Cat spraying is a common vice among the feline family. It has been among the leading reasons why people end up surrendering their kitties to shelter. However, it gets worse when you are trying to stop the local or your neighbor’s cats are spraying in your garden.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the most effective tips on how to stop cats spraying in a garden or flowerbed. If you are running a multi-cat home whereby your cats can access the garden, you may also face the same problem with spraying.
When your cats or other cats spray your gardens, your plants will be destroyed. This is because of the concentrated nature of a cat’s urine. To explain this, cats are originally desert animals. This makes their bodies reserve as much water as possible and thus pass concentrated and acidic urine. The urine will make your plants and flowers dry up. Therefore, you will need to address the spraying issue as soon as you can.
How to stop cats spraying in my garden and my flowerbed?
Many are times people come with this question. In most cases, they will be frustrated, especially those who do not own cats. I mean, it can be quite annoying to have your flowers wither and dry up because someone else’s cat is spraying your plants, right?
Whether you own a cat engaging in this behavior or you are dealing with other cats doing the same, do not despair. You can definitely be able to stop them from destroying your garden. We are going to outline some of the ways in which you can be able to stop cats from coming and spraying your garden.
Talk to your neighbor
If you are having trouble with your neighbor’s cat spraying in your garden, the first step you should take is talking to them. Tell your neighbor that the cat is destroying your plants. However, this is not always going to work for you as your neighbor may not do anything about it. Be sure that it is your neighbor’s cat spraying your garden before you actually address this issue.
People who have outdoor cats may not be able to control them. I mean, it can be a little difficult to confine an outdoor cat. However, approach them in a calm way and lay your complaints in a respectful manner. If your neighbor does not do anything about it, then it will be up to you to protect your garden.
Once you identify the cats spraying in your garden, it is now time to think of ways to make it stop. Whether you are dealing with your own cat or stray cats spraying, you can use cat deterrents to keep them off your garden. There are several types of cat deterrents that you can use to stop cats from spraying in your garden. They may include:
Essential oils – some essential oils such as eucalyptus, citronella, and peppermint oils have been known to deter cats. Cats detest the smell of these oils and thus they are perfect cat repellents. In addition to this, the essential oils are going to be safe for your garden.
To use essential oils in an effort to repel cats from your garden, mix a few drops of your preferred type of oil with water. This is preferably done in a spray bottle. Shake to mix and then spray the mixture on your plants. One of the advantages of using essential oils in order to keep cats away is that the smell will stick for quite some time. Whenever cats come to pee on your plants, they are going to be turned off by the smell.
Vinegar – This is also an effective cat repellent. However, you should be careful when using this method in order to keep your plants nourished. Ensure that the vinegar does not come into direct contact with the plants. To effectively use vinegar to repel cats, dip a few cotton balls in vinegar. Then place the latter in the garden. This will definitely keep cats off your garden and thus stop them from spraying.
Make the scene unattractive for cats
Once you notice cats coming to spray your garden, look for the motivation behind it. One of the things that make a garden a perfect spot to spray is the loose soil. This is because of the soft feel it has on their paws. You can stop them from spraying by making the scene inaccessible and uncomfortable for cats to come spraying.
In order to do this, you can use stones or prickly twigs as mulch for your garden. There is no way any cat is going to spray in your garden if it is unattractive to them.
In addition, you can use other plants in your garden to turn off other cats from coming to your garden. For instance, use citrus plants to keep cats away. Interplant them with your other preferred plants in your garden.
There are several motion-activated devices that will help you keep cats out of your garden completely. They include sprinklers and ultrasonic devices that go off upon detecting motion. You can install a motion-activated sprinkler in your garden in that it will splash water towards the direction of any movement.
This will not only help you keep the cats away but also your garden watered. This method works because cats hate wet grounds and also detest getting wet.
Alternatively, you can go for ultrasonic devices with motion sensors. These devices are made in such a way that they go off upon detecting any moment. The good thing is that they will produce a high-frequency sound that only cats and probably other pets can hear.
However, human beings will not be able to hear the noise that will make your cats turn away. This makes the ultrasound devices perfect to stop cats from spraying in the garden.
If you are going to spend a few days at home, you definitely will be able to stop cats from spraying your garden using a water gun. The worst thing about cats is that when one sprays your garden, it might attract other cats because of the strong smell of cat urine. Therefore, you will need to curb this as soon as you can.
