Having a lush and green garden is one of the joys of keeping a charming home. A yard full of plants of all sorts makes our homes more attractive, but they can often attract unwanted attention from neighborhood cats. To keep your garden looking fabulous, you need to know how to keep cats out of plants.
When you understand how to keep cats out of your garden, you get the pleasure of a well-tended yard without having it treated like a litter box. This article helps you find the perfect solution to keep cats from visiting your garden. We show you some excellent passive methods that will repel cats without causing them harm.
And, you’ll also get some fantastic answers for how to keep cats from pooping in your yard. These options utilize active measures to discourage kitties and drive them away from your plants. Cat owners can use these methods for indoor plants, too.
How to Keep Cats Out of Plants
Cats can be persistent and pushy little things, and nowhere is that more evident than when they’re interested in checking out one of your houseplants or veggies. Fences won’t stop them, and they couldn’t care less about barbed wire. The same applies to raccoons, skunks, and other creatures.
However, there are some excellent and non-toxic passive cat repellent options that you can use if you’re looking for how to keep cats away. They’re a perfect solution when you need to know how to keep cats out of your garden without risking their health. Use these same methods for how to keep raccoons away from your yard and garden beds. They are just as effective for these pests, too.
How to Keep Cats from Pooping in Your Yard – Passive Methods
In this section, we show you some of the top passive cat repellent approaches. You’ll get a rundown on which surfaces keep cats away, the plants that repel cats, and how the proper mulch can protect your outdoor and indoor plants from feline invaders. Finally, you’ll get instructions on how to build a top-notch scarecat to safely drive away the kitties.
1. Place Unpleasant Walking Surfaces Around Your Plants
Cats are famously finicky creatures and actively avoid areas that cause them unpleasantness. Use this characteristic to your advantage to guard your garden and sandbox against cats by laying down surfaces upon which they don’t enjoy walking. Cats hate uneven material that forces itself between their toes and soft paw pads, so get ready to create a cat-unfriendly zone with some household items.
Don gloves before you start to lay down the surfacing equipment. Nail the dowels to the tops of your fence. Tie the string so that it runs horizontally a few inches above the top of your fence.
Bury the chicken wire, pine cones, and seashells in the soil around your garden. Make sure that you don’t bury them too deeply so that the cats have to walk on the pokey and pointy spots to get to your plants.
2. Add Plants that Cats Hate
Lots of your plants seem like an inviting playground to neighborhood cats. If you grow catnip or other cat friendly herbs, you’ll have a hard time keeping them out of the garden. Cats don’t love all plants equally, though.
There are many plants that deter cats for different reasons. Some plants have strong scents that keep out cats without bothering our human senses, and some even have a pleasant aroma that we can enjoy. The Scaredy Cat plant is a fantastic option. It’s one of the top cat repellent plants and will keep furry explorers far away from your greenery.
You can also go with rosemary, pennyroyal, lemongrass, or other fly repellent plants that cats can’t stand. If you prefer to present physical barriers that cats won’t cross, you can always plant cactus or roses to give cats a thorny discouragement that they won’t nibble or chew on more than once.
3. Add Plants that Cats Love
While it may seem strange, you can use an unusual cat deterrent that is quite effective. Go a different direction to control cats and keep them from invading your yard. You’ll find plenty of ways to keep cats interested in something other than your plants.
Giving cats a viable alternative removes their reasons for checking out your garden and saves your plants and veggies. There are some fantastic plants that cats love and favor over your other garden residents. Catnip, Valerian, Lemongrass, Mint, Honeysuckle, or other cat friendly herbs are perfect for distracting cats and moving them elsewhere.
Cat Grass is another excellent and option. Plant these distractions far away from your garden, in a far corner of your yard where they won’t be a problem for you. You and the cats will both be happy!
4. Check the Litter Box
Cats behave as they do in response to their environment. When a cat doesn’t have an outlet to perform the desired activity at their home, they’ll find an alternative option. This rule is especially true regarding litter boxes.
Many cats are so fastidious that they’ll avoid a dirty litter box in favor of some nice, clean dirt. If you’re a cat owner, you can cut this possible cause of plant invasion off at the bud by keeping kitty’s litter box clean.
Make cleaning the litter box a daily task, and roll it into your other cleaning chores so that it becomes a habit. Remove the need for your cats to look elsewhere for their potty.
