Cat Training

How You Can Safely Keep a Cat Out of Your Flower Beds and Garden

how to keep cats out of flower beds

Cats are clever beasts that love getting into places where they aren’t supposed to go.

Many love invading gardens and flower beds because they enjoy digging in the dirt or even use the area as a giant litter box.

Some might also gnaw on your plants a little or scratch them. This situation is very frustrating and is one that you need to take control of right away.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of useful methods that will keep your cat out of a garden.

Each is designed to either drive the cat away from ever entering or to make it impossible for them to get into your flower beds.

The best thing about these control methods is that they are active even when you aren’t in the garden, meaning you don’t need to babysit the area.

So try out one or more of these methods to keep your garden safe from the sharp claws and teeth of a cat.

Using an array of approaches is a wise step because it will make your strategy more effective.

For example, if the cats get used to one deterrent they can then be scared away by another.

Using these methods effectively should transform your garden and flower beds into a cat-free zone for years.

Associate the Garden With Bad Memories

Cats have a lot going on in their heads and are incredibly smart, smarter than most people realize.

For example, recent studies have found that cats may have one of the best memories of any animal that is not a human. Their memories can contain a lifetime of experiences that never fade away.

Just as importantly, they are capable of drawing on those memories in a variety of different ways and in a multitude of situations.

Therefore, the most successful way that you can keep cats out of your garden is to make that area a bad memory for the cat. There are many ways that you can achieve that goal.

In fact, most of the methods suggested below are designed to annoy a cat and to make them think that the garden is a place to be avoided.

They mostly focus on discomforting or scaring the cat in an unexpected situation.

The basic idea is to overwhelm their sensations in a way that doesn’t hurt them. You aren’t trying to injure or even kill cats here but just want to annoy them.

The sensitivity of the average feline means that it is easier than expected to annoy them or drive them away from a place where you don’t want them to be lurking.

Scare Them Away With Smells

Though people usually associate strong noses with dogs, cats are no slouches. In fact, a recent study took a look at the amount of scent receptor proteins that were in various animals’ noses.

This protein, known as V1R, controls a mammal’s scent sense by making it easier for them to tell one smell apart from another.

The study found that humans had two of these proteins while dogs had nine variants.

What surprised them was how many variants cats had in their noses. Most had expected that there would be more than humans but less than dogs, probably around 5-6.

However, they discovered that there were 30 different V1R protein variants in a cat’s nose.

Therefore, a cat could (theoretically) have a sense of smell that is over three times more powerful than that of the average dog.

All of this information indicates that smells are one of the best ways to keep cats out of your garden. Like other animals, several scents are naturally unpleasant to cats.

For example, most cats are repulsed by lavender and rue. Planing these flowers around the edges of your garden is likely to keep cats from ever trying to enter your flower beds.

However, you can also spread the urine of predators around the area, such as that of foxes and coyotes. Obviously, you aren’t going to go out into the wild and gather this urine.

Thankfully, most hunting shops should have this type of urine or urine-like product available for gardeners. Spread it around on the perimeter of your garden to keep the cats out.

Set Up Regular Water Sprays to Get Them All Wet

One of the most obvious cliches about cats is their feel fear and repulsion when exposed to water.

While Animal Planet states that not all cats hate water, they do point out that a cat’s memory of exposure to it is likely to influence their reaction.

Therefore, you want to create a very unpleasant memory of water in a cat’s mind and to use that against them to keep them out of your garden.

For example, you can spray any cats you see trying to enter your garden with a bottle or even a light hose.

That spray of water will aggravate the cat and keep them away for a while. Some cats might also avoid the area entirely because they remember the spray of water and want to avoid it.

However, braver cats are likely to notice that the water came from you and may try to sneak in when you aren’t around.

That’s why it’s not a bad idea to set up sprinklers on the perimeter of your garden that go off on a motion sensor.

This setup can catch a cat as they try to sneak into your garden. The sudden spray of water will come out of nowhere, as far as the cat is concerned, and make them associate getting suddenly wet with trying to enter into your garden.

It is wise to put this type of sprinkler on a remote control, as well, so that you can turn it off before you enter the garden.

You should also turn it off whenever your children are outside playing. Otherwise, they are going to end up drenched and very annoyed with you.

Turning this sprinkler system on at night is your best bet because that’s when most cats are likely to lurk near your garden.

