One of the common complaints among people with gardens and yards is that feral cats will often use their outdoor area to urinate and defecate. However, there are a number of different solutions to remedy this problem. Cats can be discouraged from digging in your garden beds or wandering around your yard by employing a few tactics or products. Be sure to change your tactics regularly, as a new cat might not respond to your usual methods.
The first option is to use an odor barrier. Cats have extremely sensitive noses, with 200 million odor receptors, compared to humans, who have a measly five million. By making your garden or yard offensive to a cat's sense of smell, you have a greater change at keeping them away. Commercial cat repellents use the odor barrier method to discourage cats from entering off-limit areas. Shake-Away powder, a commercial cat repellent, has the scent of predators that cats fear, such as coyotes, foxes, and bobcats. It comes in a granular form, which you can simply sprinkle on your garden or yard. It is non-toxic, organic, and will not harm your plants. Additionally, some plants give off an unpleasant odor to cats, such as Coleus canina, rue, lavendar, and pennyroyal. Cats also dislike the smell of citrus, so you can try using the peels of oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits in your garden.
Using a physical barrier is another form of deterrent. Chicken wire is very efficient at keeping cats away, as they hate bristly material. Additionally, cats prefer to dig and defecate in loose dirt, so using sharp-edged pine cones, holly cuttings, eggshells, or stone mulch will deter them from using your garden as a litter box.
Finally, another effective option is to use sound barriers. Cats are far more sensitive to sounds than humans, therefore it is effective means of prevention. Cat Stop is an electronic cat deterrent decide that produces a high frequency which is inaudible to humans but extremely unpleasant for cats. It works by using a motion sensor, and when it detects an intruder, it emits the high-frequency sound thus scaring off the cat. The SsssCat! is also motion activated and uses sound and a sprayed repellent to keep cats away.
While it may be annoying to deal with cats using your garden or yard as their personal litter box, the problem is not without its solutions. There are many safe and humane options and products available to prevent cats from visiting your property, so do some research and decide which method works best for you.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.