How to stop cats messing in your garden

We've hunted down the best natural cat deterrent products so you don't have to find any mess in your garden

The best ways to stop cats messing in your garden - getty images

by Caitlin Casey |

It can be a complete nuisance to continuously find cats messing in your garden. Chances are, if you're reading this right now you're probably fed up with it when your garden is supposed to be a sanctuary for relaxation and chill time.

Cats are naturally made for the outside. Where hunting, scarpering and wandering the area is a daily activity for cats, it's no surprise that they will also find places to go to the toilet too.

Unfortunately, there are no laws that allow you to take action against other cat owners, but there are some natural ways to get rid of the smelly cat mess that finds its way into your space. When neighbourhood cats have found your spot to be the comfiest litter box, you can use deterrents to kick them out - and keep them out too.

Why do cats poop in other people's gardens?

No matter how much you dislike it, cats only foul in other people's gardens because it's their natural instinct. Once cats move on from litter trays and move outside, they will find any place that's suitable to take their toilet.

When cats lived in the wild before they were domesticated, they tended to move further away from their living space because their mess gives away their smell to possible predators. The further away from their mess and their home, the less likely the predator is to find their living space. Although cats are far more domesticated now, they still hold this natural intuition.

Related: How to keep your cat full with the best dry cat food

Is it down to the owner to train their cat? Possibly. But cats will still hold this inclination to go further away because it's just a part of their species.

How to stop cats messing in your garden

With this in mind, as humans, we can send signs to cats to get them to avoid our lovely gardens - naturally, without hurting them. Here are some things you can do to stop cats from messing with the best tips to stop cats pooping in your garden.

1. Use natural plants

Cats have a great sense of smell and they particularly dislike scents that involve citrus, lavender, peppermint and cinnamon so the more of these scents you can use, the better.

Lavender is really easy to get a hold of so simply planting this in your garden is a great start. In terms of the other scents, you can mix essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spray them all over your garden.

Here are some natural plant solutions that use smell or scent to deter cats from messing in your garden:

Lilac Plant - Lavandula Angustifolia Melissa Lilac (2 litre pot)

Best lavender plant to stop cats pooping in your garden
Lilac Plant - LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA MELISSA LILAC (2 litre pot)

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Waitrose Garden

As mentioned above, the easiest (as well as prettiest) way to deter cats from messing on your lawn is by planting a scent they might not enjoy, just like this lavender plant. Natural and it won't hurt the kitties that come by.

Coleus Canina 'Scaredy Cat Plant'

Best natural plant to keep cats out your garden
Coleus canina 'Scaredy Cat Plant'
Amazon

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You Garden

As the name suggests, this plant isn't great for 'Scaredy Cats'. Developed with a deterrent in mind, this plant is a natural deterrent because of the scent it gives off when brushed past. Coming as twelve jumbo plug plants, this is a useful and natural way to deter cats.

2. Use deterrent pellets

Similar to the way natural plants work, cat deterrent pellets work to release an unfriendly scent and stop cats from pooping in your garden.

All you have to do is spread the pellets or granules over grass, lawn or patio and the scent will slowly release into your garden. Many of these products will act as a repellent to cats for a few months, meaning you only have to invest once in a while. Great if you're looking for a quick, long-term solution.

Here's our pick of the best cat deterrent pellets and granules to keep cats from pooping in your garden:

2 x Get Off My Garden Cat & Dog Repellent 460g

Best garden repellent to keep cats out
2 x Get Off My Garden Cat & Dog Repellent 460g
Amazon

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Amazon

This 'Get Off My Garden' product is jelly-like crystals that slowly release a high scented odour. They're effective in all weather conditions so you won't have to worry about them being rained away. You can use them on lawns and plant beds but also concrete and paving for extra strength.

Defenders Cat Scatter Granules 750g

Best garden granules to keep cats out
Defenders Cat Scatter Granules 750g

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Wilko

Biodegradable, these Defenders Cat Scatter Granules work as an effective natural ingredient with an easy-use shaker cap. This will stop cats coming to mess but also stop digging and scratching around. Suitable for a variety of gardens including patio and lawns.

