A lot of time and effort has been invested on this garden of yours. Perhaps you’ve installed raised beds filled with exceptional soil. ‘ Perhaps you’ve perfected the art of modifying in-ground beds to the nth degree. Now that your garden areas have become litter boxes for the neighborhood cats, it’s time to get rid of them! Keeping cats away from flowerbeds can be difficult.
On the internet, you’ll find an abundance of helpful advice. Sadly, many of these solutions don’t actually work. Often, they’re just a few days long. In certain cases, they’re absolutely ineffectual.
The good news is that cat deterrents can be used to keep cats away from your dahlias and their delicate roots. Start by looking at tips that don’t actually work. Our next discussion will focus on solutions that are short-lived and may have to be repeated. Finally, we’ll discuss the most effective ways to keep cats at bay.
And now we can begin!
What Doesn’t Work At All
There are a lot of methods that don’t work that are available online. As ubiquitous as they may be, they’re either ineffectual or just plain ridiculous. A couple of these are worth a closer look.
Forks, Pointy Sticks, Or Chopsticks
When I was a kid, I put this to the test myself, along with other cat-prevention tactics like large PVC/chicken wire cloches and fabric barriers around beds (as shown in the above photo). Using forks was one of the worst blunders I’ve ever made in the garden. For the foreseeable future, I expect I’ll be picking up pieces of plastic forks from my lawn and garden.
Because plastic forks are not UV-resistant, you can see why they’re not popular. When exposed to the sun, they become brittle, which I hadn’t anticipated at first. Furthermore, whether they are inserted tines-down or tines-up, they are very easily knocked over. They are simply pushed aside by the cats. And if you’ve ever seen a kitty with a glass of water on the table, you know how much cats enjoy pushing things around!
If you’re using chopsticks, you’re going to run into the same issue. It doesn’t matter how far apart they are, if the cat is determined, it will just push them aside. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the ferals in my area have been known to poop right on top of them.
The Scaredy Cat Plant is a type of plant. Cats are supposed to be deterred by the aroma of the Coleus canina, or Plectranthus caninus. Planting plants that cats don’t like sounds like an easy way to win. Garden visitors are more likely to be put off by the presence of the aforementioned arachnid. Skunk-like odors fill the air when it is activated.
Even worse, dogs may be enticed to roll about in the scaredy-cat plant. With your treasured pooch, you might get to witness him or her roll around in something that smells a little off. Sadly, Coleus canina is ineffective as a deterrent and should not be used.
Rue, lemon thyme, lavender, pennyroyal, geraniums, rosemary, and garlic are some of the other live plants that are said to dissuade our feline friends. Even though they haven’t had much of an impact on the cats in my neighborhood, I still plant a lot of these in my garden nevertheless. However, if you’d like to cultivate them, I can’t advocate them as cat deterrent solutions, but there is no harm in doing so.
Eggshells are credited with a variety of mystical garden uses. Cats are said to be deterred by the sharp edges of eggshells in this situation.
There is a good chance that the eggshells will break under the weight of cats. Most mature cats weigh between 8 and 14 pounds, so it doesn’t take a lot of force to break an eggshell. A dedicated garden pooper has little hope of defeating a shattered shell.
Sprinkling Herbs On The Soil
It’s not just the plants I mentioned above that cats are said to despise, but the soil’s surface as well. In fact, you’ve heard that you should prune your plants and then scatter the pieces all over the place. Dried and powdered, they can be sprinkled everywhere if you’d like to go the extra mile.
Cats may be deterred for a few hours by the aroma of newly crushed leaves if they are allergic to the plants. Within a day or two, the first scent dissipates and is no longer effective. Most dried plant materials lose their flavor and potency within a short time after they are removed from the sun.
A few things have a tendency to maintain their aroma a little longer than the majority of other choices. To keep cats away for a few days at a time, add cayenne pepper, some pipe tobacco, and coffee grounds that have been ground up. In the event that cats walk through cayenne and lick their paws, they may become sick. For those who are willing to sprinkle the coffee grounds from their daily brew over the garden, there may be some benefit to this method.
Citrus peels have also been suggested as a possible remedy. Cats are said to be put off by the scent of orange or lemon peels thrown around the ground. Orange peels, on the other hand, might get moldy, attracting flies and other pests. Citrus peels, on the other hand, look a little out of place in the garden.
