How To Stop Cats Pooping In Your Garden

I get quite a few emails asking how to stop cats pooping in your garden when the cat owner doesn’t give a poop about you or your flower beds. One I received a few days ago in particular had an air of desperation to it that is familiar to many a gardener.

Here’s the email…..

Dear Bob

My husband and I are at our wits end with our neighbours cat. Don’t get us wrong, we know the right to roam law relating to the cat, we don’t dislike cats. But to cut to the chase, everyday we are subject to spoilt flower beds due to the neighbours cat digging and using the flowerbeds as a toilet.

The difficulty we have is that we have an extremely poor relationship with our neighbours.

We’ve been reading the law regarding cats and come across the same thing, cats have a right to roam.

Earlier this year I approached my neighbour and showed him photographic evidence of his cat fouling and digging our flowerbeds. It’s soul destroying watching your efforts being dug up and spoiled.

We were able to capture the cat on camera, it has been happening for a considerable amount of time now but without evidence we realise there is little you can do. But I did have a short conversation with the owner next door who agreed it was his cat and I gathered that he had had problems like this at his previous address.

He told me to put citrus peel in the ground, purchase cat repellent etc. and a parting note was that it would be a gesture to receive a contribution to purchase some of the damaged flowers. He agreed to pay a sum of £3 but never did.

The saga continues. The cat continues to use our garden most days. We now have cctv evidence, the same cat fouling in our garden.

Everyday I have to tidy the area, remove the cat faeces and dispose of THEIR cat excrement!

Last year I underwent treatment for a serious illness, my husband had our garden renovated for me to relax in and enjoy whilst undergoing chemotherapy. He is beside himself to see the garden being used as a toilet and the neighbour doesn’t give a monkeys because of the right to roam law.

I’ve read your site and felt a glimmer of hope. Surely the neighbours do have a duty of care towards us with this ongoing issue?

We’re obtaining more and more evidence now with our cctv and have made it our business to take dates and times and screen shots to compile this evidence.

I am galled that I have to clear the cats excrement, dispose of it with my own gloves and bags and put it in my bin. I want to throw it over the fence but I’m aware I need to do things in the right way and not land ourselves in trouble.

Can you give us any further advice Bob?cat using garden as a litter tray

Kind regards


Unfortunately Tracey, you only have to read some of the comments left by cat owners here on Cats Away to realise that some of them simply do not understand how you can consider a cat coming into your garden and doing what cats do as a problem so I suspect you are beating your head against a wall when trying to reason with a cat owner like this.

The first thing I advise anyone trying to stop cats pooping in the garden is to tackle the cat rather than the owner once it becomes obvious they don’t really give a damn about you or your right to enjoy your own garden.

Collecting video and photographic evidence will obviously help your case should you wish to attempt to go the legal route and visit a Solicitor but there is no guarantee of a successful outcome and it is not going to be cheap.

Water Is Your Best Defence Against Cats Pooping In Your Garden

Your best and fastest course of action is to invest in a Contech Scarecrow (you can read my test report here) and set it up to protect the area your neighbours cat is currently using as its toilet or its point of entry into your garden.

Believe me, once the cat has received a blast of water from the Scarecrow it very quickly gets the message that this area is no longer a giant litter tray.

This is an American product that was developed to scare off a whole range of animals and it works great on cats. I’ve found it to be the best commercial cat deterrent I’ve so far tested. It only recently became available in the UK via Amazon and you can see it in action in the video below.

If the flower bed the cat is using cannot be protected by a Scarecrow due to its location (they aren’t really suitable for protecting areas next to a boundary fence for instance where you might end up giving a neighbour a soaking) then set up a few solar powered cat deterrents around the area.

These work by sensing movement and giving off ultrasonic noises that cats don’t like. These might not give the instant success that you get with the Scarecrow but usually after a few nights the cat will take the hint and stop paying your garden a visit.

Another option is to set up a simple frame around your flowerbeds and lay pea netting or chicken wire over it to keep the cat off.

Finally, as a last resort you might want to invest in a decent water pistol. Cats are intelligent critters and they soon move on to somewhere new when a garden suddenly becomes a wet area.

I am confident that with the use of at least one of the cat deterrents mentioned above you will soon be able to enjoy your garden without the need to approach the cat owner again.

Good luck and please call back and let us all know how you get on.

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  • Ralf Braukmann says:

    It is unfortunate that cats are under attack. Raccoons and skunks leave similar bundles of joy in gardens but the cat is often the only animal blamed. The other “Big Problem” is that a cat will kill birds and some delusional mathematician will have you believe that cat kill millions. But then there is the upside to cats – no mice, rats or rodents. These unwelcome guests don’t hide their dropping in your garden, they leave them anywhere and that can be extremely unhealthy for humans. That means the main concern is that the cat is looked after properly with all the necessary shot. I applaud your suggestion of water training the cats – that’s how you protect trees with low nests from cats as well – it works.

    • Andrew Charnick says:

      If a cat is well looked after and well fed it will make little or no difference to rat and mice populations.

    • Nik scant says:

      Well I think it’s rude. And it doesn’t matter what cats may keep away. who wants to clean up shit that doesn’t belong to your pet( if you have on) People have kids that have the right to play In their homes yard with out having to watch their step. At least my dog shits in the same area where I allowed him to actually go. The place where kids don’t play or I can sit in peace without smelly animal feces. Secondly we for example clean our dog poop up. Cats just piss and shit where ever they feel. If people choose to get cats. Then keep them from littering in neighbors property ä. For I respectfully do this foebmy neighbor.

  • My beautiful garden became therapy for treatment of bad PTSD of being in the military. Mind you I would gladly defend my wonderful country again but now I am at battle with the neighbors cats who use my garden as their toilet! I have resorted to using the gentle traps and relocating the cats to another city. One by one this enemy is shrinking and I am gaining in the battle of wills.

    • Jo says:

      Coleus Canina is a plant for perimeter of yard to keep cats away! I pick the stems and lay them weekly in my raised beds to deter them from doing stuff among my vegetables. Flowers similar to lavender, long stems, drought tolerant, and you can even steep for 24 hrs or more to make a spray .

    • Betty says:

      So neat will try thanks

    • Rose F says:

      Brenda, that is a brilliant idea, cats should be illegal unless kept in the house, we are in UK and have lots of problems, I get so angry even to the point of tears. We sit in the garden enjoying the sun( which isn’t often in UK ) and all you can smell is cat poo ! we walk around the garden and …oh no cat poo on our footwear because we didn’t see it slyly buried in the garden ( we have gravel instead of a lawn and it has become a giant cat litter tray), I love gardening but it is so disgusting when i am planting or weeding and I get cat poo on my hands !!!. It really does make me mad enough to remove cats from this earth and send them to kitty heaven. Keep up the good work !!.

  • As belo says:

    Mens urine sprinkled around garden does work my husband does this daily pees in bottle in garage and puts it around our garden daily it keeps all cats away

  • Diane M Winans says:

    What do I do my neighbor has complained to are associate about my 5 cats pooping in her backyard.. There’s other cats around besides mine. I have a big litter box in my backyard and 2 reg side ones. They now want me to give 3 cats up.

  • Carly says:

    Can I just say as much as I appreciate it’s really not nice for any animal to soil in your garden please remember and appreciate that these animals are also someone’s family members. My cat was killed by a car because a neighbour threw water at her. She was only 10 months old and my children were beyond devestated, especially my 8 year old who is a diabetic and her
    Little cat used to have this unusual ‘knowing’ of when her blood levels are low. It’s been 18 months since she was killed and my children are still so heartbroken by it. Sadly when I was a child the my neighbour threw water at our cat who ran straight out in the road and was killed. She was also pregnant due to give birth any day and her and her kittens were squashed across the road. A haunting sight for a 6 year old. So as much as cats/animals spiking your garden is inconvenient please do remember these are people’s family members and try to be kind and considerate when wanting to keep them away from your garden as your hateful actions could have heartbreaking consequence. They might not matter to you but are the world to their families. Thankyou.

    • Alice says:

      I’m sorry your cat was killed but perhaps if people kept house cats other people who choose not to have cats at all would not have to put up with cat shit in their garden and wouldn’t have to chase cats off their property.

      I am quite allergic to cats. Obviously I cannot have a pet cat myself and I would prefer my home and garden to be cat free for my health. I absolutely will chase any cat off my property and use cat deterrents. I don’t want to be picking up cat shit when I spend time in my own garden, it’s disgusting, unsanitary and can trigger an allergic reaction in me.

      So who is more important here? The life of a cat? Or the life of a person? Keep your cats indoors.

      • Kharly says:

        Alice… I COMPLETELY agree with you. I do not understand the “entitled” mentality of cat owners to think their cats should be able to leave their disgusting feces in ANYONE’S yard but their OWN. Geez! As much as I like cats and empathize with the loss of a pet, it is ENTIRELY the cat owner’s responsibility to keep their cats indoors if they are such valued “family” members that their loss would be devastating. Cat owners who feel as though their cats not only should be able to defecate in neighbour’s yards… and then reprimand any of us for attempting to keep them out by whatever means we choose are contemptible. They are not unlike the kind of people who think a gardener should not get upset if their children pick lilies and other flowers/plants from yards that do not belong to them. “My kids did not mean any harm” simply does not cut it when I have spent good money, hard work and time in nurturing MY garden, only to see all that effort destroyed by irresponsible parents who do not teach their children to respect what does not belong to them. This applies to all the irresponsible CAT OWNERS too!

      • anonymous says:

        I completely agree with you! I have always been an animal lover, until our neighbor’s ridiculous cats starting leaving their excrement all over our front planter. I have had shoes ruined, had to clean off our porch from the feces several times, and now experience more frustration toward animals than I EVER thought I would. It’s really not fair or appropriate to have to clean up after someone else’s pet. Pretty ridiculous to me.

