Cat Spraying No More

How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Yard

Before you start looking at buying one of the many commercial cat deterrents on the market you should first of all consider if there’s anything you can do to discourage or stop cats from entering your yard in the first place.

Cats will be attracted to yards that have lots of bird activity so if you have a bird table or bath in your garden you should consider putting it away in the shed, at least until you have solved your cat problem.

If you have any catnip planted in your garden you should get rid of it as it’s a magnet to many cats who get high on the scent.

Is there a particular spot they gain access to your yard? A gap between a fence perhaps or a corner that’s overhung by a tree? If you know where they are coming in then it may be as easy as closing off that gap or lopping off the over hanging branch.

Of course, it’s rarely that easy but you never know until you try – you just might be in luck.

Cats like to walk along fences and walls and if this how they are gaining access to your garden you will find plastic guttering tied upside down on the top will stop most cats although it doesn’t look particularly good. I first tried the commercial plastic cat spikes on my fence but it was only successful on about half of my feline visitors.cats attracted to bird houses

Chicken wire is the gardeners friend when it comes to deterring cats because they don’t like to climb or walk on it. Use it if your boundary fence is the picket type or lay it on the ground where cats drop into your garden.

Other uses include attaching it to the bottom of gates if they can get underneath, laying it on shed and garage roofs etc. Chicken wire is cheap and easy to work with and it’s not too unsightly once the garden is in bloom.

If you know who the cat belongs to you could try having a word with its owner. They may be prepared to make their own garden cat proof to stop their pet roaming into neighbouring gardens although that can be expensive so don’t hold your breath.

Got a tip for deterring cats from entering a garden? Share it here and the best ones get added to the above list.

For many people (including me), stopping the cats from entering the garden is always going to be a losing battle. In my case it was because two of the adjoining gardens (left and bottom) had planted fast growing conifers as privacy screening so as I closed off one place of entry the cats would simply find themselves another.

If you find you can’t stop them entering then don’t panic, all is not lost. Try some of these commercial cat deterrents that have been fully tested by yours truly or try some of the home made ones ones kindly sent in by readers here.


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24 Comments

  • John Wilson says:

    I put the commercially available cat spikes on my fence but have been told by our council that I have to take them down. Could you tell me if there is anything actually illegal about the use of these spikes?

    • Debby says:

      I am having problems with cats too..I have telephoned the police to ask about the cat spikes and she assured me that they can be used but on the condition that you also display a sign stating that they are in use..We have put the spikes on 3 of our walls and in the top middle of each wall have displayed a small notice

    • Jean says:

      There is a simple fix. Lay bird netting (Lowes has it–big roll for like $13) flat on the garden soil like a blanket before you plant your veggies. It is black and you barely see it once it is in place. Secure it to the ground with landscaping pins. Cats wont use your garden as a litter box because they wont be able to scratch the ground with the netting down. As the plants come up you may occasionally have to cut a slit for the bigger leafed ones (like potatoes) to grow through the netting. Some plants like herbs just grow through the squares in the netting with no help. It is a cheap, easy, effective fix.

      • Rory says:

        The ownerless cats in my garden love pooing there so much that they will do it straight on the lawn. Can’t put bird netting on the lawn as it cocks up the mower

  • dave tutt says:

    Right now I stink of cat pee for the third day running! I absolutely hate the things! I have to work outside my workshop with the consequence that the covers over various pieces of equipment are always scent marked. Whilst I would love to use a pair of bricks on all cats in the neighborhood I feel that my only legal option is to make up something that is so potent that all cats not only stay away from my garden but ideally stay 100 yards away from the entire road! Of course I don’t think any cat marks its owners garden. They do it outside the area they feel is home. My mother always recommends befriending the cat and then treating it with an old cure, sloans linament on the backside! If anyone knows of any other more effective treatment such as automatic hose pipe valves or triggers for super soakers I will gladly use it! Im off to get clean again! Filthy horrible pests!

    • Lynn Gunter says:

      First off, cat’s are not filthy.They are very clean animals. My advice to your cat problem is to take you and your mom to live on top of a mountain preferably volcanic. The cat’ts wont miss you, i bet people wont either. POOF! problem solved.

      • jack preston says:

        And how about those of us that don’t appreciate cats using our raised garden beds as their litter box – are we to be banished also? Discovering fresh cat poop while working the soil really makes my day! But it sounds like you’d enjoy it Lynn.

      • NOT a cat person says:

        Typical “cat owner” reply, it’s a shame they don’t piss and shit in your gardens. I personally hate them and have a 12 volt deterrent that keeps the them away. How would you like it if my dog came into your garden and took a dump in your flower bed every day ??? bet you would be banging on my door to complain then but because its a cat its OK with you.

