How to keep cats out of your garden

How to keep cats out of your garden

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For many garden enthusiasts who want to keep their outdoor space looking beautiful, cats can pose a challenge! Whether they use your flower beds as a litter box, or damage your beloved plants, it's essential to find effective ways to deter cats from entering your garden. But as a nation of animal lovers, we wouldn’t want to hurt them either.

This article will provide practical advice on how to keep cats out of your garden, prevent them from pooing in it, and protect your plants from their playful antics. We will show you how you can add cat-repellent foliage, create physical barriers in your garden, use humane deterrents, and even set up a cat-friendly area within your garden so your little kitties have somewhere safe of their own to play.

Why do cats come into my garden?

Before we look at how to stop them coming into your garden, it's important to understand why cats are attracted to it in the first place. Kitties are naturally curious and enjoy exploring new environments. As well as that, they’re drawn to flower beds and borders due to the loose soil that resembles their litter trays and because it’s likely your garden is a haven for small prey such as insects and rodents. By understanding their behaviour, you can take steps to prevent them ruining your pride and joy.

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How to keep cats out of your garden: deterrents

Cat-repellent plants

One clever way to discourage cats from entering your garden is to make it unappealing to them in the first place. Certain plants have scents that cats find unpleasant, so if you want create an unwelcoming environment, then add the following cat-repellent plants to your beds and borders:

  • Coleus canina: Also known as the scaredy cat plant, it emits a pungent odour
  • Rue: This herb has a strong scent that cats dislike, making it an excellent deterrent.
  • Lavender: While humans find lavender fragrance pleasant, cats tend to avoid it, making it an ideal addition to your garden.


Physical barriers to deter cats from your garden

An old-fashioned suggestion, but one worth bearing in mind is to put in obstructions to keep neighbours’ cats out of your garden. Here are some budget-friendly ideas:

  • Fencing: Install a fence around your garden, preferably at least 6 feet high and made of materials that cats cannot easily climb
  • Netting: Place netting over flower beds or areas where you don't want cats to enter. Ensure the netting is securely anchored to prevent cats from slipping underneath.
  • Spiky surfaces: Cats dislike walking on surfaces with spikes or textures that are uncomfortable for their paws. Consider placing prickly materials, such as pine cones or holly cuttings, in specific areas of the garden.


Humane deterrents

Here are some ways to prevent cats from staying in your garden that won’t hurt them and are budget-friendly.

  • Water deterrent: Cats generally dislike water, so setting up a motion-activated sprinkler system can startle them and encourage them to avoid your garden
  • Ultrasonic devices: These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to cats but inaudible to humans. Place them strategically around your garden to deter cats from entering. You can pick them up in high street shops or online and shouldn’t cost more than £50
  • Citrus peelings or coffee grounds: Cats have an aversion to the smell of citrus and coffee. Sprinkle these items around your garden, paying attention to areas where cats frequently visit.
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How to create a cat-friendly garden area

After all this talk of prevention and deterrents, you might be feeling sorry for your neighbourhood cats – or your own special pets. So if you want to create an area of your garden your local cats will enjoy spending time in, here are some easy to follow tips to make your outdoor space a feline-friendly zone:

  • Provide scratching posts: Place scratching posts or cat trees in this area to fulfil their natural need to scratch and climb.
  • Catnip plants: Plant catnip, which cats adore, in a certain area to attract them away from other parts of your garden.
  • Include a sandpit: Cats enjoy digging, so providing a sandbox or sandpit can give them a place to satisfy this instinct without disturbing your precious plants.


Stopping cats from pooping on artificial grass

If you have artificial grass in your garden, you may wonder whether cats will be attracted to it and use it as a huge litter tray! While every cat's preference may differ, artificial grass can deter cats because of its slightly prickly texture. But if you do notice some unpleasant surprises on your lawn, it’s best to clean them away as soon as possible, for your own hygiene as well as making sure the neighbourhood cats don’t feel this a new place to poop. And if it becomes a more persistent problem, then we’d suggest you try some of the methods we’ve described for the whole garden. Our guide to laying artificial grass on concrete can help you figure out where best to place artificial grass to avoid cats pooping on it too!

With our advice, we hope you’ll manage to achieve a balance between maintaining a beautiful garden and keeping cats from using it as their loo! At Tapi, we’re here to help you create a welcoming environment outside and inside. Pop into your local showroom for advice on pet-friendly flooring. In our Ideas Hub, you’ll find loads more practical advice and inspiration on how to transform your home.


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Published: 20-07-2023