It’s called the “Cat Scat Mat,” and it’s a plastic mesh mat with 3/8-inch spikes. To use, simply place it on top of the soil. The spikes are spaced about an inch apart, making it nearly impossible for cats to walk on it comfortably.
For the same effect, plastic carpet runners with their spikes pointed upward can be used to create an illusion. This strange-looking mat appears on the surface of your soil with both of these selections. There is nothing wrong with placing it on top of mulches to keep moisture from evaporating from your soil, but it doesn’t look any nicer. Even yet, if you can reduce its visual impact, it can be highly useful.
Sharp mulch materials, similar to the last advice, may help deter cats from digging in plant beds. Short-term solutions like splintery bark mulches, sharp wood chips, or jagged boulders can work.
Digging through the spiky mulch, as opposed to the matting, is an alternative for the kitten. Prickly things like this are actually pretty common in the outdoors for an outdoor cat. It’s also possible that working in the garden means crushing hundreds of pine cones and getting splinters all the time. In terms of effectiveness, rock mulch is the best, but it also maintains a significant amount of heat, which may not always be what you’re looking for.
Did you know that you can purchase the urine of predatory animals? Another typical one is coyote urine. After a week or so of using animal urine, it does indeed work…
The smell of animal pee, like that of plant materials, diminishes over time. The fragrance soon diminishes in hot temperatures, even though it may initially be quite pungent. In the event of rain, it dilutes and washes away. When the fragrance fades, cats may use your garden as a litter box, presuming the predator has passed.
Fortunately, there is a free cure that many people may find unappetizing: human excrement. Using pee as fertilizer is an option if you don’t have any health issues, and it also serves as a deterrent to cats. However, it only lasts for a short time and is most potent when it is fresh, exactly like predator pee. That may not be something you want to do.
Oils And Sprays
According to the internet, one of the most popular techniques to keep cats away from gardens is to use other scented sprays. It’s common knowledge that essential oils and sprays manufactured from garlic are both safe and efficient cures for a wide range of ailments. For a small period of time, at least.
The main issue is that the natural oils in many pungent plants like garlic only remain for a limited amount of time when applied to the garden. As the sun’s UV rays and fresh winds break them down, the aroma fades away.
While a lavender-citrus-eucalyptus spray may smell wonderful to us, it may not be the best option for cat safety. Cats can be poisoned by many essential oils. After a spray treatment like this, the cat’s fur is sprayed all over if it wanders through your garden. They can be badly injured if they lick their own wounds. Try something non-toxic if you’d like to attempt something like this!
Cat Deterrent Products
Natural cat repellents are available for purchase at many retail locations. Some are granules and some are fluid.. However, how effective are them in the long run? ‘
A “slightly” is the appropriate response. They all employ the same essential oils, powdered peppers, or garlic additions as the others on this list. In terms of efficacy, yes, but only for a limited period of time.
You’ll want to keep utilizing your garden while you’re treating it with repellent because most commercial choices don’t have pleasant scents.
Claiming It As A Human Space
Were you ever confronted with the challenge of staring down a cat? This is a garden version of that strategy, and it can be effective.
Using your own pee or hair from your hairbrush to mark your garden as yours is a simple way to claim it as yours. Clearly, this is a place for people.
Wind chimes, pinwheels and spinners may potentially detract from kitty’s enjoyment of the space In addition, removing scat or washing down cat marks with a hose may lessen the frequency with which cats visit.
Sadly, there are many cats around while you aren’t. Cats may still sneak inside the space you’ve claimed and repeat their marking in the middle of the night. Cats will be unable to use this method to avoid using your garden as a litter box.
Reducing Their Natural Prey
Don’t overlook the possibility of eliminating their prey if you make it unpleasant as suggested above. Cats, after all, are naturally drawn to the chase. If you have mice or tiny birds in your compost pile, they may follow the sound of an ice cream truck to your yard.
Cat visits can be reduced by lowering the number of prey animals on your land. However, this is not a given.
Making A Truce With Kitty
Finally, as a gesture of goodwill, you may offer your neighbors cats their own memorial spot as a sign of goodwill. It’s possible that putting out clean litter boxes or even a garden “bed” box devoid of plants will do the trick. Plants like catnip or catmint can draw the cat to the peace offering area rather than the pea patch or beet bed.
