How to Keep Cats Out of Your Flower Beds

Team McFly Sep 07, 2023
6 People Read
cat in garden
Table of Contents
  1. "Effective Strategies to Safeguard Your Flower Bed from Feline Intruders"
    1. Motion Sprinklers
    2. Lattice or Fencing
    3. Sharp Mulch
    4. Hot Pepper Spray
    5. Catnip
    6. Conclusion:

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can compensate me at no cost if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

"Effective Strategies to Safeguard Your Flower Bed from Feline Intruders"

Cats can cause extensive damage to flower beds by digging, using them for napping, or nibbling on leaves. Luckily, various methods are available for keeping cats out of the garden.

Some methods employ scent or make the area unpleasant for cats. For example, prickly holly or pine cones can be scattered across beds to deter cats from digging and marking territory.

Motion Sprinklers

Cats often dig holes in flowerbeds to use as litter boxes, ruining the aesthetics of your garden and leaving behind waste that needs to be cleared up. Physical barriers can deter cats from visiting by making walking in an uncomfortable space too uncomfortable for cats - including chicken wire, lattice, or wood fences. You could cover these barriers with mulch like prickly holly leaves or river rocks, which makes walking unpleasant for cats!

Motion-activated sprinklers that emit an unexpected burst of water are an effective deterrent for cats, who do not appreciate being surprised by a sudden burst. Most of the time, these sprinklers remain dormant, but when movement is detected, they activate to send out a quick burst that won't damage flowers; this shock could convince your feline friend to move along in search of more exciting areas to explore.

Citrus scents can be highly unappealing to cats and can be utilized in several ways to deter them from your flower beds. For example, use orange peels around your garden, add lemon balm or other fragrant plants such as lemon verbena, or hang scented orange and citronella scented sachets in areas where cats frequently visit - although for optimal results, wash away any evidence of your efforts as it could prove dissuasive for certain cats.

If cats keep visiting your flower beds, create an area in your yard that is dedicated just to them. Fill this kitty Garden of Eden with cat grass and other feline-friendly plants while planting more resilient flowers that can withstand their claws.

Lattice or Fencing

Physical barriers prevent cats from using your flower beds as litter boxes. For example, chicken wire can be laid a few inches below your soil to hide it before being covered by mulch. In addition, heavy and dense mulches like wood chips or river rocks make digging more difficult, providing another effective deterrent against cat access to flower beds.

Lattice fences can also help keep cats away from your garden. Usually more decorative than their traditional counterpart, these lattice-top structures come in various materials, including wood and metal, and come in an assortment of sizes and styles that allow you to find one to match any landscape design scheme.

Fencing made from lattice can be less costly and easier to install than other materials, while its natural look helps it blend with flower beds more seamlessly. Unfortunately, lattice may not be as durable during winter and might need replacement more frequently than other options.

Spraying water on flowerbeds may also help deter cats from your flowerbeds. Although this method might not work as effectively as motion-activated sprinklers, it is a quick and cheap alternative that won't harm cats. In addition, washing areas where cats have urinated may deter further visits by depriving them of these spots for future urination sessions.

As non-physical barriers against cats entering flower beds, you can try planting prickly plants and shrubs close together, adding catnip or rosemary around the perimeter, creating a sand bed where cats can play, or using loud noises to dissuade them; though using loud noises as a last resort might also work.

Sharp Mulch

Cats are beloved companions, yet they can be destructive to gardens. Cats may bury and dig up garbage, use plants as soft napping spots, and chew on things that shouldn't be chewed. However, there are ways to deter cats without harming themselves or their surroundings.

Sharp mulches can help deter cats from wandering into your flower beds by making walking across or digging in them uncomfortable. Pine cones, splintery bark mulches, or jagged rocks all work as effective barriers. Furthermore, this form of protection also works great for vegetable and fruit gardens.

Place plastic carpet runners with spikes facing upwards in your flowers, vegetable gardens, and other places cats like to hang out. While these won't hurt the cats themselves, stepping on them could irritate them enough that it deters them from returning repeatedly.

