Whether it’s your own furry friend or a curious neighbourhood explorer, cats can sometimes turn your carefully cultivated garden into a playground. While they are delightful creatures, their antics can cause damage, especially to young plants or bird populations. So, how do you keep these cute yet destructive little paws out of your garden? In this post, we’ll share some gentle, cat-friendly ways to deter cats from your green haven.
Use Scent Deterrents
Cats are known for their keen sense of smell and there are certain scents that they simply can’t stand. Citrus peels, coffee grounds, or vinegar are usually safe for plants but are disliked by cats. Scatter these around your garden, especially near the areas where cats frequent. Essential oils like lavender, rosemary, and peppermint mixed with water can also act as a natural deterrent when sprayed around the garden.
Plant Cat-Repelling Plants
Certain plants like Coleus canina (also known as ‘Scaredy Cat’ plant), rue, or lavender are known to repel cats. Plant these around the borders of your garden or intersperse them with other plants. However, do ensure that these plants are not toxic to cats if ingested.
Use Physical Deterrents
There are several safe physical deterrents that can be used to prevent cats from entering your garden. Netting or chicken wire laid on the ground can be uncomfortable for cats to walk on. Similarly, spike mats, which have harmless yet off-putting plastic spikes, can be placed in specific areas. These measures deter cats without causing them any harm.
Install Water Sprinklers
Cats are not big fans of water. Motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices can startle cats with a sudden burst of water or an ultrasonic sound, deterring them from entering the garden. However, be mindful of the local wildlife before installing these devices.
Create a Dedicated Cat Area
If you have your own pet cat, consider creating a designated area in your garden for them to explore and play. This can include a sandpit for digging, cat-friendly plants for nibbling, or toys for them to play with. This might keep them entertained and distracted from the rest of your garden.
Regular Garden Maintenance
Cats prefer gardens that offer plenty of hiding spaces. Regular maintenance of your garden—trimming overgrown bushes, removing piles of leaves or debris—can make your garden less attractive to cats.
Use Commercial Cat Repellents
There are various commercial cat repellents available, ranging from granules to sprays. These usually contain scents that cats dislike. Remember to follow the instructions on the package and ensure that they are safe for other wildlife.
Remember, our objective here is not to harm the cats but to gently deter them. While implementing these measures, always ensure they are safe and non-harmful. Cats, like all animals, deserve our respect and kindness. So, with these tips, you can keep your garden beautiful and thriving while co-existing peacefully with your feline neighbours.