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10 Natural and Safe Home Remedies to Keep Cats Away

Nicole Cosgrove

Is a feral cat wreaking havoc in your flowerbed that you worked so hard to perfect? Perhaps you can’t even open the window because an outside cat is disturbing the peace with your indoor animals.

We love cats, but we understand why you don’t want a cat roaming around your yard. Stray cats can carry diseases, and you don’t want them passing anything on to you or your pets. Fortunately, there are non-toxic, natural, and safe home remedies you can try.

Note: Home remedies are not an alternative to professional medical advice. If your pet has a serious issue, please consult your vet immediately.divider-cat

1. Large Landscaping Rocks

If you have pea gravel, that alone won’t keep cats out of your yard and flowerbed. Gravel can mimic the look of litter from a litter box, so you need something that doesn’t have that effect. Any large landscaping rocks work well since the cats won’t be able to dig through. They may become uninterested and move on.

Pros
  • Non-toxic
  • Looks great in your landscaping
Cons
  • Can be costly
  • Doesn’t work for the entire yard

2. Chicken Wire

Chicken wire can be highly effective and an inexpensive fix. Chicken wire works well because cats don’t like the feel on their pads, so it’ll prompt them to move on. If you can lay the wire flat on the ground in your garden, the better it’ll work. However, this may prove difficult if you already have plants. You can cut the wire with the proper tools, allowing you to lay the wire around your plants.

Pros
  • Effective
  • No need to replace each year
Cons
  • Can be pricey if you need a good amount
  • Can be time-consuming
  • May look unattractive to you

3. String

You’d think that having a fence alone would keep cats out, right? Wrong. Cats can leap pretty high, so you need something to scare them off your fence. Running string along the top can be a deterrent and worth a try.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Needs to be strategically placed for effectiveness

4. Water

Anyone who’s seen a cat get wet knows that cats generally have a dislike for water. But how can you use water to be effective in keeping cats away? Being on the lookout constantly is virtually impossible, but fortunately, there is an option. A motion detector sprinkler will turn on automatically when the unwanted cat strolls into your yard. Another way to use water is to spray away any cat urine. Watering a little bit daily can help keep unpleasant urine odors at bay.

Pros
  • Water is natural and safe for use as a deterrent
  • Effective and easy
Cons
  • May not always catch cat at the right time to spray
  • Motion detector sprinklers can be costly

5. Cat-Repelling Plants

Some plants can be toxic to cats, so to keep unwanted cats out of your yard, you need to plant safe, non-toxic plants. Lavender, rue, and rosemary plants will make a cat turn its nose up and walk away.

Pros
  • Natural and safe deterrent
  • Cheap and easy to plant
  • Can add excellent additions to your garden
Cons
  • May need several plants depending on the size of the area
  • Not all plants are safe for all animals

6. Sprinkle Coffee Grounds

That morning cup of joe serves more than the purpose of waking you up. It also can be used as a natural and safe way to keep cats away. Simply sprinkle your wet coffee grounds in the necessary areas around plants and borders. Remember to always use wet, used coffee grounds because dry coffee grounds can be toxic due to caffeine.

Pros
  • Biodegradable
  • Good enrichments for soil
  • Good for your plants
Cons
  • Needs applied regularly
  • May not repel all cats
  • Never use dry grounds due to toxicity

7. Double-Sided Tape

As we’ve already mentioned, cats hate anything on their paws, and tape is one of them. If you’ve noticed cats walking along your fence, simply place the tape along the top. When the cat jumps on top of the fence, it will hate the feeling and probably won’t try it again.

Pros
  • Simple and cheap
  • Effective
Cons
  • Will not work on wood fences
  • Needs to be replaced often

8. Keep Trash Lids Closed

A wandering feline will indeed be attracted to your yard if there’s trash. Keeping your yard clean and garbage can lids closed will help in keeping cats away. Another trick is to freeze certain smelly items before putting them in your trash to reduce the smell. For example, if you feasted on shrimp one night, freeze the shells and wait until trash pick-up day to put them into your outdoor trash receptacle.

Pros
  • Deters other animals as well
  • Makes your home look better
Cons
  • May not control the area in question

9. Remove Bird Feeders

We know this option is a drag for bird lovers, but having bird feeders may be what’s causing your unwanted guest(s). If this seems like a horrible concept to bear, try removing the feeders temporarily along with trying any of the above ideas to see if the cat goes away. If the cat moves on, then bring your feeders back out.

Pros
  • Eliminates cat attraction
Cons
  • Eliminates birds for the bird lover

10. Make Your Own Deterrent Spray

You can make your own spray at home, but take extreme caution to ensure what you put in the spray is non-toxic. Some suggest using citrus peels, but this can be toxic if a cat ingests them. It’s best to stick to safe, non-toxic ingredients. Mixing a combination of rosemary extract and water is a safe option.

Pros

  • Safe and natural
  • Easy to make

Cons

  • Need to spray often
  • May not work as a standalone solution

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Final Thoughts

Even though we love cats, we understand the nuisance and headache they can be when they come into our yards uninvited. Fortunately, there are several humane and safe natural home remedies to keep cats out of your yard. With persistence, patience, and dedication, you can rid cats in your yard without causing them any harm.


Featured Image Credit: Georgil Shipin, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.