Keeping Cats Out of Your Garden

Even if you are a cat lover, you may not enjoy your neighbor’s cats using your favorite flower bed as a litter box. Here are some old and new ideas for stopping unwanted guests.


Motion-Activated Sprinklers

When a cat enters the sprinkler's infrared field, the sprinkler shoots out a stream of water in the cat's direction to frighten it away.

Ultrasonic Sound

Many devices employ a motion sensor then emit a high-frequency sound alarm. The sound is startling to cats but virtually inaudible to humans.

Scent Repellents

Well known to gardeners for detracting deer,can also be helpful in deterring cats. Many store-bought repellents rely on capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot.Some repellent use the scent of predators'urine to scare away cats. With any scent repellent, you will need to reapply it every seven to 10 days or after a heavy rain.

Home Remedies

They might take a little time, but they cost next to nothing. One recipe calls for 2 parts cayenne pepper, 3 parts dry mustard, and 5 parts flour. Simply mix the ingredients together and sprinkle over your flowerbeds.Cats don't like the smell of citrus, so putting down peels or citrus oils may make cats think twice about digging in your garden.Coleus canina, otherwise known as scaredy cat plant, is reported to deter cats, as do rue and lavender.

Dangerous Deterrents

Placing mothballs around plants, an old method of keeping cats and rabbits at bay, might be effective, but they are toxic to humans and animals and should never be used in the garden.

Take Cover

Cats can be a host for Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can be transmitted to humans from cat feces. This parasite is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and immune-suppressed individuals. Make it a practice to wear gloves while gardening.


Also, make sure your child's sandbox is covered.

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