Do you have some neighbourhood cats sneaking around your garden who are up to no good?

Just some of their bad habits can include pooing all over newly grown vegetable patches or digging up freshly planted flowers.

If you have been having trouble with some local felines, you might be wondering how you can prevent them from parading around your outdoor areas.

With this in mind, here are some natural and safe top tips to keep them away, according to Cats Protection.

What repels cats from gardens?

Strong smells

Cats Protection said: “Cats have very sensitive noses and so they will often avoid strong smells as they find them overpowering. Adding cat-safe, non-toxic items with a powerful scent to your flower beds can help to deter cats from the area.”

Items you could try are:

  • citrus fruit, for example lemon, lime, orange - try putting the peel in the soil (it will compost and give your plants added nutrients too), you can also try mixing the juice with some water and spraying it around your garden or soak some cotton wool in it and place this around your plants 
  • cinnamon – sprinkle some ground cinnamon around your plants or alternatively, mix it with water and spray it around your garden (soak some cotton wool in it and place this where the cats like to go)
  • banana - add the peel or fruit to the soil (it will naturally compost to give your plants added nutrients)
  • lion pee/dung - there are fertilisers available that contain essence of lion pee/dung, a scent that cats will associate with predators and tend to avoid
  • chicken manure - this is a non-chemical fertiliser that will give your plants added nutrients

Some strong-smelling items you can find around your home can be harmful to cats, so avoid garlic, onion, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, vinegar, bleach and essential oils.


“Uncovered, dry, easily accessible soil is very inviting for cats to use as a toilet, so try putting some obstacles in their way to deter them,” comments Cats Protection.

“Cover the soil around your plants with things that cats find uncomfortable to walk on and dig.”

Such as:

  • crushed up eggshells
  • stones/pebbles
  • bark
  • twigs


Cats Protection writes: “There are some plants that cats naturally don’t like and will try to avoid, because they either have a strong smell or are spiky and uncomfortable to get close to.

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“Try planting some of these [below] in your garden where cats like to poop.”

  • Scaredy cat plant (coleus canina)
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender ­
  • Curry plant
  • Lemon balm ­
  • Pyracantha
  • Quince
  • Shrub roses

What you shouldn’t do to keep cats away from your garden

The RSPCA has confirmed the above tips are some of the safe ways you can try to keep cats out of your garden.

If you are wondering what you shouldn’t do, Dominika Jagoda, pet expert at the RSPCA, explained: “Cats are naturally curious and we love them for their sense of adventure. But we understand that not everyone wants to welcome neighbourhood cats into their garden, especially if they are going to the toilet where they shouldn’t be.

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“It’s important that people who don’t want feline visitors take safe and humane steps to deter cats from their garden without harming them or causing their neighbours’ cats any distress. We would never recommend squirting cats with water, setting up cat scat mats or spikes as these could potentially cause injuries and distress to the cat.

“Instead, we would recommend taking some practical steps to deter cats including not offering cats in your garden food, installing a movement activated water sprinkler, planting shrubs close together, growing prickly plants or using small pebbles or chippings to make it difficult for cats to dig.

"It’s also advisable to keep flower beds watered as some cats don’t like wet earth, while having high, close-boarded fences around your garden can help too. Gently shooing a cat away by shouting or clapping may also deter them as they are more likely to toilet in a place they feel is private and safe.”