Skip to Content

How To Stop Cats From Using My Garden As A Toilet

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 in forums and Facebook groups, so let’s look at some solutions.

gray cat with intense yellow eyes, in the middle of a dandelions field.
Image credit: Depositphotos.

Ways To Stop Cats From Using Garden As A Toilet

Don’t use any of these inhumane ways to deter cats from peeing and pooping in your garden!

Let me start by saying that it’s never OK to be mean or hurt cats (or any animals), regardless of how upset you are with their behavior.

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 mothballs (mothballs are toxic for humans, too, and will seep into your plants), etc. While these 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 question: 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.

Just make sure you don’t get soaked when you walk by the garden 😉

Tangkula Sprinkler, Solar Powered Motion Activated Animal Repellent Water Sprinkler with Timer, Suitable for Outdoor Patio Garden LawnSolar Powered Motion Activated Animal Repellent Water Sprinkler with TimerAmazon buy buttonSolar Powered Motion Activated Garden Sprinkler ScarecrowMotion Activated Animal Repeller  – Solar PoweredAmazon buy button

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.

PREDATORGUARD PestAway Ultrasonic Outdoor Animal & Cat Repeller with Motion Sensor Stops Pest Animals Destroying Your Gardens & YardUltrasonic Outdoor Animal & Cat Repeller with Motion Sensor. Stops Pest Animals Destroying Your Gardens & YardAmazon buy button

3. Make it uncomfortable for cats to visit your garden

  • 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 and to make my own citrus-infused vinegar for cleaning around the house).
  • 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 into thinking another cat is marking it
  • 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. Be careful: some plants like the acid, and some don’t.
  • Cats like freshly dug soil a lot when using the bathroom. 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 stick them in the ground around your plants.
  • Sprinkle some critter ridder: cats hate the smell of it and stay away
  • You can also buy coyote or fox urine from Amazon or a hardware store. If you spray it in the area, they think a larger predator is around and stay away. Learn more about animal urine collection here.

4. Trap them!

You can legally trap them and take them to a shelter, regardless of if it’s someone’s pet or not. This is not my favorite method if it’s a neighbor’s pet, but I 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

catmint bush.
Image credit: Depositphotos.

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, and 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.

how do I stop cats from using my my garden as a toilet?

Pin To Save For Later


Thursday 16th of March 2023

one can keep their own cat inside but not their neighbors! I live in suburban Mendoza Argentina and in the morning people open their doors and the dogs and cats leave the house for the day.

11 Best Companion Plants For Strawberries (And 6 To Avoid)

Wednesday 28th of December 2022

[…] strawberry pests. Its strong scent can even deter larger pests, like deer or mice. But if you have struggled with cats using your garden as a giant litterbox, you might want to skip this one, as catnip can attract […]


Sunday 3rd of July 2022

I had cats using my flower garden as their toilet, gross! I put down lava rock, and they don’t like the prickles on their paws. Haven’t seen a cat in there months.


Monday 23rd of May 2022

God made all animals to be outside.

Jon Bishop

Friday 29th of May 2020

2 deterrents that work (1) Jeyes Fluid, pop some in the watering Can and water the ares the Cats are using, It has an ammonia in it and confuses Cats into thing Hey this is a BIG Cats area (2) there is a shrub called a Rue planted in the area of where the Cats use Emits a strong odor that Cats Hate