Tips for Keeping Stray Cats Away?

I finally moved into my permanent house in Saudi Arabia, and my husband and I are starting to settle into this slightly quirky space. One problem that has emerged relates to stray cats — the compound has a large population of feral cats and apparently the person who lived in this house before was feeding a few of them. In the weeks that the house has been empty, most of them seem to have found a new place to hang out, but there are two that persistantly refuse to leave.

I don't have any plans to feed the cats, and am tired of trying to dodge them every time I walk into or out of my new home. Stray and ferals cats abound here, and several of my neighbors are leaving out food and water so I would like to find a safe way to discourage them from hanging out at my house. I have heard that pepper oil or citrus peels will help keep the cats away, but would love to hear from anyone with actual experience in warding off stray cats. Is there a natural, non-harmful way to encourage them to move along?

Image: Photo by Seth Sawyers licensed for use under Creative Commons.

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