DIY cat deterrents
Although there are many products you can buy to help solve your cat nuisance problem, why not try some of these simple and effective DIY home remedies - they may just work for you!
First you could strengthen your defenses. How easy is it for a cat to get into your garden or yard? Try surrounding the area with a fence (for example chicken wire) that leans in the direction from which the cat will approach. This will most likely stop the cat from clambering over. You could also try placing flimsy plastic roll-up fencing on top of your fence.
Another technique is to fit a taut wire or string a few inches above the fence-top. Cats have wonderful balance, but this will put them off trying to walk along the fence.
Rent-a-ghost is not an option - cats are not scared of the dark!
Once a cat is in your yard, one strategy is is to set about sowing some doubt in the cat's mind. An old gamekeepers trick is to create some flickering random light reflections as a deterrent. For example you could place some plastic bottles half filled with water in your borders. The cat sees the distorted reflections, gets spooked, and hopefully slinks away. Perhaps even more effective (but maybe a bit unsightly) is to string some unwanted CD's together with knots in between to keep them apart. These high tech cat distracters can then be hung across flower beds and vegetable plots or hung from trees. (My research shows that cats are most likely to be repelled by old ZZ Top CD 's...).
One thing cats are wary of is snakes (quite sensibly!). So it could be worth a try to place some fake rubber wriggly snakes at the base of your plants. Some of those toys can be pretty darn life-like...
But what if your nuisance cat is not that easily scared? In that case your best bet is some form of natural scent repellant. Just recently a garden plant has been developed called Coleus Canina that cats, dogs and even foxes will avoid. Coleus Canina is also known as the "pee-off plant" or the "scaredy cat" coleus This attractive Coleus has excellent foliage and small, attractive spikes of blue flowers in the summer. It releases a stench that cats just can’t stand. Thankfully it only smells to the human nose when touched! Could this be the solution to your feline intruder problems you’ve been longing for? The plant is an annual, but can easily be propagated and cuttings kept in a frost-free place over winter. Plants need to be established before the smell is released. They need to be in drier rather than wet soil and planted every 1-2 yards.
Coleus Canina is also known as the "Pee-off plant" or the "Scaredy Cat" coleus
You could also try using the herb rue. The blue leaves are a lovely garden accent, but cats seem to hate the odor.
Cats are not keen on the smell of citrus either. So you could try using orange or lemon peel in your yard as a deterrent. Similarly some folks advocate coffee grounds, blood meal, cayenne pepper, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.
Maybe you don't mind cats in your garden, but you need to protect certain spots such as bird feeders. One thing you can do is place clippings from thorny or spiky plants under bird feeders, and that will prevent cats from using these areas to stalk birds. Another idea is to fix a downward opening cone or a biscuit tin to the pole below the bird table to prevent a cat from climbing up it. Vaseline or other similar grease applied to the pole of the bird table will also help (assuming the pole is smooth).