Because of this, you’ll have to constantly clean up after your pets and make sure they have enough room to roam. Maybe, maybe not, depending on the cat.
Surefire Ways To Keep Them Away
After all of this, what are the best ways to keep cats away? There are, in fact, quite a few. Here we go, shall we?
A Quick Burst Of Water
Cats vs. water is one of those common film and television tropes. When it comes to getting wet, most cats aren’t fans. As a result, water may be a powerful tool in the fight against unwelcome guests.
Motion-activated sprinklers are a favorite of mine. When you’re not in the garden, a gadget like this can be set up and connected straight to the hose. For every movement, a blast of water is fired towards the target.
Theoretically, these have certain drawbacks. Initially, some of your plants may be a little overwatered in popular areas of the yard. However, your garden’s cats will eventually discover that there is unexpected water in your garden. It’s also a safe and non-toxic procedure. This is an excellent strategy to keep cats away from your yard.
There is a good chance you’ll get sprayed by your own sprinkler. When you forget to have a cup of coffee in the morning, you’ll be surprised by an unexpected shower. On the plus side, you’ll have proof of its efficacy!
You don’t want a sprinkler that is actuated by motion. A spray from a garden hose is an easy technique to get rid of prowling cats. If you’re not home, this won’t function, but if you are, it works great.
Securing Yard Borders
As a natural progression from declaring your yard a human domain, this strategy emphasizes deterring cats from entering in the first place. There are a variety of options available for achieving this.
Top your yard fencing with a set of rollers, commonly known as roll bars. This fence top bar spins, making it impossible for a cat to get a strong grip on it when attempting to walk on it or scramble over it. When they get to the opposite side of the fence, they just resurface.
When it comes to keeping your dog (or the neighbor’s dog) from jumping the fence, roll bars can’t be beat. They can’t readily vault over if they can’t hold on to the top. Your fence’s effectiveness is effectively doubled as a result. They’re an expensive option, but as a final resort, it’s possible to look into it.
Another option is available for those looking for something a little less expensive yet still effective. If you don’t already have pets, installing a device in your yard that makes high-frequency noises may be the ideal answer for you. People cannot hear these ultrasonic repellents because of their high pitch, but animals can. The ultrasonic repellents are usually very movable as well, which is another benefit. Just grab the device and relocate it to the location where cats are most likely to attack.
Because of the high-pitched sounds, your neighbor’s pets and any pets you may have will be irritated. Not everyone will benefit from using this method, but those who are trying to strengthen their garden’s protective barrier will find it extremely useful.
Your external fencing is already as secure and robust as possible, yet you’re still discovering excrement on the ground in the beds.
Increase the number of fences by enclosing separate beds with their own enclosures. It’s entirely up to you what you want these to look like. I build fence panels out of wood and chicken wire and then tap them into place on stakes. Other options include T-post supports for mesh plastic fence or hoop-houses covered in bird nets and floating row cover cloth or PVC and chicken wire. A barrier that prevents direct access to the bed is a useful option in this situation.
PVC, shade cloth, and old pallet wood make up one of my favorite arrangements. I made a hoop house frame out of PVC to support shade cloth in a garden bed designed for shade-loving plants. Slatted fencing was then made out of old pallet wood, which isn’t big enough to fit an adult cat between. The shade cloth is attached to the ground by a long, weighted piece of PVC pipe at the front entrance to the bed. Simply grab the weighted pipe, wrap up the shade cloth, and place it on the hoop house’s roof while I’m working in the garden.
Soil Barrier Solutions
We’ve already discussed “scat mats,” but there are more ways to keep your cherished plant from being dug out. In addition, they are often less expensive and more effective.
Using landscape fabric staples, fasten chicken wire to the soil once you’ve completed prepping your beds in the spring (the long, U-shaped wires that you push in to secure landscaping fabric). The chicken wire will help your garden expand, but cats won’t be able to dig through it because of the thin wire. In addition, wire is a long-lasting and cost-effective material.
In the same way, lattice fencing can be used in the same way but cover a larger area of the ground. It’s also more noticeable, but the correct plants in the mesh holes can make it seem great. This option may also help minimize weed growth around desirable plant species. –
In the end, there is always the option of using fabric. To prevent weeds and pests from digging into the soil, some farmers use black plastic or landscaping cloth over the soil surrounding plants. With burlap coffee bags cut open for each plant, you may make your own pots out of recycled materials.