Tips for a Natural Cat Repellent
- If a cat has marked its territory with urine or more solid deposits, the scent will draw them back again and again. The first thing to do is to thoroughly clean or, if possible, remove the soiled material. Next is to place a barrier. The majority of cats dislike certain fragrances, such as the sharp, tangy odors of citrus, ammonia, cayenne pepper and onion. You can find a natural, aromatic spray at the pet store, or make one yourself. Scatter cut-up oranges or lemons, spray ammonia or vinegar, or place mothballs or citronella (which also works as a bug repellent) around the area. If one aroma doesn't work, try another.
Another option is to plant fragrant bushes in and around your garden. For example, some cats dislike lavender, which can grow to be quite tall and act as an deterrent.
Using Physical Barriers
- Fences can be effective barriers, as long as they're too high for a cat to jump. If you have a traditional 6-foot wooden fence, another option is to extend its height with netting. Nail stakes or planks pointing up to the top of the fence, then stretch the netting out and use a staple gun to attach it to each plank.
A tall fence may be impractical in a small garden. Netting materials to cover garden plots, such as the green vinyl-coated wire fencing found at many garden stores, can be effective barriers because cats dislike walking or climbing on unstable materials. A mesh or deer netting may also work, but is typically too soft allowing cats can walk over it.
To protect a tree, you can wrap netting around the tree to prevent the cat from scratching the trunk.
- One tried-and-true natural repellent is water. Cats typically hate to get wet. If you have time to lie in wait, a spray from a water bottle to which you can add a fragrance, or a spritz from a garden hose may quickly teach them to stay away.
- Be aware that there are many garden plants which can be toxic to cats. You want to scare and train your cat, not injure him. You can find a list of these plants at The Cat Fanciers' Association website.
When using fences and netting to deter cats, check the netting material and the width of the fence slats. The openings should be small enough that the cat can't get through, but at the same time, you don't want her to get caught in, and possibly injured by, the fence or netting.