Tips to Keep a Cat Out of the Garden

Cats can cause much damage to a garden, from digging up plants to using it as a litter box. When deterring a cat from entering a garden, several all-natural methods have been proven to work so you don't have to use any toxic methods such as spray from a nursery. Using household items and some cat-specific products can help ensure that cats never bother your garden again.

Plant a Perimeter

Cats dislike several types of common household herbs that can be planted around or in your garden as a border to deter them. These low-maintenance herbs include absinthe, lavender, rue, geranium and lemon-thyme. Cats are repelled by the odors these herbs produce.

Use Spices

Sprinkle a home-made cat repellent in a thick layer around your garden or plants that the cat is attracted to of two parts cayenne pepper, three parts dry mustard and five parts flour. Cats detest cayenne pepper, but when ingested, it can make a cat ill.

Incorporate Rock Into The Soil

Incorporate small pieces of lava or cinder rock into the soil. Cats don't like the texture of these rocks on their paws, so they won't dig into dirt that has pieces of the rock. Once the rock is incorporated into the soil, it is barely noticeable and can also help benefit drainage.

Use Your Sprinklers

Use a motion-activated sprinkler system positioned close by the garden. Once a cat creeps up and gets soaked once or twice, it is a great deterrent as they hate to get wet. Just make sure the sprinkler system isn't on long and often, or your plants may be overwatered.

Commercial Repellents

A number of repellent products such as sprays or powders are available to deter very persistent cats. This include brands such as Liquid Fence or Shake Away, which are sprayed throughout the garden areas that are being disturbed by the cat. Make sure to read and follow the specific directions for recommended application.

Prevent Digging WIth Chicken Wire

Lay chicken wire over exposed soil where the cat digs, or even over the entire area of your garden (cut the chicken wire to fit around plants). Cover the wire with mulch to help it blend in. This works great to discourage digging and won't harm the animal in any way.

Keywords: repelling cats, animal garden control, deterring cats

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.