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Cat Deterrents: How to Deter Cats from the Garden

For many gardeners, animal lovers or not, cats can be just one of the many pests which have a negative impact upon the garden. Problems include but are not limited to fouling, the digging up of freshly planted borders and even, the eating of certain kinds of foliage. So, the question remains of how to deter cats from the garden? Let’s take a look at a few options.

Cat Deterrents: How to Deter Cats from the Garden

Deterring cats from the garden is a problem. Many traditional methods are simply “housewives tales” and don’t work. In addition, one must also consider the legal implications of dealing with, what are in effect household pets. In general terms, one will remain within the law by scaring, or attempting to deter a cat from a site. Resorting to methods of pest control such as poison and trapping, beyond being cruel and inhumane, is likely to result in legal implications, in extreme cases, this can even lead to a custodial sentence.

There are two elements to deter cats from the garden, the first method and by far the most preferable is to stop them arriving in the first place. This is largely done by avoiding the inclusion of sites which are attractive to cats, such as open areas of bare soil or features such as children’s sandpits. If cats have already arrived on a plot, then prevention is reliant on attempting to cover up the cat’s previous activities, in which the cat will have marked the territory.

Homemade Cat Repellents and Pest Repellent

Ground Cover – One of the most effective ways to stop cats from attacking a garden is to use ground covering plants. There are many suitable varieties available, Campanulas are a great variety as they are low growing, spread quickly and suitable for almost all soil types.

Lemon Juice – The use of lemon juice, has a two-fold methodology as to its effectiveness. In the first instance, cats are reported to have a dislike of citrus scents, thus making a site unattractive for a cat. In the second instance, if a cat has paid a previous visit, the scent will help to mask the cat’s previous activity trail. This is quite an effective method however, it can be a labor-intensive one as the effects are quickly offset by rain and watering.

Commercial Cat Repellents and Animal Repeller

Commercial Cat Repellents – There are a number of commercial products available which are designed to deter cats from the garden. These repellents often come in the form of a gel or powder and are designed to be used on a specific bed. Commercial preparations are often relatively expensive if a wide area of coverage is required. In addition, many preparations also have a bad smell associated with the product, thus detracting from the garden.

Electronic Devices – There are an array of electronic cat deterrents available on the market. Devices range from handheld “guns” which, are operated manually, to fixed position devises which are triggered by the motion of an animal. Electronic cat deterrents are designed to scare cats away by emitting a sound frequency which is disliked by cats, but inaudible to the human ear. Product reviews are mixed, as to how effective these devices are.

Debbie P

Saturday 19th of March 2022

Thanks for the info on humane repellents.

Dorothy Boucher

Monday 30th of November 2020

This is all good information if you have a garden, and I don't know if I would want to use store bought chemicals to keep the cats away. @tisonlyme143

Shannon Holmes

Friday 28th of February 2020

Thanks for sharing this article, I remember my cats used to get into my grandma's garden.

Mary Gardner

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

Thanks for the information. We have neighbor kitties that like to dig around in the garden sometimes.

Cassandra D

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Thank you for the information. I experienced this issue and I planted more plants in the open spaces and it solved the issue.

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