After putting in hours to have a gorgeous flower bed, it’s disappointing to find cat poo sitting in between your flowers. As cute as cats can be, not many of us can stomach this behavior. I get many emails asking: how can I stop cats from using my garden as a toilet. I also see this question asked in forums and Facebook groups, so let’s look at some solutions.
Ways To Stop Cats From Using Garden As A Toilet
Inhumane ways to deter cats from peeing and pooping in your garden
I often see people on FB groups suggesting terrible ways to keep cats away from the garden:
- throwing stones
- shooting the cat
- sprinkling chili powder, black pepper, cinnamon, crushed up mothballs (mothballs are toxic for humans too, and will seep into your plants), etc. While these do work, cats will get them in their eyes as they clean themselves. That is not nice!
- “planting” plastic forks (or other poky things) in the garden to keep cats from walking on the soil
- putting pieces of duct tape sticky side up
- adding a cat scat mat to the garden
I’ve seen people whose neighbor’s cats invade their garden talking about picking up the poop and leaving it on the neighbor’s doorstep with a note. Or others wanting to fling the cat’s feces on the neighbor’s driveway, or place it on their AC unit.
My questions: how would that help you?
Instead of doing the above, take a look at the alternative options below, that are both humane and efficient.
Best ways to keep cats out of your garden
1. Motion-activated sprinklers
My favorite way to keep animals out of the garden is to install motion-activated sprinklers where the animals like to go. This works amazingly well for cats, dogs, rabbits, deer, and many more…
A gentle spray of water is the most effective and humane solution for scaring off animals.
2. Ultrasonic pest repeller
This works by making a sound only animals can hear. Very simple and safe, but costly if you have a large garden.
3. Make it uncomfortable for cats to visit your garden
- Cats like freshly dug soil a lot to use the bathroom in. So, while you plant your flowers or veggies, and your soil is freshly dug, add some 6″ to 8″ tall sticks to your garden: just sick them in the ground around your plants.
- Take a few baby food jars and poke holes in the lid. Fill with ammonia and bury it in your garden (all the way to the lid): the scent tricks the cat to think it’s being marked by another cat
- Add orange and lemon peels to your garden beds. Felines dislike the citrus smell and will stay away. If you don’t like pieces of lemon and orange rind in your garden, you could dry and crush them into small pieces. I save citrus peels all winter long when we use lots of them (and use them for my garden as well as to make my own citrus-infused vinegar for cleaning around the house).
- Sprinkle some critter ridder: cats hate the smell of it and stay away
- You can also buy coyote or fox urine on amazon, or a hardware store. If you spray it in the area, they think a larger predator is around and they stay away. Learn more about animal urine collection here.
- Spray straight or diluted vinegar around the edges of the garden and on plants, fences, posts, and garden decor to keep cats away. Concentrate the spray on areas that the cats frequent or that you particularly want to protect. Spray every few days or as often as needed to repel the cats. Make sure to be careful: some plants like the acid and some don’t.
4. Trap it!
You can legally trap them and take them to a shelter, regardless of if it’s someone’s pet or not. Not my favorite method if it’s a neighbor’s pet, but will do this if I get desperate.
If the cat using your garden as a toilet is a feral cat, trap it and get it fixed: this will stop their proliferation, and they’ll also be less likely to mark their territory.
5. Create a spot for cats, away from your garden
While this is not a sure thing (meaning cats might still visit your garden), you can create a spot in a far corner of your yard where cats will love to be.
Plant some catnip as far away from the garden as possible. Yes, it’s possible that more cats will come, but you will know exactly where they are, so you won’t be stepping in cat poop.
I hope these methods to stop cats from using your garden as a toilet will help you keep your garden intact, and smelling fresh rather than like cat urine and poo.