    • Tijen says:

      You are evil and need therapy!

  • Colin Hickey says:

    Lynn wow, talk about over the top.

    Amazing how a simple request for information to deter cats always inspires the “Homicidal Cat Ladies” of this world to demand death for anyone who would even dare to suggest that cat owners keep their pets out of other people’s property. I agree that house cats are pets and if you like the horrible, little murderous beasties that’s fine for the cat’s owner.

    However if it was legal I would poison the feral and wandering feline vermin, as we can do with rodent vermin. As this isn’t an option thanks to “Homicidal Cat Ladies”.
    Normal people of the world are forced to find environmentally safe, non harmful, wishy washy and ineffective methods to stop these vile, filthy (in this case it’s a reference to their little gifts) and murderous little blighters from ruining our lives and killing any and all wildlife they can sink their claws/teeth into.

    • Colin Hickey says:

      Oops forgot the best tip to stop cats entering your space is a mix of spikes and trellis on the top of the wall or fence with more spikes where the cat will land if it jumps into your yard. Add in sonic/water sprayers and they won’t be back.

      The best spikes are ones your local authority can’t do anything about, plants such as holly, roses, thorns etc.
      Put climbing ones on the walls or fences. Grow them up a trellis on the inside of your property and ensure the trellis extends up above the top of the wall or fence by about 6 inches. Put low lying thorny ground cover plants below the areas where cats can still jump into your yard/garden.

      When the local cat lady (homicidal or otherwise) complains to the town hall you can quite happily reply that you are simply trying to deter burglars by using strategic planting up a trellis extending slightly above your fence/wall top. This actually is a recommended tip from several police forces and security agencies to do just that. The fact that you can use it to deter unwanted cats is merely a happy bonus.

    • Jessica Cunningham says:

      Totally agree! ❎🐈 🚫😼

    • Clearly Lynn the “cat lady” is not aware of all the disease that cats carry. Toxoplasmosis which is found in most cat feces is not only responsible for causing harm to unborn fetuses is also responsible for eye diseases, depression, and schizophrenia, Get a clue lady! Not to mention what your cat shit is doing to our water system.

  • mike says:

    Do you really have to be so hateful towards these nice animals? Yes there are some that are not so nice. But in my experiences, most are nice. They are just trying to survive like we are.

  • Catastrophic says:

    We have the misfortune to have a mad cat lady as a neighbour. Unfortunately, we share a path so are limited to what deterrents we can use there but we’re at the point of desperation now.

    This woman puts food outside all day every day to attract every cat in the neighbourhood and beyond. She has stolen two cats – one had adverts up by the owners looking for it and the other she just blatently kept in her house. There was a stray kitten that we tried to trap in conjunction with CPL – she released it from the trap – it is now semi feral and has no home. These cats are constantly fighting, day and night, spraying and pooping everywhere and anywhere and we cannot let the dog out into his own garden for fear he gets attacked. We tried to shoo one of them away and it turned on us.

    We’ve put chicken wire everywhere we can to try and stop them cutting through our garden but now they just come up the path and sit on the doorstep – 9 of them at one point.

    I will not have any cat lover telling me that this is acceptable.

    Our problem is that whilst we want to deter the cats, we don’t want to affect our dog. He’ll be 11 years old next month and he has never known being able to go out into his garden to have a wander and a sniff – it’s always a collar and lead and cat check first, then he’s out, toilet and in again – this is not fair.

    Any suggestions gratefully received

    • Colin Hickey says:

      Take photos and video if you can, especially when there are a large number of cats involved. Photos/video of the cat lady leaving out food is also usefully as a lot of local authorities actually have rules/bylaws that forbid you from doing exactly that. Basically leaving food outside attracts unwanted vermin, in this case the cats.

      Before any homicidal (or not) cat lover wants to scream their invective in my direction, the simplest definition of vermin is, noxious, objectionable, or disgusting animals. The word we are looking at here is “objectionable”, therefore vermin is an appropriate description.

      Getting back to the problem. Make use of the Human Rights Act as suggested on this very site. http://www.catsaway.org/cat-law/
      If you have gone to the trouble of documenting with photos and preferably video the “little gifts” left on your property, any damage caused by the cats and any risk posed to your dog from having the cats on your property, then this can help back up your case for her actions and thereby those of the cats being a breach of your rights under article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

      Any photos or video footage of her leaving out food could be used in a court case by the council if she is in fact breaking any bylaws regarding that. Check your local authority/ parish council regulations on the control of vermin. Basically look at everything she is doing that you can prove. Please remember if you go to your local authority they will want evidence capable of standing up in a court of law or they will do nothing.

