Here are the best outdoor cat repellent:
- Clear scat mat: Cat Repellent Outdoor Scat Mat
- Anti-climb wall deterrent: Critter Pricker Wall Defender
- Motion activated water sprinkler (covers 3840 sqft): Orbit Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler
- Motion activated water sprinkler (covers 1200 sqft): Ortho ScareCrow Motion Activated Animal Repellent
- Ultrasonic animal repellent: Predatorguard PestAway Ultrasonic Outdoor Animal Repeller
I love all cats, even the community cats that occasionally can be a nuisance. They are excellent companions, and even feral cats can be useful for keeping the wild rodent population at bay. But the one thing I don’t love about them is how they poop in flower beds. So how are we to deal with this problem in a humane way?
Humane deterrents against outdoor cats in your yard
There are several things you can do that discourage them from treating your yard as a giant litter pan. Here are a few ideas.
- Place clear scat mats around your flower beds. They are clear, so they blend in well with their surroundings. Since they are difficult to see, cats won’t jump over them. Instead, they will be startled and run away.
- Cats have powerful noses, and there are certain smells they don’t like. Use natural odor repellents to your advantage and spread those scents throughout your yard. Most cats have an aversion to citrus, lavender, mint, and bananas. You can mix them with water and spray them around the garden. This is a temporary fix though, so you will do this often.
- A motion-activated water sprinkler is amazing for deterring cats. Whenever the motion detector senses movement, it sprays water. Cats hate water, so you know how this ends up.
- You can also try an ultrasonic sound repellent. Similar to the water repellent, whenever the motion detector senses movement, it lets out a high-frequency sound that you can’t hear. This is an excellent fix, especially when combined with other methods.
Providing an alternative litter box area
One of the reasons cats love to use gardens as a litter box is because of the soft soil. That is what they poop in when living in the wild. What you can do is set up an alternative litter area.
Build a large square frame and fill it with soft materials like peat moss or sand. Don’t build a bottom since you want good drainage, and do not overfill it. Only use enough for them to comfortably dig in.
This alternative litter area can be as simple or complex as you like. You can place a roof over it or leave it open. Within weeks you will discover that neighborhood cats will use this litter box instead of your garden.
If it’s your neighbor’s cat, the same deterrents I mentioned above will do the trick. Install a motion-activated water repellent or ultrasound. Spread strong scents around the perimeter of your yard and garden. If done consistently your neighbor’s cat will learn not to hang out on your side of the fence.
Our recommendation for the best outdoor cat repellent
There are several wonderful products you can use to keep community cats out of your yard. Read on to learn a few of my favorites.
Though this is advertised as an outdoor scat mat, it is safe to use indoors too. It comes in plastic squares that are thin and easy to cut. You shouldn’t have any problem making them fit in any space you need.
If used indoors invest in some double-sided tape to hold them in place because they will slide around. Used outdoors it is simple to secure them with garden stakes, or you can cut holes in them and loop rope through the corners to hold them down.
I read about one person who used stakes to hold a mat down and then covered it with a thin layer of dirt. To the naked eye, it was invisible, but the clear plastic nubs still poked out of the ground.
If you’ve ever stepped on a carpet runner turned the wrong way, you know what this feels like. It is very startling, and cats and other animals jump off it instantly. Despite the discomfort, your cat will not be injured if they step on it.
This outdoor scat mat is an affordable option to humanely keep community cats out of your garden. I highly recommend it.
If you have a wall surrounding your garden or yard, consider this option. The Critter Picker Wall Defender is so good it also deters burglars and not just the raccoon variety!
It is made up of strips of hard plastic with sharp plastic cones that are very uncomfortable to step on. In fact, I recommend wearing thick gardening gloves while working with them, because the cones are sharp.
What I loved the most about these strips is that they are very durable, and should last a long time. I placed these strips on the top of a brick wall surrounding my Mom’s garden, and they really do keep critters out.
You can hold them down with caulk, glue, stakes, or zip ties. But just remember that cats are crafty creatures, and I can imagine them learning how to jump over them. If used in combination with one of the other methods mentioned you will probably have better results.
This excellent product will definitely help keep community cats out of your garden.
The Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler ticks all the right boxes, making it a contender for the best outdoor cat repellent.
My cat hates getting wet, though it doesn’t stop him from trying to fish out of the aquarium. Most cats are the same, and if this motion-activated sprinkler douses them with water they are sure to run away fast.
