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Cats may have a reputation for being fastidious with their own cleanliness but when it comes to your garden, yard, or even your home, they can cause quite a mess. Unwanted cats can choose to use your garden as their personal toilet stop or a place to leave a mating calling card. And they are not averse to digging up a border or two. Even if you have your own cat, their bad habits can spill over into your home, from clawing furniture to clambering across your kitchen worktop. If this sounds like just some of the feline problems you are encountering, then it’s worth considering a cat repellent.
Cat repellents are intended as a harmless deterrent to keep cats at bay. From sprays and motion sensors to ultrasonic devices, the aim of a cat deterrent is to safely move a feline away and stop any anti-social behavior. But which deterrent do you pick and how do you know it will work? We take the stress out of choosing with our round-up of what we think are some of the best cat repellents you can buy.
If you are looking for a physical boundary to help keep your cat only where they should be, then check out this indoor radio fence from PetSafe. The kit comprises of a radio transmitter that creates an electronic barrier to cover an area with a 10ft radius. However, you will need to buy the receiver collar separately. Once up and running, the collar will sound a warning tone if your cat gets too close to the ‘no-go zone’, ramping up to a short static sensation from the collar if he oversteps the boundary. The whole device is pet-safe and won’t harm your cat, who should soon learn where he is not wanted. For larger spaces, you can also pair the transmitter with other Indoor Radio Fence devices to create a tailored boundary that works for your garden or home.
Our Outdoor Pick is this super-impressive looking cat deterrent for outdoor use, offering motion-activated protection of your garden or yard. Ideal for repelling a whole host of animals, the Yard Enforcer uses water to spray in the direction of the unwanted critter. The smart thing about the Yard Enforcer is that it can detect motion in both daylight and at night-time, giving you 24-hour vigilance. The premium price-tag means you get premium extra features too, including an intelligent sensor that can tell the difference between a moving cat and wind in a nearby tree. You also get three detection modes and the infrared sensor can catch cat movement up to 40 feet away. Made from weather durable metal, this cat repellent operates on four AA batteries and is efficient with its water use. Plus, you can also use the Yard Enforcer as a straight-up garden sprinkler, thanks to the 30-minute water cycle option.
Straightforward and versatile, this plastic scat mat from Homarden is a convenient way to keep your cat from wandering where they shouldn’t. And, at 13ft in length, it is a good option to also use in the garden. The whole mat rolls up for storage, is wide enough to stop the more devious cat from jumping across it and the surface spikes create a prickle strip that can effectively repel but not harm your kit. Lay on the floor in front of your couch or on top of a kitchen table, along the edge of your flower border to stop your cat from digging or wrap around a tree to deter them from climbing, the Homarden Scat Mat has plenty of application. Use alone, or with other scat mats if you need to cover a larger area, they are also durable and can be rinsed clean for repeated use.
If you have a cat that doesn’t respect boundaries or scratches up your furniture, then this smart indoor spray pet deterrent from PetSafe can help you regain control. Using an odorless spray, you set the SSCAT near to wherever your cat is playing up and the motion sensor will trip when they come within three feet. This harmless spray deterrent – which also senses your pet’s body heat – is intended to move them away so that your cat quickly learns the no-go zones. Ideal for use on kitchen counter tops, by furniture or trash cans, the SSCAT can also be used on the inside of doors into rooms you want to be a no-cat zone. Each canister gives around 100 sprays and there’s nothing in the spray to harm your pet, furniture or surfaces. The SSCAT motion sensor runs on four AAA batteries, which are not included in the initial pack. But for less than $30, SSCAT tops our best cat repellents list.
Don’t let your furniture get into a sticky situation with your cat or kitten’s claws by using these simple but effective sticky strips that can be safely placed directly on a range of fabrics and surfaces. Each pack contains 24 invisible sticky strips that can be easily fixed in place. And if your cat touches the strips as they try to climb onto the furniture, they will experience an unpleasant but perfectly safe sensation under their paws. Odor-free and made with medical-grade adhesive, the Sticky Paws strips won’t harm your cat or the surface of your furniture or belongings and are an easy solution to keeping your pet away from where they are not meant to be.
