Cat Repellent - How to Deter Cats
Other unwelcome visitors: cats | foxes | frogs | moles :: pests and diseases | ants | aphids | blackspot | botrytis - gray mold | caterpillars | Japanese beetle larvae | leatherjackets | mealybugs | powdery mildew | red spider mite | rust | slugs and snails | vine weevils | whitefly
Other 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 neighborhood 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, or the males "spray" liberally to establish themselves. 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.
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.
Temporarily unoccupied 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.
Someone emailed me some 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.
Coleus canina or the Scaredy Cat plant (also known as the Pee-off plant in Europe) is a hybrid bred in Germany for the particular purpose of deterring one of the domestic gardeners traditional pests - the domestic cat.
The marketing material goes like this:
"Experiments with over 300 plants have now produced the ultimate deterrent. Cats, dogs and even foxes will avoid the Pee-off plant as it's affectionately known. Coleus canina has excellent foliage and small, attractive spikes of blue flowers in the summer, and releases a stench that cats can't stand. Thankfully it only smells to the human nose when touched! Could this be the solution to your feline intruder problems you've 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 plants."
Best planted in containers, 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.
Coleus canina now available in the USA! - Protect your garden from
animals' digging and fouling, without using chemicals. This unusual
border plant, a Coleus canina hybrid, releases a scent that dogs and
cats can't tolerate, though it is inoffensive to humans. Over 9 million
plants were sold in Europe in just two years, and it is now available
for the first time in North America. This drought-tolerant annual arrives
ready to plant and will show spikes of blue flowers in summer.
Repels cats, dogs, foxes and rabbits.
|I have 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 passing by.
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 passers by 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!
About the coleus canina:
IT WORKS!!! I tried it, and in a few days, no more
cats and dogs around my patio!
Cat Repellants - 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 (UK) 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 way.
A natural product that not only kills insects on fruits, flowers and
lawns, but also helps discourage dogs, cats and rabbits from
entering lawns and gardens (also kills people when smoked).
Olbas oil on teabags
Plastic bottles half filled with water - I include this for academic reference only, don't waste your time...
Grated coal tar soap
are particularly disliked by cats, soak peel in water and spray it around.
Lion / Leopard etc. dung when available, very effective, but again the smell wears off.