How to Keep Cats Out of Garden Beds


You don't remember putting a sign at the edge of your garden be reading "Free Salad Bar and Restroom," yet as you gaze out your window you are overwhelmed by the crowd of cats consuming your cauliflower. Chasing them out with spray bottles is not only ineffective, but can create a potentially hazardous scene as stampeding kitties trip unsuspecting passersby and playing children. Fortunately for you, there are much safer ways to remedy this catastrophe.

Several Simple Suggestions

Step 1

Purchase and install motion activated sprinklers; Contech makes one such sprinkler called the Scarecrow. The sudden spray of water will be enough to send kitty running without completely soaking (or injuring) her.

Step 2

Create a smell that cats won't care for and you'll have a better chance of them staying away. Sprinkle red pepper flakes around the plants; it's not harmful to kitties or plants and may just keep them out. Slather a piece of cardboard with Vicks VapoRub or Noxzema and place it in or near the garden. Cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, lemon or orange peels, and pipe tobacco are among many scents that cats dislike.

Step 3

Create an area that's more appealing than your garden to cats, such as a pile of sod or a small sandbox. It's not always the plants they're after, but rather the dirt underneath. If you give them access to something better to dig their paws into, they won't be as inclined to dig up your plants.

Step 4

Move bird feeders away from your garden if they are situated close by. Your garden may be a great hunting place for local fowl.

Step 5

Fill the garden bed with decorative stones or eggshells. If the ground underneath them isn't comfortable or easy to walk on, they won't have any interest in walking or digging there.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid commercial chemicals that are harmful to both cats and pets in trying to deter them from your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Motion-sensor sprinklers
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sod
  • Decorative stones or eggshells


  • Keeping Cats Out of Gardens & Yards
  • Keeping Cats Out of the Garden
  • Clowder definition

Who Can Help

  • Contech
Keywords: cats in gargen, keep cats out, garden pests

About this Author

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.