It’s no secret — cats are unpredictable and extremely territorial so keeping cats out of garden areas can be a bit tricky. They mark their territory by depositing pheromones from scent glands (urinating or otherwise), and will continue to visit as long as their scent remains.
Best approaches Known to Keep Cats Away from Gardens
Broadly speaking, we can label all of these diverse approaches as “cat repellents,” since they are all designed to repel unwanted feline intruders from a specific area. But I’ll also provide an example of the commercial products more narrowly associated with the label, “cat repellents,” namely, products that come in a can and are sprinkled on the ground to keep cats away.
If an area of your garden has been frequented by a cat, the first thing you must do to keep cats out of the yard is remove any feces along with some of the soil. You can then try sprinkling cat repellent in the area and hope that it works or consider laying chicken wire down on top of your soil. This prevents cats from scratching and digging in the soil, thus keeping them from using it as their litter box.
Likewise, cats typically stay clear of areas that are mulched with stone, pebbles, or similar materials. Finally, you could cut up lemons, oranges, or similar citrus fruit and put them in the garden to stop cats from using this area as a toilet.
How to Stop Cats from Eating Your Plants
You may be wondering how to stop cats from eating your plants. Again, there are no absolutes, but there are a few things you can try. Cats hate getting wet. Therefore, when you catch cats nibbling on your garden plants, you could try spraying them down with a garden hose or water gun to reinforce the fact that they are unwanted near your plants.
Learning how to repel cats with plants is another alternative. You can choose to incorporate plants that cats do not find attractive or tasty and are known to avoid. For instance, some plants emit odors that cats find offensive, such as the scaredy-cat plant (Coleus canina). Other plants often recommended for keeping cats away include rue, lavender, rosemary, and pennyroyal.
Cats may be adored by their owners, but they’re often strongly disliked by neighboring gardeners. Cats don’t recognize boundaries, and if the next-door back garden appeals to them, that’s where they’ll go to scrape holes in the soil to do their business. There’s no guaranteed way to keep cats out.