How to Keep Cats Out Of Garden : Cat Deterrents and Repellents

This article discusses the ways to keep cats out of garden naturally and permanently. Recently some stray cats from my neighborhood have started to visit my garden beds and use it as their personal playground or litter box. They keep coming back every day and night and have destroyed my garden beds, pulled the plants from the pots and killed some pigeons that occasionally visit my lawn.
The cats sleep on the chairs in my verandah, or in the freshly prepared beds for planting seeds.

Some suggested to keep water bottles in the garden or garden fence to keep cats out of garden, but they are not effective.

Cat Sleeping in Garden
Cat in Garden

It really became very frustrating as they keep coming back. I then explored various strategies and different ways to deter cats from garden. I used the following ways that helped me get rid of cats from my garden with natural deterrents, without causing harm to them.

In this article, I will explore different ways to get rid of cats permanently, without causing harm to them.

So how to get rid of a cats that keep coming to my house. Keeping cats out of your garden can be a challenge, but there are several effective and humane ways to deter them from your garden.

Dissuading cats from your garden can be effective by using natural repellents, installing physical barriers, offering distraction, using motion-activated devices, maintaining your garden, and trying commercial cat repellents. I always try the humane methods that do not pose any danger to the cats.

Ways To Get Rid Of Cats from Garden

Cat Natural Repellents

There are several repellents to deter cats, but you have to be patient and persistent, as it may take some time to find the most effective deterrents for the cats in your neighborhood.

Scents and Repellents

One of the most common ways to deter cats from your garden is to use natural scents and repellents.

Cats have a strong sense of smell, 14 times better than that of humans. Cats identify people and objects by their sense of smell. Cats dislike certain scents so they do not come near to the source of scents. The smell of these scents repel cats from your garden.

Cats dislike and hate the smell of citrus peels (orange and / or lemon peels), coffee grounds, vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic, onions, peppermint ammonia, pipe tobacco, mustard, citronella, bleach or eucalyptus.

You can just sprinkle them sparingly around your garden beds or soak a cotton wool and place at entry points to discourage them from entering due to their strong odor. This way you can stop cats from pooping in your garden or yard.

Red pepper flakes and black pepper powder are often used to repel cates out of garden, but be careful, they may hurt cat's eyes during windy conditions.

If the cat continue pooping on the same spot, then it is highly recommended to spray on and near that spot daily for a few days so that the cat stops entering your area due to strong smell.

You can make sprays using essential oils and spray the area where the cats often visit.

Note that the scents from these will diminish over time, so you have to re-apply or re-spray after a few days.

Plants That Deter Cats

There are certain plants like lavender, rosemary, rue, rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), chrysanthemums, lemon balm and pennyroyal whose natural scents cats find unpleasant and offensive, so these can repel cats. You can plant these plants in your garden strategically to deter cats.

Coleus Canina (Scaredy Cat Plant) is another plant that emits an odor that cats dislike. It is also known as the "Pee-off" plant because of its cat-repelling properties.

Use Commercial Cat Repellents

There are commercial cat repellents available that are specifically designed to deter cats without harming them. These products emit scents that cats find offensive. These repellents typically come in the form of sprays or granules and can be applied to your garden as directed.

Install Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are an excellent way to keep cats out of your garden, but they are not always practical, specially in large garden areas. Some effective options include:


Installing a cat-proof fence around your garden is one of the most foolproof methods. Make sure the fence is tall enough (at least 6 feet) and extends below the ground to prevent digging.
Netting or mesh: Use some covers on the vulnerable areas like seedlings or freshly tilled soil. This keeps cats from digging or defecating in these areas.

Lay Rough Material

Cats often dislike walking on certain textures. Place rough materials like chicken wire, scat mats, pinecones, or prickly twigs on the ground to make it uncomfortable for them to walk on.

Motion-Activated Devices

Motion-activated devices, such as sprinklers or lights in your garden, can startle cats and discourage them from entering your garden. When cats approach, the sudden burst of water or intense light will deter them. These devices are particularly effective at night when cats are most active.

Install ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sounds when cats come into the garden. These sounds are usually inaudible to humans, but unpleasant for cats.

Apply UV Paint

Some products use UV-reflective paint or objects to deter cats. These items are visible to cats but not to humans, and they mimic the presence of other animals, making cats avoid the area.

Home Made Cat Repellents

There are some homemade remedies to keep cats away. You can make homemade cat repellent sprays by using the above mentioned natural scents and repellents. Spray the mixture in indoor and outdoor locations that you wish to keep cats away from.
You can use the repellent to keep cats away from both indoor and outdoor locations.

Citronella Oil Spray

Citronella oil seems to be the fastest and best way to get rid of cats permanently.

Fill a spray bottle with the water. Add about 15-20 drops of citronella oil to the bottle and shake it well to mix the oil into the water. The citronella oil has an extremely strong odor that can repels cats and also effective in keeping insects away. Citronella is best known as a mosquito repellent, but it can work for cats also as cats do not like the citronella odor.

Citrus Cat Repellent

Boil some water and add peels of orange, lemon, lime, and/or tangerine. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then filter and fill in spray bottle.

Alternately, add 1-2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon or lime or orange juice along with a few drops of dishwashing soap to water at room temperature. Shake the bottle well to combine all the ingredients.

You can use a few drops of lemon essential oil instead of lemon juice.

Similarly you can make eucalyptus essential oil spray by adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil.

Vinegar Cat Repellent

Vinegar is also a good cat repellent. Add 1 part vinegar and 1 part water and a few drops of dishwashing soap in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well and spray. Spray around the edges of a garden, and on fences, plants and posts to keep cats away.

I spray especially on the areas like my verandah or some areas in my garden where the cats usually come. The strong and typical sour smell of vinegar is quite effective in removing the smell of cat's poop and deterring cats from coming back again.

It is pointed out that eucalyptus and citronella can be poisonous to cats. To keep your cats safe, use eucalyptus essential oil in a sealed container instead of fresh or dried plants to prevent cats eating them. Eating eucalyptus, dried or fresh can cause vomiting, diarrhea, etc. to cats.

Use the above ways to get rid of stray cats permanently. Experiment with different methods to prevent cats entering your area.