How to Make Cats Stop Pooping in Flower Beds and Gardens

By Catherine Holden Robinson

If you imagine life as a cat, it isn't hard to see the world as a playground and every mound of dirt a potential litter box. Whether or not you like cats, you probably don't want them scrounging around and making a mess in your garden. Several harmless deterrents can keep your garden cat free.

Make it Unappealing

The solution may be as simple as making your garden unappealing to wandering felines. Cats in general aren't lovers of water, so a motion activated sprinkler might just send an unwanted feline packing. Additionally, ultrasonic devices that emit a high-pitched sound can be great cat deterrents. These can be concealed in foliage or used as garden decor. Newly planted foliage is especially vulnerable to cats, as fresh soil seems to call a feline's name. Consider protecting fresh plantings with fine netting or wire mesh. Placing pine cones or mounding pea gravel around plantings won't cause cats any harm, but these grounds covers aren't as kind to paws as a freshly tilled mound of dirt. Cats love to dig, so pressing popsicle sticks or plastic forks into the soil around your plantings might be enough of a deterrent to force kitties to do their digging elsewhere.

Natural Deterrents

A look into your cupboard might reveal some natural cat deterrents. Cats aren't fond of citrus, so consider placing orange or lemon peels around your garden area. Coffee grounds also might cause the neighborhood felines to turn up their noses, as may red pepper. A good rain will wash away the coffee and pepper and cause the citrus to lose its scent, so replace these frequently if you find they're working.

Unfavorable Greenery

Certain plants are a deterrent for pesky felines who might want to do their business in your garden. Rue and lavender as well as penny royal, coleus canina and lemon thyme are plants cats find unappealing. Plant them throughout your garden, and plant other foliage and flowers close together to limit the fresh soil available for digging.

Commercial Assistance

Commercial products are available that, when sprayed in your garden area, may deter neighborhood cats from turning your secret garden into the village litter box. Check with your local nursery or retail plant provider to make certain these deterrents will not damage your plants or soil.