How To Keep Cats out of Flower Beds

Photo of kitten siblings

Why, kitty, why? Why do you insist on digging in the flower bed and using it as a litter box?

The unfortunate fact is that our feline friends have no appreciation for our gardens, seeing them only as places to play or do their business. Then we find unpleasant "surprises" amongst the begonias.

Here are some tips to keep cats away...

Step 1

Chase them away with a squirt bottle. Cats don't like getting wet. If you can, spend some time outside and spray cats with a water bottle whenever you see them. They may get the idea after a while.

Step 2

Spread peels of lemon, orange, or grapefruit. For some reason, cats hate the smell of citrus. Spreading orange peels or slices of lemon around your garden may discourage their interest. Drops of citrus oil can also work well.

Step 3

Spread crushed rocks or broken eggshells. This will be unpleasant for cats to walk on.

Step 4

Place fine netting over the soil. You don't want to cover your plants with this netting, but certainly it's a good idea to cover the bare patches of soil with it. This will prevent your cats from digging, and they won't like the way it feels under their paws.

Step 5

Install motion-sensitive sprinklers. Again, cats don't like to get wet. If they get a shower every time they go near your flower beds, they'll soon learn to stay away.

Step 6

Install Ultrasonic devices. You won't be able to hear the alarm when it goes off, but the cats sure will. It should sufficiently annoy cats enough to drive them away.

Step 7

Provide another litter box. Cats need to go like anyone else, so consider installing a "public restroom" just for their use. A Rubbermaid box filled with sand may end up being more attractive than your flower bed. You'll need to empty it out from time to time.

Step 8

Fill the bed with bamboo skewers. They're cheap, and if you stick enough of them in your flower bed, the area won't be nearly so inviting to cats.

Step 9

Fill the bed with large, decorative rocks. If the bare spots in your garden bed are all covered with rocks, the cats won't be able to do much. You'll discourage weeds, too.

These are safe, non-toxic remedies that shouldn't harm either the cats or your garden. Start with the cheapest and easiest remedies first, then work your way up. Stick with whatever works.

Don't be too hard on cats; remember that they are simply doing what nature intended, and also remember that people do love their feline friends. It's a good idea to discuss the problem with your neighbors and come up with an amicable solution.


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