Plants to Deter Cats

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Best Plants to Deter Cats

Whether a cat lover or not, no one likes to see their garden being used as a litter tray. Cat poop can be smelly, messy and bad for your health. Not only this, but if cats are using your garden as a litter tray then they will also tend to dig up your bedding areas, and sometimes plants in the process!

However, not everyone wants their garden to be adjusted and filled with technology in an attempt to deter cats from your garden, or maybe you are wanting as many ways as possible to keep cats out of your garden. Believe it or not, there are a number of plants that will deter cats from your garden, leaving your garden looking very natural (and also tidy once those little pests have left the area)!

Why Do Certain Plants Deter Cats?

Cats have a very strong sense of smell, and also a strong opinion on what they like and don’t like! Certain plants produce smells that will put off even the most determined cats from coming into your garden – particularly if you plant them in the part of your garden that is currently being used as a toilet!

It really is as simple as purchasing these miracle plants, and just being tactical about where you plant them in your garden!

So, What Plants Do The Trick?

  • Scaredy Cat Plant (Coleus Canina) – Yes this really is the name of the plant! Specially designed to deter cats from your garden this plant is probably one of the most popular plants to purchase in this market! It will emit a smell similar to urine, which means that it can be offensive to humans as well, but not as noticeable as it will be for the cats! They need relatively little care so providing you plant them in the right place, you can pretty much just leave them to do their jobs!
  • Lavender – We all know that the smell of lavender can be overpowering at particular times of the year. For us, the smell is often beautiful, but for cats it is just too strong and off putting when trying to use the area as a local bathroom! As the plant is evergreen, it should be effective all year round, but it is important to remember that there are particular times of year when the smell will be more potent.
  • Rosemary – This is another strong smelling plant that will work well as a cat deterrent (and is also fantastic when used in your cooking!). It is relatively low maintenance but important to remember that it does prefer a warmer climate so you may find it struggling to grow in your garden and you will probably have to bring it inside over the winter months and find another cat deterrent during this time!
  • Curry Plant – This is a very pretty looking shrub with small yellow and white flowers. It will also grow slightly larger than the other plants we have mentioned, meaning that it will take less time for the plant to be used successfully as a border to your whole garden (if you should so wish!). As the name suggests, the plant will have a smell of curry, which cats really don’t like.
  • Pennyroyal – Also known as pudding grass, this small shrub will give off a lovely spearmint smell (which although we will all enjoy – cats will hate!). It can be used as a herbal medicine and occasionally in cooking!
  • Hawthorn – Hawthorn will not release a smell like the other plants will, but due to the sharp thorns this can be equally effective in deterring cats from the garden. They are also incredibly easy to look after.
  • Bramble bushes – These bushes also have sharp thorns to deter cats, but you have the added benefit of being able to enjoy the blackberries that grow on the plants! It really is a win win situation!

How To Successfully Plant Cat Deterrents

There are some main tips that you will need to follow if you are wanting to deter cats from your garden using plants…

  • Use the plant to create a border that will hopefully stop the cats from coming into the garden at all (pay particular attention to where cats are entering the garden).
  • Plant in dry areas as this is more likely to be where the cats use the soil as a toilet!
  • Consider planting some less hardy plants in pots that can be moved around the garden depending on an area that the cats are targeting.
  • Planting in rows is often the best option to completely deter cats from your garden.

Other Options…

It is important to remember that with animals like cats, if you are truly wanting to eradicate them from your garden  then it may be worth considering some other options as well as the plants listed above. This will help to ensure that all areas of the garden are protected from these feline frustrations! These include:

  • Spike strips
  • Bottle sprays
  • High-pitched sonic cat repellents
  • Motion-activated water sensors
  • Cat eyes
  • Mesh/chicken wire

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to deter cats from my garden but don’t have bedding areas to plant plants?

Fear not! Even if you don’t have bedding areas to plant in you can still stop the cats from coming into your gardens. Some of the stronger plants will still be effective if planted in pots in your garden. Otherwise, there are various tech options that you can go for, such as water sprays and sensors.

Why are some cats not affected by plant deterrents?

Cats are stubborn and determined creatures, and once they have identified a garden area as being part of their “territory” they will do everything in their power to keep using that garden – even if that means putting up with smells that they don’t like. Equally, cats are like people in that what is offensive and unpleasant for some, might be completely acceptable to others, this means that there will probably be around 20% of the cat population that is unaffected by the smell given off by your plants.

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About Francesca Fitton 108 Articles
I have a passion for gardening and being outdoors. I blog about plant care, technology and tools that I love to use outside and invite you along to watch.

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