Cats can cause havoc in flower gardens by digging, leaving deposits behind, and chewing. Luckily, there are ways to keep cats away from flower beds without harming them.
Chicken wire can be an economical and effective solution to protect your garden. Plants will continue to flourish through it while cats may find it more challenging than usual to walk over it.
Cats can cause irreparable damage to flower gardens by digging, using it as a litter box and chewing on plants. You can protect your flowers without harming cats by creating physical barriers or making the area unpleasant or repellent – for instance using motion-activated sprinkler systems which release an unexpected burst of water when they enter your garden, repellent sprays that emit scent or taste or repellent granules will discourage cats from approaching.
Natural scents like garlic, citrus, eucalyptus and capsaicin can all act as effective deterrents against cats, while coffee grounds or pipe tobacco have strong aromas that deter cats. Commercial products containing fox urine may also work; these must be applied consistently if effective.
Use plants with pungent scents in your garden to deter cats, such as rosemary, thyme and lavender; as well as the scaredy cat plant (Coleus canina) and scented geraniums. Also try growing prickly plants like sea holly or globe thistle to create obstacles in the way that will deter cats.
Bird netting can be an effective cat deterrent. Typically comprised of plastic mesh featuring 3/4-inch spikes, this barrier can be found at garden supply stores either as bulk rolls or cut to size pieces to fit flower beds and even draped over plants for an effective barrier effect.
Citrus peels may also prove effective against cats; their smell repels them, keeping them away from your flower bed when spread on its surface.
Flowers such as rosemary, lavender and the scaredy cat plant will help deter cats from your flower beds. You could also try planting catnip in spots away from your gardens to provide cats with an aromatic high – this way they’ll head directly for those spots instead of your precious flowerbeds! It’s an effective way to keep plants safe and still enjoy them!
One easy and unobtrusive way to keep cats out of flower beds is to lay mesh cloth over the bedding or bury it under mulch, making for an effective physical barrier that’s easily lifted for harvesting or maintenance purposes. Alternatively, chicken wire barriers placed either in soil or on top of beds act as physical deterrents because their uncomfortable surfaces deter cats from walking on them.
Plants emitting unpleasant odors such as lavender or rosemary are effective deterrents against cats. Their pungent aroma will dissuade cats without harming them; however, its effectiveness only lasts temporarily. Another effective deterrent would be a motion-activated sprinkler which sprays cats when they enter your garden, though be wary as this might give rise to unexpected showers!
Other nontoxic techniques to keep cats away from your flowers include marking the area as your own by applying a light dusting of ground pepper or cayenne to bedding, or planting thorny plants such as roses, pyracantha or perennial geraniums that make the area less appealing to felines.
For gardens where you don’t want cats to dig or roam, use chicken wire to block access. Arrange it along the edge of flower beds and bury it so that it just above ground level; though this approach may not work on plants such as nepeta that cats love so much, such as roses.
Gardeners sometimes swear that covering cat fences with powdered cayenne pepper helps deter felines, but this messy method must be reapplied after each rainfall or whenever a cat walks on it. Other non-harmful ways to deter cats include planting prickly shrubs and hedges, using spiked tree collars on fruit trees, and placing downward-opening cones below bird feeders.
Cleaning away the cat’s scent from an area it has claimed can also help deter its return, while spraying the area with water can work effectively too. Motion-activated sprinklers may also work; just beware they might spray you too!