Answer: The best way to deter cats is to put a barrier between them and the soil. The cats will learn quickly and you can remove the barrier in a few weeks. For flower beds, try chicken wire over the soil - cats don't like to walk on it. For potted plants, any object that will keep them from digging in the soil will work. Try laying old pantyhose or pieces of nylon netting over the soil. You can string fishing line between stakes around the garden bed, keeping the line 6 inches above the soil surface and criss-crossing the line so there's 8 10 inches between the lines. The cats don't want to get caught in it and will eventually learn to visit somewhere else.
Keeping them off lawns is a more difficult task. But, since cats are creatures of habit, you may be able to scare them away by turning on a sprinkler whenever they enter the yard. There are also automatic sprinklers that turn on when they sense interlopers.
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