What I love most about it is that it is very humane, does no harm, and seriously works. Expect to repel stray dogs, raccoons, and other critters.
The manufacturer uses advanced technology to conserve water usage and battery life. It sprays water throughout 3840 square feet, so unless you have a huge yard you only need one sprinkler. It can also be used as a yard sprinkler and has a 30-minute timer to do just that.
My Mom uses this since I live in an apartment. She loves it, and the only issue she’s had is that when I first installed it for her, it had a slow leak. This was an easy fix using plumbing tape.
She has it a few feet away from her vegetable garden and commented that it kept the deer away too. It’s an excellent investment and does exactly as it says.
This motion-activated repellent covers only 1200 square feet but has its own set of advantages.
It’s easy to love this repeller because it really works. This one makes a stronger sound when it’s activated, which also works to startle animals. It also uses a little more water when it turns on, making a greater impact.
The equipment is well-made and guaranteed to be leakproof. In my opinion, this sprinkler will last for many years. The sensor is exceptionally sensitive. If you have guests over either turn it off or warn them about the sprayer, or they will be very surprised. I bet kids would have a blast with this.
Like the other sprayer reviewed here, it gives cats and other animals a gentle reminder that they are not welcome in your yard. They aren’t hurt in the slightest, and you get to enjoy a pretty garden instead of a chewed up one.
The only downside is I wish it worked over a larger space. You might end up needing two of these to protect your yard. Other than that, it is totally worth buying.
This is an example of an ultrasonic animal repellent done right. It not only uses ultrasound, it combines it with a strobe light, plus an optional audible sound. When ultrasonic technology is combined with other methods, the success rate is higher.
Buying this system is like buying a three-in-one system, and it really works. In fact, it’s so good it comes with a guarantee.
It has a 40-foot range and is simple to mount on walls, stakes, or fences. Expect to repel dogs, cats, raccoons, and other animals without resorting to harmful technologies. If you use the optional audible repellent, the sound is minimal so your neighbors shouldn’t complain.
The downside to this product is that it has a short-range. To completely cover a standard sized yard you will want two or three of them. But if the only issue is a cat doing its business in your flower bed, one or two should work just fine.
This is my personal favorite repellent that uses ultrasonic technology. Give it a whirl, and you won’t be disappointed.
DIY humane outdoor cat repellent
As mentioned above, cat repellents work best when combined with other methods. If you are feeling handy, there are a few DIY repellents that work well when used in tandem with each other.
Certain scents work well in repelling cats. One of my favorites is the evergreen bush known as Rue. This works particularly well in flower beds and planted in-between shrubs.
It is a pretty blue-green color, but it does have a noticeable smell that some people love, and others hate. What’s more important is that cats loathe the scent. The leaves of this bush are occasionally used in small amounts in cooking, but make sure you wash the leaves well if you decide to try it.
Other scents that repel kitties are lavender, eucalyptus, and geranium. Plant these in your garden to keep cats out. Plus all three are pretty and will encourage beneficial insects to hang out in your garden.
Cats do not like citrus scents. You can always try spraying essences of these scents in your garden, but be aware of two things.
First, this is a temporary fix and you will have to keep spraying.
Second, do not use essential oils since they are toxic to cats.
Save old orange, lemon, or lime peels and cut them up into small pieces. Then sprinkle around your garden. For an extra bit of protection mix them with coffee grounds. It helps keep felines away and acts as a fertilizer.
Vinegar is to cats what garlic is to vampires. They hate the smell of vinegar, even after it has dried for a few days. A great way to repel cats using vinegar is to soak some old rags in vinegar and then tie them to stakes around your vegetable garden.
You will have to repeat this process every week or so. Vinegar also repels deer, birds, rabbits, and raccoons.
You can also make a spray using equal parts vinegar and water, plus a squeeze of dishwashing detergent. Spray this around your garden every few days to keep critters out.
A potent ingredient you might have in your spice rack is cayenne pepper. If you’ve ever gotten a whiff of cayenne, you know how powerful it is. Make a spray using a quarter cup of cayenne pepper mixed with two cups of water.
Spray around your vegetable gardens or flower beds every few days to keep cats from using it as a litter box.
Be sure to wear gloves and safety goggles when making the mixture and when spraying it. Getting cayenne in your eyes is painful.
We all want a beautiful yard free from cats and other creatures who don’t understand that it is not theirs to be in. Use any of the methods or products listed above to safely and humanely repel cats without harming them. You’ll have the garden you’ve always wanted with a guilt-free conscience.