How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

August 2, 2010

in Cats

It is very difficult to keep cats out of your garden, but do not give up, it can be managed. Cat owners may not understand why gardeners want to prevent cats gaining access to their gardens, but there are justifiable reasons, it is not always that gardeners hate cats. Cats are ferocious hunters and can also be very destructive.

For instance, my next door neighbour had a cat, but became lonely when her daughter moved away, so she permitted the cat to to have young. Now she has six cats. But cats are not like dogs. My dog stays in my garden not bothering anyone except by barking if a stranger walks past the house However, that is his job and he is not only telling me but the neighbours too. These six cats do not remain in their own garden though, so we have all acquired six cats whether we want them or not.

The first issue I noticed was that birds stopped coming to pick my dog’s bowl clean in the afternoon. Then I saw a cat killing a lizard, a lovely nine inch adult and then I remembered not seeing many lizards lately. There is one lizard, the Tokay, that they have completely wiped out – I used to listen to them calling at night, but no more.

Cats also dig up flowers when they defecate and use furniture as scratching boards, so I do not want these destructive animals in my garden. But how do you keep cats out of your garden?

Walls are rarely protection against cats, but cats will often prowl along the bottom of walls and if they come across a hole, they will probably go in out of inquisitiveness, so repair all low-level gaps in your fences. There is not much you can do about the top of your wall other than putting broken glass or electrified wiring up there, but that is not a good idea.

Some dogs are good at keeping cats away, but not all. My dog got a nasty and completely unexpected swipe of claws across his nose one day. He used to chase them when they were kittens, but now they have grown up, he only growls to tell me a cat is on the premises. I cannot blame him.

In Australia, many gardeners reckon that transparent bottles full of water confuse cats, so they stay away, but in my experience, only Australian cats react in that way.

A row of prickly bushes or flowers along the base of a wall where cats frequently come in works. At the bottom of high walls too, where the cat cannot see them until he is on top of the wall. I often see cats mewing (in frustration, I hope) on the top of one of my walls. The only route down is to go back.

If you still cannot keep cats out, then you will have to train them not to come in. This is easiest achieved by using several methods. If cats are using your flower pots are toilets, try smearing the pots with pepper, lavender, lemon, mustard, or tobacco. Or you could leave a mothball in each pot. Some of these will work for you, others will not.

Then there are industrial repellents, but I do not want to resort to them. However, if you have a big garden and a big problem, it might be the only way. There are also high frequency sound emitters. Humans cannot hear them, but almost all animals can, so I think that that is deplorable as well.

At night, motion-activated exterior lighting is a great upset to cats. Cats have extremely sensitive night vision so a quick flash from a floodlamp really puts them off a garden.

The best deterrent is water. You can buy motion-activated sprinklers, which are excellent at keeping cats out of your garden, but I like to sit in my office or in the garden with a powerful water pistol and squirt them by hand. The lizards have not come back yet, but neither do the cats quite so frequently either.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on quite a few subjects, but is at present concerned with visual comfort lighting. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Outdoor Wall Lamps.

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