Cat Repellent - 4 x 0.5kg By Silent Roar

Best lion dung pellets to keep cats out
Cat Repellent - 0.5kg By Silent Roar
Amazon

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Primrose

These cat repellent pellets are soaked in real essence of lion dung - yes, you read that right. Lion dung. Cats will naturally avoid this scent because of their territorial instinct. One application can last up to three months so cats are sure to stay away for a while.

3. Use motion-detection sprinklers

Sometimes deterrents aren't enough and you need to take it into your own hands to ensure that cats stay firmly out of your garden. Cats are generally not too fond of water, especially when it's being squirted at them unexpectedly. This is why motion-detected sprinklers are a great option when trying to keep those cats away.

Although these may be a slightly more pricey option, they're a long-term solution to get rid of any pesky animals. As well, it will keep your grass nice and moist in the summer.

Jet Spray Cat Repeller By PestBye

Best cat deterrent motion detected sprinkler
PestByeu00ae Jet Spray Battery Operated Motion Activated Cat Scarer & Repellent
Amazon

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Amazon

This PestBye motion-activated sprinkler is a great value option, not too large and has an adjustable range of sensitivity. With a range of up to 10m in a 120-degree arc, it fires a five-second burst of water when triggered. If you're not happy with it, it has a 60-day effectiveness guarantee.

Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler

Best high-end motion detected sprinkler to deter cats
Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler
Amazon

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Amazon

This is definitely a big investment, with 40ft detection a 120-degree viewing angle overlooking 1600 square feet, this sprinkler can tackle a large area. It also has unique day and night detection which you can personalise for your preferences. A sturdy bit of kit. It's only 60cm high so it's surprisingly shorter than you may think.

4. Use sound motion detectors

Similar to that of a motion detected sprinkler, a sound motion detector will be able to spot any movement and let out a high pitched sound inaudible to humans to scare any cats messing away.

These can be smaller and less obvious than larger sprinklers so maybe a better option if you're looking for an efficient but unnoticeable cat deterrent.

Set of 2 Cat Repellers V2 with HyperResonance Frequency By Pestbye

Best cat sound repeller with motion detection
Set of 2 Battery Operated Cat Repellers V2 with HyperResonance Frequencyu2122 By Pestbyeu00ae
Amazon

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amazon

Another PestBye choice, this set of two cat repellers are small but mighty. Letting out short varying bursts of ultrasound will immediately scare any animals off. It uses an integrated PIR motion sensor for up to 32 ft away, which will not be affected by any rustling foliage. All you need to do is add batteries and push them into the ground.

Advanced Cat Scarer By PestBye

Best sound motion activated advanced cat scarer
Advanced Cat Scarer By PestBye

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Ebay

This Advanced Cat Scarer works over 188 square meters with a distance of up to 52.5ft, perfect for any larger garden. Common cat visitors will be stopped within seven days and after a month you will be able to see the full deterrent effect.

Defenders Mega-Sonic Cat Repeller

Best mega-sonic cat repeller
Defenders Mega-Sonic Cat Repeller
Amazon

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Pets at Home

Slightly pricier, this Defenders mega-sonic cat repeller uses ultrasonic sound to repel cats. With a mounting stake, it ensures easy setup and is battery powered. Not only for cats, but this also controls moles, squirrels, dogs, deer and other unwanted garden visitors.

5. Cover your garden with uncomfortable grounding

If your plants are having a particularly hard time with cats messing, you can always lay down chicken wire or uncomfortable bedding with twigs that won't hurt your plants.

By doing this, you're just making it slightly harder for cats to find the perfect spot and chances are, they're more likely to find somewhere else if they know that it's difficult. Wire netting is easy to find and a cheap option if you can't invest in pricier deterrents.

Wilko 10m x 60cm Wire Garden Netting

Best cat deterrent wire netting
Wilko 10m x 60cm Wire Garden Netting

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Wilko

This is just a classic wire netting you can grab to easily put over any garden bed. It's hot-dip galvanised for extra durability and a value option to use.

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