- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Anyone know how to repel cats?

May 19th, 2005, 03:22 PM
I have two huge flower beds in front of my house that I just planted. The neighbors' cats all think it is a litter box. What can I do to keep the cats out of there?? I had read that blood meal, like you use for gardening would keep them out because they don't like the smell. I tried it last night and I think they dug even more than ever! Someone said a motion activated sprinkler, but I don't really feel comfortable leaving the water hose on all night, what if someone decides to be cute and takes the sprinkler off or something?

I thought about putting some of those motion activated halloween things that make noise and light up out there. Do you think that would scare them off?

May 19th, 2005, 03:36 PM
When I first read this, I thought why on earth (no pun intended) would anyone WANT to repel a cat????

That said, have you spoken with your neighbour? Maybe she can keep her cats closer to home - I personally do not allow my kitty out of my sight and she is on a leash. I value her too much - and the same is true for my foster sphynxes. My sister who has three cats and has a degree in botony and grows plants of all sorts sometimes puts garlic on certain plants to keep them away from those ones.

My cat is trained not to touch the plants - she was curious as a kitten of course but one can actually teach cats that there are much better toys! ANd to be safe, keep plants that are toxic to plants away from your cats!!

May 19th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Dahlia,first,off are you sure it's cats doing this?
I have 3 cats and two huge perrenial gardens and other spots with flowers bushes etc...My cats,outside with me,have never destroyed anything in my gardens.
However,creatures in the night,coons,skunks a great job digging for grubs or any other juicy tidbits.
The Squirrels whom I feed peanuts are also great diggers and I've had more than one peanutplant popping up.
Cats do not dig,but if they go to the bathroom will cover it up,
A"friend"of mine hates cats and her neighbor in a semi,has 15 cats( :eek: ) only two of whom go outside,she's tried everything short of poisoning the cats,blames those two cats for everything that dies in her garden,I told her to maybe water ever now and then and things will not die :D
I don't think there is really any way to deter cats,the only thing you can do is ask your neighbor to keep the cats inside.
I forgot to mention a Rabbitfamily I have,they can cause havoc eating your leaves,my lily leaves look like someone had a nice salad!

May 19th, 2005, 03:53 PM
I found this on a Q & A website... hope it helps.

Q: How do you keep cats out of your yard?

- Mary Wilson, Mesa

A: Cats can be tough to keep out because they jump fences easily. One Web site suggests placing a wire or strong string about six inches above your fence or wall to deter cats from walking along the top and jumping into your yard.

To keep them from turning your garden into a litter box, try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the beds. Also, cover freshly dug soil with mulch to make the soil less attractive for cats. Several years ago, a reader suggested putting lemon rinds on the ground surrounding your plants, or planting marigolds. Cats supposedly are repelled by their smell.

I've read that cats don't like citrus so I would try the lemon! Good luck!

May 19th, 2005, 03:54 PM
Dahlia, I've not tried it, but have read that sprinkling pepper down, ( black or red) works well as a detterent. You need to use a fair bit, but even the big jars are cheap.
Apparently, this isnt harmful to them - because they dont stick around.
One sniff, a sneeze - they simply find another area to go.
Might be worth a try?

May 19th, 2005, 03:56 PM
oops.. Sneaky was typing at the same time as me.. already made the pepper suggestion.. ;)

May 19th, 2005, 03:59 PM
oops.. Sneaky was typing at the same time as me.. already made the pepper suggestion.. ;)Well then I guess that makes the pepper suggestion a keeper! ;)

May 19th, 2005, 04:02 PM
I would not put down Cayenne-pepper,it can be very painful for cats or any other animals"visiting"...I heard once someone suggesting mothballs,but the blackbirds love mothballs,they'll pick one up and rub it all over their feathers,fun to watch!! I put some out just to watch the birds :D

May 19th, 2005, 04:05 PM
I was going to suggest moth balls but I've also read that cats will sometimes eat them and it can be fatal!