      A possible solution to keep them off your doorstep and path would be a sonic device fixed securely to the doorway and positioned so that cats wanting to come to your doorstep have to approach it. I would suggest a mains one so you can drill a small hole to fit the mains lead and position it so that the lead is behind the scarer to prevent anyone tampering with it. Use sealant to prevent water ingress and you’re done. When you wish to take your dog out just remember to turn it off first.

    • SarahMack says:

      Catastrophic: I am a cat lady but even I think your neighbour may be out of control.
      Classic signs of cat hoarding and I’d be furious if she stole my missing cat!
      By the sounds of things her cats aren’t getting neutered, which not only attracts all other unneutered cats, but you can bet she isn’t getting them vaccinated either. Some people think they’re helping but if they dint know what they’re doing then it turns in to a situation like your neighbours and things are getting out of control.

      Citris is a great cat deterrent and safe for your dog (granted he might not like the smell either but it won’t poison anyone)
      You may want to get the council involved with “putting food out” situation. Not only does it attract flies and like but also rats.
      I never leave food outside. I don’t feed other people’s cats either. These people falsely think the cats who eat it are strays when they have homes and are just greedy.
      I love my cats (i have a respectful 2, one is 14 and never leaves the yard) but I’m sympathetic to non cat people.
      I’d much rather work with a neighbour for a non harmful solution than leave people to get so angry they resort to being cruel (as verbally displayed in some comments here)
      Putting scrunched tin foil on fences is also very effective.
      Some cat people underestimate their cats. If cats are restricted from going in to a garden in a non harmful way, the cat will stop trying. No one gets hurt and everyone is happy.
      Cats by law are free to roam because they are semi wild animals. However, it doesn’t mean we carry people have the right to be an arse about it. It’s better to work with your neighbours by providing non cat people with nonharmful ideas is far better than trying to convince someone to love your cats.
      I have a concrete yard but have a sand & soil box for my cats to use to try and prevent them going into other people’s gardens. I can’t say 100% they still don’t use someone’s flower bed but I’m doing my own thing to try and minimise these things.
      And I’d be a hypocrite if I said i wouldn’t be annoyed if some one let their dog poo in my garden everyday – so I don’t see why all these topics have to end up abusive. People go out of their minds!
      Compromise is key!

  • John Langran says:

    Interesting reading these replies, the best way I find to stop cats from entering my garden was to take some 2 inch down pipe and saw through the whole length long ways, allowing me to clip it over the top of the six foot high solid panelled fence, it worked a treat, So I done the whole garden, which cost me about £30. buying second hand pipes from a reclamation yard, had ghe council down to inspeck it and it past their rules with flying colours, in fact thew inspector has now employed the system at his own home, One draw back is THE SHED. my sheds are only about 12 ” away from the fence and next doors shed is again about 12″ away the other side, which means one particular cat has learned to jump between the two sheds and so into my garden, But I am working on it,

  • Annie says:

    I am fed up with cats, coming into my garden! Can I put something on the top of my fence which is legal ?

  • Honeybee says:

    Dave Tutt, when cats were spraying in my front porch it stunk the whole place out I went and sprayed Dettox mould and mildew remover bright green bottle about £3.50 a bottle, it took a few times of my spray for the kitties to get the message that mine is pongy to but much stronger than theirs, they have left my porch alone since and about once every couple of months I give it another spray as a refresh it gets rid of the green on the concrete as well. It turns the cat pee into a white foam so that you can see where they go.
    Carastrophic with the shared path, there may be nothing stopping you from growing a lovely hedge of Pyracanthus or Firethorn as its often called, it deters most animals and grows thick plant about two to a metre, the added bonus is you can cook the berries and the little birds love to nest in them and eat the berries as well, the red variety grows the fastest but you could alternate all the colours for a pretty border. Which is what I plan to plant because I am in the same situation as you shared path and my neighbour is a cat man. I hope that this helps you guys out a bit. xxx

  • Brian says:

    I’ve run 25 pound fishing line about 3 inches out from the paling fence (using L brackets. One end of the line is tied to the bracket. At the other end I have another L bracket and the line is kept reasonibly taut using a weight (in this case, a piece of heavy angle iron or you could use anything. The line is not ties. The line does not have to be too tight otherwise it will snap when the cats hit it. The brackets are 30 feet apart. The cat comes over the fence and hits the line, no injury to the cat except shock. So far it seems to work. The cats still can come in my driveway but they are then within sight and rock distance.In answer to the cat lover above, we have had many small native animals become extinct due to the voracious appetites of Australian feral cats. Keep them inside of a nighttime and with bell collars on.

  • DomeMan says:

    There are cat spikes designed to be uncomfortable but not harmful to the cat. Seems
    a reasonable compromise:solution

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