Cat Repellent or
How to keep Cats out of your Garden
Do cat repellents work? How to stop a cat from using garden as litterbox? Tell me how to keep cats
out of my garden. These are common questions of concern to all gardeners but is there a real answer?
The first line of defence is to ensure that your yard boundaries are secure. Any gaps in your fence
should be blocked to deny low level access. But cats can jump so fix a taut wire or string some six inches above
the top of your fence to deter this approach.
Once inside your garden many people say that the best cat repellent is a dog who will soon see off
any feline invader. If you are not a dog lover then you will
have to resort to more passive methods. Since cats like to lie on freshly dug soil you should lay mulch on your
borders so that no bare soil is left exposed. Seed beds should be covered with wire netting or twigs arranged as a
barrier. Young trees should have plastic guards fitted around their trunks to protect them against use as a
scratching pole. Your garden pond should be covered with netting to keep your fish safe.
Cats are generally known to dislike water so a well aimed bucketful or a squirt with the hose will certainly make
an intruder run. After one or two dousings it may learn the lesson and stay away.
To protect plants and borders both mothballs and citrus are said to be effective deterrents. Place
the mothballs, orange peel or lemon rind in the borders. Alternatively spray cloths with orange scented air
freshener and place the cloths around the plants you wish to protect. Other known cat repellents are cayenne
pepper, coffee grounds, pipe tobacco, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and mustard
Certain herbs are said to deter cats. In particular rue but not catmint which has the opposite
effect. Coleus Canina is another plant which is marketed by some merchants as a cat repellent.
The broadcaster Jerry Baker has suggested treating your yard with a tonic made from chewing
tobacco, urine, birth control pills, mouthwash, molasses, detergent and beer. A smallholder has reported success
using dried rabbit blood but you may feel that the ingredients listed in the previous paragraph should be tried
If you visit your local garden center or hardware store you will find several cat repellent
products on sale. These range from electric water sprinklers and ultrasonic devices to sprays and granules.
Motion Activated Sprinklers act in the same way as a burglar alarm using an infra red
detector. When the cat enters the area covered by the detector the sprinkler shoots out a jet of water to scare
the animal away. It is claimed that, after one or two encounters with the jet, the cat will learn to avoid the
Ultrasonic devices emit a high frequency sound which is annoying to cats (and dogs) but is not
audible to humans. There are various different models some of which operate continuously and others which have an
infra red detector and only emit a pulse of sound when the cat triggers the device. To be successful you need to
ensure that the model is powerful enough to cover the area you wish to protect. In addition make sure that the
sound frequency is designed for larger animals since some models are intended to deter insects and so would be no
use for cats.
There are also commercial scent cat repellents. Those that use chemicals should be kept away from
any food crops but the essential oil based granule varieties act
in the same way as orange and lemon peel mentioned above. Another way to keep a cat out if the garden is a
Repellent Evaporator which consists of a container holding puffed rice which has been impregnated with
essential oils. These are effective for three to four weeks and can then be refilled for a further period.
Another natural product which many people claim really keeps a cat out of the garden is lion's dung. You may
need to visit your local zoo to obtain this although some stores do stock zoo poo.
In Ontario, Canada the local township provides a cat trap service. Once the animal enters the cage
it cannot escape but is completely unharmed. The owner has to pay to recover his pet and so should be encouraged
not to let the cat stray in future. Apparently few owners bother to reclaim their cats but just obtain another
kitten. However this sounds like a good way of dealing with a cat that cannot be deterred by any other method. If
there is no such scheme in your area, just buy your own trap.
So, to recap, the first priority is to secure your boundary fences. Then you have the whole
selection of suggested cat repellents ranging from homemade recipes to expensive commercial gadgets. I would
suggest that you try the orange peel and prickly twigs for a start. If you are around when the intruder appears,
try the bucket of water or hose. Even if you miss, the shock may be a sufficient deterrent. If these do not do the
trick, then you may have to consider the commercial alternatives.
I posted a copy of this article on EzineArticles.com and there have been two comments:
The simplest solution to keep cats out of your gardens is to sprinkle lime, preferably the
powdered. Works like a charm.
Lime sounds like it could harm the cats. I have used moth balls, of course they smell but I place
them in the dirt, about 2 inches below the surface, that way once the original scent is gone it doesn't emit an
odor unless I'm digging around in there. The cats never come in my garden. :)
Here's another idea that might be worth a try. Place these Cat Scat
mats in areas where the cat usually goes, and they’ll act as a gentle yet effective deterrent. The flexible
plastic spikes are harmless, but effective.
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