Garden Cat Repellent
I need a garden cat repellent. I have a wonderful vegetable garden that has lately been overrun by all the cats in the neighborhood.
I have planted plants that are supposed to repel these animals, talked with their owners and still have a problem. The cats urinate and defecate all over my yard and I am fed up with it.
Short of sitting in my garden 24/7 its the owners fault if their cat doesn’t return.
Hi DS…. thanks for visiting and sharing. Although I am a person who respects all animals, I can understand your frustration.
I sincerely hope, however, that you do not harm any cat. I know that you feel that it is all that is left for you to do – kill the cats but this is both cruel, morally wrong and a crime under animal welfare laws. It would also be an act of criminal damage and a civil wrong that would allow the cat’s owner to sue for compensation.
However, as I said I can feel and sympathise with your frustration and anger.
The domestic cat needs to be treated humanely and decently. We must respect the cat. But we must also respect the rights of people; to allow people to possess property that is not criminally damaged by others or trespassed upon. But you can’t as far as I aware sue a cat’s owner for the trespass of their cat. That in any case is the law in the UK and I see you are from the USA (but the law is similar there).
The problem as you imply is not the making of the cat but the cat’s owner. Accordingly any actions that you take should be against the person and not the cat unless the actions against the cat are benign and not hurtful to the cat.
The problem is this. The cat’s owner’s don’t respond to your requests that they control their cats and stop them damaging your vegetable garden and you have yet to find a way of physically stopping the cat from coming onto your garden.
I have two posts that might help:
..but I feel there is no certain answer and certainly no easy fix short of putting a high fence around your garden.
How large is your garden and how much money do you have and how important is your garden to you? Three fairly direct questions I will admit but they do help us formulate the best garden cat repellent under these circumstances.
The only truly certain way of protecting your garden is to build a fence around it. A relatively cheap but high fence designed to keep cats out might not be that expensive because all it needs to be is chicken wire supported by poles. The fence does not need to be a classic fence to stop people looking in, which is relatively expensive.
In fact if you know a handyman or have a handy husband (!) you could probably build it yourselves.
Although this is a pure guess, ground covered with mulch and sprayed with the repellants mentioned above might work. Cats use vegetable gardens to defecate and urinate because of the presence of loose soil. If the soil is covered with mulch that is unpleasant to a cat and cannot be dragged over feces the cat will probably go elsewhere.
A compounding problem is that once an area is used by a cat or cats as a toilet, the smell of the area to the cat is an attractant to reuse it as a toilet. The existing smell has to be removed as well as repellents put in place.
All that said, the only certain garden cat repellent is a chicken wire fence of sufficient height, in this instance. I wonder if the neighbours who own the “offending” cats would contribute their time or money to help you build one? That is probably an extremely over optimistic thought!
I hope this gives you some ideas. But please don’t hurt cats. It is cruel and unfair.
I have moved your submission to the Cat Behavior page.