may even see a smiling cat taking a nap up on the roof.


If you want to keep cats off your roof, you can try some of the methods that we outlined, but we feel it important to say that many of these things may or may not work. You must experiment. In many cases, you will find that cats will find another way around it. The best method is to prevent access to the roof to begin with. This prevents them from creating problems like meowing loudly at night from up there or pooping up there. You don’t want the cat to turn your roof into his litterbox. Since it’s hot up there, it can cause it to stink. Get rid of his access points to the roof.

2 thoughts on “How to Keep Cats off My Roof”

  1. The best reason to keep roof cats down is their poop. It’s estimated that 30% of our domestic/feral felids carry the toxoplasma parasite. Poop on the roof gets washed into storm drains and directly to the watershed. Toxoplasma oocysts can be viable for years, until they find a warm blooded host, like sea otters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *