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Home > Cats > How to Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds: 7 Vet Approved Tips

How to Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds: 7 Vet Approved Tips

Siamese black cat with blue eyes going on an stones alley bordered of grass and savage flowers

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Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As much as we adore our feline friends, it can be disheartening to see your carefully nurtured plants being trampled or used as a litter box. While it is not very common, you may find that yours or somebody else’s cats want to spend some time in your garden. Cats may dig up plants, leave droppings in flower beds, and even eat some of your favorite displays. What’s more, they may get into your vegetable patch or herb garden and go to the toilet on your land, with resulting odors and possible release of parasites into the soil. So what keeps cats out of flower beds?

Whatever the reason you want to stop them, there are humane steps that you can take to prevent cats from making their way into your borders. Any measure that you take should not be harmful or cause pain, suffering, injury, or distress to any cat. Below are 7 friendly and simple methods you can try to prevent cats from getting into your garden or flowers.


The 7 Tips on How to Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds:

1. Do Not Offer Cat Food or Treats Nearby

It might sound obvious, but make sure you don’t attract neighborhood cats by offering food or treats around your house. Cats that have been fed once will return to the same spot. Avoid feeding cats and they will be less likely to return to your garden.

2. Use Ground Textures That Cat Dislike

Cats have soft paws and prefer soil and grass to walk on because it is softer and won’t cause any pain. You shouldn’t add anything that will do real damage, but consider pinecones or rough pebbles. Cats are less likely to walk on these surfaces. Furthermore, placing pebbles in your garden can make your cat’s digging much more complicated and, hopefully, stop them from returning.

Image Credit: JennyJohansson, Pixabay

3. Wash Away Cat Scent

If the neighborhood cats use your garden as a meeting spot or as a toilet, you can wash away the odorous evidence of their visit. Get out the hosepipe and wash the areas where the cats tend to congregate. Cleaning the smell away effectively wipes away their claim to a favorite spot and, with any luck, they will go and find another spot somewhere else.

4. Spray Water

Cats dislike being sprayed with water, and we’re not suggesting you hit them with a water cannon or jet wash, but you can set motion-activated sprinklers to go off when anything approaches your flower beds. Ensure that you remember when they’re turned on, or it could ruin your barbecue.

water spray-pixabay
Credit: Squirrel_photos, Pixabay

5. Use Sound

Visiting cats will also be distracted by loud or sudden noises. Use wind chimes and motion-activated devices that detect a cat and then play a sound. These should stop cats from coming around again.

6. Provide a Designated Spot for Them

Cats are more likely to stay away from your garden if they have an alternative area of their own. You can plant some cat grass or catnip or you can create a separate spot in your yard with sand or soft soil where cats can dig and play.

Credit: Irinka-osinka, Shutterstock

7. Install a Run

If it’s your own cat that is causing trouble, consider adding a run or exercise area that is accessible from the inside but does not allow them into the main garden. This will protect birds from being preyed upon, and it will prevent nasty deposits in your rose bushes while ensuring that your cat is still able to get the fresh air they crave.


Last Thoughts

Cats can be a nuisance, especially if they dig up your garden and leave poo behind while hunting songbirds. It’s understandable that you would want to learn how to keep cats out of your flower bed. The steps above can help you prevent cats from digging, toileting, or eating your flowers, but do remember that any method that you try should be respectful and non-harmful. One cat may prefer to visit their brand-new designated area while another might not pay any attention to it. Experiment to find the method that works best for your situation and your garden.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: bazoul, Shutterstock

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