    • Kharly says:

      “Kind and considerate”… are you SERIOUS?! “Hateful actions”? The two “heartbreaking consequences” could have been avoided if you were a responsible cat OWNER. It is unlikely that either incident of throwing water @ the cats were hateful as the water throwers likely were not DESIROUS that the cats would be killed. Try employing KIND and CONSIDERATE by preventing YOUR cats from DEFILING other people’s yards. And please do not preach to us about your precious cats meaning the world to your family if you CHOOSE to allow them to run free outdoors.

    • Amy says:

      Get electric fence and collars for all your pets. The neighbors and you will feel secure it is not your pet doing the damage.

    • Amy says:

      So unaccountable of you to NOT take responsibility for your own pet and blame it on your neighbor. If you had taken the time to consider the ramifications of cats running free it is a no-brainer they could get hurt. Keep your pets either inside or contained by an electric fence. It is not everyone else’s responsibility to take care of your things, it’s YOURS!

    • Rose F says:

      Should have kept the cat in the house like dog owners do.

  • Gra says:

    I too am absolutely sick of scraping up cat excrement from our two lawns. There are dozens of cats in our area. Yesterday I must have removed 20 loads of the stuff before I could mow.
    I will check out the sprayer.

  • Ana says:

    Ralph, it is indeed a real problem that a cat kills birds. No inverted commas needed. The neighbouring cats not only see fit to use our garden as a toilet but this evening killed some robins, right in front of us. In spite of no doubt having plenty of food at home, as pampered pets. There are way too many cats (and I say this as a former cat owner and cat lover). And it is well documented that populations of song birds are going down. Needless to say, our neighbours don’t give a ***t (no pun intended) whereas I would have been mortified had the situation been reversed.

  • Ana says:

    Alice, I note your comment too and sympathise as a fellow asthmatic. I can no longer keep cats and am trying to have a bird friendly garden (unsuccessfully, it seems).

  • Chloe says:

    If you don’t like cats doing business in your garden use onions cats don’t like the smell of them and then will keep them away
    I know it’s not the best advice but it might work

    Good Luck x

    • Rose F says:

      Sounds an ok idea but do you really want to sit in the sun smelling onions ….on the other hand it is better than smelling cat poo. 🙂

  • Norma Cosby says:

    I would never be cruel to an animal but after spending quite a bit on hard earned cash on my garden, having to lift shit that neighbours cats have left in my garden day after day is really getting me down and i am starting to have a real dislike for these animals. My mum owns a cat and i love her dearly but this is getting to be a big problem…

  • Ilse Lindberg says:

    I just found a reeking pile in my own garden- extra disgusting as I have a VEGGIE garden, not a flower garden! The cat also dug it’s toilet right in the middle of a lettuce row that had just started sprouting. Infuriating.

  • Kate Lewis says:

    I have spent a small fortune on my garden so my grandchildren can play outside safely. I have a neighbour with 3 cats who use my garden as their personal toilet. Cat poo is dangerous to children. I have to pick it up! I throw it back over the fence. I have tried citrus sprays, pepper etc., I am totally fed up. If the cat spots me it runs so water pistols are out. I’m interested in the automatic spray.

  • P Bakker says:

    This problem is usually caused by the fact that the owners of these cats are as feral as the animals. The neighbours we had next to us were disgusting, their animals ,a dog and three cats were mange ridden,flea infested and also suffered from lack of worming treatment!,.. they left a mess in our garden. I invested in high fences, Pyracantha hedging,spikes, sensors. I resorted to throwing stones ,water cannon and returning the mess to their garden. Only when they were moved the problem dissipated.

  • C Curtis says:

    Recently I left an apartment community to rent a house so I would have a yard for my granddaughters to play in. After moving in I soon discovered that the neighbors on either side of me have multiple cats that they allow to roam the neighborhood and they seem to have a preference for my yard in particular. Daily I watch as they use my front and back yard as well as my driveway (which is gravel) as one huge litter box not to mention throwing up!! Mind you I’ve had several cats over the years and loved them dearly but I would never dream of allowing them to roam freely outside and risk them being a nuisance to my neighbors! These cats climb on our vehicles as well as lay inside if the windows happen to be down. It is totally irresponsible of the cat owners to allow this. Needless to say I will not allow my granddaughters to play in the yard until I figure out the best solution to keep the cats out. I should not have to be inconvenienced by cleaning up after my neighbors animals or spend my hard earned dollars trying one thing after another to get rid of them but I’m over it and will do whatever it takes to keep them out!! Shame on pet owners who feel their pets have a right to destroy and cause unsanitary conditions to others just because they’re animals! It’s disgusting and a health hazard. What about my rights and my granddaughters rights? Fed up for sure…

  • ariana says:

    if any of you lot would throw rocks or water at my cats i would honestly and with no second though do the same to you,get a life

  • bob says:

    If I didn’t clean up after my dog in a public place I could be fined £150 in my town .Yet the average cat produces as much crap as a small dog and their owners get away with it.A neighbour got a cat scarer and a cat craped in front of it! Paracetamols and sardines cure the problem permanently so I’m told as are shotgun pellets.
    To deter cats I use pelleted chicken manure it also keeps the neighbour’s kids off my lawn .

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