May 19th, 2005, 04:05 PM
I read in another thread here that if you wait by that window and squirt them with a spray bottle when they get into the planter, they will soon learn to stay away. I don't have this problem, so I don't have any other suggestions. My problem is the deer who come down and eat all the flowers and then leave nice little piles that Hazel thinks are really neat treats! :yuck: My son was so proud of himself one year that he had picked out a geranium and planted it in a corner of my front flowerbed. He would make sure the weeds were all picked around it and watered it faithfully. He was so excited about the first bloom - til the next morning when all there was was a perfect pair of hoofprints on either side of the plant and no flower! :p

May 19th, 2005, 04:12 PM
I have a bottle of Sergeant's Shoo! Dog and Cat Repellent & Training Aid that I've used on faceclothes on my leather sofa to make sure my little kitties don't scratch it up, they haven't had the urge yet, but I put that down to the fact that they are small. . . .

It says on the can that it can be used outdoors; It does also say that animals and strays are attracted to areas where there has been urine or poop. . .it recommends to remove the do-doo before applying. . .

I got it at WalMart for $4 something CAD.

May 19th, 2005, 04:13 PM
Coco mulch works great, and smells good, also I water my gardens every night and have never had a cat problem (they will not dig in wet soil)

May 19th, 2005, 04:17 PM
awww, Kandy... the deer ate your sons flower?..It's lovely that you have visiting deer... but what a shame they do this.:(

Chico, I wondered about this too - the pepper seems like it might be too harsh? Want to repel them,not harm them.
However, mothballs are deadly to cats if this seems more worrisome.
Maybe the black pepper then... or the lemon. I've been treating an indoor area with lemon deter one cat from using this area to defecate.
Its been over a month now since he's gone there. I cant be 'sure" its the lemon...but it hasnt hurt.

May 19th, 2005, 04:28 PM
I did not know that about moth-balls,not that my cats would ever eat them,but others no more mothballs for the blackbirds :D
My cat-hating"friend"tried lemonrinds and everything else,she was so obsessed about getting this 19yr old cat away,her garden was not attractive anymore :D

Lucky Rescue
May 19th, 2005, 04:30 PM
Cocoa mulch is poisonous! Cats wont' eat it, but dogs and other animals will.

Bloodmeal won't deter cats, who are predators, and would probably attract them!

Cats DO hate the smell of citrus, so some lemons cut up and scattered around may repel them.

May 19th, 2005, 04:50 PM
Cocoa mulch is poisonous! Cats wont' eat it, but dogs and other animals will.

I'm sorry, I was unaware of this!
The people at the garden centre told me it was non toxic and safe for pets and children. They told me the reason cats don't like it was because of the texture. (sharp little bits, won't cut, but makes them uncomfortable walking through it)

May 19th, 2005, 05:23 PM
Ask your neighborhood barber/haridresser for some freshly cut hair.

Sprinkle it around, it keeps out other critters too, like squirrels out of tulip bulbs etc, because they don't like the smell, but you won't hurt them. :thumbs up

Cactus Flower
May 19th, 2005, 06:57 PM
I'm told that if you toss your used coffee grinds into the garden, it not only will repel cats, but will be good for the soil.

Lucky Rescue
May 19th, 2005, 06:59 PM
happycats, the people at the garden center either don't know about cocoa mulch, or do know and care more about sales.

You can read about it Cocoa mulch (

May 19th, 2005, 07:22 PM
I forgot about citris rinds - that is a good idea. But like Lucky, I wonder if it is the cats. Does anyone recall that long thread awhile back about the use of cayenne pepper - how BAD it is for kitties!! That would be terrible!!!

May 19th, 2005, 07:23 PM
I'm told that if you toss your used coffee grinds into the garden, it not only will repel cats, but will be good for the soil.Haha! I read in a magazine that if you dry used coffee grounds and put them in a cats litter box, it makes it smell fresh. Weird!

May 19th, 2005, 08:31 PM
I too hate it when my neighbors cats go in my flower beds. Nothing like gardening and finding cat poop. Fortunately my neighbors cat no longer visits my garden . I don't know why, he just moved on. I have seen a product sold in the garden section of a home improvement store. The stuff is suppose to repel cats and dogs from the garden.

May 19th, 2005, 08:41 PM
You might find this forum interesting:

Personally, I like the manure idea PLUS planting plants that cats like. Sounds like a winning combination to me--if you can get the plants to grow in your area, that is.

