Cat owners are already aware that these beautiful creatures are a very independent, inquisitive breed of animal, and your garden is a temptation that most won’t be able to resist. However, there are many different methods you can use to discourage any digging or snacking from the neighborhood cats that will do no harm to the cats or anything else.
The Nose Knows
Cats have an incredible sense of smell that’s at least 16 times as sensitive as yours, which means that smells they don’t like are smells they will avoid. The good news is that some scents that are pleasant to you are very unpleasant to a cat.
For example, cats do not appreciate the smell of citrus. If you enjoy citrus fruit, there’s an easy way to get that smell in your garden as a deterrent; save your orange and lemon peels and throw them, whole, into your garden.
This will make cats pass by your garden without a second glance, but it does tend to take away from the visual appeal of a nicely-tended garden. If you’d rather not have peels laying around, essential oils will also do the trick. Just a few drops of certain essential oils will keep them away.
Cats are not fond of the smell of essential oils like rosemary, orange, and citronella. If you sprinkle a few drops around your garden, they’ll steer clear.
Grow Your Own Deterrent
Since they’re so easily influenced by smell, planting the correct things in your garden space can act as a natural defense and give your garden a splash of color and charm.
Rosemary and citronella are obvious choices based on our advice about essential oils, but there are other things you can plant that will keep felines away. Lavender, pennyroyal, lemon thyme, and rue are also plants that will erect an invisible cat fence around your garden. for more ideas on herbs to plant in your garden click here.
There’s no need to over-plant these things, either; just a few planted here and there in your garden space will give you all the protection you need. As a bonus, not only will it keep cats away, but these plants will repel other pests and attract bees and other insects that will pollinate your garden plants for you.
Clean Things Up
Like dogs, cats will “mark” a territory they wish to claim. Removing these markings with a hose will help steer them away because even though the lack of smell will not be a deterrent, it will stop the cat from being attracted to your garden in the first place.
The “Nuclear Option”
No, this doesn’t mean you should bomb any cats. This is another tip that uses a cat’s keen sense of smell against it. A few simple ingredients can be combined into a spray that will cause cats to give your garden a wide berth. Black pepper, cinnamon, a few drops of citrus essential oil and crushed garlic, along with water, will create a liquid that can be safely sprayed on your garden bed. No self-respecting cat will set foot among your plants with this odor hanging around. For more information on how to naturally deter pests from your garden click here.
Technology Is Your Friend
If you’d rather avoid a scent-based solution, some devices can be used to keep your garden cat-free.
There are heat-and-motion sensitive sprinklers on the market that are explicitly designed to keep pests away from your garden. When any creature comes within range of its sensors, this system will shoot water at the creature while making a loud noise. Of course, this may be more than you want to spend, or it may be too annoying for some.
Another option is an ultrasonic cat prevention system. By emitting a noise that’s higher than the human ear can detect, cats and other creatures will give the area protected by one of these devices a wide berth.
Technological solutions exist, but they can be expensive, and there’s no need for them when you can simply turn the cat’s own nose against it.