Although cats are awesome, lovable pets for millions of people, sometimes they can be a problem in the vegetable garden.
Feral cats, or just neighborhood cats that are allowed to roam freely, can enter your yard and vegetable garden, possibly turning it into their very own litter box.
Someone on the Veggie Gardener Facebook Page recently brought up a similar problem, and asked for some advice on keeping cats out of the vegetable garden.
Luckily, I haven’t had the problem myself, so I asked the community to add their expertise on humane ways of keeping cats out of the vegetable garden.
Here’s some of the awesome advice they offered:
Use Citrus Peels and Sprays
According to Sue from the Facebook Page, cats detest anything citrus and will stay away from it.
She explained that her grandmother used to surround her vegetable garden with orange, lemon, and lime peels to keep neighborhood cats out of it. She also planted onions and garlic around the vegetable garden to get rid of cats and deter many insect pests.
Provide the Cats Food and a Litter Box
Sally recommends providing the cats food and a litter box away from your vegetable garden. If they have food and a place to potty they will not do it in your vegetable garden.
This is a great alternative way of luring the cats away from your vegetables.
If you are not a huge fan of cats then I would not suggest this method, because you may lure more cats to your yard. If you do not mind having them around, but just want them to stay away from the garden area, it’s a great solution.
Use Upside Down Plastic Forks In Raised Beds
Cherina offered a great solution for keeping cats out of vegetable garden beds by using upside down plastic forks to protect young seedlings.
For whatever reason, cats do not like prickly things and will stay away from them.
The upside down forks are a quick and easy way to protect your seedlings from being dug up by cats.
Thanks to Cherina for permission to use her photo!
Several people suggested using motion-activated sprinklers for keeping cats out of the vegetable garden. Everyone knows that cats hate water.
Place a couple of these sprinklers around your vegetable garden and whenever a cat comes around it will get a quick, harmless shot of water, running it off.
These sprinklers are also great for dogs, deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds, and other animals that you want to keep out.
There are also several ultrasonic repellers on the market that work well for keeping cats out of your vegetable garden. These repellers emit a high frequency tone that cats and other animals cannot stand.
Just remember if you use one of these repellers it can affect your own pets if you have any.
Use Bird Netting
Another great suggestion was to use bird netting over your vegetable garden to keep cats and other animals from gaining access to your vegetables.
This would work really well if you have a small garden, or an isolated area that you need to keep cats out of.
Garlic Plant Clips
Cats and dogs do not particularly like the smell of garlic, so placing garlic clips throughout your vegetable garden is a great way to keep them away.
The clips can be placed around vegetables, or clip right to the stem of plants. The garlic aroma is also good for deterring deer and rabbits.
Use Humane Traps
Not everyone is going to agree with this tip, but another way to keep cats out of your vegetable garden is to use a humane trap and take them to your local Humane Society, or ASPCA.
Havahart makes a very good humane trap that works well for safely trapping cats without harming them. This is a good solution if you have just a couple feral cats in your area.
You may need to call your local Animal Control office for high populations of feral cats.