Keeping your cat (or someone else’s cat) out of a certain part of your garden can be a tricky thing to achieve, as cats are fairly contrary animals that seem to love going exactly where they are not wanted!
There are a huge range of different reasons for why you might wish to do this, such as if you have some plants that may be potentially toxic for your cat, or if you want to plant a flower bed that actually grows flowers, rather than being viewed by the local feline population as a great new litter tray!
In this article, we will look at six suggestions for how to keep cats away from a certain area of your garden safely and effectively. Read on to learn more!
There are few forms of fencing that will effectively keep a cat away from something that they want to get to, unless you build a ten foot high stone wall, and maybe not even then! If you want to avoid turning your garden into a fortress, look at ways in which you can protect patches of the garden or flowerbeds while they get established, which is when they are likely to be the most appealing to your cat.
Freshly turned earth is appealing to cats, who may like to sleep there as the earth retains the heat from the sun, or because it looks like an appealing place to do their business! Using mesh, net or chicken wire to cover the freshly turned earth or your growing plants can help to keep cats off it until the flowerbed becomes established, by which time your cat will hopefully have found something else to do!
Garden sprinklers can be set on timers to come on at certain times of the day, and you can even buy motion detectors that will activate the sprinkler when something comes into its range. As we all know, cats don’t tend to like water, and so keeping the area in question wet, or even better, setting up a motion-activated sprinkler to come on when your cat gets close can help to keep your cat away!
If you have the time and inclination to guard your garden yourself, you can soon teach your cat to avoid certain areas by using a spray bottle or hosepipe to lightly spray in the direction of your cat when they start investigating the forbidden area! Much as is the case with a motion-detecting sprinkler, over time, your cat should learn that getting wet accompanies going into that area of the garden, causing them to choose another route!
There are a reasonable amount of commercially sold products available to repel cats from certain parts of the garden, to keep them from doing their business where they shouldn’t or to stop them from digging up your flowers. Certain scented sprays such as citronella, bitter apple and granules and powders that have a particularly nasty smell to your cat can be used around the borders of the garden’s plants, to keep your cat off them.
Take care to ensure that the product that you buy is safe for use with cats.
If you wish to go the natural route and don’t want to buy commercial cat repellents, there are actually several different types of plants that you can use that cats naturally steer clear from, as again, they find the smell of them undesirable.
Lavender and Penny Royal are just a couple of these, and planting these plants in a bed that has plants you want to keep safe, or that are toxic to cats, can be a natural and effective way to encourage your cat to steer clear.
Another approach if you want to keep your cat out of one area of your garden is to create a diversion by making another, permitted area of your garden more appealing to your cat! Working out what your cat likes about the area in question and replicating it can help; for instance, if the area you are trying to protect is your cat’s favourite place for lounging in the sun, try to dedicate another area of the garden that gets lots of sun to making a nice space for your cat to lie in instead.
If your cat just loves doing their business in fresh earth, turning over a small area of your garden to a cat bathroom can help, by making an earth bed just for them, or putting in a gravel or sand bed that they can use.
Planting catnip and other plants that cats really like in another section of the garden often proves highly effective too, as few cats can resist the lure of a fresh catnip bed to roll about in, and this should soon become their favourite part of the garden!