Good luck!


May 19th, 2005, 09:10 PM
I know it is the cats doing it because I have seen them, and she has a lot of cats - all outside, so I doubt if she would do anything if I talked to her. I have mulch all over the flower beds, about 3" deep and that's what the cats are digging in. Their pee is killing my plants. I don't even have any cats so it makes it that much more frustrating for me. And I don't think marigolds would keep them away because my other neighbor has all marigolds planted in a bed by her deck and her cat poops in it all the time. I think I'll go out and look for that stuff you can spray on to deter them. I hope that works because I don't want ugly old lemon peels or coffee grounds out there. Then it would look like a dump.

May 19th, 2005, 09:16 PM

Instead of mulch you can try getting some of the small decorative stones sold at garden centres. These really turn off the cats as they are very unpleasant to walk on.

May 19th, 2005, 10:18 PM
That's what my neighbor has around her marigolds, and the cat still uses them. :(

May 20th, 2005, 11:26 AM
You're welcome to borrow my dog. She has advanced degrees in cat eradication.

May 20th, 2005, 11:34 AM
When I lived in a townhouse there was this product, it was like pepper pellets literally.

they smells really strongly of black pepper, and you sprinkle it along the top of your garden and the cats dont go near it.

seemed to work for me

i got it at canadian tire


May 20th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Shoot, I was at WalMart today and I forgot to look and see if they had anything.

May 20th, 2005, 09:42 PM
I guess I still do ot understand why your neighbour would be so unheeding. Is she nasty? Dangerous? I just know if it were me, even with a cat, I would talk to my neighbours and ask them politely if they could keep their cats in their yard. The cats across the street of one of my neighbours (and a friend actually) do come across the street and they attempted to use my flowers in the front as a litter box but I trained them not to over time - and they know I will give them treats if they don't. That did not occur over night mind you and there are occasional mistakes but I love cats more than flowers and really, they rarely seriously hurt my tulips (which are up now even in our cold dreary weather) or the later blooming plants.

May 20th, 2005, 11:08 PM
How would she keep them in her yard? They're cats. If she puts up a fence, they'll climb it. And she doesn't let them in the house as far as I know. She's not nasty or rude or anything, but she just thinks its fine that her cats come and go as they please. Not to sound cold, but if it was MY cat I would love it more than flowers, but I would keep it inside so it wouldn't bother my flowers or anyone else's. These are HER cats and they are not even that tame. I can't even get close to them.

May 21st, 2005, 07:33 AM
Dahlia,If those cats are NEVER inside,I would have a problem with that,not because of any plants,but because of the cats wellfare.
As for the tameness,even my own cats are not keen on strangers,but they are certainly tame :D
My cats also actually stay in my fenced yard for a couple of hours in the summer,5 min in the winter,but of course I am there with them,so they don't go anywhere else.It is possible to train your cats,they are no dummies :D
If this neighbor leaves them outside 24/7 there might be a bigger concern if they are not spayed/neutered :mad:
My one cat sprays(neutered male)and he has killed part of a little cedarbush I have,otherwise they are certainly not interested in my plants and I have lots,only their cat-nip patch gets a little abused,but it's unkillable :D

May 21st, 2005, 12:01 PM
I too am astonished how cruel someone could be - to have cats and leave them outside. She is essentially just feeding them - as if they were ferals. I have a problem with that too - those poor cats need someone to look after them who really cares for them. I would more than talk to this neighbour and tell her about the dangers of cats living outside - and even if she thinks that is not your business, it IS everyone's business to care for animals and have a safe neighbourhood. Perhaps she just does not know and if she does and doesn't care, that is another problem! I would certainly talk to her. What do other neighbours say?

May 21st, 2005, 05:14 PM
I haven't heard the other neighbors say anything but they don't really have anything like flower beds that the cats can bother. My new neighbor next door just planted a bunch of flowers so I bet she'll say something.

They are not bothering the plants, per se, but they are using the mulch as a litter box and I know cat pee and poop is not good for plants. And I am constantly having to go out there and uncover the small plants where they have scratched a pile of mulch up over them.