With around 10 million cats living in the UK, a large number of us inevitably cross paths with them on a regular basis.
Although such a high cat population means the UK is often referred to as a cat-loving nation, the fact is a majority of British households don’t actually own a cat.
Common cat problems for non-cat owners
As many feline-free households know, not having your own cat practically gives a green light to the neighbourhood cats to use your garden as a litter tray, battleground and many other frustrating issues.
This article will help you identify the best products to keep cats out of your garden and put a stop to many of the common cat-related problems below:
- Killing birds
- Digging up plants and flowerbeds
- Mass pooing
- Teasing or over-exciting dogs
- Attacking small pets
- Fighting each other noisily
- Urinating and discolouring your lawn
- Vomiting on your lawn/ patio/flowerbeds
- You’re allergic to cats
- You simply don’t like cats
All the cat deterrents in the list below work in slightly different ways and have been selected due to being the best of their type.
This gives you the best chance of finding a cat deterrent that suits your budget and garden, while doing the important job of keeping cats away effectively.
#1 – CatWatch Ultrasonic Cat Deterrent
This highly impressive little unit sits in your garden and lets out 3 high-pitched bursts of noise each time a cat crosses it’s motion sensor.
As cats are very easily scared by loud and unexpected noises, the CatWatch is very effective at sending cats running for cover and out of your garden once they trigger the alarm.
The CatWatch underwent a comprehensive a 2 year study testing the unit, which was funded by the RSPB.
The results were very favourable and the RSPB recommends the CatWatch on it’s website as the only ultrasonic cat deterrent device to use.
“The CatWatch will reduce the number and duration of cat visits to gardens and thus may help to protect birds.” – The RSPB
Powered by mains adapter (included) or a Duracell 9 Volt battery, the CatWatch provides a straightforward solution to your cat problems without requiring you to be constantly in your garden checking on the situation.
Made in the UK. Extensively tested on the UK’s cats. Thoroughly recommended.
THE CATWATCH SUMMARY
- Easy to set up in under 5 mins. Just position in your garden and switch on.
- Deters cats 24 hours a day whether you’re at home or not.
- Protect an area of up to 125sqm (1350sqft).
- The sound doesn’t affect dogs and is inaudible to humans.
- Recommended by the RSPB as a way of protecting birds.
- Includes mains adapter and set-up instructions.
- Made in the UK.
- Free delivery and 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee.
- Price: £69.95
#2 – ScareCrow Motion Activated Sprinkler
The Contech Water ScareCrow is a automatic sprinkler unit that connects to a hosepipe and sprays out a jet of water when something crosses it’s motion sensor.
The ScareCrow is marketed as a general animal deterrent but it’s very popular as a way of keeping cats out of the garden.
Cats hate water, so this sprinkler acts a great deterrent that quickly tells them your garden is off-limits.
Additionally, the sound and movement it makes as it springs into action also succeeds in giving cats a fright.
Even though the sensitivity of the ScareCrow is adjustable, it’s worth noting that the unit doesn’t discriminate between cats, dogs, birds or children when triggered, so if you have dogs or small children, it may not be suitable.
The most robust of all motion activated sprinklers available and absolutely recommended for deterring cats, bearing in mind the points above.
THE SCARECROW SUMMARY
- Jet of water very effective at scaring cats.
- Easy set up. Just position and connect to hosepipe.
- Adjustable sensitivity controls and ability to switch it off.
- Will spray other animals and humans.
- Requires an outside tap.
- 2 year warranty and 9 Volt battery included.
- Price: RRP £59.95
Prickle Strip Dig Stopper
The Dig Stopper is aimed at people who have problems with cats digging and pooing in their flowerbeds.
Simple 2m rolls of small plastic spikes that can be secured in the ground with tent pegs, the Dig Stopper creates a prickly terrain that cats don’t want to put their paws on or sit their bums on.
The Dig Stopper is also popular for installing at the bottom of a wall or fence where cats tend to jump down into gardens.
The spikes are effective because cats have sensitive pads on their feet, making the plastic spikes too painful to walk on. This results in cats avoiding the areas where they are installed.
If you want to protect flowerbeds and know the specific places cats jump down into your garden then the Dig Stopper Prickle Strips are absolutely recommended.
DIG STOPPER SUMMARY
- Deters cats by creating spiky and uncomfortable terrain.
- Good for protecting borders from pooing and digging.
- Come in rolls approx 28cm wide, 200cm (2m) long.
- Easy to cut or join together to suit your garden.
- Not harmful to cats or other wildlife.
- Price: RRP £9.99 per roll
Cat Scarer Silhouettes
They also have marble eyes which replicates the tapetum (the shiny part of a cat’s eye), which is especially useful for repelling cats at night.
The Silhouettes are useful deterrents for those who have a specific area of the garden that needs protecting and want to do it in an eco-friendly way, without worrying about electronics or changing batteries.
The most effective of the three silhouettes is the cat with the arched back and kinked tail (left, in picture above).
The arched back is a classic defensive position and indicates that a cat is ready to attack.
Installing a few arched-back cat silhouettes around your garden is a great way of putting the neighbourhood cats on edge and deciding not to come into your garden.
A shame manufacturers don’t make arched-back only sets, but this 3 pack is a useful addition to your cat deterrent arsenal.
CAT SCARERS SUMMARY
- Pack of 3 that replicates cat shapes and eyes.
- Good for protecting flowerbeds, vegetable patches and small lawns.
- Marble eyes useful as a night deterrent.
- Easy to install by press spikes into the ground
- Arched-back cat creates sense of danger.
- Price: RRP £26
Get Off My Garden
Get Off My Garden is a scent-based jelly that is excellent for treating small problem areas where cats keep fouling and digging.
Many people who don’t have cats find that their garden becomes a litter tray for the neighbourhood cats, and the cats often seem to poo in the same places.
By cleaning up the poo and putting some Get Off down in it’s place, you will start to see a reduction in cats fouling in your garden.
The main repelling ingredients are citronella and methyl nonyl ketone, both of which cats really dislike.
Get Off is not going to keep cats out of your garden completely, but with patience and fairly regular applications, you will notice a reduction in fouling.
It’s a good cost effective repellent that works very well in conjunction with one of the more substantial deterrent devices mentioned above.
Recommended for small scale fouling and pooing, but not really suitable if you have dogs as they also dislike citronella.
GET OFF SUMMARY
- Contains citronella which cats hate the smell of.
- Mixes in well with soil to prevent pooing and digging.
- Great for small gardens or flowerbeds.
- Biodegradable and easy to apply.
- Not harmful to wildlife but affects cats, dogs and foxes.
- Price: RRP £7.95 per 500g bottle
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