Meet Neighbor Kitty. Isn’t he handsome?
The only part I don’t like about sharing the garden with him is that he regards my raised beds as his own personal litterbox. Not cool, Neighbor Kitty!
Here are 7 natural ways to keep cats out of your garden, and notes on which ones are my favorites.
Natural Cat Deterrent #1: Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
Description: Simply place the deterrent unit in your desired location, and watch as unwanted cats and animal pests are deterred from entering the 40 foot range of protection. As soon as a pest enters this area the unit emits an ultrasonic noise (only audible to the pest) and flashes ultra-bright strobe lights to effectively scare and keep pests far away.
My opinion: I don’t mind having Neighbor Kitty in the yard, and with only a 40 foot range I’d need to buy several. At nearly $50 each, there has to be a better way.
Natural Cat Deterrent #2: Orange Peels
Description: Just like it sounds, you scatter orange peels all over the surface of your raised beds.
My opinion: While these fit right in my budget, we would have to eat a LOT of oranges to put them around the entire garden. And they look tacky, too.
Natural Cat Deterrent #3: Rosemary Essential Oil
Description: Since cats have 80 million smell receptors (people have 5 million), the concentrated scents from essential oils can keep them away from your garden. Recommended oils include Rosemary, Citronella, and Orange.
My opinion: This is one of my favorite kitty-be-gone methods. I used 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil in 1 cup of water and sprayed it all over a problem area in the front yard. It’s been more than 2 weeks and there have been no “deposits” in that area yet! Learn about the premium essential oils I recommend here.
Natural Cat Deterrent #4: Motion Activated Sprinkler
Description: Using infrared technology, Spray Away senses an animal’s heat and movement up to 35 feet away. When an animal is detected, the sprinkler releases a sudden burst of water combined with startling noise and motion that safely and effectively repels a wide range of animals. And the animal detector works day or night, so it’s always on watch. This motion sensor sprinkler will defend up to 1,900 square feet.
My opinion: I am fairly confident that I will forget to turn this off one day, and will get drenched when harvesting or weeding. 😉
Natural Cat Deterrent #5: Coleus Canina plant
Description: This plant is also called “Scaredy Cat Coleus.” It has a distinctive skunk smell, which is worse when someone brushes up against the plant or bruises it. This attractive perennial herb is a member of the mint family.
My opinion: A plant that smells like a skunk? And it smells worse when you touch it?!? Ummm…no.
Natural Cat Deterrent #6: Go Away! Cat/Dog repellent
Description: Protect your lawn, flowers, gardens, trees, shrubs, and other areas from unwanted animals. Go Away! Repellent is designed to train animals to stay out of the areas. Prevent cats from using your garden as a litter box. Comes in an easy to use shaker top container.
My opinion: Don’t sprinkle this around if there’s the tiniest bit of wind! Its main ingredient is black pepper and it made me sneeze when applying it. I won’t use it again, although it did last for about a week. I just hope Neighbor Kitty didn’t get any on his paws. Ick!
Natural Cat Deterrent #7: Plastic Garden Fencing
Description: The Garden Fence lets you quickly and easily construct a border for flower or vegetable gardens, a trellis for climbing flowers or plants, a temporary fence for newly planted shrubs and trees, or a compost bin. You’ll never have to worry about splinters, sharp edges or rust–the fade-resistant Garden Fence will continue to look as good as the day you installed it.
My opinion: This is my favorite method for keeping kitties out of the garden. Instead of using it like a vertical fence, cut it into 1-foot square pieces and lay them in the raised beds around your plants. As the plants grow, you can remove them or rearrange them.
The reason this keeps the kitties away is because they need an open piece of dirt for a bathroom, and they don’t like the feeling of the mesh under their feet. You could also use chicken wire, but I’m so clumsy that I would probably slip and poke myself with the wire. No danger of that (or of rust) with the plastic fencing.