During the spring and summer, homeowners love to go outside of their homes and work in their gardens. The soil is fertile and the plants are ready to grow. But for many homeowners, the garden is tarnished by stray cats making waste on their fertile ground. Stray cats love to use gardens as a makeshift litter box, and this can drastically impact your gardening enjoyment.
There is no surefire way to ensure that cats do not use your garden as a litter box beyond removing the cats from your premises. But there are several methods of deterring cats from using your yard, and if you are able to break these cats’ habits, they are likely to move on to a new litter box type in the future.
Using Smells to Deter Cats
The safest and most natural way to reduce the appearance of cat poop in your yard is to add certain smells to your garden that cats find unpleasant. The natural small of the garden attracts cats, but with the right scents you should be able to keep most cats away. Some of these scents include:
• Citrus Scents – Cats are not very fond of the acidic smell of oranges, lemons, etc. They find the general taste and smell unpleasant. Adding grinds around your garden and spraying your yard with lemon smell is a good way to get cats to look elsewhere.
• Coffee and Cinnamon – Like citrus, coffee and cinnamon are great deterrents of cat poop. Coffee grinds also work very well as compost/fertilizer, so you have the added benefit of giving nutrients to your garden. You can often pick up used coffee grounds at local coffee shops for free.
• Garlic and Vinegar – These harsh smells may make gardening less pleasant, but as irritating as they may be for you they are even more so or the stray cats. Consider these scents if the previous methods do not work.
None of these scents will harm your garden provided you use natural materials, and may of them will actually improve the nutrient flow within your flower beds.
Spray Them With Water
Another useful method of deterring cats is by spraying them with a hose any time you see them in your yard. This requires some stealth, since stray cats are less likely to make waste in your yard if they see you nearby, and you do not want to sit outside all day waiting for the cats to come by. But if you are able to catch them in the act, a hard spray will usually send them running. You can also set up a powerful sprinkler system that you can turn on from the inside, and shoot them with water when they come nearby.
There are also several commercial products available for deterring cats. Some of these can be harsh chemicals that you may not want near your garden, but others are natural and effective. They are not necessarily that reliable, but they last longer than some of the scents and are easily to use than spraying cats with water.
Avoiding Stray Cat Poop
There may not be any 100% effective way to reduce stray cat poop in your yard. But if you try the methods above, you should be able to successfully reduce the incidences and encourage the cats to look elsewhere to leave their droppings. Try going the natural route first, since that method is the safest, easiest, and best for your garden. If you continue to have a problem you may want to contact animal control and have them place the cats elsewhere.