Even if you love cats, having them come into your garden and making a mess is far from ideal. Luckily, there are solutions for dealing with this problem.
When you invest time and money in your garden, you’ll want to do anything you can to keep it looking at its best. Unfortunately, cats can be a real problem for gardeners and will often choose the most inappropriate places to bury their mess.
Cats using your garden as a litter box isn’t just a problem for the health of your plants, but it can also make your garden unsafe for your kids or grandkids to play in too.
The good news is that there is a range of products available that will help you deal with the problem of cats straying onto your property in a way that’s ethical but still effective.
Last update on 2021-02-13 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
We’ve rated some of the best cat repellents currently available, looking at their key features as well as their pros and cons. Let’s start with our best pick, the Zonpor Ultrasonic Cat Repeller…
Practical to use and extremely effective at keeping cats away
The Zonpor Ultrasonic Cat Repeller is our top pick for a few reasons.
Firstly, and most importantly, it’s extremely effective at keeping cats away from your garden. It works by emitting a mix of ultrasonic sounds and flashing LED lights that help to scare away any cats looking to use your garden as a litter tray.
It can be charged by the solar panel on the front of the unit or by using the included USB charging lead. Setting it up is very easy. The stand comes in two pieces, which you attach to each other, then to the unit itself. You then simply install the batteries and place it facing the area you want to protect.
It’s a good idea to place the unit in a place that gets a decent amount of sunlight during the day. This will ensure you get the most use out of the unit before you need to recharge it.
In addition to being effective on cats, The Zonpor Cat Repeller can also be used to keep away a variety of other animals, including dogs and foxes as well as rats and mice.
Overall, it’s a great product that’s effective and easy to use.
- Very easy to set up and use with good, clear instructions included
- Adjustable sensitivity and frequency mean you can easily get the desired level of coverage you need
- It’s also waterproof so you don’t have to worry about using it when it’s raining outside
- The rechargeable batteries that come included aren’t the best quality, so you might need to invest in better ones
Very affordable and gets the job done
Our value pick is Defenders Pepper Dust. It might not be as high-tech as some of the other products on this list but it’s still a very effective solution for dealing with unwanted cats.
You get 300g of the pepper dust in the bottle, which is plenty for most gardens. To use it, you simply spread it in your garden where you’ve noticed cats digging up and fouling. You can put it down at any time of the year but it’s usually better to use it when it’s dry outside, so it doesn’t get absorbed by the soil.
It works on both cats and dogs and will stop them from digging your garden up as well as fouling in it without causing them any harm.
An advantage of this product is that you can use it pretty much anywhere outdoors, not just in your garden itself. For example, if you want to prevent cats from getting to your garden in the first place, you can sprinkle it on your driveway, patio or the areas around your outdoor bins.
If you’re looking for an affordable solution to preventing cats from fouling in your garden, then it’s certainly worth giving Defenders Pepper Treatment a try.
- Very affordable and easy to use
- Doesn’t affect the look of your garden like some other products do
- Humane and safe-to-use
- Won’t affect the health of your plants
- Might not be effective in all cases, especially when compared to products that use ultrasonic sounds
A feature-rich yet reasonably-priced solution
Cost: Price not available
The MOOHOO Solar Car Repellent is another solution that’s well worth considering.
It works by emitting a series of white and red flashes as well as an alarm sound that you can adjust the volume of. There are a very generous number of LED lights on this unit (12 white and 4 red) compared to a lot of other repellents, so it’s very effective at scaring away cats.
It detects any nearby animals via infrared and the solar panel means it can be charged without the need to be plugged in. If there are extended periods of wet weather, then you also have the option to charge it via the supplied USB cable.
Just like the Zonpor repeller, this product isn’t only effective for cats. It also helps to keep your garden free of other kinds of wildlife, including foxes, squirrels, mice and rats.
If you’re looking to stop cats from fouling in your garden, then this would be an excellent choice.
- A combination of ultrasonic sounds and flashing LED lights mean it’s very effective at keeping cats away from your garden
- Easy to set up and install – it can be used in a range of locations, including gardens, farms and patios
- You can easily adjust the sensitivity of the unit to suit your needs
- If it’s placed in an area that doesn’t get much sunlight, then you might need to charge it via USB quite frequently
A quirky and surprisingly effective way to keep your garden free of cats
The Pestbye Cat Silhouettes could be easy to dismiss at first glance, especially when compared to other solutions that make use of technology such as ultrasonic sound and LED lights.
