Gardener shares three 'effective' ways to stop cats pooing in your garden and digging up plants

Cats are notorious for ruining gardens by digging up plants and flowers while using the garden as a loo
Cats are notorious for ruining gardens by digging up plants and flowers while using the garden as a loo - here's how to stop them -Credit:(Image: Getty)

Renowned gardening author and owner of Byther Farm, Liz Zorab, shares her expertise on how to effectively prevent neighbouring pet cats from turning your garden into their litterbox. It's no secret that these outdoor adventurers, while adorable, are also notorious for ruining gardens by digging up plants and flowers.

According to Liz, the trick is to find the deterrent that works best for you through trial and error with various natural and low-cost methods. She said: "So, there are several ways to try to stop cats from pooping in your garden. Some are more effective than others."

She suggested using a combination of methods or alternating between techniques to keep cats at bay.

Citrus peels

Liz shared: "Generally cats do not like the smell of citrus, so will veer away from places that smell of it. This option is free if you simply save the peels from citrus fruits when you use them in the kitchen."

Scatter the peels around your plants - not only does this deter cats, it's also a clever way to recycle kitchen waste, reports the Express.

"And because it will break down over time, it will add organic matter to your soil. Alternatively, you can use citrus oils, but be careful not to drop undiluted citrus oils on your plants."

However, this method will only be effective for a few days as the peels will need to be changed regularly, especially after rainfall.

Water spray.

A motion-activated water spray is a simple and safe method to deter cats, as they will quickly learn that the area is off-limits.

All you need to do is connect the water spray to a garden hose, and the spray will only activate when it detects movement on the sensor, so no water is wasted.

Liz said: "It sprays a jet of water to surprise the cat away from the garden. Not just used to stop cats from pooping in the garden, it is effective for most animals. And can be used in more extensive gardens."

This method is long-lasting and adjustable, so you can set it up next to any of your prized flowers. The only downside is the cost of a water spray could be expensive, and it also requires a connection to a water supply to keep working.


Mulching is the gardening method of placing a thick layer of organic material around flower beds to keep plants healthy and strong.

It is needed to help keep many plants and flowers healthy but is also a simple gardening method to keep cats away as it makes the soil harder and more difficult for them to dig in. Liz remarked: "Cats love to use the softer soil of your garden beds because soft soil easy to dig in, after all, who wants hard work before they do their business? ".

"Covering the soil with a mulch or hard landscaping can deter cats from pooping in your garden."

She also suggested that chopped straw or used animal bedding can help keep cats away while also fertilising the soil. Additionally, wood chips, bark, newspaper or cardboard can be used to mulch and make it harder for cats to dig up plants.