Remedies for Keeping Cats Out of Flower Beds

Few people are not annoyed by having stray cats cruise their flower beds. A purring cat in your lap is one thing. Having one dig up your flowers is another. There are numerous remedies for keeping uninvited felines at a distance.

Flowers to Plant

Cats don't like the smell of lavender, absinthe, lemon thyme, rue or geranium. Plant those among your flowers. Cats are alleged not to like the smell of marigolds, which are pretty flowers and good to have if they keep cats away.

Hot and Smelly Stuff

Mix five parts of flour with two parts of cayenne pepper and three parts dry mustard, and sprinkle the mixture among your flowers. Scattering black pepper or cayenne pepper among your flowers will keep cats away, but these peppers are expensive, and you have to reapply them after it rains. Put a handful of habanera or other hot chili peppers and a few bulbs of garlic into a quart of water and blend well. Spray this on your flowers. Cats are also put off by tea leaves. Remove the tea leaves from used bags and sprinkle them around your flowers. Cats especially hate the odor of citrus. You can get inventive with the use of citrus peel if you have a blender. Buzz up the peels lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit or orange peel and scatter them around your flowers. As they lose their potency, buzz a new round. Cats don't like the smell of ammonia. Fill baby food or other small jars with a combination of ammonia and water and bury them among your flowers with the rim level with the soil.

Barriers and Annoyances

You can fence off your flowers with a lattice barrier. To stop cats from digging, put flat river stones in the parts of the flower bed where you don't want them digging. If you can get it, mulch your flowers with cracked hazelnuts. That's sharp on the feet of cats, and they don't like it. Lay concrete reinforcing wire across the entrances to the areas where you have flowers. Spray this with eucalyptus oil or anise oil. Cats are put off by the smell and don't like picking their way across the openings in the wire.

High Tech

Cats hate to get wet. If you can afford it, attach a motion sensor to a sprinkler. When the cat strolls invited into your flowers, it gets wet. You can buy an ultrasound device that is motion-activated. It emits a sound that you can't hear but that drives cats nuts.

Canine Tech

Barking dogs are annoying, but they keep cats away.

Keywords: keeping cats out of flowers, protecting flowers from cats, cat free flowers

About this Author

Richard Hoyt, an internationally published author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.