How to keep cats out of garden

UK Home Improvement

How to Keep Cats Out of Garden

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden as part of your property, you’ll probably be used to all kinds of wildlife stopping by to say hello.

From birds to foxes, the UK is home to a whole host of wonderful wildlife that can be joyous to observe. It’s also not uncommon for neighbourhood cats to drop by.

While cats usually keep themselves to themselves, frequent visitors can actually be harmful to your garden and the plants you’re growing within it. If you’ve become frustrated by the trouble a neighbouring cat has caused to your garden or outdoor space, you may be thinking of ways to keep cats out of the garden. 

There’s nothing wrong with implementing a few deterrents to keep over-friendly felines away, but it’s important that you do so humanely and in a way that does not cause harm to a cat. With this in mind, our team has put together a comprehensive guide answering the question ‘how to keep cats out of garden’. 

Read on to find out more.

What Damage Can Cats Do To A Garden?

While cats are generally delightful pets, they can cause damage to gardens – especially if they belong to neighbours and are not yours. Some of the common issues associated with cats in gardens include:

  • Digging – Cats may dig in garden beds, potentially damaging and disturbing plants, seeds and bulbs. Usually, cats will dig when looking for a place to go to the toilet or bury their waste. Whatever the reason, your prize flowers could suffer the consequences of this etiquette.  
  • Toileting – Staying on the toilet theme, cats will often use garden soil as a litter box. Not only will this behaviour possibly damage plants, as mentioned above, but it can also create unsightly pages of dug-up soil. Plus, you will end up with cat faeces in your garden which is not very pleasant or hygienic. 
  • Damaging plants – Digging is not the only way that cats might damage your plants. They may actually chew and eat them, use stalks as scratching posts or even sleep in flower beds which can flatten your flowers. Whatever the case, it’s clear to see how the presence of cats in your garden can cause damage to these plants.
  • Hunting – As every cat owner will know, cats are natural predators and love to hunt. If they spot prey, such as birds, frogs or mice, in your garden, they will certainly try and kill them which could result in you having to clear up the corpses. 

How To Keep Cats Out Of Garden

To mitigate the various issues outlined above and the overall damage that cats can do to your garden, there are a number of things you can do.

This includes the following:

Install Higher Fences

Cats are excellent climbers, and have the ability to scale most fences and high structures. However, installing a higher fence is still a good way to try and deter a cat from entering your garden. 

Just because a cat can climb a fence doesn’t mean it will. Some cats are naturally lazy, and if a fence looks a bit high or requires extra effort, they might move on to an easier area. 

Don’t Feed Cats

Cats always return to food sources, so if you or any of your family members have given the cat any food as a treat then it will likely keep coming back for more. It can be tempting to feed cats as they are usually very cute, but it will make the cats think they are entitled to your space. 

Plant Smelly Plants 

Cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and certain odours will deter them. By planting plants that are particularly pungent or have strong smells, then cats will likely stay away. Some great choices include lavender, rosemary, citronella, lemon thyme and more. 

The great thing about these plants is that they may be unpleasant to cats, but to us humans, they smell great!

Scatter Lemon And Orange Peel On Your Lawn

As mentioned in the point above, the sensitive noses that cats possess may be their biggest weakness and can be targeted to deter them from entering your garden. 

They’re not keen on citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, so scattering peels in flower beds, on lawns and soil can prevent cats from visiting you. 

Create Obstacles 

Cats love digging, and they will head into your flower beds to do just that.

The best way to stop this from happening is to put obstacles in their way to make it harder for them to dig and damage your plants. Pine cones, branches and other obstacles will deter cats from going into these areas without compromising your garden’s aesthetic. 

Keep Your Garden Clean

Cats typically enter people’s gardens to look for food, so keeping your garden neat and tidy and free of any scraps is a good way to make your space look unattractive to them. 

In particular, make sure bins are secure, the garden is well swept and there are no bits of food waste left lying around. 

Use Rough Ground 

Cats really don’t like walking on uneven ground, so using features like stones, pebbles and mulch can really put them off. This is because these elements are uncomfortable for the cat to walk on, meaning they will not want to visit the area again. Chicken wire is another popular choice. 

Get A Dog

Dogs and cats are natural enemies, and if a cat hears your dog barking or senses its presence it’s likely to leave sharpish and not want to return. Plus, owning a dog brings with it a wide range of benefits, after all, they are man’s best friend!

Utilise Sounds 

High-frequency noises are unpleasant to cats, so if the tips above have not yielded much success you could purchase a device online that emits these kinds of sounds. They can even be motion sensored so when a cat is nearby, they will automatically trigger and shoo the cat away without you having to do a thing. 


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