How do I keep cats out of my garden?

Initially, avoid feeding roaming cats as unsurprisingly this will encourage them to return to your garden.  Otherwise, by planting shrubs closely, cats are less likely to be able to dig in your garden (you can use pebbles or chipping too). You can also keep flowerbeds wet, as cats don’t normally like wet ground. If a cat does enter your garden you can always shoo or clap them away, or even install an automatic spray that detects motion. Otherwise, high, close-boarded fences will make it difficult for cats to enter your garden.

Keeping your cat safe outside

Cats often defend their own territory. When two felines both feel an area is theirs, fights can break out, causing injury and distress.

How to avoid cat fights:

  • Organise a time-share with your neighbour. Agree set times when your cats will be outside. That way, both cats can enjoy the garden without disturbing each other.
  • Stop other cats from coming inside your home by fitting a cat-flap that only opens for your cat’s microchip.
  • Try and prevent other cats entering your garden by securing holes in fences or hedges.
  • Provide a litter tray indoors so your cat can choose to stay in if they’re feeling unsafe.

Remember to regularly check your cat for signs of injury or changes in behaviour. If you’re concerned, please visit your local vet for advice.

Cat deterrents for your garden

Some people can become frustrated by neighbourhood cats in their garden. Equally, many owners worry about cats in their garden due to threats of fighting between their own feline and others. The following tips can help deter cats from your garden safely and humanely.

Cats may roam freely by law. Causing any unnecessary suffering to a cat is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The maximum penalty for anyone found guilty under this act is up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.

If a neighbourhood cat is disturbing your garden there are ways to humanely deter them:

  • Don’t offer cats food, as they’re likely to return.
  • Plant shrubs closely, grow prickly plants, or use small pebbles or chippings to make it difficult for cats to dig.
  • Keep flowerbeds watered as some cats don't like wet earth.
  • Shoo them away by shouting or clapping.
  • Install an automatic spray that detects movement.
  • Make it difficult to enter the garden with high, close-boarded fences.
  • Ask the owner if the cat is neutered and ensure there’s a suitable toilet area in their own garden.

For more information please download our advice on deterring cats factsheet (PDF 170KB)

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