Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Keeping Cats Away

This time of year we get a few enquiries about how to keep cats out of the garden.

Whilst I love cats, I can understand why non-cat fans would not want them in their garden and likewise, for people who have their own cats but may want to deter other cats this is a fair question.  However, I have heard some horror stories of people doing very horrible things to keep cats from their gardens.  Therefore, I thought I would compile some safe and humane ways to keep cats from your gardens.

There are a few outdoor deterrents which you may find effective;
Jet Spray Repeller
This is a motion activated device that you attach to your hosepipe.  When anything moves in front of the sensor it will squirt water.  This can be very effective and I used it to deter the neighbourhood bully cat from my garden but I did have to keep MellyBoy inside while it was on!  It is available from Amazon
Lion Dung Pellets
Seriously, I am not kidding!  If you live near a zoo you may be able to get the real stuff?  For most of us though, we can buy these pellets in garden centres and online for under a tenner.  I have never used them myself but read about them in The Cat magazine last year.
Chicken Dung
This smelly stuff can be used to deter cats so if you know anyone with chickens maybe you could ask them?  The only thing with this is that rain can wash it away so not great for all-weather.
Citrus Smells
It is said that cats are not keep on the smell of citrus so orange and lemon peel could be left in the areas cats are using to access your garden.  You could use Citronella oil, which is readily available, but please be careful that this oil is not placed in an area that any animals (including cats) could digest

I have also seen things like garlic scented beads that you can sprinkle in the garden but a relative of mine tried that… the garden smelt of garlic but the cats continued to visit so wasn't much of a winner.

Maybe you don't mind cats in your garden but not using your vegetable patch as a public loo?  These remedies could be used just to deter them from specific areas of your garden.

I think one important factor to remember is that it is very hard for owners to stop their cats from visiting specific areas (other than keeping them locked in, which for most cats is not appropriate) but if you do have troublesome cats visiting your garden, chat to the owner and see if you can work together to stop the problem and please, never do anything that would physically injure or inappropriately scare the cat - they are only acting on their natural instincts and behaviour - it is never a personal attack on you I promise!

I would be really interested if any of you have any other ideas, if you do, please pop them in the comments below, thank you!

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