How do I keep cats out of my garden

dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Pest & Weed Problems/Solutions

I am sure this topic has been around for a long time but I am an apartment gardener and since I already scraped out cat poop out I thought this might be a problem for me.


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    I belong to another gardening group and we made this list once because it seems to be a common problem with cats and soil. Hope some of these might help.

    So here's our list:

    •   Dogs and Cats - And the biggest problem most of us have around the garden is the typical family pet. Here’s some suggestions for those. Many of these can be used for both dogs or cats. First, mix together 5 tablespoons of flour, 4 tablespoons of powdered mustard, 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 2 quarts of warm rainwater. Mix and place this around the perimeter of each bed. Once they start their grooming of the paws, they will learn a new lesson.

    •   Another idea, crush 1 cup of mothball crystals and add 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of black pepper. Spread where needed.

    •   A more humane way to deter them, when you prune any of your thorny bushes, save all the clippings and place them around the perimeter or just circle your plants. They will find out soon that the pathways are filled with thorns which poke into their paws.

    •   A method of pulling their attention away from your garden, (this one is good for cats especially) is to make some aluminum foil balls and place them in the aisles. Foil sheets just crushed up with your hands are a delight for the kitty to play with.

    •   Aluminum foil can also be used laying right on the soil between your rows. The animals don’t want to walk on foil, the interest is in the freshly dug soil.

    •   Use brown paper bags cut open and laid on the soil. This also can keep them out since they can’t get to the soil

    •   Row cover tunnels fixed on the sides and ends prevents them from entering your beds. The only problem with this method though... often cats realize these make wonderful hammocks for a quick kitty nap. Test it out and see if your cat(s) can resist the new bed.

    •   Lay out bamboo stakes or tree trimmed branches in a zig zag (like fallen pixy stix) on top of your soil in any pattern.

    •   If your animals hate the smell of citrus (many do), then mix up a batch of citrus essential oils and spray around your beds. Or if you use a lot of fruit, save the peels, tear them up and sprinkle them on the soil

    •   Try spraying pine-sol with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray this around your garden. DO NOT get this on any plants…it will kill them. Repeat as the smell diminishes.

    •   Use plain white vinegar in a spray bottle. Also, do not get this on any plants. Spray the edges of the raised beds or spray the top layer of soil.

    •   Using old T-shirts or socks, soak them well in vinegar, tie some to stakes and then place these stakes in different areas of your garden. Be very careful and DO NOT let the vinegar soaked rag touch any plants as it will kill it. Most pets though do not like the smell of vinegar so they stay away. This method must be refreshed about every week (or after rain) though for best results.

  • marion.lemari
    marion.lemari Posts: 15 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    greyfurball's suggestions are great! I am just adding to that by saying that I had some success with plastic forks. I just "planted" them in between my plants where the soil was bare and it seemed to work. It is just not the most environmental friendly solution.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @marion.lemari your suggestion jogged my memory. Poking lots of twigs into the ground will also discourage cats, though its a bit tedious. I've had many outdoor cats and I don't think I ever know them to dig something up. They are looking for an easy place to dig a hole; if it isn't easy they won't bother.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you to all who have helped with my cat problem. I forgot I have used plastic forks before. It seemed to help. I have used black pepper and warm water so far and it has helped.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    My parents had problems with the neighbor's cat using their porch as a litter box. It went right on the cement! I potted up a rue plant for them to put on the porch and the cat never came back.

  • MartiinCentral Oregon
    MartiinCentral Oregon Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    I heard that coffee grounds spread on the ground deters them....They do not like the smell when they dig in the dirt....and the coffee grounds is usually good for your plants.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H I like the Rue plant idea. @MartiinCentral Oregon You are correct that coffee grounds are good for the plants. I just didn't know that cats didn't like them. How interesting. I have access to rose thorns. I wonder if that would work. No access to twigs.

  • An
    An Posts: 42 ✭✭

    I wonder if the pepper/cayenne/mustard ideas would work on a burrowing mouse like thing in my garden. Will be trying it as the blood meal remedy I just tried is ignored 😕

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,218 admin

    I have used planted rue in the past to deter cats. It seemed to work.

    @An, you most likely have a mole. If what you want to try doesn't work, get a black mole trap.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @dipat2005 My husband fights this all the time, he read to leave orange/citrus peels out and around your garden beds and it will deter them. I have to say, I have yet to find any piles in my garden or grass since.

  • Helen South Australia
    Helen South Australia Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    Some excellent suggestions here, thank you.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert I didn't know that orange peels are good for this problem. Good to know. So far the only thing bothering the plants this year is some kind of leaf bug eating the kale and the swiss chard. I planted some lettuce seed tape this morning hoping it will grow despite the heat. It is supposed to be a butter head of some kind.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,207 ✭✭✭✭

    I forgot to mention that I did spread small bits of egg shell in my garden this morning. I am hoping it will help the leaf problems.