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How do I keep neighbors cats out of my yard?

Do you love cats, but hate when they invade your garden and leave a mess? You’re not alone. Many homeowners and gardeners face the same predicament. While cats can be charming creatures, their playful and curious nature can lead them to cause trouble in your yard.

So, how do you keep these furry felines out of your space? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to deter them from trespassing on your property. From natural solutions like plants and herbs to physical barriers like fences and motion-activated sprinklers, there are numerous methods at your disposal.

In this blog post, we’ll explore all the practical solutions and expert tips and tricks to keep those pesky cats out of your yard. We’ll also discuss various tools and gadgets such as ultrasonic devices and repellents that can discourage unwanted cat visitors.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to protect your precious backyard from any unwanted intruders. So let’s get started on keeping those pesky cats at bay.

Deter Cats with Scents

There are several humane and effective solutions to keeping cats out of your yard. One such solution is using scents that cats find unpleasant.

Cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell, making scents a powerful tool in deterring them from entering your yard. Here are some scents that can help keep cats away:

  • Citrus: The scent of citrus fruits like lemon and orange is something cats detest. Use this to your advantage by scattering citrus peels around the perimeter of your yard or spraying a citrus-scented spray around strategic areas.
  • Vinegar: Another scent that cats dislike is vinegar. Create a homemade cat deterrent spray by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution around your yard, focusing on areas where cats tend to enter or hang out.
  • Pepper: Cats find the scent of pepper unpleasant. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or black pepper around your yard to deter cats from entering. Be sure to reapply after rain or watering, as it will lose its efficacy when wet.
  • Commercial cat deterrent sprays: If you’re not up for making your own spray, there are commercial cat deterrent sprays available on the market that use natural ingredients like essential oils and plant extracts. These sprays can be sprayed around your yard or on specific objects like plants or furniture.

In addition to using scents, creating physical or natural barriers can also help deter cats from entering your yard. Installing fences or netting can be effective as well as planting prickly bushes or thorny plants around the perimeter.

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It’s important to note that not all cats will be bothered by the same scents, so it may take some trial and error to find what works for your situation. It’s also crucial to use safe and humane methods when trying to keep cats out of your yard.


There’s a natural, effective solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of citrus fruits.

As an expert on the topic of citrus as a cat deterrent, I can confidently tell you that cats can’t stand the scent of citrus. That’s why using citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits can help keep cats away from your yard. Here are some ways to use citrus as a natural cat repellent:

  • Scatter small pieces of citrus peels around your yard: The smell of citrus is repulsive to cats, so placing small pieces of citrus peels in and around your garden can help keep them away. You can also use a zester to create fine pieces of peel and sprinkle them around.
  • Use citrus-scented sprays or essential oils: Create a natural barrier by mixing a few drops of essential oil or spray in water and applying it around your yard. This will help deter cats and keep them out of your yard.
  • Plant citrus trees or shrubs in your yard: The scent from the leaves and fruit will help to keep cats away from your garden. Plus, these trees and shrubs can serve as a natural barrier, making it difficult for cats to enter your yard.

It’s important to note that while citrus can be effective in deterring cats, it may not work for all cats. Some cats may not be bothered by the scent while others may find it unbearable. It’s also important to reapply the repellent regularly, as the scent may fade over time.


Peppermint is a natural and safe cat repellent that emits a strong scent that cats and other pests hate. Here are some effective ways you can use peppermint as a cat deterrent:

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  • Plant peppermint plants strategically: Not only will this keep cats away, but it will also add a refreshing fragrance to your surroundings. Peppermint plants are easy to maintain and require little effort to grow.
  • Create a peppermint oil spray: Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it around the perimeter of your yard or on areas where cats like to visit. This will create an invisible barrier that cats will not want to cross.
  • Test it out first: While peppermint is generally safe for cats, it’s important to test it out in small areas first before applying it all over your yard. Some cats may be attracted to the scent, while others may not be affected by it at all.
  • Be cautious with peppermint oil: While the essential oils in peppermint are safe for humans, they can be toxic to cats if ingested in large amounts. So, make sure to use it in moderation and avoid spraying it directly on plants that cats may try to eat.


If you have a beautiful yard that’s often visited by pesky neighborhood cats, repelling them without causing any harm can be a challenge. Fortunately, there’s a natural and effective solution that’s both safe for the environment and cats: lavender.

