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Home > Cats > How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard: 5 Proven Ways

How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard: 5 Proven Ways

cat on the fence

Cats can get into all kinds of trouble in a modern yard. Whether you’re trying to ward off a friendly stray or keep your cat away from your flowers, there are several reasons why you might want to keep cats out of your yard. Here are five proven methods to keep stray cats out of your yard.


The 5 Methods to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard

1. Spray Cat Repellant

One way to keep cats out of your garden is to spray or lay cat repellant. There are various commercial repellants that you can buy to treat your yard with. The repellants are harmless to the cats, but they can’t stand how they smell and taste, so they stay away. There are indoor and outdoor repellants, so make sure you choose the right one for your needs.

An outdoor repellant will usually come in a more concentrated liquid form that you dilute to create a spray. Once you’ve mixed the repellant, you can apply it to anything you want to keep cats away from. Fencing, poisonous plants, even your whole dang yard if you’re looking to minimize the number of cats in your yard, period.

Sprays usually must be reapplied about once a week to maintain their effectiveness. Some repellant manufacturers make a granular version of their repellant that can be laid around the yard’s perimeter to act as a barrier.

2. Plant Lilacs or Citrus Plants

Lilacs in full bloom
Image Credit: EllieBurgin, Pexels

Cats hate the smell of lilacs, rue, pennyroyal, Coelus canina, and lemon thyme. Planting these plants might be an excellent way to ward off the cats and pretty up your yard. Cats also hate citrus smells, so planting some citrus plants can improve the look of your yard and help ward off cats.

If you don’t want to take care of the plants, you could try spraying or diffusing the scents outside, but these won’t have the same reach as the plants themselves and would be less effective than a cat repellant spray.

3. Put Up Chicken Wire or Other Barriers

If you’re dead set on it, you can always put up a fence. Cats are nimble and will get around a barrier that’s too short. A wall might have them walking on top of it and jumping down into your yard. Chicken wire is good since you can spray some cat repellant or set up an ultrasonic sensor at the top of the chicken wire to deter cats from taking the leap of faith into your yard.

Chicken wire also makes a great way to keep cats away from enticing plants that are poisonous or that you don’t want them to get into. You can also use it to fence off any other things that might attract cats, like a pet feeder or bird feeder.

4. Set Up a Motion Activated Sprinkler

how to keep cats out of your yard sprinkler
Image Credit: ariesa66, Pixabay

A motion-activated sprinkler can keep cats away because most cats hate water. You can get infrared sprinklers that activate when something moves within 30 or 40 feet of the sensor but isn’t sensitive enough to be triggered by leaves blowing by.

With a motion-activated sprinkler, you’ll want to be careful about where you put it. Putting it in a place where people walk often could have you blasting an unsuspecting neighbor in the face with water when they come too close to the property line. If you’re vigilant about the placement, the sprinkler will keep cats away from your yard without harming any people in the area.

5. Ultrasonic Barriers

Ultrasonic barriers have an infrared sensor similar to the sprinkler, but instead of water, the barrier emits ultrasonic sounds that cats don’t like. Some include strobe lights and predator calls to further deter cats from entering the protected area. A study on the barriers showed that the ultrasonic barriers reduced the frequency of visiting cats by 46%.

Ultrasonic barriers are also an excellent choice for people with issues with other pest animals such as rats and opossums, as the ultrasonic sounds deter them. Some of the other pest animals hampered by ultrasonic barriers are prey animals frequently hunted by stray cats. So, it may be even more effective than one might think by reducing the reasons a stray cat might want to enter your property in the first place.



It will take some time to figure out the exact mix of deterrents needed to keep your yard cat-free. After some tries, you’ll be able to figure out the perfect blend of barriers to ward off strays and keep your cats safely away from your plants. We hope this list gave you some good ideas for how to protect your yard or your cats from your yard!

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Featured Image Credit: katya-guseva0, Pixabay

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