Owning a cat has many benefits—companionship, a warm belly to snuggle into, and the privilege of taking care of a creature who needs it. As with anything, however, there can be downsides—especially for your neighbors. No matter how cute your cat is, nobody wants them doing their business in the middle of the garden. It is unpleasant, smelly and can be dangerous for children or pregnant women.
If this is an issue with your cat, here are some of our top tips to prevent cats from using your garden as their bathroom, whether you are an owner or a neighbor.
Train Them Well
If you are a cat owner, the best thing you can do is to make sure your cat is entirely litter box trained. Start training your cat from as early as possible, and your pet will soon become accustomed to doing their business there and nowhere else. Check key factors; is the box big enough for your cat? Are they showing resistance to the type of litter you are using? Do they have space and privacy to use the litter box comfortably? Make sure the box is clean and tidy, as your cat will not want to use a dirty or messy box.
A Scarecrow Deterrent
This method is a popular choice and involves a motion-activated deterrent which sprays water to startle the animal away from your garden. It offers a harmless shock and an unpleasant soaking—neither of which are conducive to your cat’s comfort. Unwanted guests will soon learn that the area is off limits and stop visiting.
Use Protective Netting
It may be the case that you are trying to prevent cats from damaging your plants or flower beds, rather than being concerned over the wider area. If this is the case, netting can be used to protect flower beds and selected areas, preventing cats from gaining access. Netting is a cost-effective and straightforward solution which will not hurt the cats in any way, other than inconveniencing them into leaving!
Cats are very sensitive to certain smells, and will not want to enter an area which has a scent they find unpleasant. The most common options are cinnamon, lavender or peppermint, all of which are harmless to the animal.
The most common application is to mix three parts water with one part essential oil and add this to a bottle which can be sprayed across the garden. Citrus is another common deterrent, so dropping orange peels at the boundary will make cats less likely to enter. These are cheap and harmless solutions which can be easily implemented by homeowners.
Prevent cats from gaining access by cat-proofing your fences. You can do this using a netting barrier, or with blunt spikes (these are not sharp but will cause discomfort to any cat attempting to gain access). Fencing can be a great solution if your garden is entirely fenced in, but it does require installation which can be expensive.