If getting to sit back and admire your hard work is one of the best things about gardening, then waking up to find your flowerbeds completely destroyed has got to be the worst. Maybe the worst culprits for garden destruction are cats, who have a nasty habit of finding the most beautiful place in your yard and deciding to use it as a toilet.
Of course, it’s not the cat’s fault for doing what nature intended, but it can be very frustrating to constantly clean up after another animal’s mess. So here are a few simple ways to stop cats from leaving presents in your garden, without harming the cat or simply walling off your yard.
One of the simplest ways to deter cats from your garden is to use citrus, as most cats absolutely cannot stand the smell. The quickest method is to save the peel next time you eat an orange or use lemons in the kitchen, and spread the peel among your flowerbeds.
The peel will harmlessly decompose and nourish the plants, while also deterring any nearby animals. However, you will need to replenish these peels often, so if you’re not a huge fan of eating oranges with your breakfast, then this might not be such a convenient solution.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!
It turns out that besides getting you up in the morning to guard your yard, coffee has another use to help you keep your garden cat-free. Coffee grounds can be used in a similar way to orange peels, and spread around the cat’s favourite places to repel them and stop them digging.
The coffee grounds will not harm your plants either, but you may need to replenish the grounds every couple of days to keep the scent fresh. The good news is, if you have a french press and a daily coffee habit, then this will be an easy and cost-effective solution for you!
Strong Smell Solutions
If neither coffee or citrus takes your fancy, or the cat in question doesn’t seem to be bothered by either, then it may be time to utilise some other scents. Lavender and eucalyptus may not seem unpleasant to us, but for a cat, these scents will be off-putting and overwhelming.
Simply put ten to fifteen drops of either essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water, and spray the solution on the plants most likely to fall victim to a cat’s digging. If these don’t work, then sprinkling used tobacco among the plants will likely have the same effect.
Mulching your space is essential to gardening anyway, but you may be surprised to know that the chore has an extra benefit. Cats are prone to using your garden as a toilet simply because the fresh dirt seems to them like a giant litterbox, so when you cover up the dirt you take away the appeal.
Not only that, but the feel of mulch under their paws is extremely unpleasant for a cat, and is something they will try to avoid at all costs. This makes mulching a great two-in-one strategy that nourishes your plants and prevents them from being covered in cat poop.
Everyone knows that cat’s like the easy way of doing things, so sometimes inconveniencing them is the simplest way of making them go somewhere else. With that in mind, one effective strategy to stop cats from pooping in your garden is to place crosses of small twigs across your flowerbeds.
Yes, cats are nimble, but chances are they won’t want to go to all the extra effort of walking in between where the criss-crossed branches are. Plus, the twigs can be used to attach labels to your flowers, or even support plants that may be prone to collapsing over.
A Wirey Solution
Some cats will be too persistent to be much bothered by strong scents, but don’t worry, there are other approaches you can take. For example, overlaying your flowerbeds with chicken wire or concrete-reinforcing wire will ensure they stay untouched, as not only will the cat be unable to dig itself a toilet, but it will avoid walking on the wire altogether.
You may need to cut holes in the wire for your plants to grow through, and tuck the sharp edges into the ground to avoid any animals accidentally getting hurt.
If nothing above has worked, it may be time to invest in a failsafe option. Ultrasonic deterrents do not have to be pricey, and they work like a motion sensor, emitting an ultrasonic noise that cats cannot stand (but humans cannot hear) when they sense movement.
It may take a few nights for this to work, but pretty soon the cat in question should leave your garden alone. If that proves ineffective, then there are several high-tech scarecrows that will spray water at the cat when they hear it approach – although this comes with the added risk of accidentally assaulting your neighbors with a water jet when they come to borrow a cup of sugar.