Be it your own cat or your neighbor's, you definitely don't want to lend your garden to the feline to use it as its litter box. But that is exactly what cats view your garden as. While you toil hard on your flowerbeds, these masters of stealth just dig them up and use the soil to cover their poop. And that's not all, the territorial instincts of some of these felines make them spray their urine to mark their territory.
If only these cats and gardens could be more compatible. Nevertheless, those who want to keep cats out of the yard need not despair. Here are some options if you are wondering how to deter cats from coming into your yard.
Top your fence with chicken wire. This will prevent the cats from crossing over the fence and entering your yard. You must have noticed that the part of your garden that bears maximum damage due to feline activities is the flowerbeds. The mulch and the freshly dug up soil - the result of your hard work - is what makes these areas a cat's favorite. To keep cats out of flower beds, spread some chicken wire over the area or mix some pine cones with mulch before spreading it over the beds. The sensitive paws of a cat would definitely not want to tread on this prickly zone.
Water is one of the best home remedies to keep cats out of your yard. If you have observed a cat's behavior carefully, you would know that they are not very fond of getting wet. Every time you see a cat, just hose it down with a jet of water. However, it is not possible to stand on guard with a hosepipe waiting to soak the cat every time it tries to sneak into your garden. So the other option is to install a motion-activated water sprinkler system that would spray water on the cat as it sets foot in your yard. However, the flip side is that the children in the family may also get occasionally drenched as the motion detector in the sprinkler can't differentiate between sources of motion - be it a cat or a human being.
Install Cat Fences
While most cats have mastered the art of climbing wooden fences and chain link fences, scaling plastic fences is something that these climbers still need to learn. Fences made out of heavy plastic or those coated with plastic that look like wooden fences are available in the market. Cats can't climb these. They get frustrated easily trying to scale these fences and quickly move on to some other yard. Also, to keep cats from digging under the fences, dig a pit that is 6 inches deep and 3 inches wide around the fence, and fill it with quick cement.
That are certain plants that naturally repel cats. These are peppermint, garlic, lemon grass, and thyme, to name a few. It is important to know that some plants are poisonous to cats, hence, do your research well before using any plant as a cat repellent.
Commercial Cat Repellents
There are a number of cat repellents available in the market that can keep cats out of your yard. The most common are the granular ones that bear the scent of the urine of cat predators like coyotes and foxes. Just sprinkle these granules over the yard. One sniff and a cat would remember not to venture into your yard for quite some time. However, these granules need to be sprinkled again after rain or snow.
The next time that you eat citrus fruits, don't throw the peels away. Cut them into small pieces and sprinkle them over your yard. Cats dislike citrus fruits. Not only are the peels an inexpensive way of keeping cats out of the yard, but they also do not pose any threat to a cat's health.
Even when you are concerned about how to keep cats out of the yard, you could fall back upon technology for an answer. There are certain ultrasound devices that emit high-frequency sounds that are audible only to cats and not to human beings. Every time this unwanted intruder sets foot in your yard, the motion detector in the device senses the animal and sets out a high-frequency sound that is unbearable for the feline.
These methods are safe for both the cat as well as your plants. However, as a precaution, check the ingredients of any commercial cat repellent that you buy. Be sure that they do not contain substances that may be harmful to the plants or to the cat.