How to keep cats out of your garden

Seeing too much of your neighbour’s pet? Here’s how to deter cats from your garden.

Updated

how to keep cats out of your garden

Key steps

If you’re wondering how to keep cats out of your garden:

1. Make use of smells they don’t like, like lavender, rosemary, and citrus.

2. Make your soil less comfortable to walk on, for example by mulching with gravel.

3. Make it harder for them to dig, for example by laying down netting.

4. Don’t do anything that will actually endanger the cat.

Even if you’re a devout cat person, they can be a nuisance to have in your garden. If your neighbours’ cats are kicking over your flowerpots and rolling around in your bird bath, here are some tips on how to deter cats from your garden.

If you just want to deter cats from garden plants in a particular corner, try planting catnip in another area of your garden to attract the cats to that area instead.

How to keep cats out of the garden: tips and tricks

  • Cats are great at scaling fences, but you can make it harder for them. To prevent cats from getting over your fence into your garden, try fitting a taut string about 10 cm above the fence. It’ll be tricky for them to balance on the fence if a string’s in the way.
  • Your neighbours may be unhappy if you install a leaning fence between your properties. If you’re fencing off individual areas of your garden, though, it’s harder for a cat to climb a fence that leans outwards.
  • Try introducing plants that repel cats (but not ones that are dangerous to them). Lavender and rosemary are great cat deterrents. Lavender adds a lovely touch of colour to your garden and smells great and rosemary can be used in your cooking. Most cats hate the scent of both.
  • Cats also tend not to be fans of citrus, so you can keep cats away from your flowerbeds by scattering the soil with orange or lemon peel.
  • Mulching with gravel or stone chips will make your flowerbeds much less appealing for cats to walk on.
  • As you may be aware if you’re looking for advice on how to keep cats out of your garden, cats often go into other gardens to have a poo. Cats are also fastidious, fussy creatures, and they like to dig a hole to use as a makeshift lavatory. Try laying poultry netting over your soil. If the cat can’t dig, it’ll probably look for somewhere more welcoming to void its bowels.
  • There are products available that are specifically designed with how to deter cats from the garden in mind. You can scatter cat repellent pellets or granules around your garden to put them off. Plus, ultrasonic cat repellers are devices that give off a high-pitched sound, generally inaudible to humans, which cats won’t enjoy being around.

A note of caution when trying to deter cats from the garden

Whatever you do, don’t take any measures that would actually be dangerous for the cat. They’re living creatures, their owners love them dearly, and, on a more practical note, you could end up facing criminal charges.

Originally published