Cats in Flowerbeds

Kitten with CatmintThere are many humane ways to keep a cat from using your garden for their litter box or naptime. The key is to change the area in such a way that it is no longer appealing to them. Here are a few ideas:

Commercial Repellents – There are many commercial repellents on the market. Be aware that the active ingredient in many is methyl nonyl ketone. This chemical is poisonous and should not be used on food crops. You can also find non-toxic sprays as well based on hot pepper, citrus and oil of mustard. Vinegar may also work as well. Spray repellents must be reapplied every 7 to 10 days or after a rain.

Sprinklers – Get a water timer for your sprinkler and set it to go off several times during the day. Cats will avoid wet areas. Set a random schedule so that your little furry friends will not acclimate to the situation. Or you can purchase motion activated sprinkler heads that run on batteries.

Chicken Wire – Bury chicken wire under a thin layer of soil. Cats like soft dirt to dig in. The chicken wire is uncomfortable on their paws.

‘Scardy Cat’ Coleus – On a recent trip to the garden center I happened on to a new coleus, Coleus canina, that was advertised as being a cat and dog repellent. ‘Scardy Cat’ or ‘Dog’s Gone’, as it is called, has a pungent odor that cats find unpleasant. The plant itself has dark green foliage and blue flower spikes, which makes it an attractive way to rid your garden of cats.

Cat Scat – There are commercially available open weave mats with prickly plastic teeth that you can cut into sections and place throughout your flowerbeds. The teeth irritate cats without harming them.