How do I get cats to stop pooping in my garden? Cats can become a menace in the garden, wreaking havoc and damaging local ecosystems. Cats are carnivores and so their faeces contain parasites that can cause a lot of concern for those who plan to eat any produce that they are growing. So, how can you get these cats to stop pooping over the garden or scratching up your garden furniture? From motion sensor technology to plants that cats will avoid, here is a list of the best ways to keep cats from pooping in the garden.
Signs of Cats Visiting Your Garden
Common signs of cats frequently entering the garden are:
- Holes in the flower beds
- Excrement buried in flower beds or left on gardens and paths
- Damage to the base of trees and shrubs from where the cats may scratch them
- Cats often sunbath in annoying places, leaving signs like crushed plants or cat fur on garden furniture
Natural & Simple Deterrents to Keep Cats Out of the Garden
DON’T FEED THEM
This should be common sense to anyone who doesn’t want a stranger’s cat in the garden: don’t feed them. If you feed the cat, it will come back looking for more food.
Keep the Garden Clean
Try using a hose or a watering can and eco-friendly soap to clean the area if your cat or your visitor cat always chooses the same spot. Cats can become disoriented because of this. Additionally, it will eliminate some of the odour and hair that was left behind.
Water Flower Beds
Cats don’t like wet soil, so keep your flowerbeds well-watered to prevent cats from pooping in your garden and crushing your plants. To make this process simpler, consider installing an irrigation watering pipe in the flowerbed.
Use Cat-repelling Plants
Plant a few lavenders, rues, pennyroyal, lemon thyme and coleus Canina plants around the garden. Cats hate the smell of these plants and, as a bonus, these plants can attract pollinators to the garden. We also have a list of cat-repelling plants towards the end of this article.
Felines are unbelievably delicate to smell so aromas (which are frequently tracked down in the kitchen), for example, lavender, peppermint, or cinnamon are perfect for warding them off. Mix one of the scents with water and spray the garden. Cats also don’t like orange and lemon peels, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, lavender oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and mustard oil. These are other cost-effective and non-toxic options. Drops can be sprinkled directly on your flower beds or soaked cotton wool placed at entry points can be used. They will likely be deterred with a single sniff.
Finely chopping citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges and scattering them around the garden is another natural and easy way to keep cats out of your outdoor space. Cats don’t like the strong citrus scent, similar to lavender and peppermint. If you prefer to spray the solution around the garden, you can also make your own by squeezing the fruit juices into the water.
Requires a little more work
Make the Garden Difficult to Enter for Cats
Make it difficult for curious cats to enter your garden. You can keep them out with anything from shrubs that provide privacy to close-boarded fences. If they are still getting in, put chicken wire or another fence around an area that leans in the direction the cat will approach from.
Change the Environment
Try covering parts of your garden with stone chips, rocks, small pebbles, or netting because cats prefer smooth, soft surfaces to walk on. They are certain to leave as soon as their paws touch these rough surfaces. You can also use chicken wire or twigs around your plants to make it difficult for cats to walk on them and discourage them from seeking relief there. It’s a simple way to keep them away, even though they might not look as good in your garden. Other things to consider could be setting down stone mulch, eggshells, holly cuttings or reused plastic floor covering sprinters.
Use Bushes and Shrubs
A great natural method for keeping cats away from your flowerbeds is to plant shrubs and bushes. If you plant them close together, a cat won’t have as much room to move around or dig, meaning that they won’t be as interested in your garden and will move to a place with more space.
Despite being more expensive than the other suggestions we’ve presented; this is still extremely effective. Investing in motion-detection sprinklers will simply give any unruly trespassers an unexpected spray of water when it detects them on your lawn. Gentle, brief bursts of water shot in the animal’s general direction are effective, and humane. Since cats despise water, the first spray usually causes them to leave. Turn on the repellent by simply connecting it to a standard garden hose. You won’t waste any water because it won’t spray any water until the sensor is triggered.
