David Domoney, a British celebrity horticulturalist, has a ‘hack’ for keeping cats off your garden. He said: “One of the things that has worked effectively for me in the past is to save tea bags and spray them with a muscle heat spray, like Deep Heat.”
Right, that’s it. The hack of the century. Old tea bags soaked in a muscle heat spray called Body Heat. It has a strong smell which deters wandering cats.
I know I am being sarcastic but I can’t help it. How many super cat deterrent hacks have you seen on the internet? Perhaps not many but as I search the internet all the time for cat news and stories, I have seen a lot and I don’t believe them. I just don’t believe them.
Apparently, you sprinkle some earth over the tea bags which are placed around the section of garden that you want to protect. Yes, I can understand the need to disguise them as the cure is probably worse than the problem.
Think about it. You’ve got a perfect garden after years of meticulous planning and preparation. It is as pretty as it can be and you chuck old, smelly tea bags all over it to protect against the possibility of a wandering domestic cat peeing on it. It doesn’t really stack up. Neither does the fact that you have to sprinkle earth over the bags to hide them as this will suppress the smell and their effectiveness.
You’ll find countless smells that ‘cats hate’ which will deter them. They might to varying amounts for varying lengths of time but you’ll have to place these smelly objects all over your garden if you want to protect it all which is unviable. And the smells deteriorate quite quickly so you’ll have to top them up regularly. Once again it looks like the cure is worse than the ‘illness’.
It might be worth a try to use the tea bag hack to protect a particularly sensitive area of the garden. My preferred choice is more dramatic and expensive but also more functional: build a physical barrier.
Domoney, also mentions this method. For instance, you can install an overhanging fence to keep cats inside gardens. It is called ProtectaPet in the UK. There are other manufacturers. If you turn the overhanging section inside out it’ll stop cats climbing in over the fence. If you block up all other entrances, you’ll have an effective total barrier for peace of mind.
It is expensive and troublesome so it depends how serious you are about protecting your garden. But it’ll be permanent. Or you might use a physical barrier to protect a small part of the garden to which you can add an ultrasonic deterrent as they have been found to work fairly well. To this combination of reasonably effective deterrents, you can add your presence and voice.
RELATED: Do ultrasonic cat deterrents work?
If you see the cat entering your backyard, go into it and confront the said trespassing cat and wave your arms around and make a lot of noise. That’s bound to shoo him/her away as they’ll regard you as a hostile and dangerous animal. But don’t harm them. That would be criminal behavior and cruel.
Do it a few times and they won’t come back for a long time if they are a cat with normal confidence levels. When they finally return – if they do – repeat the cycle. They’ll learn.
This ‘shouting and waving arms’ method is based on an advised method to protect yourself against a mountain lion that you might meet on a hike in the glorious American countryside. Make yourself big and dangerous-looking. Cats normally retire in response to that kind of human behavior.
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