Lavender is not only a fragrant and lovely plant, but it’s also known to be an excellent cat repellent. Here are some ways you can use lavender to keep these unwanted feline visitors out of your yard:

  • Plant it in your garden: Lavender is a beautiful addition to any garden, and planting it strategically around the perimeter of your yard or in areas where cats tend to frequent can help deter them.
  • Hang dried lavender sachets: Drying out lavender flowers and filling small bags with them creates sachets that can be easily hung around your yard. Cats will avoid these areas due to the strong scent of lavender.
  • Make a homemade spray: To make a DIY cat repellent spray, boil water and add a few drops of lavender essential oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Once cooled, you can spray this mixture around your yard to keep cats away.

It’s important to use lavender in moderation as overuse can cause adverse effects such as skin irritation and respiratory problems for both cats and humans. Always test any new repellent in a small area before applying it liberally.

Create Barriers

Fear not, because creating barriers is the key to keeping those pesky felines out of your outdoor space. As an expert on this topic, let me guide you through the various types of barriers that can help you achieve a cat-free zone.

Firstly, let’s talk about physical barriers. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, constructing a fence around your yard can be a great option. It should be at least 6 feet tall to prevent cats from jumping over it. Another effective physical barrier is a motion-activated sprinkler system that will spray water when a cat enters your yard – this will send them running.

Moving on to visual barriers, cats dislike walking on prickly surfaces, so planting thorny or spiky vegetation around the perimeter of your yard can be very effective in deterring them. Not sure what plants to use? Consider using roses or cactus – not only do they look great, but they also serve as an attractive visual barrier.

Lastly, scent barriers can be another great way to keep cats from entering your yard. Using essential oils or planting herbs like citrus, lavender, or eucalyptus can create a scent barrier that cats find unappealing. Just remember to use these scents sparingly and test any new repellent before applying it liberally.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers can be an incredibly effective way to keep them at bay. Here’s what you need to know about physical barriers and how they can help you create a cat-free zone.

Firstly, let’s talk fences. A six-foot-high fence is usually enough to deter most cats from jumping over, but to make it even more effective, you can add an overhang or a “cat-proof” top. Fences are a popular physical barrier and are a great option if you have the budget and space for it.

If you’re not keen on installing a fence, mesh nets are another option. These nets can be placed over your garden bed or entire yard and secured with stakes or weights. They’re a great way to keep cats out while still allowing sunlight and water to pass through.

Another natural barrier that is effective in keeping cats out of your yard is thorny bushes. These bushes not only look beautiful but also have prickly leaves or bristles that cause discomfort or pain when cats try to jump over them. Examples of thorny bushes include roses, holly, and barberry.

In addition to physical barriers, using repellents can also be helpful in discouraging cats from entering your yard. Citrus peels, coffee grounds, and vinegar are all substances that have a strong odor that cats find unpleasant and will help keep them away from your yard.

It’s important to note that creating a cat-free zone requires patience and persistence. It may take some time for these barriers to take effect, but don’t give up. By installing fences, mesh nets, or thorny bushes and using repellents, you can create an obstacle that will prevent unwanted feline visitors from entering your property.

Natural Barriers

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The good news is that there are natural solutions to keep feline visitors away. With my expertise in natural barriers, let me share with you some of the most effective methods.

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Prickly plants like roses or cacti create a physical barrier that cats are unlikely to climb over or through. These plants not only keep the cats out but also add a touch of beauty and elegance to your garden. Plus, they require minimal maintenance.

If you want to target cats’ sense of smell, incorporating plants such as citrus fruits, lavender, or eucalyptus into your garden can make it less appealing to them. Alternatively, you can use essential oils in a spray bottle around the perimeter of your yard. The strong scent will repel cats from entering your garden.

Motion-activated sprinklers are another effective natural barrier. These sprinklers turn on when a cat approaches and startles them, deterring them from entering your yard. It’s a humane and eco-friendly solution that also helps keep your lawn hydrated.

While these natural barriers can be effective, some cats may not be deterred by them. It’s best to combine natural barriers with other methods like deterrent sprays or physical fences for optimal results. You can also rotate the natural barriers to keep cats from becoming accustomed to them.

Move Bird Feeders

But fear not. There is a simple solution: move your bird feeders to a location that is out of reach for these curious felines.

Here are some top tips to help you move bird feeders and keep neighbor’s cats out of your yard:

  • Choose a high location: Cats are natural climbers, so it’s essential to choose a location that is high up and inaccessible. Consider hanging your bird feeders from trees or installing them on tall poles to deter cats from reaching them.
  • Use squirrel baffles: Squirrel baffles can also be effective in preventing cats from climbing up to reach the feeders. These handy devices can be installed on poles or hung from trees and act as a barrier to keep unwanted visitors at bay.
  • Switch to suet or nectar-based feeders: Seed-based bird feeders may attract a lot of birds, which can in turn attract more cats. By switching to suet or nectar-based feeders, you can reduce the number of birds in your yard, which will ultimately decrease the number of cats as well.

Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers or Noise Devices

There is a solution to this pesky problem. Using motion-activated sprinklers or noise devices can be a humane and effective way to keep your neighbor’s cats out of your yard.

Motion-activated sprinklers work by detecting any movement within their range and spraying a jet of water to startle the cat. It’s like a harmless cat repellent that will make them think twice before entering your yard. These sprinklers can be strategically placed around your yard and easily adjusted to suit your needs. Plus, they can also keep your lawn hydrated during hot summer days.

Noise devices, on the other hand, use ultrasonic sounds or loud alarms to make cats feel uncomfortable in your yard. The high-pitched sounds produced by ultrasonic repellers are unpleasant for cats to hear, while motion-activated alarms produce a loud noise when triggered. These devices work by startling the cat and making them feel less welcome in your space.

While these methods can be effective, it’s important to note that they may not work for all cats. Some felines may be more stubborn than others and can become desensitized to the noise or water over time. However, combining these methods with other deterrents like fencing or scent repellents can create a cat-free zone for bird watching bliss.

Humane Solutions to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard

When it comes to our yards, it can be frustrating to see neighborhood cats using it as their personal litter box. Thankfully, there are several humane solutions to keep cats out of your yard without causing harm to the animals.

One solution is to create a designated area for the cats to use as their litter box. This can be done by setting up a small sandbox or using a specific area of your yard with soft soil. By providing an alternative spot for the cats, they are less likely to use your yard as their bathroom.

Another option is to use scent repellents. Cats have a strong sense of smell, so certain scents can deter them from entering your yard. You can try spraying citrus, lavender or eucalyptus around the perimeter of your yard or placing these scents in areas where the cats are commonly seen. These scents not only repel cats but also add a pleasant aroma to your yard.

Physical barriers are another effective way to keep cats out of your yard. You can install motion-activated sprinklers or place chicken wire around your garden beds. These barriers don’t cause any harm to the cats but will make them think twice before entering your yard.

Additionally, it’s essential to remember that some cats may be strays or outdoor cats that don’t have a designated home. In these cases, it may be beneficial to talk to your local animal shelter or rescue organization about trapping and neutering programs. By reducing the number of stray cats in your area, you may see a decrease in the number of cats using your yard as their bathroom.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals and Traps

It can be tempting to resort to harmful chemicals or lethal traps to get rid of the cats, but these methods can cause harm to not only the cats but also other animals and even humans. Instead, there are several humane and effective options for keeping cats out of your yard.

Firstly, natural deterrents such as citrus peels, coffee grounds, and vinegar are effective in repelling cats. The scent of these items is unpleasant to cats and can help keep them away. Additionally, planting certain plants like lavender, rue, or pennyroyal that have strong scents that cats don’t like is another option.

Secondly, physical barriers like fencing or netting can prevent cats from entering your yard. However, make sure the fence is high enough to prevent them from jumping over as cats are agile creatures.

Lastly, motion-activated sprinklers are a great option for deterring cats from entering your yard. These sprinklers release a burst of water when they detect movement, which startles the cats and deters them from entering.

Tips for Long-Term Success

There are several tips you can follow to ensure long-term success in keeping these furry visitors out of your space.

First and foremost, physical barriers are one of the most effective ways to keep cats out. Fences or chicken wire can serve as a sturdy deterrent for these agile creatures. It’s important to make sure the barrier extends at least six feet tall and underground to prevent any digging attempts.

Another option is to plant cat-repelling plants like lavender or rosemary. These natural scents will keep cats away while also adding some greenery to your yard. Plus, it’s a great way to add some extra fragrance to your outdoor space.

Repellents like motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices are also effective ways to keep cats away. These devices emit a high-pitched sound or spray water when activated, scaring off the cats without harming them.

A clean yard is also key to keeping cats away. Make sure to keep your yard free of any potential food sources like garbage cans or fallen fruit. Additionally, consider creating a designated area for the cats to play or rest so they won’t be tempted to explore your yard.

Lastly, if all else fails, it may be necessary to have a conversation with your neighbors about their cat’s behavior. Be respectful and explain the situation politely, asking if they can keep their cat indoors or provide a designated outdoor space for them.


In conclusion, keeping neighbors’ cats out of your yard requires a combination of strategies that are safe and humane.

You can try using natural deterrents like plants with strong scents or textures, or installing physical barriers like fences or netting. Motion-activated sprinklers or noise devices can also be effective in discouraging cats from entering your yard.

In these cases, it’s best to remain patient and persistent in finding a solution that works for both you and your furry neighbors.