The truth is that although these silhouettes might not be particularly high-tech, they can be very effective at keeping cats out of your garden. They are made from powder coated steel, so they can be used in the garden at any time of the year.
They work by scaring cats away due to their lifelike appearance and the bright green reflective eyes make them very easy for cats to spot, even at a distance or at night.
You get 3 silhouettes for your money and they’ll be most effective when placed strategically across your garden in the places you’ve noticed cats digging up/fouling. They’re extremely easy to use too – you simply put them into the ground using the attached spikes.
It’s worth pointing out that not everybody who reviewed this product found it to be effective so it’s going to be a matter of trying them yourself to see if they work for you.
- Very affordable and easy to use
- Extremely safe to use, with no harmful chemicals or ingredients required for them to be effective
- They can add a quirky charm to your garden thanks to their unique appearance
- Aren’t necessarily effective in the long term, as cats and other wildlife get used to them being there
- Not everyone will be a fan of the way they look
A safe and practical solution
Lastly, we’re going to look at the PestExpel Anti-Cat Mat Spikes. This is a unique solution compared to the others mentioned above since it doesn’t rely on scaring cats away using lights, sounds etc. Instead, it simply makes the ground where you place it uncomfortable for cats to walk on.
These spikes come with some key benefits– they’re very safe to use and can be placed anywhere that you’ve noticed cats (or other wildlife) walking, digging up etc. The spikes are made from polypropylene, meaning they can be used in any weather conditions, including heavy rain.
The plastic teeth will make it uncomfortable for cats to walk on, but you don’t have to worry about it harming them. It’s also effective at keeping dogs away from your garden too.
The roll you get is 2m long so it’s a decent size, although you might need more if your garden is on the larger side. Overall, it’s an effective product that’s a very viable alternative to using ultrasonic devices or powders.
- Very easy to use and doesn’t cause any mess in your garden
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces, including soil, walls, fencing, grass and driveways
- Can easily be cut into smaller pieces, for example, if you wanted to place the spikes around potted plants or flower beds
- You may need to purchase more than one roll if you need to cover a larger area
- Some cats might not be bothered by it
How To Stop Cats Fouling Your Garden
In addition to using the products we’ve rated above, there are some other ways you can stop cats from fouling in your garden. These include –
Get a cat of your own
Cats are very territorial, especially male cats, so getting a cat of your own could be the ideal solution for keeping cats away from your garden.
The one obvious downside to getting your own cat is that it could very easily end up using your garden as a litter tray instead. There are a couple of ways to stop this from becoming a problem, however.
First and foremost, you should get an indoor litter tray for your cat. This means it always has the option to use that instead of going in the garden. In addition, you might also choose to encourage your cat to use a certain spot of the garden from a young age. This way you at least know where the mess will be when you need to clean it up.
Of course, you shouldn’t get a cat solely for the purpose of keeping other cats away. Although they’re much less responsibility than owning a dog, you’ll still need to care for them, pay for their food, take them to the vets etc.
Use motion-activated sprinklers
Anyone who’s ever owned a cat will know that they pretty much universally hate getting wet. This being the case – motion-activated sprinklers are a very effective solution for keeping cats off your lawn. There are a couple of downsides to this solution, however…
Firstly, they’re not the cheapest to invest in. You’ll also probably need to buy multiple sprinklers, especially if your garden is on the larger side. However, if you can afford the cost, then this is a great way to keep cats off your lawn.
Utilise plants with a strong scent
There are certain plants that cats dislike the smell of. These include lavender, lemon thyme and rue amongst others. If you want to add some colour to your garden while also keeping away unwanted feline visitors, then this is a great way to do it.
An alternative to putting down plants with a strong scent would be to spread lemon or orange peel around the areas where you’ve noticed cats fouling.
Make soil uncomfortable to walk on
Cats being the comfort-seeking creatures they are, prefer to walk on soil that’s soft and smooth. Therefore, an excellent way to keep them away from your garden is to make the soil in your garden uncomfortable to walk on. There are a few ways you can do this.
A very effective way to make your soil unattractive to cats is by laying chicken wire over the top of it. This will take a bit of time and effort, but it will almost certainly prevent cats from using your garden to foul in.
An alternative to using chicken wire would be to spread pinecones or twigs around the soil. This will make it uncomfortable for cats without the need to deal with the time and expense associated with installing chicken wire.
Chris loves the outdoors and exploring nature. He is a freelance writer and has written extensively on subjects including travel, DIY and gardening.