Do you have uninvited guests entering your garden, especially cats? Not everyone is thrilled about having cats around their garden. Even our own cats can be trouble sometimes. Many cats can spell disaster and cause whatever you are growing to die. I understand that you feel helpless, standing by watching all your hard work go down the drain. It can be frustrating and extremely expensive to have cats destroying your hard work.
But I’m here to tell you, there is hope! You don’t have to stand by and watch as cats destroy your garden any longer. There are steps you can take to make sure that you never have to deal with this problem again. Where I live, there are many stray cats. People move in and let their cats run wild or others heartlessly dump their cats near my home. These cats are looking for a place to dig around, use as their personal litter box and even relax and rest. We both know, that none of that is acceptable!
Natural Ways to Keep Cats and Other Pests away from Your Fruits and Vegetables
Consider barrier fencing, you probably already have a fence around your garden to keep deer, raccoons and other larger pests from entering your garden and eating all your flowers, fruits and vegetables, but many animals like rabbits, squirrels and cats will dig to get under that fencing. By placing chicken wire along the outside of your garden will help deter these animals away. They don’t like how pointy and sharp chicken wire is so they leave before they even get started. Just dig down about three to four inches and bury the fence. This way when a cat gets digging they find trouble.
Lattice fencing is another great way to keep cats away from your plants. You can lay this down in your garden and plant your seeds or flowers in the holes. Cats do not like to go to the bathroom on hard surfaces and they will take that as a hint that they are not wanted.
Mulching your garden is another great deterrent. Cats like soft ground to walk on and go to the bathroom on. They will feel the hard mulch under their feet and leave. Not only is mulch great at keeping pesky cats out of your garden, it will help retain moisture so your plants continue to grow.
Not the prettiest option in the list, but laying rocks in your garden can help as well. Cats may still enter and lounge, but they won’t use your garden to go to the bathroom any longer. Again, rocks are hard and that’s uncomfortable for a cat to go to the bathroom.
Essential oils are an excellent way to deter many pests including cats. They don’t like the scent of lavender, tea tree oil or citrus. By mixing a few drops of oil with water or olive oil and placing in a spray bottle, you can spray all along the outside of your garden. If you decide to spray inside your garden, be sure not to get any of the oils on your plants as they can cause them to wither and die.
Bone and Blood Meal
Another great deterrent that can keep pests away along with nurturing your garden, is to use bone and blood meal. Both are very effective at keeping animals out of your garden. Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons and birds can wreak havoc on growing fruits and vegetables. It’s an easy source of food for them and they have no regard to what’s yours and what’s theirs. Bone and blood meal deter all pests because it smells like something has just died there, and that’s scary to all the little pests that like to destroy or gardens. Also, the blood and bone meal are excellent fertilizers. When I first used them I had my doubts, but after just a few months my garden is doing beautifully. I’ve managed to keep pests, including cats away from my garden and I now have what I call super tomatoes. Because of the bone and blood meal fertilizer, my tomato plants have grown so much they are taking over my garden. I may even have enough to home-can this year.
If you already have an established garden and the tips above haven’t helped you, then consider going a more technical route. Or combine the suggestions below with more high tech devices that will help you keep cats away.
High Tech Ways To Deter Cats
Motion Detector Sprinklers
Believe it or not, many stores sell motion detector sprinklers. This are super helpful because they tackle a few jobs at once. It’s not just cats who don’t like water. Many other pests don’t either. By placing the sprinklers in areas that you know the cats have been visiting will spook them and they will take over. It just takes one cat to set off the detector and then they are drench with something they really don’t like, water. This is quite beneficial for your garden as well. Each time the sprinkler goes off, your plants get a bath. This can help you not to have to water as much while keeping animals away from your garden.