Purchase an ultrasonic cat repellent that deters cats by emitting a high-pitched frequency, in a similar manner to water-based deterrents. Cats will find the piercing sound unsettling and leave your garden, though it can take up to four weeks to deter them permanently. Cats find it very unsettling, but humans rarely hear it. They might be a better choice if you want something that won’t be noticed because they are slightly smaller than sprinklers. However, given that they only cover a small portion of the garden, it’s best to place them near entrances.
Top 4 Plants Cats Hate
Coleus Canina (Plectranthus caninus)
Coleus Canina, commonly known as the piss-off plant or scaredy cat plant, is one of the most effective plants you could use to discourage cats and dogs in the garden. If you have an area of the garden that you don’t want pets from going to, this is the plant to use. With a pungent smell of urine, cats and dogs will be sure to stay away. These plants are very easy to take care of and have lovely foliage and blue flowers in summer.
Geraniums are one of the best plants you could use, they have stunning blooms that go with almost any garden and to humans, the smell of geraniums is very pleasant. However, felines tend to dislike the scent.
Cats hate the smell of lavender which is why many gardeners plant them in borders or containers to keep cats away from that area. Lavender can, however, become toxic to cats if ingested so it is best to try to limit the use of this plant.
Being such an easy plant to grow, rosemary can also be used to repel cats. Due to its strong spell and the texture of the leaves, many cats will avoid these areas. Fortunately for us, we can grow rosemary in almost any area; all you need is well-drained soil in an area with a mix of sun and shade.
Bonus: How to Keep Cats Off Garden Furniture
Do you find your clean and comfortable garden furniture overrun by cats? With stray hairs being stuck to the furniture, an overwhelming smell of cats and scratches around the furniture, it can start to feel like there is no end to stopping the cats from using your garden furniture. Apart from trying to keep the cats out of the garden, here are a few ideas that might help you:
Cover your table and chairs with a furniture cover. You can purchase patio furniture covers that cover the entire table, chairs, and chair cushions. It will help to prevent having cat hair all over the furniture as well as protecting it from their peeing and pooping on it. Furniture covers also protect outdoor furniture from rain, snow, dust, and many other environmental elements that often damage the furniture, so they are a good to keep around even after deterring cats.
Like our smelling sprays above, try using the spray around the furniture to keep them away, it can also make your furniture smell nice if using a citrus fruit to make the spray. Simply mix water and citrus juice in a spray bottle and spray around the furniture. The only downfall is that it lasts a maximum of 24 hours, so it is best to apply daily.
Double-sided Adhesive Tape
This is not an ideal solution if you use your furniture regularly, but it is a proven solution to keep cats off the furniture. Apply double-sided sticky tape to the chairs; cats don’t like the stickiness of tape on their feet so after a few tries, they will start to leave the furniture alone.
There are cat-repelling plants that look good in containers that you can put around your furniture. Plants like lavender, mint leaves, lemon thyme, geraniums, lemongrass, rue, and citronella are some of the best options to have around. These plants also attract natural pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
This may sound a little silly, and most certainly not a permanent solution, but use tinfoil to scare the cats a few times. Place the tinfoil in areas most likely for the cat to walk or sit. Cats don’t like the foil due to its sticky feel under the paws, unpleasant sound, and shiny appearance. This would work well when bringing new furniture into the garden as cats will learn to leave the furniture alone.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to keep cats out of the garden, from cat-repelling plants to home-made cat repellent sprays. Why not check out our article on making a pet friendly garden here.
If you still find issues with cats pooping in the garden, check out this Organ-X Cat & Animal Deterrent spray. This ready-to-use spray can protect your fruits, vegetables, lawns and gardens from animals fouling in the garden. The application should be made for maximum effectiveness as soon as the problem occurs. The product is not water-resistant, so reapplication after rainfall is needed.