Cats may cause havoc in gardens by eating and digging plants and utilizing the soil as a litter box. Cat excrement can also be harmful to your health, which is why keeping them out of your garden is critical, especially if your garden contains fruits and vegetables.

In this article, we’ll explain how to keep cats out of your garden step by step!

Why cats are a garden pest

Before we get into how to keep cats out of your garden, let’s look at how cats cause problems in the garden. Cats can cause issues in the garden in several ways.

The first is by digging and devouring plants that they find appealing, which look lovely with their puffy purple blossoms.

However, the major issue is not a cat’s digging or devouring garden plants but rather their propensity to use backyard gardens as their litter box.

Cat poop can carry harmful parasites due to its carnivorous diet; you don’t want to expose your family or vegetable garden to this.

The predominant parasite detected in cat feces is Toxoplasma gondii eggs, associated with mental disorders in exposed adults and trouble in school in exposed children.

Cat feces also has a strong odor, which might give your backyard a foul odor if a cat frequents your garden.

How to keep cats away from your garden

Now that we’ve addressed why you should make an effort to keep unwanted cats out of your garden, we’ll lead you through the process step by step!

1. Change the texture of your garden beds

Cats prefer soft surfaces where they can readily bury their excrement, which is why you’ll always find them using the bathroom in kids’ sandboxes and pawing through sandy kitty litter.

This is all due to their instinctive desire to conceal their scent from predators. A thorny garden surface is less appealing to a cat.

Cover your soil’s top layer in…

  • Pinecones: Push a pine cone deep into the soil, prickly sides up, around your plants and your garden.
  • Shattered eggshells: Put eggshells all around your plants and the surface of the garden bed, jagged sides up. Eggshells are both unpleasant on a cat’s paws and useful in the garden.
  • Sticks: Stacking sticks on top of your garden soil is a natural cat deterrent.
  • Chicken netting: Chicken wire should be measured and trimmed to cover the whole surface of your vegetable bed. Make sure to cut appropriate-sized holes in the chicken wire to enable enough space for your plants to develop!
  • Cayenne pepper or chili powder: The intense, burning aroma of chili powder or powdered cayenne pepper will keep cats away from your plants! Because it is natural, it is also safe to use in your vegetable or fruit garden!

These textures will force a cat to look for a more comfy “litter box” elsewhere.

2. Try special fencing

It may be paradoxical to fence your garden to keep cats out, but you can keep feline intruders out with the appropriate fencing. You’ll want to put up fencing cats can’t get a hold of.

Avoid wooden barriers, particularly, as cats’ claws can grip them well.

We propose erecting a wire mesh fence with an overhang at least 6 feet tall.

3. Provide the cats with their garden

Catmint captivates cats, as we described briefly previously above. If you’ve exhausted all other options to keep your cats out of the garden, consider giving them their garden replete with tasty Catmint and sandy soil!

Ensure their little area is on the other side of the yard from your garden beds, especially if you have a vegetable or fruit garden.

4. Wash up to keep garden cats away.

If your visitor has a favorite spot, thoroughly clean it with a hose (or water from your rain barrel) to remove any lingering odors or urine spray. Increase the effectiveness of your cleaning by using eco-friendly liquid castile soap on doors, patio furniture, and other surfaces.

Cats habitually return to the same location, so remove their previous claim to your garden to avoid repeat offenses.

5. Install a sprinkler system with motion sensors.

Water is the one thing that cats despise. Cats also despise being caught unaware. A motion sensor sprinkler system provides both of these annoyances to keep cats out of your garden!

The Orbit 62120 Garden Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler is our favorite motion sensor sprinkler:

The Orbit Motion Activated Sprinkler is a 120-degree sprinkler with three modes: all-day, all-night, and 24/7 to keep cats out of your yard at any time of day!

The intelligent sensor technology conserves battery power by turning off when no motion is detected. It turns on automatically and quickly sprays water when something crosses the sensor.


  • Detects animal movement automatically and surprises unsuspecting animals with a splash of cold water
  • Relatively inexpensive for the outstanding quality and features
  • Three options for customizing the automatic sprinkler modes

6. Use scent to keep the cats away

  • Cats hate the smell of lavender, rue, and pennyroyal, as well as Coleus Canina and lemon thyme. Plant a handful of them in your garden. (Interplanting attracts pollinators as well as other useful insects.)
  • Strong citrus odors are avoided by cats. Toss peels onto the garden soil.
  • Sprinkling brewed coffee grounds over the soil may also aid in the removal of peels. Most local coffee businesses offer complimentary large bags (two kilograms)!
  • Cats are thought to be put off by the smell of human hair. Reclaim your territory by emptying your brushes into the yard! (Avoid using mothballs; they are hazardous to cats and humans.)
  • Commercial cat repellents imitate the odors of predator urine. It’s promoted as non-toxic and organic, and it’s not supposed to hurt plants. Do your research.

