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Often, when I leave my tent during the day, cats and other animals come and pee in the corners and on the carpet. They probably do this to mark it as their territory. They don't come at night when I sleep inside.

Besides building a fence around my tent, which is expensive and time-consuming, is there other way to convince animals that they shouldn't come?

  • As far as the animals are concerned, your tent is their territory. Does your tent not have a zipper or something? – Greg Hewgill Oct 12 '14 at 22:47
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I assume that the way the said animal is marking it's territory, and with reference to "They don't come at night when I sleep inside.", can I assume that you are camping there more than a night or two? If thats the case then I am hoping that its not a backcountry area where you have bears.

Marking the territory in the sense you are talking of definitely suggest that you're referring to domestic and more or less harmless animals, cats and dogs being the ideal examples. Assuming the way of marking the territory, we are not talking of big wild animals like Bears and Coyotes, etc. So, as far as the cats and dogs are concerned, No matter what, Your best bet to keep tent as your territory should be zipping it neat when you go out and its unattended.

Yet, if you are looking for some thing that can keep them away, probably odors are best bet to bank upon: Apart from peeing around own tent, there are a few tricks to work it around.

  1. You can use a room freshener with a strong fragrance, that shall help you keep the dogs and cats away. Most of them are irritated by strong odors.
  2. If the room freshener for some reason is unacceptable to you, then you can try for something like putting mothballs into a Net-pouch, that can keep many insects and dogs away. That works for my dog, (Though we never intentionally try to keep her away from us, or out of our territory, she is always with us!)
  3. I've observed that such animals tend to occupy the corners. So if I were you, I would try and keep some stuff at the corners, but this really doesn't work on almost every situation though, at least never keep your bedding at the corners, they would really get tempted to take a nap there and often try coming in and snuggle. Instead, if its a cat (and not a dog for sure) you can keep your shoes or some other footwear (spare one of course if you carry along) at the corners, most of the cats tend to hate them, while dogs would love them. Keep the stuff at the corner, whatever stuff that won't make an animal feel cozy and comfy. My pet, she loves sleeping on (and fortunately not inside) my sleeping bag and she does that all the time.
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    Air fresheners seems like a very bad idea in the backcountry. Seems like this will encourage big, dangerous animals (bears) to investigate your tent. This could even be a problem, while you are in the tent if you use something especially smelly. – sixtyfootersdude Oct 14 '14 at 21:51
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    Raccoons or other annoying animals may be interested in your air freshener and try to open up your tent to get to it. This may leave your tent with a largish hole in it. – sixtyfootersdude Oct 14 '14 at 21:52
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    @sixtyfootersdude: Yeah, thats true, and I didn't think about it. But, then, IMHO, you could afford to let a cat mark a its territory instead inviting a bear over meals or a raccoon for digging job! – WedaPashi Oct 15 '14 at 5:44
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As for different animals, or yourself, marking their territory, I think the only time that makes a difference is when the two animals are in competition with each other.
A bear or mountain lion will have a large territory marked that they hunt within. However, a raccoon may occupy a smaller territory within a bears territory. The bear will ignore any raccoon markings since they don't compete for the same food. And a field mouse may have his own territory marked within the raccoon's.

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Try marking the tent as your territory. Same way they do.

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    This was actually the first solution I considered, but expectedly, my wife rejected it... I thought of spraying some artificial perfume, but I am not sure, will this be convincing enough for animals? – Erel Segal-Halevi Oct 13 '14 at 5:17
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    This is a poor answer unless it is backed up with more expertise. Will this start a fight with a coyote or anything? – djechlin Oct 13 '14 at 7:13
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    When in someone else's home you need to speak some of their language. The perfume won't work - i expect most creatures would consider it a chemical smell they don't recognize. Are there coyotes or other large predators in the area? research how they mark territory and act accordingly. Just convince wifey that it's closer than the outhouse. – paul Oct 14 '14 at 12:36
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    You don't have to mark the tent specifically... just mark around your camp. – nhinkle Oct 16 '14 at 22:41

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