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Cats Away
Learn how to deter cats from your garden

 

 

 

Bob Taylor

Welcome to Cats Away

For some time now it has been considered bad form to allow your dog to roam free to do its business on the neighbours front lawn or back yard yet apparently it is still fine to throw out the cat every day to let him go poop in next doors flower beds, dig up their plants and stalk the wildlife feeding at their bird table.

Now I should point out that like most people I do like cats, I just happen to like gardening a whole lot more and as any gardener the world over will tell you, finding the seedlings you lovingly raised and planted out have been dug up by a local moggie will drive you to despair.

I am surrounded by cats. Both neighbours have them and our garden backs onto another property who's owner also has one, so that's left, right and bottom. Add all the other cats who live nearby and as you can imagine, I have a constant fight on my hands to keep my flower beds poop free.

Although a keen gardener all my adult life it was only when we retired to the suburbs that I started having problems with cats. Whether our move coincided with a cat population boom or not I don't know.

I have read that since tougher laws were passed on dogs and dog poop that cats are now the number 1 pet in the UK and more likely, I simply didn't notice them so much when I was working and spent less time pottering around in the garden.

The first thing I did was to search online for advice and discovered that many of the solutions that were offered as gospel were based on what is best described as old wives tales or perhaps that should be 'old gardeners tales.'

For example, one of the most popular you will find on gardeners forums is the water bottle myth. A large clear bottle half filled with water strategically placed in their path is supposed to scare cats away because the reflection looking back at them is that of a bigger cat.

Of the half dozen cats I witnessed wandering past one of these bottles only 1 seemed mildly concerned with the reflection and that was by no means enough to scare him off.

As well as all the various 'myths' doing the rounds you will find many commercial deterrents and repellents and I have personally spent well over £200 on these gadgets over the last few years. The effect of these was very hit and miss and their success depended on whether your garden was suitable for that particular type of deterrent and also on the cats in question - cats are individual critters and what works on one may not on another.

Sometimes something would work on the first cat and I would think I had finally won the battle only for the next one to come along and do nothing more than pause and look quizzically at the ultrasonic screeching, flashing device that I had just paid £30 for!

So, the best advice I can give is to work through the various methods listed below (starting with the free ones) and see what works and what doesn't with the particular cats frequenting your garden.

 

Deterrents

In this section I review some of the many commercial cat deterrents that are now readily available. Go here to see the list

deterrents

 

Plants

There are plenty of plants and flowers that cats don't like and with some strategic planting you can use these in your battle against the neighbourhood felines. Read about these plants here.

plants to keep cats away


Tips & Tricks

This section is home to all the free (or cheap) deterrents I was advised to try by fellow gardeners or that I picked up online in my search for help and advice. Start here

cats sat with bottled water

 

Cat Owners

If you're a cat owner and would like to keep on good terms with your neighbours and help your cat live a long and happy life I have some tips and advice for you here.

garden cat

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The gardeners battle against cats is never ending. Sign up and I will let you know as soon as a new tip is published

 

About the author:

Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been a keen gardener most of his adult life and after taking early retirement can be found most days pottering around his garden.

 

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 Tips & Tricks
 Commercial Deterrents
 Cat Repellent Plants
 Cats And The Law

Other useful resources:

Peta
RSPB
Gardeners World
Stop Your Cat From Killing