Save your couch and soft furnishings with a simple spray, thanks to this scratch deterrent that creates an invisible guard for your personal belongings. Made from all-natural ingredients, including rosemary and astragalus as well as cat pheromones, this pet-safe repellent is easy to use and will quickly send your kit away with its scent. The formula is fast-acting, will not stain your belongings and has no discernible scent we humans can detect. And a little goes a long way. Pet MasterMind’s cat spray is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most effective scratching prevention tools you can use to control your claw-happy cat as it can also stop their territory marking habits in their tracks. However, it is not effective with all cats, although they do state this on the product.
If organic ingredients are important to you, then Colton’s Naturals cat repellent spray will hit the spot. Available in a handy 32-ounce spray bottle, you only get natural peppermint and citronella oil, both known to smell yucky to cats but won’t do them, you or your garden any harm. Spray on those spots in your garden where felines like to frequent, and the cat-repelling benefits can last up to 2-4 weeks. You may need to do a few sprays when you first start to build up the scent or if there is some heavy rain, but we like how long-lasting this cat repellent spray quickly becomes. All the ingredients are 100% natural and organic and is garden furniture safe, so can be used indoors or in your garage too.
This large roll of scat mat may look scary, but this great value prickle mat is an excellent deterrent without causing any harm to trespassing cats, as well as other garden animals. The mat is made from flexible, durable plastic designed for outdoor use that features one-inch spikes to create an uncomfortable surface when stepped without hurting their feet. Each roll is 78 inches long and can be cut into smaller pieces for tailored cat repelling protection. Add to the edge of your porch or garden borders, this prickle mat can even be wrapped so a good option to keep your cats off your garden or household furniture. It may not quite work on tiny cats or small paws but for fully grown and inquisitive kits, this is an affordable, effective way to keep them away.
With peppermint oil, lemongrass and citronella, this ‘mace’ spray is a quick and easy way to deter felines without any harmful chemicals. 100% organic, this all-natural cat mace builds up to create a ‘sensory barrier’ that will deter those feline garden visitors. Weather-resistant, this is a spray to keep handy on your porch to tackle cat visits as they happen, but with repeated spraying over several weeks, you can also build up a decent level of protection and quickly train those strays to stay away. It’s the smell and taste of this natural spray that cats cannot tolerate but the ingredients are non-toxic so not harmful to pets, you or your garden. Cat Mace is also safe to use on indoor areas such as basements and storage areas. Although you do have to keep repeating, Cat Mace is quick, effective and for around $20, good value as it’s pretty long-lasting too.
If you are having trouble with your kit marking out their territory in your home or garden, then let Liquid Fence’s repellent spray get things back under control. Ideal to use on lawns, shrubs, trees, patios, and anywhere you don’t want your cat to wander, this pre-mixed spray is ready to use, whenever needed. And it lasts too, with one bottle covering up to 500 square feet. Using pet-safe and proven pet-repelling ingredients, such as citronella oil, cinnamon, and garlic, this repellent also works on other animals, including wild visitors to your garden. Simply spray the problem area and then repeat as needed, with one application lasting up to a week, without harming your garden or vegetation.
As much as we may love cats, they do have some behaviors that can be less than desirable, particularly when it comes to your backyard. Digging holes, using the flowerbed as their toilet, chasing birds, marking their territory…these are natural actions of felines, but they can leave your outdoor space a little worse for wear. You may also be allergic to cats or are concerned about the health implications of picking up something unpleasant from cat parasites or even a cat’s feces. And, especially if the kit it not yours, then you want a deterrent to keep those feral cats away. An outdoor cat repellent is a safe way to keep the neighborhood cats at bay. You can also use an indoor cat repellent to help protect your furniture or carpet from the claws of your own pet cat and even to help with your kitten training for a happy, calm home.
What to Look for in a Cat Deterrent
Location – before buying a cat repellent, consider where it is you need it and whether you need an indoor or outdoor product. Also, consider whether it needs to be plugged into a power source or whether it is battery or solar power operated so that you pick the most suitable product for the intended location.
The cat’s behavior: Are you wanting to generally shoo a cat or gang of feral cats away from your property or is there a specific feline behavior – such as scratching furniture or digging up plants – you want to discourage. Knowing what it is you want the repellent to do, means you can get a device that is both effective and suited to a specific cat-repelling job.
Durability: Repellents for outdoor use need to be tough and made from durable materials as well as being weatherproof and can function if wet. The power source, especially if it’s battery-operated, needs to have a decent usage life and should be rechargeable if at all possible.
