How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard – 22 Easy Ways

There is nothing more aggravating than getting ready to do yard work and finding piles of cat poop littering your yard, especially when you don’t own a cat. Due to their unpredictable nature, you may be wondering how to keep cats out of your yard.

This brings us to look into the large variety of repellent systems on the market. Fromhigh-tech cat repellent systems to simple yet effective homemade remedies, let’s see what works best.


While there is no guaranteed cat repellent on the market today, there are some simple approaches that you can use to keep your cats or strays away from plants and using your garden as their litter box.

How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard - 22 Easy Ways

Get Rid of Unwanted Cats in Your Yard

There are a variety of ways to keep stray cats or your neighbor’s cats out of your yard. You can make a DIY cat deterrent spray or use a barrier of some type to achieve this task. Check out our suggestions for repelling cats and we’re certain you’ll find one or more that will work for you.

Lay Down Chicken Wire

If you are considering planting a flower bed in your yard, but know that you will have trouble keeping stray cats from using it as their litter box, you can lay chicken wire down on the soil, or mulch, before you plant any plants.

To keep stray cats away from plants, you can use wire cutters to open up pockets of wire that are large enough to install your plants. Why is this so effective? Cats hate walking on the chicken wire, resulting in them steering clear of your garden.

Install an Electric Wire Fence

If you have already planted your flower bed, you can keep cats away by installing an electric wire fence around your garden.

Electric fences, like Mr. McGregor’s Fence®, work by emitting a minute shock to keep small animals like cats and rabbits from your garden. Barriers like these are safe and a humane way to keep cats out of your yard.

Spray the Cats with a Hose

If you can catch a cat in the act, an effective natural cat repellent is the water hose or a Super Soaker. Doing this may help to reinforce the idea that they don’t belong in your flower bed.

Cats hate water, so soaking the unwanted felines with water can help keep you from finding unwanted cat poop in your yard and garden.

Install a Cat Motion Detection Sprinkler

If you aren’t able to catch the stray cat in the act, you may want to consider installing a sprinkler system that has a motion sensor. This is one of the best ways for how to keep stray cats away from areas they should be in.

Devices like theContech Scarecrow Sprinkler, use the motion sensors in their sensor housing unit to detect the presence of intruder’s, shooting a blast of water at the animal.

Use a Commercial Cat Repellent

There are some commercial cat repellents that you can purchase to help keep stray cats out of your flower garden. Commercial cat repellents come in a granular form that you sprinkle in the area where you want to deter cats.

It smells of the urine of predators that cats fear, like foxes, coyote, and bobcats. The product Shake-Away is an organic product, making it safe to use around children and pets.

Plant Rue in Your Yard

The rue plant, or Ruta graveolens, is a semi-woody perennial plant that can grow to about three feet high. Plant rue in areas of your yard where you want to repel stray cats. You can also sprinkle the dried leaves in flower pots to protect them from cats as well.

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Plant Coleus canina

Coleus canina is the ultimate plant to deter cats from using your yard as their litter box. It is known as the Scaredy-Cat plant or Piss-Off plant, and placing it around your yard will keep feral cats from pooping in your yard.

It is a smelly plant if you happen to touch or brush against them, so make sure you place them away from areas where you plan to relax.

Plant Curry Herb and Lemon Balm

Curry herb plants, or Helichrysum italicum, and Lemon Balm plants have unpleasant odors that cats will avoid. Plant these bushes around the border of your yard to keep unwanted cats away.

The coarse texture of the Curry plant will also irritate the cats if they brush past them, causing the cats to avoid the area.

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Place Rosemary Plants Around Your Yard

Rosemary is a plant that is often used for cooking and to improve memory, relieve muscle pain, and stimulate hair growth, but it has another use in your yard. Cats hate the aroma that we find extremely pleasant. If you want to know how to get rid of cats, plant rosemary in strategic locations in your yard and garden.

These perennials need a warm, dry climate, so you may need to plant them in containers and bring them inside during the cooler, wetter months, although they often come back up anyway when left out in the yard. The plants may just take a little longer to fully develop after a cold and wet winter.

Plant Lavender in Your Yard

Lavender plants look and smell great, but cats don’t seem to like them. Lavender and lovely smelling yard plants will also help to repel gnats and mosquitoes. Plant these beautiful bushes along the perimeter of your yard to keep cats away.

Planting the tall varieties of the plant can keep cats from jumping over them and into your garden.

Plant Prickly Bushes throughout Your Garden

There are many prickly bushes that you can plant in your garden to deter cats and other small animals from using it as a litter box. You can strategically plant these thorny bushes in your garden to keep stray cats out.


Plants and Bushes to Repel Stray Cats

  • Hawthorn
  • Holly
  • Berberis
  • Blackthorn
  • Blackberry


Sprinkle Blood Meal in Your Garden

Blood meal is an organic fertilizer that smells awful. While it smells like something is rotting, it will keep cats from pooping in your garden and digging up your plants. Due to its overpowering smell, use it sparingly in areas that you want stray cats to avoid.

Add Containers of Ammonia to Your Garden

Ammonia smells like the urine of other animals. Cats and dogs hate the smell and will avoid the area. Use small, glass containers, like baby food jars, and fill them with cloudy ammonia.

Bury the jars in your vegetable garden or flower garden, filling in the dirt, so the soil is level with the tops of the containers. As the ammonia levels get low, refill the jars.

Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper Flakes Around Your Garden

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is a potent chemical that will keep cats away from the area. However, using this method is incredibly cruel, and we recommend that you find more humane ways to get rid of unwanted cats from your garden.

Set Traps

If you are having trouble with stray cats pooping in your yard, you can always have your local Humane Society come out and set traps in your yard. After you catch the stray cat, animal control will take the animal to the animal shelter, where they will remain for five to seven days.

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If they are taken to a no-kill shelter, after the required five to seven-day waiting period, if the owner hasn’t come in to claim them, the cat will be placed up for adoption.

Lay Mulch in Your Garden

Cats hate to walk on bristly substances, so laying a mulch in your flower bed that contains something that will be rough on their paws is an excellent cat repellent. You can try adding pine cones to the mulch or stone to the mix to help keep cats from using your flower bed as a litter box.

Use Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technology uses high frequency sounds to deter cats from your garden. You won’t be able to hear the ultra high-frequency sound, but it is unbearable for the cats.

The devices are easy to install and uses a motion detector to detect the presence of unwanted animals. Make sure that the instrument faces toward your garden.

Get Rid of Things that Entice Cats

If your yard contains bird feeders or bird baths, you could be attracting the attention of unwanted cats. To keep the cats from entering your yard to hunt the birds, remove the bird baths and bird feeders.

If you don’t want to get rid of the bird feeders, you’ll need to make sure that they are free hanging in areas where cats aren’t able to climb or jump to get to the birds.

Build an Outdoor Litter Box

If you want to stop cats from using your flower and vegetable gardens as a litter box, you can give them a more attractive place to defecate. Using a small corner at the back of your yard, you can cut an eight by eight-inch doorway in a large plastic bin and fill it with sandbox sand.

Building a small litter box in your yard will give the cats a new place to go and contain the problem of them pooping in your flower bed.

Sprinkle Used Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

Not only do used coffee grounds work great as an organic fertilizer, but you can also use them to deter unwanted stray cats. The smell that emits from the used coffee grounds can act as a repellent, keeping cats from destroying your garden.

Put Containers with Mothballs in Your Garden

While mothballs can be extremely toxic to both cats and dogs, they can be safely used as a cat repellent to keep stray cats out of your yard. You can place several mothballs in a glass container, poking holes in the lid, and place in areas that you want to keep cats out.

The smell of the mothballs deters the cats, but the cats are unable to eat or come in contact with the ingredients. (..)

Adopt a Dog

If you want to keep stray cats out of your yard, you can always adopt a dog. They are excellent companions, and they will chase any unwanted feline from your yard, denying them the chance of using your flower bed as a litter box.

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Why Should I Learn to Repel Cats?

Along with being a nuisance, keeping stray and feral cats from pooping in your yard is a health concern. Cat poop carries many different pathogens that can be harmful to yours and your family’s health.

Also, because cats are carnivores, their poop could contain dangerous parasites that were passed on by their prey. Learning to repel cats and deter them from pooping in your yard can help keep your family from contracting these dangerous parasites.

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In addition, the smell of cat urine is very strong. You don’t want to smell this unpleasant odor every time you want to relax on the patio or front porch. If you notice a pervasive odor that resembles ammonia, you need to learn how to get rid of cat pee smell so that cats will go elsewhere for their bathroom habits.

How Can I Keep Cats from Eating My Plants?

Cat poop isn’t the only thing that can ruin your garden. Stray cats that come into your yard may end up eating your plants, severely damaging them, or even killing them.

Many of the same techniques listed above can be used to keep stray and feral cats from eating the plants in your garden.

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How Do I Keep Cats Out of the Sandbox?

For cats, a sandbox is nothing more than a giant litter box. If your children aren’t able to play in their sandbox because of all the cat poop, you can try some of the same techniques used to keep them out of your garden.

Laying chicken wire under the sand will keep the stray cats out, or you can use one of the homemade cat repellents mentioned below to spray around the perimeter of the sandbox. An inexpensive method is to pour distilled white vinegar around the outside of the box once a month.

The good thing about this method is that almost every household already has distilled white vinegar in their pantry, and it never expires, so you don’t have to purchase a new bottle every month.

How Do You Make Homemade Cat Repellent?

There are several different homemade cat repellents that you can make with ingredients that you find around your house.

Homemade Cat Repellent Recipes

Mix the ingredients in these recipes in a spray bottle and spray the area where you want to repel cats.


Essential Oil Cat Repellent Spray

  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • Water



Vinegar Based Cat Repellent Recipe

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup of liquid hand soap
  • ½ cup of water



Citrus Cat Repellent Spray Recipe

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup orange, tangerine, lime, or lemon peels
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Several drops lemon-scented liquid dish soap



Citronella Oil Based Spray to Repel Cats

  • 20 drops citronella oil
  • ¾ cup of water



Lemon, Pepper, and Garlic Cats Repellent Spray

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • Water


Some of these oils like citronella oil work not just for cats but keep also wasps out of your yard. Cats, especially strays and unwanted cats, can be quite a nuisance when it comes to pooping in your yard and garden.

While this recipe works well for cats and wasps, it can also deter snakes. Learn how to repel snakes by applying this spray throughout your yard and around the perimeter of your home.

When it comes to keeping them out of your yard, we have provided several, safe, and effective methods you can use to repel unwanted cats and deter them from pooping in your garden and yard.

How to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard - 22 Easy Ways

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