- Unwanted visitors
How to deter cats
Pee-Off Scaredy Cat
Cat Repellent Plant
peoples cats that is. Apparently (I've
never tried it - not being a cat lover) the best way to deter cats is
to get a cat of your own. That way it makes the garden its territory
and other neighbourhood cats don't get a look in. On the same lines,
a dog is a fairly good way of deterring cats, my Cairn Terrier is most
effective at keeping next doors burgeoning menagerie at bay.
Presumably if either of these were
an option though you wouldn't be here looking at these pages for
how to deter cats.
The main reason to deter cats is
that they dig holes in nice soft bare earth in order to deposit their
unpleasant little packages. The nice soft earth that they like best
of all is a newly prepared seed bed and what is more insulting than
a cat coming and s******g in it when you've done? Especially as
you then need to go and make amends, not knowing quite when you'll
find the prize in the bran-tub. Tom cats also have a tendency to "spray"
- their urine - in order to scent mark the edges of their territory,
most unpleasant if one of their marking posts is just outside your door
or barbeque area.
The easiest way of deterring cats in
these circumstances is to keep the soil covered with plants or whatever.
Gravel may or may not work, some-one I knew moved into a new house that
had a gravel patch beside the front door under the porch (the builders
obviously couldn't be bothered to cut any paving slabs to fit) and
a local cat decided that this was the ideal toilet facility - most unpleasant.
spots can be 'filled' by pushing prunings particularly of roses
or other spiky plants into the soil. Keep twiggy sticks and push them
in at an angle to spread over the soil to protect new sowings and plantings.
Don't get too enthusiastic though, a few years ago I cut a load
of rose prunings into about 2" pieces scattered around a newly
dug bed. Kept the cats off a treat it did, over a year later they were
still there and I had some very unpleasant weeding experiences - make
sure they're easy enough to remove later on.
Coleus canina - Pee-Off - Scaredy Cat - Cat Repellent
Off - No not you gentle reader, but the plant - or the cats. Someone
emailed me a few of years ago asking where to get hold of this plant,
at the time I'd never heard of it let alone knew where to buy it.
It's now available in the UK exclusively
from Thompson and Morgan as small pot plants to grow on. The marketing
material goes like this:
with over 300 plants have now produced the ultimate deterrent. Cats,
dogs and even foxes will avoid the Pee-off plant as its affectionately
known. Coleus canina has excellent foliage and small, attractive
spikes of blue flowers in the summer, and releases a stench that
cats cant stand. Thankfully it only smells to the human nose when
touched! Could this be the solution to your feline intruder problems
youve been longing for? Annual, but can easily be propagated and
cuttings kept in a frost-free place over winter. Plants need to
be established before the smell is released, be in drier rather
than wet soil and planted every 1-2 metres. Supplied as cell-raised
Best planted in containers (and
regarded as functional rather than hugely ornamental - it does provide
good vivid greenery as a foil to other plants though), that way they'll
grow quicker to an effective size and you'll be able to move them
around and experiment with the best place to put them. I found out recently
that over 9 million plants were sold across Europe in the first two
years of it being available!
Repels cats, dogs, foxes and rabbits
Buy Coleus canina
grown coleus canina for several years on the corners of
the front of my property, tucked into a perennial bed
near the roses. I bought it as "Dog be gone,"
and it is also sold as "Bunny be gone," so must
work on rodents.
Because the leaves are fleshy, like a
succulent, it takes rather arid conditions and can live
in full sun, unlike any coleus I've seen. (I live in
Southern California, USA and we get summer weather of over
100 degrees F for up to a week at a time)
It spreads somewhat freely but not with
long runners like my favorite pest plant, common mint.
Spreading does not occur until it is established.
I end up trimming back the edges, like a stand of dusty
miller, to keep it within the three foot circles I have
given it. I've lost it twice, due to garden makeovers,
but it comes back very easily from cuttings.
Dogs cannot stand it, and "snufft"
when they put their nose in. It smells much stronger
than marigolds when bruised. It should be put somewhere
that won't receive constant touching by legs or feet
Because the leaves are not variegated,
just medium green, the four-inch long, 3/4 in wide, fleshy
bright purple flowers, which are very unusual, are attractive
in a Mars landscape sort of way. They are unlike other
coleus I've seen. I get good comments from passersby
every year, as though I made them unusual and not God. Because
of their blooms I keep them, but because of their smell
they definitely should not be something one would put at
the back door!
the coleus canina: IT WORKS!!! I tried
it, and in a few days, no more cats and dogs around my patio!
Cat Repellents - Traditional Methods
There are many tried and tested methods
to get rid of cats, most of which work for a short time, but tend to
rely on some kind of chemical smell so they need regular topping up.
- The Cat's Protection League
recommend diluted surgical spirit spread over
the offending region. Be careful not to get it on any
plants though and it'll be easily washed away by
rain. Works well on wooden fences as it soaks in to
some degree and so is longer lasting. I've never
tried, but maybe soaking rough wooden sticks in it and
then pushing them into the soil would work in a similar
- Moth balls - more weather
- A tautly strung wire or string fitted
10-15 cm above the top of a fence used by cats
makes it difficult for them to balance.
- Plastic bottles half filled with
water - I include this for academic reference only,
don't waste your time...
- Citrus smells
are particularly disliked by cats, soak peel in water
and spray it around.
chemical repellent Six pests banished by one
repellent. Unique MAFF approved repellent, which keeps
unwanted cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes, moles and badgers
away from gardens, small holdings etc. Used as directed,
renardine is safe and harmless and has been in continuous
use since 1896.
Other proprietary chemical cat repellents
- Mushroom compost
- used as a mulch, don't get too carried away though
as it tends to be fairly alkaline, so continually adding
it year after year could restrict the plants you can
Hi Tech Cat Repellents
Ultrasonic and motion sensor devices
that make a noise inaudible to humans or spray water when something
moves into the range of the device - very effective so I've
Outdoor Pest Repeller -
A pest repeller that is designed
to keep your garden clear of unwanted visitors, such as rats,
cats, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, badgers and deer. There are
three different settings so you can set it to the sound frequency
you want. The high frequency setting is used to repel rats but
is also effective against squirrels and cats, medium frequency
for cats and small dogs, and low frequency for larger dogs,
foxes, badgers and deer.
The repeller comes with a wall/fence
mounting adapter and rod adapter for placing it on a pole. It
is battery operated (4 x D Cell batteries), with option to run
it off a 12c AC/DC adapter. Coverage approx 70ft x 50ft in a
fan shape from the unit.