Coverage required: As well as the location, you need to know how far you want the repellent to reach. Some devices, such as sprays or powders, can be used to target small areas while others can be used to cover a much wider area.
Pet-safe ingredients: Any spray or powder you use must only contain non-toxic and pet-safe ingredients. The intention of an outdoor repellent spray is not for your cat to ingest it, but rather be discouraged by the spray action and its odor but it needs to be safe enough should any of the mist catch their eyes or mouth or settle on their coat. Some indoor sprays are designed to taste foul if licked or chewed so read the label to ensure the ingredients are safe and as natural as possible.
Different Types of Cat Repellents
There are several pet-safe repellents you can use to keep those felines out of your garden or to protect a problem area in your home:
Sprays: Formulated to be pet safe, a cat repellent spray is designed to deter a cat, through odor, taster, or both. Outdoor sprays tend to be stronger than sprays for indoor use and will also be safe for use near plants. Sprayed over an area or a piece of furniture, a cat repellent spray should last for around three days before you need to re-apply, although you will probably have to repeat more frequently outdoors if it is raining or you water your plants. Wherever possible, look for a spray that uses natural or organic ingredients such as citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint.
Granules or powder: For a longer-lasting deterrent effect in your garden, granules or powder repellents are a good choice. These products come in a more concentrated formula than a spray and need to be applied directly to the soil. However, they tend to be more weather and water-resistant and can be effective on both domestic and feral cats for around 20 days.
Sound devices: One of the safest ways to repel unwanted feline attention in your garden is to use a sound or ultrasonic cat repellent, that projects a high-pitched sound that only those pesky cats will hear. These battery-operated ultrasonic devices often use infra-red sensors to detect movement and trigger noise.
Motion-activated: If there’s a lot of feral cat activity in your yard or garden, then a motion-activated device could be just the ticket. These devices act as a water sprinkler when the sensor is tripped, delivering a sudden burst of harmless water to shoo the feline intruder away.
Cat mats: Cats don’t like sudden or unusual noises and sensations and with a cat repellent mat, once they step on it, it makes a sound to scare them away. Harmless and versatile, you can buy these cat mats in strips to put in all the places you think cats are frequenting, such as along lawn borders and garden beds, and they can also be used inside. Alternatives to sound mats include scat or prickle mats which create a safe spiky surface most cats simply don’t like to walk on.
A cat repellent is going to help you keep unwanted cats away from your garden as well as control the behavior of your cat when they are inside your home. Using a cat repellent in the flower borders or at the edge of your lawn is going to help prevent feral cats from using your garden as a toilet or digging up your plants. And adding a motion-sensor repellent or even a cat mat by the walls, fences, or entry gates is more likely to scare them away before they even come onto your property. Inside your home, an indoor cat repellent spray can be used on your soft furnishings, beddings, and carpet to deter your pet from scratching and clawing at your furniture. And, if you want to create a few cat-free spaces in your home, using a cat repellent such as a spray or mat can ensure your kit will stay on the other side of the door.
Whichever type of device you opt for, always fully read the instructions before using your new cat repellent to ensure it is effective and safe – for both humans and cats.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are cat repellents safe around my pets?
A: As long as the cat repellent doesn’t use harmful ingredients or materials and you follow the instructions carefully, your pets will be safe around them. But you do need to take sensible precautions, for example, not using a cat repellent spray anywhere near a fish tank where the spray could enter the water and not using repellents near any very young pets. To be safe, always ensure any repellent spray states pet-safe and non-toxic on the packaging, and opt for natural ingredients if you can. Always monitor your pet’s response to the cat repellent to ensure they are not being put under excessive stress, especially if they are of the more anxious sort. Cat repellents should be safe for all animals and shouldn’t have any element of cruelty to them – in short, they should safely discourage and do no harm.
Q: What smell will repel cats?
A: Cats can be sensitive creatures in many ways, and their heightened sense of smell can mean certain scents will trigger an ‘I’ve got to get out of here’ reaction. Smells your feline has a distinct dislike of include citrus aromas, especially orange, lemon and grapefruit, all of which are particularly repellent to cats. Other smells your cat really doesn’t like include lavender and geranium, as well as pepper, rosemary, mint, eucalyptus, and pine. But be careful and do your research as some natural ingredients – including lavender and mint – can actually be toxic to cats.