7. Buy a dog

The rivalry between dogs and cats isn’t going away anytime soon. Whether you already have a dog or are hoping to add a new furry addition to your family, just having a dog around will keep stray cats and other community cats from venturing into your garden. (Make sure your dog doesn’t dig in the beds!)

8. Sound

Wind chimes, motion-sensitive bells, or simple rocks or stones in a jarring rattle when a kitten approaches are all options. Other motion-activated devices emit a frequency that cats cannot tolerate but is inaudible to people.

Make use of tin foil.

This is a simple approach to getting rid of cats in your garden. How does it function? Cats can hear ultrasonic frequencies that we cannot.

High-pitched sounds (such as slamming metals or jangling keys) are unappealing to cats.

Because tin foil rustles easily when placed outside, cats will avoid venturing into the area where the sound is generated. To get a high-frequency cat deterrent, construct tin foil flags and place them in the garden.

However, older or deaf cats may not be as sensitive to these sounds, so this strategy may not work.

9. Try axle grease

This thick lubricant is an easy solution for gardeners who don’t want cats in their yard. Cats dislike sticky substances because they find it difficult to lick and clean their fur if it is sticky.

As a result, axle grease is the ideal remedy for driving cats away.

Apply axle grease to your garden wall or fence, allowing no spaces for a cat to step on to avoid the sticky oil. Other adhesives can be used, but axle grease is more resistant to sunlight, rain, and other factors.

10. Create an outdoor litter box

Do you want to call it a peace offering? Mint, honeysuckle, and catnip are all favorites among felines. A small sandbox should be placed nearby.

Sure, you’ll have to clean up and properly dispose of cat excrement, but it may help keep the kitty — and her business — away from your vegetables.

11. Clean up

Check that bins are safe, declutter to remove any potential mouse hiding spots, clean up any appealing food waste, make sure no potential toys are lying around, and dispose of any existing cat excrement used to mark their territory.

How to keep your cat safe when it’s outside

Cats frequently defend their territory. Fights can break out when two felines both believe a territory is theirs, causing harm and misery. Here’s how to stay away from catfights:

  • Set up a timeshare with your neighbor, agreeing on specific periods when each of your cats will be outside. As a result, both cats may enjoy the garden without bothering each other.
  • Fit a cat-flap that only opens for your cat’s microchip to keep other cats out of your home.
  • Try to keep other cats out of your garden by closing holes in fences or bushes.
  • Keep a litter tray indoors so your cat can stay if they feel unsafe outside.

Remember to inspect your cat regularly for symptoms of injury or behavioral changes. If you are concerned, seek advice from your local veterinarian. 

Curbing the stray population

Your yard may attract pets whose owners let them roam free, strays who used to live in houses, and feral cats. In addition to the cat repellent and cleaning approaches, use these strategies.

Talk to your neighbors.

Collaborate with your neighbors to keep their pets from visiting your yard or hunting birds that you want to protect. Inform your neighbors that you do not want cats in your yard.

Recommend to your neighbors who have indoor-outdoor cats that their cats wear bright collars and bells to help birds see them and flee. Furthermore, the problem will be alleviated if the entire neighborhood works together to decrease feral cat visits.

Contact the authorities or a removal company.

Inquire about what you can do to prevent wandering cats if your community has rules, ordinances, or homeowner association limitations. Learn what actions you are permitted to take.

Look for trap-neuter-release programs or other community services that feed or care for feral cats. Help local cat shelters care for more stray cats.

Humane traps

When all other options have been exhausted, discover if you are legally permitted to install humane traps and capture stray or feral cats. Turn in stray cats to animal control or shelters.

If you discover the pet has tags, call the owner to get their pet and address the situation with them.

Last thoughts

There are a few options when it comes to keeping cats out of your garden. The first method is to alter the texture of your garden so that it is less soft and spikier on a cat’s paws.

Installing a fence, keeping a dog in your garden, and employing citrusy scents and plants that cats don’t like to smell are some strategies to keep cats out of your yard.

We hope this guide was useful to you, regardless of which preventative strategy you choose!

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API