5. Make it Difficult for Cats to Dig
One of the main reasons that cats enjoy investigating our house plants and garden areas is because we get the soil ready for them. Cats love loose soil that they can dig into before they poop. Make it much more difficult for them to do their digging, and that will discourage them and make them abandon your garden in favor of greener pastures.
Don the gloves, and give your plants a proper treatment of fresh potting soil. Then, use a shovel or trowel to lay a stone mulch layer over the top of the earth. Cover all of the soil.
Pack the stones down enough to prevent cats from pulling them out, but leave them loose enough for water to pass through them to get to the soil.
6. Build a Scarecat
If your more unobtrusive passive methods don’t keep cats away from your plants, you might need to use sound as a discourager for getting rid of cats in your yard. Cats are skittish as all get-out, and that makes them perfect targets for a DIY scarecat. Build a simple noisemaker to stop cats and keep them away from your garden.
As an added benefit, the scarecat may be just the ticket for how to keep birds away, as well. Things that flutter in the breeze or make loud sounds deter birds just like it does for cats so you may be able to get rid of two pests at a time.
Pierce one end of the pan or foil sheets, and tie a string through it. Use the mallet to hammer the stake into the ground near your garden. Tie the other end of your line to the stake.
When the wind blows, it moves the aluminum around, causing it to crackle and ping. It’s a dynamite cat repellent and great at keeping cats away from flower beds. If you have some bad weather that damages your scarecat, it’s easy to make another one just as quickly. After a while, it may not be necessary to use it anymore.
How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden – Active Methods
If you have a determined or fearless cat, passive methods might not be enough to keep them out of your plants. The time will come when you have to move on to more active modes of cat control to ensure that your yard stays cat-free and looking good.
Active cat repellent options make visiting your plants a physically unpleasant experience and force local cats to find greener pastures. This section looks at the most effective active methods of controlling cats and securing your garden and yard.
We show you how to guard against cats with water sprays, scented repellents, and harsh nasal irritants. Our active methods will keep even the most stubborn and curious kitties away from your beloved plants.
7. Use Water Sprays
We’re all familiar with the classic notion of a wet, angry cat running as fast as they can away from a water source. Most cats detest getting wet and avoid any area that presents them with that risk.
It’s easy to harness this style of cat repellent for your purposes and set up a water spray as a cat deterrent. Opt for a manual approach if you have the time. Use a spray hose, and spray any cat that sets a paw into your yard.
If you don’t have free time every day to spray cats, though, you can also go for a commercial auto spray option. Find high-quality motion-triggered water sprays that spray anything that moves.
8. Spray Your Plants with Cat Repellent
Thanks to cats’ exquisite senses of smell, you have a few weapons in your arsenal that use strong scents to drive off cats. There are commercial products available, but you can mix up an effective and powerful cat repellent spray at home that smells fantastic. We’ve included one of our favorite recipes.
Don the safety gear. Combine all your ingredients in a spray bottle, and shake well. Spray any plants and surrounding grass and foliage that you wish to protect.
The cats will avoid the smell of citrus oils and garlic and will take their curiosity out of your yard and find a more friendly garden to explore, dig up, and use as a potty.
9. Add Solids with Strong Fragrances
You don’t have to be satisfied with liquid sprays to keep cats out of your yard. If you want a stronger and more long-term solution, consider adding solid scent producers to your garden. Using a solid product that gives off a strong fragrance ensures that you maintain a high level of protection for days or weeks on end.
Always wear safety gear when handling these products to avoid injury. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top of the soil around your plants and traffic areas. Place mothballs around the plants as well.
Cats dislike both scents and will go out of their way to avoid them. Refresh the products every week or so or after it rains.
10. Use a Commercial Repellent
If DIY solutions don’t resolve your cat invasion troubles, reach for the commercial solutions. Store-bought cat repellents are powerful and keep the most persistent cats out of your yard. And, because a company stands behind it, the sprays come with guarantees of success with proper usage.
Always wear gloves, a mask, and safety glasses or goggles when you work with commercial cat sprays. Avoid using the spray around cooking areas. Reapply the spray as needed or after heavy rains.
We hope you had a great time checking out our cat repellent tips. A beautiful garden is a wondrous thing, but it can attract unwanted guests.
Our guide shows you how to keep cats out of your garden without injuring them. With our help, your garden will be bountiful and cat-free.
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