It doesn’t matter if you adore animals or can’t stand to be around them – it can be incredibly annoying when someone else’s animal, or animals, have decided to come and cause chaos in your backyard.
From leaving their messes to destroying precious plants, it’s a real nuisance that can be difficult to solve, as lots of cats roam free for most of the time and cannot be constantly monitored by owners.
You don’t have to put their pets in danger or spend hundreds of dollars to keep them out of your yard, however. There are plenty of affordable, pain-free and even natural methods of keeping cats away from your property – you just have to know what they are and figure out which one works for you!
10 Ways To Keep Cats Away From Your Yard Or Garden
1. Try Scents That Repel Cats
Did you know that certain smells absolutely repulse cats and will get them out of your garden quicker than you can say “get out of here!” The primary scent for the job is kind of gross, but very easily obtained from your local vets, and that’s dog urine.
If you don’t like the idea of visiting a vet just to ask for pee, enlist friends, family or neighbors with canine companions and ask them to do their business in your yard!
This will lead the neighborhood cat gangs to believe there is a dog around, and therefore keep their distance. On the other hand, you could also utilize other strong scents that cats hate, from vinegar and garlic to citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, in an attempt to push them away.
Either buy the store-prepared spray bottles of purpose-made cat repellent or whip up your own and spray the affected areas of your yard regularly.
2. Get A Deterrent Alarm
Utilizing the power of motion detection, these specially designed deterrent alarms will pick up on the presence of a cat; either their body heat or any sudden movement will trigger an unpleasant ultrasound alarm.
This emits a piercing, high pitched sound that is not detectable to the human ear, and placed strategically around your yard make an excellent defense against pesky cats.
Be aware that these can get pretty expensive depending on where you pick yours up and how many you might require, but they’re the easiest way to deter garden invaders without also inconveniencing yourself or neighbors.
However, they’re also versatile and will work at keeping away other pests, including rodents, away from your outdoor spaces too.
3. Have Pets Of Your Own
Alright, this is a pretty big commitment simply to get rid of a few annoying cats, but if you’ve ever thought about adopting a dog, here is your nudge in that direction.
Given that once a dog marks a territory with their urine, cats are far more likely to visit it; in the same way, adopting a cat of your own can also help, but only if that particular feline doesn’t get along well with other furry friends.
That being said, any leftover food from animals, or the presence of a female cat in heat, is likely to attract more strays to your yard, so consider getting a male one – or a dog – and feeding them inside to avoid these issues.
4. Use Plants Cats Hate
For the majority of cats – as with humans, there are some outliers and anomalies who may act differently – certain plants and flowers have natural scents that cats find repulsive and will run away from.
Popular examples for planting in a garden include geraniums, roses (particularly the thorny kind) and lavender, so planting lots of these in your backyard is a foolproof way of keeping unwanted intruders at bay.
Another plus is that they are not harmful to humans or animals, as well as looking attractive and pleasing to the eye, giving your garden a lovely colorful touch.
5. Employ Taller Walls/Fences
Sometimes, the only way to keep out nighttime (or bold daytime) visitors is to block their entrance points entirely!
First, check your local city council rules and regulations, as certain areas have laws on how high fences are allowed to be. If this is the case, you might be better off with a taller shrub or privet, but these are not impossible to penetrate for cats, so may not be perfect at preventing invasion.
Ensure that the fence is at least six feet tall (guidelines allowing) and if you’re able, paint it with something that will coat the material in a more slippery finish, that makes climbing next to impossible for even the toughest of cat crusaders.
6. Change Your Garden Up
This sounds weird, but the texture of your backyard might be what is making it so appealing to cats around the neighborhood. For instance, they like to go to the bathroom in “soft” textured areas, which is why litter is employed for their indoor bathrooms.
Therefore, if your garden primarily has surfaces that are too tough to be dug in or unpleasant on their paw pads, they will find an alternative solution.
Place pebbles, stones, thick mulch or other sharper surfaces around, as well as keeping them nice and moist, as this helps to deter cats even more: they hate damp, moist surfaces.
7. Forced Relocation
Whether it’s your own cat peeing somewhere you don’t want it to and ruining your prized plants, or – even worse – a neighbor’s moggy that is responsible, it is possible to “smoke” out said intruders by using the power of potent scents.
Like dogs, cats use their urine to mark territories, so first you need to find a new territory for it to mark as a distraction. By putting a container full with sand, compost or other soft-feeling, easily manipulated materials down, the cat will no doubt choose to pee there instead, and then you can get to work.
Pour white vinegar on the places where the cat usually pees, as this will wash away the old scent marking, making them far less likely to return to the scene of the crime.
Of course, this simply encourages the cat to pee in the tray in your garden, which can also be annoying, so you could remove it once the problem has been solved to see if that stops their visits.
8. Strategic Sprinklers
It’s no secret that felines hate water, so implementing motion-activated sprinklers in your yard, then using the quick burst spray function to give them a sudden blast when they come to visit is a surefire way to discourage their return.
This is a more expensive solution, but should be permanent – just make sure the sprinklers will only scare and shock the cats (or any other creatures who happen to be coming by) rather than causing any injury.
9. Bright Lights
Cats aren’t Gremlins, but they’re really starting to sound like them! You can create homemade reflectors that will spook cats and cause them to run away in seconds, by scattering old CDs – or other reflective surfaces – around your garden and waiting for passing car headlights to do the work for you!
Of course, this won’t work on all cats, and once they get used to the weird sudden lights, they’ll probably continue peeing in annoying places. However, as a quick stopgap before a more permanent solution can be employed, this is well worth a try, especially if your cat-repelling budget isn’t especially high.
10. Consider An Electrified Fence
Before you freak out, don’t worry – we’re not talking about those strong, farm-style electric chainlinks, the strength of which could take out entire humans, never mind stray cats.
What is meant by electrified fence here is one of those low-voltage, battery powered wire situations, commercially available as deterrents for invasive felines or other confident creatures. Though a little pricier than other methods, these are good enough to give cats a good scare without causing any actual harm.
Be aware, though, that you will need to put up signage around your yard to alert passers-by and visitors to the existence of this wire, as although it won’t cause any damage to people or pets, it can still be an unpleasant shock and lead to distress.
Plus, if you yourself have small children or animals, you’ll need to make sure you’re always on hand to keep them away, for the same reasons.