How to stop cats from pooping in your garden

Stop local cats (or your own cat) from using your shrubbery as a toilet.

cat pooping in garden

by Stephanie Anthony |

Whether you have cats of your own, or live in an area with neighbours who own cats, the likelihood is at some point they will poop in your garden.

But how can you stop them from pooping in your garden? While most cats like to keep their toilet habits private by burying their poos, some felines get into the habit of going to the toilet on lawns, or avoiding their own gardens altogether for another plot. And that's the last thing you want to find when you're trimming your grass or planting up your flower beds.

So, to help you regain control of your garden and deter cats from using it as a loo, here are some recommended tricks and products you can use.

Odour deterrents

Like dogs, cats have a keen sense of smell - so by learning which smells they don't like, you can deter cats from coming into your garden, or get them to avoid certain areas.

Try scents such as:

• Citrus

• Lavender

• Peppermint

• Cinnamon

• Bananas

Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle, then apply to your garden. Repeat as necessary. You can also use citrus peels for a longer-lasting solution.

Another solution that is particularly useful if cats tend to use your flower beds, is to lay twigs or chicken wire over any bare patches of soil. Twigs are easier to manoeuvre, and particularly good for veg patches so that the plants don't get disturbed while they grow.

Create a space for litter outside

If you find messes on your lawn, one solution is to create an outside litter tray/an area where they can poo.

If it's your own cat that's started going on the lawn, you can introduce them to their new toilet spot in the same way you would their litter tray, by gently holding their front paws and 'digging' in it a little.

If transferring from a litter tray to outside, put a small amount of their cat litter in the spot so they recognise the smell.

Related: How to stop a cat from spraying in the house

Our choice of the best repellents to stop cats pooping in your garden

As well as these natural solutions there are also plenty of products you can buy to deter cats from going to the toilet in your garden. We've rounded up some of the best with reviews.

Get Off My Garden Cat & Dog Repellent

Best repellent for all weather conditions
Get Off My Garden Cat & Dog Repellent

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Get Off jelly-like crystals are effective in all weather conditions and can be used on paving, lawns and flower beds. They work by slowly releasing a strong, highly scented odour which confuses both cats' and dogs' sense of smell. Over a period of weeks, they will be trained to move away from the treated areas to those where they can detect evidence of previous fouling odours. Each bottle can cover 71 square metres.

Review: "These work! I have a vegetable patch which next door’s cat thought was his toilet. It was so annoying. I bought some of this repellent and it works. These are the second lot I’ve bought as they are so good. They arrived on time and I would recommend."

Defenders Cat Scatter Granules

Best biodegradable repellent
Defenders Cat Scatter Granules

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Defenders Cat Scatter Granules contain natural aromatic plant oils on an inert clay carrier to deter cats and dogs from digging, scratching and fouling in the garden and patio areas. Features an easy to use shaker dispensing cap for easy, even distribution of granules. Each bottle contains 500g treating 150sqm.

**Review: "**We have always used this and found it to work really well. We have a lot of cats in our neighbourhood and they do enjoy our garden. You MUST clear any cat poop and wash down areas where they have been to the toilet before you begin, then add copious amounts of this on the first few applications - if there is a faint whiff of cat ‘business’ they’ll be back, but we found if we can remove the scent then it’s just a case of sprinkling around lightly every now and then. Casts still wander around our garden but don’t toilet in it anymore.'"

NOTE: The solutions above are better if you own cats and simply want them to avoid pooping in certain areas.

Products to stop cats coming into your garden

If you want to deter cats from coming into your garden completely - try the below. These are all humane products:

Silent Roar Cat Repellent

Best repellent for warmer weather
Silent Roar cat repellent

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Silent Roar cat repellent is highly effective, due to the fact that it plays on the territorial instincts of cats. Cats warn each other away by marking their territory, and even the bravest cat will retreat at the smell of lion dung. These pellets contain no artificial chemicals or any ingredients which are harmful to your soil or plants. One application can help to keep unwanted cats out of your garden for up to three months.

Review: "When cats started using even ornamental planters as toilets, it was time to do something drastic! I released 'Lions' following the instructions carefully. Cats gave the garden a wide berth for at least a month. Recent very heavy rain has probably washed the scent away. so will reapply as there are unwelcome signs in the first area to be covered, but I would say, it does work where all else fails. Thank you!!!"

Metal Cat Silhouettes with Reflective Eyes

Metal cat silhouettes with reflective eyes

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Believe it or not, these cat silhouettes can help deter cats from your garden completely harmlessly. With reflective glass eyes on a painted black metal body, you can position the three different poses anywhere in your garden and it will keep cats and rodents away from your flower beds and vegetable patches.

Review: "I bought these to stop other cats from using my front garden as their own personal toilet - I don't even own a cat and it's bad enough picking up my own dog's poo, so I stuck these in strategic places around the garden and they work fantastically - not had to pick up any cat poo from my garden since."

Ultrasonic Cat Scarer

Best repellent using sound motion detection
Ultrasonic Cat Scarer

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Using a sound motion detector is a safe and humane way to keep cats and other unwanted pests such as foxes, squirrels and rodents out of your garden. The infrared PIR motion sensor detects movement and body heat up to 7m away, and will emit a high-frequency sound that is almost inaudible to humans, but will dissuade cats from coming near.

Review: "I've been having so many issues with cats in the garden. Not only fouling, but also killing anything and everything that moves. They pretty much spend all night, every night in the garden. It's been a real pain. Until now.

"These things actually seem to be working. Whereas there wasn't a night where the cats weren't in the garden for about 6 hours a time, they haven't spent any time in the garden at all since these have been installed.

"I've seen the cats approach the garden, the sensor has activated, the cat reacts to it and legs it out of the garden. These things have been a huge breakthrough."

Jet Spray Cat Repeller By PestByeu00ae

Motion activated sprinkler system

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This cat deterrent fires a 5-second burst of water when triggered, and is particularly good for lawns or large open areas. It has an easily adjustable range of sensitivity settings and covers an area of at least 100sqm.

Review: "The garden fouler arrived - carefully walking through the bushes to leave her calling card on my lawn. With the arrogant confidence of a zen master she eyed her spot. Watching from the kitchen window in the darkness, throat dry, and full of anticipation I waited for what I hoped would be a beautiful moment. The cat slowly and cautiously crept toward the lawn, stopped to take one more look, yes all was well.... then BAM what the #$% was that! Got you! Oh the joy! The fouler leapt with shock and ran for his life never to foul my garden again."

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