How to keep Cats Out of the Garden

keep cats out of gardenCats are great animals but not always fun if they are in your yard or garden and they are not yours.  As you may have read on the home page about my cat in my garden problem.  I had to get rid of him and found a way to do it.  After such time I have looked at other methods of how to keep cats out of the garden.  Most of which are quite effective in doing so.  Some not so much.

I think many people see things as cat resistant or cat repellent as cat proof.  While it may be a matter of semantics there is a big difference between cat proof and cat resistant.  So without too much more rambling I will get into it.

Plants that Can Keep Cats out of the Garden

There are two different kinds of plants to keep cats out of the garden.  Those that they don’t like and those that they do.  There are different reasons for using both to keep them out of your garden.  I personally am not a big fan of incorporating plants that they like in a garden, but more on that later.

The main plants that can help keep cats out of the garden are: Rue, Lavender, scaredy cat plant (Coleus canina), Citronella, and any citrus tree.  Most of these work because of the smell they have.  Most cats just don’t like the smell of these plants.  So if you can spread enough of these around your yard or garden then you might just be able to repel them from coming in your garden.cats-dont-like-lavender

Some people chose to make a small cat friendly garden to keep them away from the main garden.  Some people will even put in a litter box.  I really don’t like this idea but some swear by it.  First off why would I want to clean up after someone else’s cat?  That being said if you want to set up an area on the other side of the yard for cats, then plants you would want to include would be: Catnip, Cat Thyme, Catmint, Spider plant, and Valerian.

Scent Repellents

As I mentioned earlier cats have some scents that they just do not like.  That is why some of those plants work to keep them out of the garden or yard.  There are other things that you can use as well.  Some people will try spreading orange peels around the yard.  This works to some degree, but you need to keep the peels somewhat fresh.  You can also get commercial repellents.  These include predator urine.  You can buy this from many locations but just make sure that the animals are treated humanely from the provider.


You might think great how do you get a cat-proof fence?  Well you can either cage the garden.  This not only keeps out cats but many other animals as mentioned before, including birds.  There is one simple trick that can help out with cats that is not that hard to do.  keep-animals-out-with-chicken-wire

First if you are planning a garden and have not started then you are in a good place to try this.  After you till the soil, lay down some chicken wire directly on the ground.  Cut holes where you want the plants to be, just large enough for the plant to stick through and not be bound in anyway.  Cats just simply do not like walking on it.  Where do you think the term “pussy footing around” came from.  Their paws are very sensitive and they don’t like when things poke their paws.

Motion Sensor Lights

Lights can have some effect on cats, but if you only use lights they quickly become adept to it.  They are not stupid animals.  They find that there is really no threat when the light turns on.  It might startle them at first, but then nothing.

Ultrasonic Motion Sensors

These work much better than just lights to keep cats out of the garden.  It is best if they incorporate the sound and the lights.  Many ultrasonic pest eliminators use both the sound and the lights in different patterns to scare away animals.  When using both the lights and the sound it is much more effective.  One will get the attention of the animal, the second will increase the threat and trigger the flight response in them.

motion sensor sprinklerMotion Sensor Sprinklers

If you read my home page, this is how I actually solved my cat cat issue.  This actually works on a wide variety of animals to keep the yard and garden safe including rabbits and squirrels.  The premise is, the animal enters the motion sensor area.  That triggers the sprinkler.  The sprinkler not only makes noise but also sends a spray of water at the perpetrator.

I really like it because most animals do not care for a quick spray of water.  It normally only takes a couple of sprays and they get the idea to stay clear.  It is very humane and cost effective.

Other Animals

Well, I think you can guess what other animals can keep cats out of the garden.  Yep, a dog.  Not to state the obvious, but most cats do not like dogs and most dogs do not like cats.  If you let your friendly dog outside he will happily chase the cats away.  You still want to make sure your dog is well trained because you do not want to hurt the cat, just chase them out  of  your yard.  They are helpful even with deer.dogs chase animals away


Keeping your garden safe from cats is not a difficult thing to do.  You can try any of the methods I mentioned above.  Just like most other animals you want to start protecting your garden before it becomes a problem.  If you start before there are signs of the animals it is best.  I know it doesn’t always work that way.  If you find your self later with a cat problem, you can easily implement any of these techniques to keep cats out of your garden or yard.  You can also read my review for the motion sprinkler I like the best.  If you have any questions or comments about your own cat issue, please leave them below!

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    4 thoughts on “How to keep Cats Out of the Garden

    1. Gina Gonzalez

      We had a problem with stray cats in our back fenced yard. I have an elderly dog and the cats were spreading worms and making our dog sick so we had to get rid of them. We tried all kinds of things, but finally bought a garden owl with glowing eyes and a bobble head and it took a while, but they left. We also save our coffee grounds in a tupperware and shake them on our mulch in the front yard to keep them from using it as a litter box.

      1. admin Post author

        Thanks for the comment and the additional ideas. I knew about the coffee grounds. Most cats don’t like the scent of them so it helps keep them out.
        I let me know if I can help you in anyway.

    2. Kenny Lee

      I know about those sensors and fences, but I didn’t know about scent and plants. I’m normally ok with cats. It’s just that when there are many of them, they tend to get into fights and injuries. Sometimes they got infection and I think it’s pretty unhygienic if they are to come into contact with people especially children. I’ll try using your suggested plants the next time.

      1. admin Post author


        Thanks for your comments. The only issue I have with the plants is they really can be hit and miss. Some people swear by them and other people swear at them. I really think the biggest thing is how long the animal has been using your property. If it is a new occurrence or hasn’t started yet it should be more successful. If it has been happening for years, then it might have little or no effect on the cat.

        Let us know how it goes for you.



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