The Q&A Archives: Cat Repellent

Question: Do you know of any herbs/plants that are used to keep cats out of gardens? Do you know if they work well? Thank you!

Answer: I think the results are mixed when it comes to deterring cats with herbs. 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 crumpled 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 less than 12 inches between the lines. The cats will eventually learn to visit somewhere else, and you can remove the barriers after a few weeks. 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. Good luck with your problem!

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