In my experience keeping cats out of your garden is virtually impossible unless you go to the extreme lengths of erecting fencing that is efficient but spoils the look of your landscape. However there are steps you can take to protect your plants and a number of different remedies some of which work better than others. I came across an article by David Beaulieu over on the landscape section of the About.com website in which he describes ten ways you can try to solve this problem.
I am often asked how to keep cats out of the yard. Cats are unpredictable, so there are few sure-fire cat repellents. But below I consider some of the best approaches known to stop strays and other feline intruders from using your garden as their own personal litter box.
Broadly speaking, we can label all of these diverse approaches as “cat repellents,” since they are all designed to repel unwanted cats from a specific area.
But I’ll also provide an example of the commercial products more narrowly associated with the label, “cat repellents,” namely, products that come in a can and are sprinkled on the ground to keep cats away.
A Cat Repellent for Before You Even Begin
If you haven’t planted a flower bed yet, but you anticipate having trouble keeping cats out of your yard, be aware that one of the most effective cat repellents is readily available at most any hardware store: chicken wire.
No, I’m not going to suggest you erect a chicken-wire fence. Instead, lay chicken wire down on top of your soil (or mulch, if you’re using mulch in the bed), across the planting bed, before you plant. Why? Because cats disdain walking on chicken wire. Using wire cutters, you’ll be able to open up pockets in the chicken wire sufficiently large for installing your plants.
Cat Repellents After the Fact: 10 Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard
But what if it’s too late for the chicken-wire option? Not to worry. The ten cat repellents on which I focus below are all intended for existing garden beds. While on the subject of wire, I’ll begin with electric wire fences.
1. Like rabbits, cats can be kept away humanely with the popular Mr. McGregor Fence, a fence so safe that even ResponsibleConsumer.Net recommends it.
Water: The Ultimate Cat Repellent?
Sometimes, to keep cats away from a yard, you have to think like a cat. Put yourself in the cat’s place. Observe cat behavior. For instance, they’re pretty fussy creatures, aren’t they?
One of the things cats are fussy about is getting wet. Water is “kryptonite for cats.” Getting wet seems to be almost a phobia for them.
Use that phobia to your advantage in trying to keep cats away from yards.
2. When you catch cats in the forbidden area, you can try hosing them down with a Super Soaker or similar water gun. Such action may reinforce the notion that they are unwanted in your planting bed.
3. But if that doesn’t work, you can go hi-tech. Devices such as Scarecrow Sprinklers detect an intruder’s presence and fire a blast of water at it.
Thinking like a cat again, another thing we can say cats are fussy about is how something smells. You can use feline fastidiousness to keep cats away from your yard in a number of ways:
See the other seven ways at About.com