Keeping cats out of your garden
By Rhiannon Rowe, Eagle County CMG
There are a few commercial deterrent sprays you can find in pet stores or online. Just make sure they are safe to use around plants before you start spraying. Barriers can also be effective by physically keeping the cat away from your garden although they can make it tough to reach your plants. Netting can help protect your younger plants as well as putting a ring of pine cones or anything prickly around the plant as cats don’t like to walk on surfaces that aren’t soft. A friend of mine likes to put plastic cutlery around her garden and swears it helps!
Water can be used in a few different ways. Motion activated sprinkler systems can work as well as posting up with a SuperSoaker to catch the cat in the act. Cats aren’t fans of water and it shouldn’t take more than a few times for them to realize that they aren’t welcome! Using water to wash away an intact male cat’s urine scent can also help as well as removing anything that a cat is using to mark his territory.
There are several other ways to deter cats from a garden but these are my favorites! If these ideas aren’t helping, it may be time to speak to your neighbors about their cat’s behavior and try to come to an understanding. If you aren’t sure who the cat belongs to or if it is a feral cat, contact your local shelter. They can pick up the cat and check for a microchip. If the cat is feral, they can help you set a humane trap to try and remove the cat from your premises.
Finally, cats are conditioned to stay in an area that is
comfortable and welcoming to them. If there is food present, their hunger is taken care of. If there is loose
dirt, they have found a litter box! If there are fun things to chase such as mice and birds, they have plenty of
entertainment! Finding ways to take these luxuries away will help the cat realize that they need to
move on and find a new place to enjoy.