For many homeowners, the arrival of spring means preparing the garden for planting. Summer brings the reward for their efforts. Unfortunately, many gardeners also face destroyed plants and the unwanted stench of cat urine, a scent that seems to linger on far after the initial deed is done.
There are ways to keep cats out of your flower bed, natural methods that are of no harm to the felines or other inhabitants and visitors such as birds, butterflies, dragon flies and, especially, children. Here are a few suggestions, including those shown in the video “How to Keep Cats Out of Your Flower Beds”:
- Filling glass bottles half full of water and arranging them around and within your garden repels cats. They don’t like the reflection of the water in the glass.
- Cats do not like lemon-scented plants. If you include lemon verbena, lemon grass, lemon-thyme or other scented varieties in your garden, you may find that it helps with unwanted feline friends.
- Netting or chicken wire can be used to protect fragile flower roots. If you place netting around plants, it also helps prevent damage by birds.
- Cats love to dig in soft soil. If you container garden, or if you don’t dig close to plant roots and turn up the soil, your garden will be of less interested to marauding cats.
There are many other natural ways to keep cats away, including using river rocks or small stones rather than mulch. Lavender, garlic and geraniums don’t appeal to kitty, so using them in borders can help with the problem. And don’t forget the power of the squirt bottle: a squirt or two of water on the culprit can help them decide to find “greener pastures!”
Various kitchen items will also help deter cats: cayenne pepper, black pepper, and old coffee grounds or tea leaves are all effective. Sprinkle these around the area that the cats are messing up, creating a natural border. Make a mixture of two parts cayenne pepper, three parts dry mustard and five parts flour – mix together and sprinkle. You will need to reapply after rain.
Other methods include commercial cat deterrents, such as CatStop. These products don’t hurt pets, but do emit high frequency (ultrasonic) sounds that startle cats, keeping them from protected areas.
The last thing you want to do is use anything harmful to your pet or others. Ideally, the best solution would be for every pet to be an indoor pet, but as we know all to well, that’s not likely to happen. Here in Vegas and in other urban areas, the feral pet population is just too high to be completely managed, so gardeners need to find creative means to keep unwanted animals out of gardens.