Cats have a way of claiming things that is both endearing and frustrating at the same time.
For example, it is well-known among pet-lovers that cats choose their people, not the other way around.
Likewise, cats choose where they will poop, urinate, and scratch things up. Unfortunately, sometimes their chosen domains include our flower beds.
Read on to learn the best methods for keeping cats out of your flower beds (and any other part of the yard you don’t want them!).
How to Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds?
Some of the best ways to keep cats out of flower beds include using cat repellents (homemade and commercial), sprinkling substances they have an aversion towards, like pepper, coffee, and tea leaves, and installing sprinklers (as cats are notorious for avoiding getting wet).
1. Commercial Cat Repellents
The first method for keeping cats out of flower beds on our list is using commercial cat repellents. These store-bought sprays, oils, and powders normally consist of either a mixture of organic ingredients like clove and garlic extracts, or essential oil like Citronella.
PetSafe Pawz Away, Nature’s Wisdom, and NaturVet are just a few of the most popular and effective commercial cat repellents used to keep cats away from designated areas.
2. Cayan or Black Pepper
One easy method for discouraging cats from entering the flower beds is sprinkling Cayan pepper or black pepper around. The technique works extremely well because once they get a whiff of the stuff, they’ll avoid the area for a long time.
The biggest drawback, however, is that you need to reapply the stuff every time it rains or is windy outside (until they get a nose full of it, at least).
3. Tea Leaves
The scent of tea also deters cats from claiming flower beds as their own private litter box or scratching station. Simply rip open some tea bags and scatter the stuff around.
For optimal results, try placing flat stones or landscaping tiles throughout the flower beds and place the tea on top of them. That way, it doesn’t get covered in dirt or mulch.
4. Citronella Oil
One of the most potent cat deterrents is none other than Citronella oil. Felines simply can not stand the powerful citrus scent of it.
Drizzle the oil around the edges of the flower bed borders, or use it in a spray and mist the entire flower bed. That said, Citronella oil is a bit expensive if you have large flower beds to protect.
5. Pinecones and Twigs
Albeit a bit underhanded, strategically placing pinecones and twigs throughout your flower beds is another lesser-known method for keeping cats out. Old or broken chopsticks, pencils, and toothpicks also work in a pinch.
Cats are picky creatures by nature. They take their time picking their paths and don’t like uneven terrain. By placing twigs and pinecones around the place, you’re effectively making the flower beds a less comfortable environment for them to prowl around in.
6. Mesh or Nets
Another slightly underhanded method is lining your flower beds and landscaping with mesh or netting. As with twigs, pinecones, and toothpicks, once the cats realize the stuff is all over the place, they won’t feel comfortable walking around the area anymore.
Old mesh potato and onion sacks are great for this method. Likewise, old fishing nets also work well. Of course, you could also opt to buy some cheap mesh brand new from a local department store. Simply lay it over the flower beds and use garden stakes to hold it in place.
7. Citrus Peels and Coffee Grounds
If you happen to eat a lot of lemons, oranges, grapefruit, or other citrus fruits (or know someone who works at a restaurant that uses lemons in their drinks), collecting and scattering the peels around the flower beds is another sure way to keep cats out.
Coffee grounds also have a similar effect.
This method is best used in combination with one of the above techniques such as twigs, pinecones, or mesh (as it is not very cost or time effective on its own).
8. Human Hair
Believe it or not, the scent of human hair is said to keep cats away. If you have long hair or have a spouse and children, collecting hair from the hairbrushes and combs is a quick and easy technique to employ.
Once you collect a decent amount of hair, head out to the flower beds and scatter it around. Sticking it near the border is your best bet, where cats are likely to encounter it as they attempt to enter the area.
9. Lavender, Rue, or Pennyroyal
There are plants that cats adore, and plants that they hate. Growing one or more types of herbs that cats despise the smell of is an excellent way to discourage them from bothering your landscaping.
Lavender, pennyroyal, and rue are just a few of the best herbs to consider growing to keep cats out of the flower beds.
10. Fences and Hedges
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best of all. In many cases, simply installing a fence around your flower beds is enough to keep the cats out.
It’s no secret that cats are quite lazy. The less effort it takes them to do something, the better. For many cats, jumping a fence on a daily basis makes them lose interest in the fenced-off area.
11. Light Reflectors and Windchimes
Cats are extremely sensitive to light. Thankfully, there are all sorts of aesthetically pleasing light reflectors that you can purchase and install in your landscaping (such as pinwheels).
Further, for a nice DIY trick, hang or place a few old CDs around the place. The sun glinting off of them will run off cats.
In addition, cats aren’t too keen on random noises. Installing a wind chime or two might just be enough to startle them away.
12. Garden Hose and Sprinklers
It’s no secret that cats don’t enjoy water for any other purpose than drinking. That said, a sprinkler system installed in the flower bed is an excellent way to keep them out.
Likewise, if you happen to be outside and see them snooping around the flower beds, shoot a few jets of water their way to scare them away. You can also neutralize the spots they mark with urine to make them lose interest in the area.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.