Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Keep Cat Urine Out of Your Flower Beds

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cats may mistake a flower bed for a litter box.
tabby cat in garden image by Alex Anstey from Fotolia.com

To you, a flower garden may look like a patch of land to grow some pretty flowers, but to neighborhood cats it looks like an inviting litter box. The salts and acids in cat urine kill plants, ruining your flower bed. Cats also dig in garden beds to cover their waste, which can uproot plants and kill them even faster. Discourage the cats from entering your flower beds and they likely will find a more inviting place to use, far from your flowers.

Cut a length of chicken wire to fit over the garden bed, using a pair of wire snips. Cut out holes in the wire for any existing plants in the garden, then slide the wire over the plants and lay it flat over the garden bed. This discourages the cats from walking in or scratching up the flower bed.

Place mothballs throughout the bed, particularly near areas where the cats are entering the bed. Cats dislike the smell of mothballs and will avoid the area.

Spray the bed with chili or onion oil spray or a commercial cat repellent. Spray after rainstorms, irrigation or as recommended on the container.

Fill a blender half full with citrus peels, such as those from oranges or lemons. Blend them until they are shredded coarsely, then spread them out on the garden bed so their scent deters the cats. Replace the peels as they break down.

Install a motion-activated sprinkler head in the flower garden. The sudden spray of water will frighten the cats off before they urinate. Alternately, use a motion-activated noise device sold to keep birds out of gardens.


Things You Will Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Wire snips
  • Mothballs
  • Chili spray
  • Cat repellent
  • Blender
  • Citrus peels
  • Motion-activated sprinkler


  • If cats are chewing your garden plants, try growing a patch of catnip just for the cats. They will chew on the catnip but likely leave the rest of your plants alone.


  • Mothballs are toxic, so do not place them in areas where children can get them.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.