Keeping Cats out of your Yard Humanely

Almost every neighborhood has stray or feral cats. Some have a considerably larger problem than others, and some people aren’t happy about it, especially if the cats are causing damage. The damage could be minor, like digging up plants after using the flower bed as a litter box, or it could be a little more major. Either way, even cat lovers can admit that such things are annoying. However, rounding these cats up, or finding ways to hurt them while they’re on your property, isn’t likely to help. There are humane ways of keeping cats out of your yard that can also be more effective.


Image by genocre, licensed under Public Domain via Pixabay

Keeping cats out of your yard might mean just planting certain plants

Generally, planting plants that cats don’t like is the best way to do this. According to SFGate, lavender, pennyroyal and rue herb are good for keeping cats out of your yard. Cats don’t like the scents of these plants, and will avoid them because of that.

Alley Cat Allies says that another possibility is to sprinkle lemon and orange peel around your fence line and borders, and use a citrus-scented spray on your plants and soil. This will smell nice to you, but citrus can be too strong for cats. Plants like curry herb and lemon balm around the fence line and borders can also help; cats like neither the odor, nor the texture, of these plants, and do tend to avoid them.

Image by StillWorksImagery, licensed under Public Domain via Pixabay

Image of lavender by StillWorksImagery, licensed under Public Domain via Pixabay

Use the plants in your garden, or other creative means, to deter cats

If the problem is in your garden, you can arrange branches in an artful lattice over the soil, and plant small plants in the spaces between them. Cats won’t like stepping over the branches, especially if they’re hard to see. Embedding pine cones in the soil, with the tips sticking up, or putting out carpet runners with the spikes up will keep cats out, too.

Ultimately, you don’t want to plant things you know are toxic for the purpose of keeping cats out of your yard. You could wind up with very sick, or dead, cats in your yard if you do that. If you’ve tried keeping cats out of your yard with everything you can think of, then you might want to do something like plant a stand of catnip somewhere you don’t mind having the cats, to draw them away from the rest of your yard. You might also consider tilling the soil over there to act as a litter box, so they’re less inclined to use other places in your yard.

It’s important to remember that all cats are not the same, and what works on some cats won’t work on others. You might have to do some trial and error before you find something at works. However, there are a lot of options for humanely keeping cats out of your yard and garden, so take heart. The problem is not hopeless.

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