How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

As much as we might love our furry feline friends, unwanted visits from local cats can cause disruption to the delicate balance of your garden. Cats are natural predators and carnivores, so not only can they chase away or kill songbirds and other pollinators, but their faecal matter can contain substances that may harm your plants.

Whether it’s a neighbourhood feline or even your own pet who is wreaking havoc to your plant life, we have a few handy and humane tips for you to deter the cat population from using your flower beds as litter boxes, or even coming into your garden in the first place[1].

How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

  • Keep Your Garden Tidy

Not only is a clean space a happy space, but it can also be something of a deterrent for cats. Ensure there is no food waste scattered around that might draw them in, and seal all of your bins to avoid any smells enticing them into your garden. Ensure any bird seed that may have dropped from your feeder is cleared and that your bins are sealed so that cats can’t come and have a nose about for any scraps.

 

  •  Secure Fences And Hedges

Make it harder for cats to get into your garden in the first place by keeping your garden as secure as possible. Make any necessary instalments or repairs to block entrances into your space. You can also make it harder for the cats to jump into your garden by using tall, close-boarded fences.

  • Chicken Wire

If you haven’t planted in your garden just yet, lay some chicken wire down in the soil. This won’t prevent any growth coming through but will make the terrain annoyingly difficult for cats in an attempt to persuade them to leave well enough alone. Once your plants start to sprout, the chicken wire will blend in a lot easier and be less noticeable.

  •  Prickly Plants, Pinecones and Pebbles

If you have already got some plants growing and are now finding that they are being disturbed by felines, not to worry! There are alternatives to chicken wire that you can sprinkle around your thriving flowerbeds. Prickly plants are a natural deterrent for cats and having a few dotted about your flowerbed might do the trick to keep them out without ruining the natural landscape. Similarly, pinecones and pebbles in the flowerbeds create a difficult surface for the cat to walk or dig in without causing them harm.

  • Water

Most cats strongly dislike being wet and find any sort of water off-putting. A water pistol – low-powered and not aimed directly at the cat – could help chase the furry feline off of your lawn. Or, if you’re not always around to take aim, there are some automatic sprinklers on the market that spray water whenever they sense movement.

Alternatively, you could set them to come on for the hours when you know the neighbourhood cat likes to take a stroll on your turf. This could be something to invest in if you get garden guests when you’re not at home, or if you simply don’t fancy a standoff with water pistols and the local feline invader.

  • Smells

There is both natural and synthetic odour that repel cats that you may want to introduce into your garden. Cats have sensitive noses, so you want to make sure that if you do purchase a product that makes use of smells to repel felines, it is fully licensed, and you closely follow the instructions, to make sure you don’t accidentally harm the cat.

Plants such as lavender, lemon thyme, or Coleus Canina (also rather aptly known as the Scaredy Cat plant) tend to be quite effective, and other naturally derived scents such as the citrus scents from your orange or lemon peels, and coffee granules sprinkled about your flower bed help too. Garlic, in both powder and clove form, is also a strong contender in helping to ward off cats. Be sure to not use mothballs, as these are in fact toxic and potentially fatal.

  • Spray Away Spray

Cats are drawn back to places they have marked as their own territory. If there are places in your garden that you know a cat has sprayed or urinated on, wash it with a hose and some eco-friendly soap to remove the scent to make sure they aren’t enticed back!

  • Sound

Cats can hear a lot better than we can – in fact, they can even hear higher frequencies than dogs! It is possible to purchase high-frequency ultrasound devices that we can’t hear, but cats can. The sound emitted from these devices is unpleasant for cats to hear, so this would encourage them to stay away from your property. Alternatively, you could introduce sounds into your garden that might improve the atmosphere while also keeping cats out: wind chimes, while pleasant for us, can be annoying or surprising for cats.

These tips should be super useful in helping you keep cats out of your garden. But what if it’s your cat that keeps ruining your begonias or pooping near your plum tomatoes? Of course, you wouldn’t want to chase the poor thing away from your garden completely (we hope), so here are a few suggestions as to how to stop your cat from doing their business near your fruits and veggies.

Cat poop can be quite toxic, especially if you happen to be pregnant, as it can contain parasites harmful to humans. If you’re cleaning up kitty excrement, be sure to take care and wear gloves at all times.

How To Keep Your Cat From Using Your Garden As a Bathroom

  • Uncomfortable Beds For Paws

Like for when you’re keeping out the neighbour’s cat, putting pebbles or chicken wire (or anything that will make it awkward for your cat to dig or walk-on) in areas you don’t want your feline friend to go is a quick fix for keeping your companion from soiling your, well, soil.

  • Create a Cat-friendly Area

A few sprinklings of catnip around an outdoor litterbox might help your cat decide to take its business elsewhere, rather than in your plants. Of course, this would require care and maintenance, but is definitely a preferred alternative to having your bulbs torn to shreds by prying paws.

Wherever your cat is pooping, remember that it’s not their fault if they’ve ruined your plants, they just need a bit of guidance as to where best to go. If they have pooped somewhere once, they may be inclined to go back there to do it again as they have marked it as their territory, so monitor where you are finding cat excrement in order to figure out which solution would be best to go ahead with. It may be trial and error at first, and it may be that you require a combination of methods in order to keep cats out of your soil, but these tips are a fantastic place to start.

Glossary

[1] How to keep cats out of the garden – Link