Your garden should be a place of relaxation and love, where you spend time tending to your plants and flowers peacefully. However, to the neighborhood cats that newly dug flower bed is nothing more than a giant outdoor litter box.
It can be a nasty surprise when gardening and you should always use gloves to safely clean cat droppings from your garden. If you are pregnant, never go near cat poop yourself as it can harm your unborn baby.
So, what can you do to avoid having to clean up after moggies and deter them from pooping in your flower beds if they do come over the fence? Here are some key tips and advice for stopping cats from using your garden as a toilet:
Create Some Prickly Surfaces
Cats love soft soil and compost, it feels nice on their paws and is their preferred toilet of choice as it’s comfortable, so make it less comfortable for them. Use natural prickly elements such as pinecones and holly leaves to cover areas of bare soil.
You can also use dry twigs or gravel, anything that will cover a bare patch of soft soil that would otherwise prove very tempting for felines. Try growing ground plants so there is no space for them to use and they will be less likely to be tempted.
Make Use of Strong Smells
Cats have very sensitive noses and there are certain smells that they don’t like so planting strongly scented plants such as chives, lemon balm, rosemary, or lavender in areas of the garden which they are using, could help to act as a deterrent.
Cats also return to places that smell familiar to them so planting these plants might help to disguise that familiar scent and send them on their way. Other smells said to deter cats are citrus and chili powder so try scattering some peel and chili in the area they are using as their toilet.
Develop a Safe Space For Cats to Use
If you can’t keep cats out of the garden then try providing an outdoor litter box for them to use safely, which you can empty regularly, and will help keep them off the rest of the garden. That way you will be looking after the cat’s needs without any nasty surprises.
Watch this YouTube video for more advice and tips on preventing cats from using your garden as a toilet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRvy8w0RyFI
Try a Fence Net
Cats will be coming into your garden over your fence so if it’s a high fence, try adding a thin piece of netting all around the edge of your fence, so that they can’t physically climb down into the garden. They will soon go to a garden that is more easily accessible.
Install a Cat Deterrent
You can now buy cat deterrent devices that work by giving out ultrasonic sounds which only cats can hear. Install one of these in your garden to help deter cats by making your garden a very uncomfortable place.
Automatic Water Sprayer
Cats also hate water so why not set up an automatic water sprayer, which goes off with any kind of motion in front of it. The only problem with this is it will also be set off by other visitors to your garden such as birds or hedgehogs, so it’s not very wildlife-friendly.
Try Using Chicken Wire on the Areas Where Cats Are Pooping
If cats are pooping in a certain area of your garden, after you have cleaned it out, try placing chicken wire down to cover the area. Cats don’t like walking on this kind of surface and wouldn’t choose such a place to use as their toilet.
Try Planting Sticks in the Soil Where Cats Are Pooping
Again, cats are looking for somewhere comfortable to do their business so try using sticks or plastic forks or anything pointy, and stick them upwards in the soil so that it makes an incredibly uncomfortable place for a cat to try to squat and use as a toilet.
Get Your Own Cat
Cats are incredibly territorial animals so if you have your own cat, it will guard the garden against other unwanted visitors and its scent will keep other cats away as well. If you train your cat well, it will use your litter box for its business and not your garden.