How to Get Rid of Cats Using Flower Beds As Sand Boxes

Overview

Many cat owners allow their feline companions to roam freely outdoors. Your flower bed, full of soft soil that's easy to dig, may attract an inquisitive cat who's looking for a new litter box. A digging cat can quickly disrupt your flower bed's appearance and potentially damage your flower plants. Several physical and chemical control methods can help you get rid of such cats in your garden.

Step 1

Lay wire on the ground surrounding your flower beds. Cats won't like stepping on the wire, according to North Dakota State University. Add to the wire's deterrence factor by spraying it with eucalyptus or anise oil.

Step 2

Install a motion-activated sprinkler system in the flower bed. Such products, available at many garden stores and nurseries, will trigger a startling jet of water when the cat approaches. This can quickly scare away not just cats, but other wildlife pests like squirrels.

Step 3

Plant strong-smelling herbs as bordering plants in your flower bed. North Dakota State University recommends lemon thyme, lavender and geraniums to help deter cats.

Step 4

Create a cat deterrent powder. This is ideal if your flower bed has lots of open dirt areas. Mix five parts flour, three parts dry mustard and two parts cayenne pepper, according to North Dakota State University. Spread the mixture on the surface of any soil in where you don't want cats to dig.

Step 5

Check your area's leash laws by consulting a regional municipality office. Pet owners who let their cats roam the neighborhood may be fined. This can help encourage your neighbors to keep their cats contained and away from your flower beds and garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • The Cornell University Feline Health Center advises against handling soil that's been used as litter. If you touch such soil, wash your hands with soap and water. Such soil may contain various disease organisms carried in the cat's fecal matter.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire
  • Anise or eucalyptus oil
  • Motion-activated sprinkler system
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Mustard powder
  • Flour

References

  • "Wildlife Pest Control Around Gardens And Homes"; Terrell Salmon; 2006
  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Cats
  • Cornell University Feline Health Center: Toxoplasmosis
Keywords: cats in gardens, keep out cats, protect flower beds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.