Cats can be a pest in your garden and yard. Whether you’re dealing with feral cats, neighborhood cats or even your own pets, keeping cats out humanely and naturally from digging in your garden can be a constant struggle. These natural ways to keep cats out of your garden will help keep these furry felines at bay.
How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden Naturally
I have house cats, and one in particular that keeps pests away from my home. He does a great job outdoors, however, I don’t want him using my garden beds as a restroom. There are a few humane ways I have found to keep cats out of the garden.
Using Forks or Chopsticks
Cats require space to dig in order to go to the bathroom in your garden bed. By using forks or chopsticks in your garden, standing up, you can deter cats from digging. The only issue with this method is that you will need a lot of forks in order to prevent digging, which can look tacky.
I suggest using metal forks over plastic as metal lasts longer and will keep plastic out of the landfill. Plastic will also leach toxins into your soil when the heat rises during the summer. Purchase metal forks from thrift stores and you won’t have to pay much for the silverware.
Chicken Wire or Plastic Garden Fencing
Laying chicken wire or plastic garden fencing on the soil bed of your garden will prevent a cats ability to dig in the garden bed. This is an easy method, budget friendly, and works well.
Again, I prefer the metal option (chicken wire) over plastic because I do my best to have a home with as little plastic as possible. However, the plastic garden fencing is much easier to set up and use than metal chicken wire.
Motion Sensor Sprinkler
A motion sensor sprinkler will go off when a cat, or other pest, enters your garden. This is one of the best methods for keeping cats out of your garden, especially at night.
The biggest issue I have with this is that you have to remember to set it on a timer or turn it on and off when you aren’t in the garden. Otherwise, it’s likely you will be sprayed with the motion sensor sprinkler too!
Citrus, Mint or Rosemary Essential Oils
Cats have 80 million smell receptors, and the concentrated scent of essential oils can keep your kitties away. Cats dislike the concentrated scent of any citrus, mint and rosemary.
Using citrus, mint or rosemary essential oils can help deter cats from your home. (I purchase my essential oils from Simply Earth, reasonably priced high quality essential oils.)
Homemade cat deterrent can be a great option, but outdoors the smell can easily be washed away by rain or frequent watering, and will need to be applied often in order to be effective. Placing some essential oils on cotton balls and placing them around the garden bed can also help, but the smell will ware off over time.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellant
An ultrasonic pest repellant gives off sounds and vibrations that keep pests away. This can be helpful for cats, dogs and even rodents. These seem to be effective but tend to really bother certain pets. So, if you have dogs or cats that are out in the yard with you, they can be bothered by it even if they aren’t in your garden.
If you don’t have any pets, and you’re searching for something to keep all pets out of your yard, this device is a great option.
Planting Certain Herbs
As mentions above, cats can be bothered by certain scents. Planting herbs in your garden that cats don’t like can deter them from visiting your garden bed.
Herbs That Cats Don’t Like:
Plant these herbs around your garden as a natural deterrent. Cats also don’t like prickly bushes or vines, so planting those types of plants can also deter cats.
Planting herbs that cats do like in a different area of the yard can serve as a distraction when pets enter your yard. Cats tend to be attracted to Catmint and Lemongrass.
Planting Ground Cover
Cats need to go to the bathroom in something they can dig. If you grow enough ground cover to get rid of open ground, this will cause them to look for soil elsewhere. Here are some groundcover plants that work well in gardens.
These are just a few suggestions as groundcover for your garden. Be sure to do research on the best options for your plants once you decide on a gardening design. Not all plants grow well together.
Mulch, Wood Chips or Rocks
Covering the soil in your garden with something that bothers the pad of the cat’s paw, is an easy way to prevent cats from digging in your garden. Cats prefer dirt, so when you cover the dirt in heavy woodchips, straw or something like river rocks, you make it difficult for cats to use the dirt as a restroom.
Adding a thick mulch is a positive for your garden as it helps the garden bed retain soil. Deterring cats is just an upside to a thick mulch. Although some cats will do their best to dig through, most won’t even put in the effort and will move on to easier places to go to the bathroom.
Naturally deterring cats from your garden is a kind way to deal with neighborhood pests. Keep your garden safe from cats with a few easy fixes and help your garden thrive.
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