Gardening How-toPets

Keeping Cats out of the Garden

Are neighbourhood cats using your flower beds as a litter box? These kitty-friendly tips can help you keep your garden beds free of cats.

First, some low-tech suggestions to keep cats out of your garden arise from the fact cats do not like to have the pads of their feet pricked.

Spruce or pine boughs laid on the periphery of a bed will often keep cats at bay. There are also commercially available products that have the same effect. One, called ‘Cat Scat,’ is a mat of spikes that while not harmful to the cat does discourage digging.

Alternatively, you can lay down chicken wire between your plantings. Cats hate walking on the wire and will stay away.

My favourite technique to prevent cats from going to my garden is to keep my beds moist. Cats dislike getting their paws dirty and will avoid wet areas. I make sure the beds are moist through the spring until the kitties learn to avoid them, and then I go back to watering normally.

A layer of mulch, such as shredded cedar bark, will also discourage cats from digging in your beds. The mulch makes digging difficult, and since it helps to conserve moisture the cat will encounter moist soil if it does break through the mulch. Environmentally friendly water conservation and cat repellent all in one.

One more high-tech approach to keep cats out of the garden would be to use the product called ‘Cat Stop’. This is a motion sensor that when activated emits an ultrasonic sound that humans cannot hear but cats can. The noise startles cats and teaches them to stay away.

There are also motion activated sprinklers or air blasts that are marketed under the name of ‘Scarecrow animal deterrents’. These products deliver a short burst of water or compressed air to scare felines away.