Coffee grounds will deter some cats from using your garden as a litter box because some cats do not like the smell of coffee grounds. Others are absolutely unfazed by it. It is also worth noting that while coffee grounds can benefit your garden soil, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Acidic coffee grounds may lower your soil’s pH levels, making it unfriendly to some plants and beneficial to fauna. Large amounts of caffeine in the soil can also harm many plants.
Luckily, besides coffee grounds, there are many other ways to discourage cats from using your garden. Read on to learn more.
15 Top Tips To Keep Cats From Digging Into Your Garden
Used coffee grounds sprinkled generously over the soil’s surface can act as a repellent for some cats.
You can scatter and spread the wet grounds or dry them and then sprinkle them over the soil’s surface.
To dry used coffee grounds, spread them thinly on a baking sheet or similar large, flat, heat-proof surface and bake them at 250° degrees Fahrenheit until they are dry.
In scorching weather, you could also spread them on a flat surface outdoors and let the sun dry them.
Many cats dislike the scent of citrus peels, so you could save and dry them and toss them over the surface of your garden soil to deter some cats.
They will break down eventually and add nourishment to the soil.
Some cats don’t like the smell of eucalyptus. If you live in an area where eucalyptus trees grow, boughs from the trees could be laid on the garden soil to repel cats.
Mulch made of eucalyptus bark could have a similar effect.
Cat Repelling Plants
Scaredy Cat Plant (Plectranthus canina) is quite repellent to cats, as are lavender rosemary, geranium, oregano, Rue, and other aromatic herbs.
Plant Plectranthus canina off the beaten path because it is also rather offensive to people. It makes a good border plant around the edges of the garden.
On the other hand, all the rest of the herbs are delightful and useful and can be planted anywhere in the garden.
Cat Repellent Spray or Granules
You can purchase cat and dog repellents in granule, and liquid forms to be strewn, sprinkled, or sprayed as needed.
These are available in both chemical and natural formulations.
Make Cat Repellent Spray
You can also try making a natural cat repellent spray using a combination of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary, citronella, peppermint, or lemongrass.
Add the oils to the vinegar or lemon juice at a rate of 10 drops (total essential oil) per ounce of liquid.
Garlic oil is also offensive to cats, and you can throw a bit of that in. Spray this around borders, fences, and other inanimate surfaces surrounding your garden.
Be careful not to spray it on your plants, as it will cause damage and even death.
Most cats don’t like the scent of cinnamon and cloves, so sprinkling a bit of these dry spices over the surface of the soil may be helpful.
Don’t use cayenne or any other sort of pepper to deter cats under any circumstances. If they get pepper in their eyes, they may claw their own eyes out to get rid of it.
Cats generally dislike the smell of blood meal fertilizer and are not fond of fresh chicken manure.
However, be careful adding fresh chicken manure to your garden soil. It is “hot” and can burn plant stems and roots.
Only put it on the soil’s surface where it can break down gradually. Don’t let it touch plant stems.
A layer of chicken wire laid upon the surface of your garden soil or over fine mulch will provide a physical barrier to digging and discourage cats from even walking over your garden because they don’t like the feel of the wire on their paws.
You can sow seed with the chicken wire in place. If you need to plant seedlings or other plants, you can use wire cutters to make an appropriately sized hole.
This is a specially designed product made just for this purpose. This plastic mesh mat has sharp prickly spikes on one side.
It is intended to be placed on top of garden soil (spiky side up), just as you would place chicken wire.
Just as cats don’t like walking on chicken wire, they are also averse to walking on coarse mulch, such as lava rock.
If you have a decorative rock garden, cactus collection, or some such, a thick layer of lava rock over the surface of the soil will look nice, retain moisture and keep cats off.
Using spiky, aromatic pine cones as mulch will keep cats out and makes good use of your pine cones.
You can purchase a motion-activated sprinkler system specially designed to detect animal activity in the garden and shoot a blast of water at any animal entering your garden space. This can be effective against cats, raccoons, skunks, possums, and the like.
You can purchase a motion-activated ultrasonic alarm device that will emit an unpleasant but harmless sound when cats and other animals enter your garden.
The sound won’t hurt them, and it will just startle them. You will not be able to hear the sound.
Set up an out-of-the-way area in your yard that cats can use. Turn the soil or dump out a bag of play sand or topsoil in this area.
When you clean up cat droppings from your garden, carry them and the soil surrounding them to that area.
Cats typically follow scent when deciding where they want to relieve themselves.
You can prevent the smell from becoming overwhelming by turning the soil occasionally and adding more sand or topsoil.
Mix & Match For Best Results
A combination of cat deterrents will work better than any single effort. Any or all of these ideas can be used in conjunction with one another.
Choose the tips that appeal to you most from the list above and try them. Persistence and the right combination of cat deterrents should keep cats from pooping in your garden.
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