Whether they are your pet, the neighbor's cat or a rogue feral feline, no one wants a furry invader digging in their garden and leaving little "surprises" behind. Brooke Edmunds, PhD, OSU Extension Service Community Horticulturist, joined us to share some ways to keep curious cats from invading your outdoor spaces:
- Though there’s no scientific evidence to back it up, some people swear by repellents. They must be reapplied often and can be expensive. The active ingredient in these products varies. The most common are oils (cinnamon, clove, thyme, garlic, etc.), putrescent whole egg solids, dried blood, etc. Whichever you choose, make sure to fully read the label and only apply according the instructions. Because these products work by using scents that cats prefer to avoid, the product will likely need to be reapplied often. Obviously, you’re not going to like the smell either.
- Motion-activated sprinklers work with an infrared field. When a cat wanders into it, the sprinkler shoots out a stream of water. “But cats are smart,” Edmunds said. “They may figure out how far the water goes and move around it.”
- To keep from attracting cats, don’t feed your pets – or any other animals – outside and keep your grill clean.
- Secure trash bins.
- Clear away debris where mice might live.
- Board up access to structures they may use for refuge.
- Anecdotal evidence shows that cats dislike the smell of lavender, pennyroyal, rue, lemon thyme and Coleus canina (also called scaredy cat plant).
For more information, visit the OSU Extension Service website.