Here’s How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden (Humanely)

Gardening is a passion for many of us, as it offers a fascinating avenue to connect with nature and nourish our souls. Unfortunately, all the effort you put into creating and maintaining your beautiful garden can be quickly scuppered by cats! Cats love to explore ‘new’ territory, dig for worms and insects, rootle through flowerbeds, rub up against plants that smell good to them – basically do their own thing in the garden; leaving behind paw prints – big mixed feelings and often destruction in their paths. If your garden has been receiving unwelcome feline attention then this post is here to help. Read on for advice on how to keep cats out of your garden without resorting to nasty tactics or permanent harm.

Why do cats wander into our gardens?

playful kitten looking at flowers

Cats are natural explorers. Their curiosity compels them to become familiar with their environment and seek out new places to explore. Our gardens can offer cats a perfect opportunity to fulfil this urge! Cats enjoy the fresh air, hidden sanctuaries, delicious scents, and lush grasses that our outdoor spaces provide and love the chance to observe and hunt the small creatures they find along the way. Cats who wander into our yards are simply looking for an enticing setting in which to go on an exciting adventure!

1. Use pungent plants to put them off

Close-up Photo of Cat with its Eyes Closed

Cats can be a real nuisance in the garden and can be a challenge to deter. One method of keeping them away is to strategically place pungent plants around your garden beds. Cats do not like the smell of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, and mint, so adding these to a garden can ward off unwanted visitors. These plants not only keep cats at bay but will also add pleasant aromas and colours to your outdoor space.

2. Try coffee grounds

There is a natural way to deter cats from your garden without any harm. Coffee grounds are an effective way of keeping cats away from gardens, as the strong smell acts as a natural repellent and encourages them to move elsewhere. Gardeners should spread used coffee grounds throughout their garden beds, preferably scattered around in thin layers so that it’s difficult for cats to brush them away. As an added bonus, the nitrogen found in coffee grounds will help promote fruit and vegetable growth, not just fend off pesky cats.

3. Hang up some wind chimes

Cats dislike loud, sudden noises which is why wind chimes are a great way to keep them away from your garden. Hang them up near your windows and garden beds, as cats don’t like the sound of wind chimes. This humane way to deter cats is also aesthetically pleasing, adding charm to your outdoor space and creating an even nicer place to relax on warm summer days.

4. Consider using tin foil to protect your planters

Tin foil is a great way to protect your planters if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend money on commercial pest deterrents. Laying down strips of foil around your garden will create an unpleasant noise as cats (and other animals) try to walk over it; the sound alone should be enough to discourage them from entering and causing destruction. Tin foil is simple, cheap, and effective, making it a great choice for saving your garden from pesky cats! To prevent the tin foil from blowing away, lay small stones on top.

5. Use citrus smells

Using citrus smells is an easy and natural way to protect your garden from cats. Citrus has a strong scent that cats find unappealing; the smell of orange, lemon, or lime peels can help keep cats away. Simply sprinkle the dried or fresh rinds around the perimeter of your garden to deter curious cats from entering and destroying it. Citrus smells are also great for keeping away other pests such as mosquitoes, ants and even rabbits – so they’re well worth adding to your outdoor space!

6. Put up chicken wire to protect your plants

cats laying in terracotta planters

To keep cats out and protect your plants, consider putting up chicken wire. This resourceful material is lightweight, easy to install and durable, making it the perfect solution for cats invading your garden’s personal space. Chicken wire keeps cats from accessing the areas of your garden you want them to stay away from, power walking through valuable crops or digging up freshly planted seeds and bulbs. To set up the chicken wire, use long U-shaped wires to secure it and ensure the cats are unable to breach your garden’s perimeter.

7. Reflective surfaces

Cats are natural predators and are always on the lookout for potential prey. By strategically placing reflective surfaces in your garden, you can make the area less attractive to cats. Mirrors, for example, can be used to create reflective surfaces that will confuse cats and make them think twice about entering your garden. You can also use reflective tapes or shiny objects, such as CDs or aluminium foil, to create similar effects. These simple and affordable mirror ideas can help keep your garden cat-free without causing any harm.

However, be careful not to place these reflective surfaces in direct sunlight, as they can reflect the light and cause damage to plants or even start fires. It’s also important to note that some cats may still be undeterred by these reflective surfaces, so it’s always best to use a combination of different methods to keep cats out of your garden.


There you have it! A few simple, but effective ways to keep cats out of your garden. Do you have a cat that likes to roam? What method do you use to keep them contained? Let us know in the comments below.

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