High Frequency Devices
Cats are very sensitive to sound. They can hear high frequencies that we cannot ear, much the same as a dog would. There are pet stores around the country that sell high frequency devices. This are used with dogs to call them toward you, but for a cat, it will chase them away. You can purchase a motion detector high frequency device in your garden and when the pest you want to keep away lurks in, it’ll set off a sound that scare the cats away. Before they have a chance to do any damage to your garden, they will be running away and most likely won’t attempt to come back again.
Regardless of which technique you go with, both have their pros and cons. Some of the more natural ways aren’t feasible for someone to use. Some people are allergic to the essential oils that can be used to keep pesky cats away. The good news is, you can use orange peels and get the same affect.
The Pros and Cons of Natural and Technical Ways to Keep Pesky Animals away
Using a certain type of fencing may not be in your budget when you first big gardening and you must look for other ways to keep your garden save. Truthfully, lattice can be quite expensive, but chicken wire is one of the cheapest ways to go about protecting your garden. Just be careful that you don’t get snagged up on it yourself.
For some people, finding blood and bone meal can be a challenge. Not all stores carry it and it can be expensive with shipping if you order offline. Trust me, it is worth the investment because of its two-fold protection. Between keeping pests away, like mentioned above, it’s an amazing fertilizer. But if you have reasons not to use it, thankfully there are other ways to protect and fertilize your garden.
High tech ways to protect your garden can be very beneficial but also extremely expensive. The devices can run anyway from $20 all the way up to $400 for something that is top of the line and can reach more square footage. Still, if you have the money to spare, combining this method with the ones above can be extremely effective in protecting your garden.
Having a motion detector high frequency advice is a cheaper alternative to the motion detector sprinkler. With the high end price of being just around $40. For someone who wants to save money, but keep their garden safe, this may be the best way to go.
Special Place Just for Your Cats
Another option to keeping cats out of your garden is to build a cat garden outside. This could possibly be your best deterrent if you don’t mind having cats around your yard but you want to keep them out of your garden. It does not have to be very big, 15×15 is a good size for a couple of cats to lounge around and play in.
A Few Items to Add to Your Cat Garden
- Sand and soil – They may roll around in it or they may use it as their personal litter box. Either way, they are steering clear of your flower or vegetable garden and that’s the goal.
- High areas for them to lounge on. Consider making cat beds up high. Cats love being above all the action. It gives them a vantage point of what’s safe and what’s not. They are also able to view prey from this height, which can be a benefit if you have mice, squirrels and rabbits getting into your garden.
- Make sure there is both sunny and shady spots for your cat to lay in. If it’s too hot, they will hide in the shade to keep cool. The same would apply to the sunny spots. Have you ever seen a cat sprawled out on the hood of your car? Cats love to sunbathe too!
- Keep a little water in your cat garden. Maybe a small pond or a make-shift fountain, this way they can drink when needed and sometimes they like to dip their paws in and play a little bit.
- Give your cats places to explore. Make a cat gym for them to climb, crawl under, find treats and food. Curious cats that are kept busy are too tired to explore areas they aren’t invited to.
- A little bit of grass goes a long way. Cats like to roll around in the grass and itch their backs. They will also use patches of grass to nap on.
- Don’t forget food! Cats like to eat. My cats would eat all day long if I let them. Put food and treats scattered throughout the cat garden so they are able to search for their food and eat when hungry. It’s also a wonderful idea to spread cat nip throughout the cat garden. If you’ve ever seen a cat with cat-nip they are in high heaven! They love to eat, smell and roll around in it. Before long, they are exhausted and will take a long nap!
- If you have an outdoor cat or many strays around your home, a cat garden can be an excellent place for them to go in the winter. They will stay warm while in there and they will have access to food and water that they may otherwise not been able to have without the cat garden.
You may find that you need to combine the ways listed above to keep not every cat will respond to each way listed above. It is a case of trial and error. But with persistency you will find a way to protect your garden and keep pesky animals like cats away. It can be a struggle, but with time and effort cats will just give up. They will realize it’s just not worth it to sneak into your garden to go to the bathroom or lounge around. Eventually they’ll find a new place that hopefully won’t be in your yard or your garden.