Your garden may also benefit from being filled with scents cats find offensive.

For example, citrus peels, used tea leaves, and raw onion are easy to distribute around your garden to discourage cats. Commercial deterrents that smell like predatorial animal urine, such as coyote pee, may also prove effective. However, it should be noted they will only work on some cats and may need to be applied often to remain effective.

One last option you might consider is planting a "cat garden," including plants that will appeal to cats, like cat grass and nepeta (catmint). This space could be installed alongside your other flowers to give them space to roam while keeping them out of other parts of your garden. However, remember that this won't prevent cats from coming in search of sustenance from other sources in your garden.

Hot Pepper Spray

Your garden is the source of great pride, yet local cats seem intent on using it as their personal scratching post or litter box. In addition, they may dig through flowers, nibble leaves off various plants and cause chaos throughout. Luckily there are various methods available to you for keeping cats at bay.

One effective option is using a commercial deterrent spray that contains spicy aromas - something most cats don't care for - as an effective deterrent against cats. While this won't harm plants or cats alike, it should make them uncomfortable in the area and act as enough of a deterrent that it keeps away potential visitors.

Another approach involves planting certain flowers that deter cats. Russian sage, lavender, and geraniums are flowers that do not attract cat nibblers; plants with prickly foliage, such as sea holly or tropical grevillea, also help. Dill and cayenne pepper have strong scents which deter felines.

If you don't have a flower bed to protect, try placing chicken wire an inch below the surface of your soil. It won't be visible from a passerby but will prick cats' paws as they walk over it. Flowers and other plants can grow through the chicken wire without issue; larger varieties may need a specific opening cut.

Some cats can be persistent when trying to deter them, even with multiple methods employed against them. If this is the case for your yard, try setting aside an area for cats only where you grow safe plants they love, like cat grass and zinnias, giving them space to play free from human distraction.


Cats can cause havoc to your garden by digging, leaving deposits, chewing, and using plants as napping spots. However, there are a few easy and cost-effective solutions available to keep cats out, such as scent deterrents or making the garden uninviting for cats to visit - stack multiple strategies together, such as motion sprinklers with prickly leaves or beds lined with sharp mulch to be more effective than scattering moth balls which could potentially poison cats while also harming plants!

Make it difficult for cats to enter your garden by placing prickly holly leaves around planting areas or scattering short sticks like pine cones, plastic forks, and knives in beds - this should force cats away and ensure your blooms stay safe!

Cats hate citrus scents, so many homemade sprays made of orange peels or other scents are available to discourage cats from visiting gardens. Sprinkling citrus-scented spray can be very effective; so too can creating a solution from equal parts vinegar and water with some lemon juice added as a preemptive spray before cats visit your garden. Spritzing immediately before expected visits by cats is particularly effective.

Planting varieties of flowers that cats find offensive or have strong fragrances may help keep them away. For example, lavender (Lavandula), rue, graveolens, and geraniums (Pelargoniums) may all repel cats. In contrast, cat grass, mint, and pansies may help attract cats away from areas in your garden where you want them to remain.


Maintaining a beautiful and thriving flower bed while deterring cats from wreaking havoc can be achieved through preventive measures, humane deterrents, and creating alternative spaces for our feline friends.

By implementing strategies like installing physical barriers, utilizing scent deterrents, and incorporating cat-friendly areas in your yard, you can balance enjoying the company of cats while preserving the integrity of your precious flower beds.

Remember, it's important to approach this issue with empathy and understanding, as cats are naturally curious creatures. By employing these methods, we can create a harmonious environment where our gardens and feline friends can coexist happily. So don't let the presence of cats deter you from creating a stunning flower bed. With the right approach and a little effort, you can successfully keep cats out of your flower beds and enjoy the beauty of your garden to the fullest.

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Table of Contents
  1. "Effective Strategies to Safeguard Your Flower Bed from Feline Intruders"
    1. Motion Sprinklers
    2. Lattice or Fencing
    3. Sharp Mulch
    4. Hot Pepper Spray
    5. Catnip
    6. Conclusion:

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can compensate me at no cost if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.