Install Cat-Proof Fences to Keep Them Climbing

Anyone who owns a cat knows that they are incredible climbers. Their love of climbing trees is legendary and provides them with an incredible view of a yard.

And while cats may struggle to find a way down after climbing, they are usually skilled enough to do it.

The same is true of most garden or flower fences built in your home. A skilled cat will have no difficulty climbing the average wooden fence and getting all up in your garden and flower bed’s business.

Even worse, wire fences can also be easy for a determined cat to climb if it isn’t designed correctly.

Thankfully, it is possible to build cat-proof fences that keep them out of your flower beds. Some people will create a large fence that goes all the way around the garden, including at the top.

This step isn’t strictly necessary but is one of the best methods for cat-proofing a garden. However, you don’t have to go through all that trouble if you slant the fence at a 45-degree angle near the top.

That’s because a severe backward slant like this will force the cat into a very uncomfortable climbing position.

While some felines might be able to handle hanging upside down while climbing, most won’t have the strength to do it.

As a result, they’ll be forced to let go and try to find a different approach. Therefore, surrounding the garden or flower bed with this type of fencing will make it impossible for any cat to get inside.

Proper cat-proof fencing should also be tight enough to make it difficult for your cats to grip.

Tighter and smaller fence holes force the cat’s paws into awkward positions that will make it more difficult for them to climb.

Just as importantly, it will make it more challenging for a stubborn cat to push their head through the fence holes and wiggle their butt inside.

Create a Scarecrow…Or Is That a Scarecat?

You may have noticed that cats are fairly easy to startle. That’s because their focus is so intense that any surprise movement or sudden change to their environment throws them off.

This fact is particularly true when a cat is in hunting or sneaking mode, which they are likely to be when they are invading your garden or flower beds.

These stinkers will be so intent on getting past your defenses that the slightest noise or movement will upset them.

That’s why it’s not a bad idea to install a few scarecrows throughout your garden.

These deterrents shouldn’t be like the scarecrows you see in cornfields or in movies.

Those might scare a cat once or twice, but their lack of movement will make the cat get used to it quickly.

As a result, they are likely to ignore your scarecrows after awhile and even learn to like hanging around them.

Thankfully, moving your scarecrows around from time to time can make them a little bit more useful for scaring away cats.

However, it is probably best to put them on some kind of motion-activated motor that thrusts them out suddenly when your cat is in the area.

No cat will ever get used to that kind of surprising motion and will be likely to flee the moment they see it happening.

Just as importantly, they are likely to stay away from your flower bed for good. And even though those videos of cats being scared of cucumbers are pretty funny, cats aren’t truly afraid of that vegetable.

They are likely startled by a foreign object placed behind them when they weren’t looking. That fear operates on the same principle as a motion-activated scarecrow.

That said, spreading cucumbers around your garden is likely to confuse, but not frighten, a cat.

Ultrasonic Devices Scare Most Cats

High-volume ultrasonic devices are another interesting way to keep cats out of your flower beds.

Cats have very sensitive ears, like other mammals, and are often scared by loud noises.

If you own a cat, you’ve probably seen one bolt from the room after you laughed.

That’s because a cat’s ears are so delicate that those sounds are particularly difficult for them to tolerate. High-pitched noises, in particular, are pretty hard for a cat to handle.

And while a wailing siren in your flower bed would drive cats from your area, it would also attract police telling you to follow your area’s noise laws.

That’s where ultrasonic devices come into play. These simple speakers play high-pitched noises that the human ear cannot hear.

However, dogs, cats, and other mammals will hear them just fine and will flee when they do.

Try to place these sound devices on posts around your garden to drive away cats, moles, or other creatures who want to invade your flower bed.

You can also place them on the ground or the speaker against the soil surface.

In this way, the sound will travel through the soil and hit their paws and even their whiskers.

That approach will aggravate and upset a cat and keep it from coming into your yard, mainly if you can associate that noise with your flower bed for an extended period.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, keeping a cat out of your garden and flower beds is a multifaceted approach that requires many different techniques.

That’s because cats are so clever that they are likely to sneak around one or more of your traps or find ways to get over the discomfort they cause them.

Therefore, it is wise to implement as many of these methods as possible whenever you have a cat that won’t take no for an answer.

While cats aren’t necessarily as devastating to a garden or flower bed as a dog, they should still be kept out of it as much as possible to avoid severe damage.

Here is a helpful YouTube video about How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden by
LoveTheGarden.