Hi ya there! I'm sorta back and man did I miss everybody here new and old ^_^.
I have a CATs problem in our front yard. We recently prepped it for seeding/sod but these dang cats keep using it as their pooter box! Tried the sprays,powdered cow's blood, pepper, chilis, soaking, you name it but they still leave me MOUNDS in the morning! GRR-freakin-RRRR!
Well... maybe you could ask their owner if they have a litter box or could put one in their yard? You could put one in your yard which would probably keep them off the grass but then you would have to clean it. I had a neighbor who used to let her dog out in our front yard. That stopped the day I lost it and went over with a shoe full of poo and screamed 'I believe this belongs to you!'. Her response was 'what do you want me to pick it up?'. After I screamed that that's the law I never saw dog poo out front again. :)
The motion activated sprinkler sounds like a winner...we have cats, 3 of them, and to keep them from being a nuisance, we built a small sandbox at the back of the yard where the compost bins, etc are...since it is not too far from the burn pile, it is relatively easy to keep clean.
Chezca, it is the pet owners responsibility to keep up with their pets...if the cats get used to going there...they will continue after you sod...and they can tear sod up with their scratching...
My cats never used the lawn. They always preferred the sand box since they like to bury. So you might stand a chance once the sod goes down. Otherwise, get yourself the motion activated sprinkler, squirt gun with good range, or a dog.
Please do invest in one of the Water Blasters...they drive squirrels crazy too...we had one with a 30 ft range...I have found it improves your eye-hand coordination...LOL and yes...it is FUN...snicker-snort