We love our next-door neighbor, but I think she’s trying to tell us something: She put moth balls all along the line between your yards, I guess to keep our kitties out of her garden. But moth balls are toxic!
Here are several easy, safe, and effective ways to deter cats from using your neighbor’s garden as a litter box, but, unlike moth balls, they don’t pose a health hazard to cats or humans. Or, heck, you could do what my boss suggested and try releasing a whole herd of gophers or mice. Then your kitties will be the guests of honor! (Just kidding!)
1. There are many herbs that cats don’t like to be around, including lavender, rue, geranium, absinthe, and lemon-thyme. Also, a German professional gardener, Dieter Stegmaier of Essingen, has created a hybrid so repulsive to cats, they stay a yard away from it. It smells like schnapps to us, and is actually a pretty and hardy plant with blue flowers that bloom throughout most of the summer. Its Latin name is Coleus canin. You can order it through various mail order services in Germany, for example here:
2. This mixture is easy to make and can be used anywhere you want to repel cats (or groundhogs, for that matter):
2 parts cayenne pepper
3 parts dry mustard
5 parts flour
Simply mix together and sprinkle.
3. Use large flat river stones in your garden beds to make the soil less diggable, and so less attractive to cats. Besides, river stones are pretty. You can also use them in houseplant pots to keep the furry little darlings out of those.
4. Cats don’t like tea leaves, so empty your used ones onto the garden soil.
5. You could also try using a sprinkler that is activated by a motion-sensor. All it takes is a time or two of getting dowsed with water to deter any cat. It can work for intruders, too.