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Keeping Cats Out of the Garden

Keeping Cats Out of the Garden

We love our next-door neighbor, but I think sheís 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 donít 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 donít 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.

Read more: Nature, Cats, Lawns & Gardens

By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Healthy Living Channels

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.


+ add your own
1:31AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

thank you for sharing the info

8:59AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

I'm very fortunate to have amazing well behaved kitties that have no interest in doing their business in the garden or wrecking the flowers and herbs!! Every spring i plant cat grass for them around the garden and on the deck and they just sunbathe in it!! Thanks

2:17AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Rose cuttings can be used to protect new plants. A water pistol also makes a point. The coleus works quite well but it isn't hardy enough for winters round here.

2:23PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thanks for ther tips

5:45PM PST on Feb 2, 2013

I liked the idea for the sprinkler, but I strongly agree with others here that cats should be kept indoors for their own safety. By the way, my kitties always played with and tore open tea bags, so I don't know how effective tea leaves as a deterrent would be.

7:45PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Thank you for info and good comments.

7:44PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Thank you for info and good comments.

2:22AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Cats are versatile and can be either indoor or indoor/outdoor pets depending on where you live and the neighbourhood. Cats and cat purrsons live in different situations and what suits some does not suit others. Nothing is black and is full of grey areas.

7:47PM PST on Nov 22, 2012

Cat owners need to be responsible for their cats. I have cats that are allowed out in the yard when I am around. Letting cats roam is an invitation to for problems. Even if they are fixed, they can still get in fights especially when another cat comes into their yard,

In addition to other cats there are dogs and in our area there are also racoons. Both can do serious damage to a cat.

1:45PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

Thanks. Some cats are feral (and some that aren't) and wander off. We all know that spaying/neutering is the solution, but not everybody has caught on to that yet. In the meantime, please be tolerant to these very lovable creatures that didn't ask to come into this world but are doing their best to navigate through it unharmed.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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