Now, using a water gun to keep cats away from your garden is quite a manual method. This will require you to always keep an eye on your garden. Whenever you have cats coming to the garden, shoot them with the water using the gun. Once again, cats detest getting wet and thus they will keep off when you do this severally. You, however, will have to be present at all times, therefore we cannot say it is an effective method as the motion-sensor devices.
Provide outdoor litter boxes
If you have outdoor cats, or they probably have access to the outdoors, ensure that your cat has a litter box to use. Well, if you do not provide that, your cat is definitely going to look for alternative places to spray urine. As we had mentioned earlier, the garden provides comfort for your cat to spray due to the loose and soft soil.
However, you can be able to control this behavior by getting an outdoor litter box for your cat. You will also have to spend some time training your cat how to use it. You will also have to make your cat want to use the litter box instead of spraying in the garden. To be able to do this ensure that you are using the right type of cat litter. In addition, reinforce the use of litter boxes by praising or offering a treat to your cat every time he chooses to use it. Also, make sure that you have several boxes and always keep them clean and ready to use.
Neuter/spay your cat
If your cat is still intact, you will experience issues with spraying. If your cat has access to the garden, it might be his favorite spot to spray in an effort to attract a potential mate. In addition, intact cats will also have issues with marking territories to keep other cats from coming to your home. Usually, he will do this by spraying urine in the garden or yard.
Cats will start their reproductive maturity at the age of 4-6 months. This means that they will go in heat every other season and you will have to deal with spraying. Unless you are looking to breed your cat, then it is important to have him desexed before then.
However, if your cat is already in heat, refrain from having him desexed until he is over it. Your vet should be able to advise you on the correct timing to have your cat neutered. This way, you will avoid creating even more health complications for your cat.
Take your cat to the vet (As a last resort)
Once you observe your cat spraying in the garden, you should consider taking him to the vet. This is because, as we mentioned in the first section of this article, cats are prone to urinary tract problems. You will need the vet to examine and diagnose your cat before you can take any action.
In case your cat has any urinary tract problems, the vet is going to provide some treatment options. However, you should refrain from taking your cat to the vet’s office too often. This can be a cause of stress which may in return lead to more spraying. Therefore, take preventive measures to keep your cat healthy. For instance, ensure that your cat is stress-free, keep the litter boxes clean and also spend time with him.
Why are cats spraying in my garden?
- Marking Territory
- Unruly behavior
- Urinary Tract Issues
Before you can be able to stop cats from spraying in your garden, you will need to determine why. In most cases, you can be able to tell why your cat is indulging in this behavior. However, it is impossible for you to monitor local and stray cats. Therefore, you may not be able to tell why they are doing so. If your cats are urinating in the garden, you need to monitor them and figure out why. Below are some of the reasons for cat spraying:
Cats are territorial creatures, and they mark their territories using their urine. Since it is a natural behavior, the only thing you can do to address this habit is by eliminating the stimuli for spraying. In the case you have local cats marking territories in the garden, you might want to address it as quickly as possible.
This is because he might keep doing so over and over again. However, since you do not have the time or even the chance to monitor them, the only thing you can do is to deter them.
For instance, one of your cats might feel threatened by a bigger cat. As a result of fear and nervousness, he might end up peeing in the garden. Cats actually love spraying in the gardens because it is comfortable for their paws. The soft and loose soil is definitely an encouragement.
In addition, your cats might also spray the garden in an effort to drive away other cats. For instance, if your cat has recently seen a strange cat around the yard, he will want to protect his territory. As a result, he is going to spray your garden with his pungent smelling urine.
If you own a cat, I am sure you understand that some of them can be very unruly. I mean, he will spray urine anywhere he likes simply because he enjoys doing so. This is no different from stray cats. Most often, a stray cat will come to your home because of either the leftovers in the bin or is attracted to your cat. This can actually lead to double trouble for you.
If you have a cat in the house, and another one intrudes, your cat might spray in an effort to send them away. You will have to deal with the stray cat spraying as well as your own cat. Therefore, you will need to figure out the best methods to stop these cats from accessing and spraying in your garden.
Stress in cats
This is another common reason for cat spraying. In most cases, you might find your cat spraying in the garden simply because he is stressed. It is up to you to dig deeper into it and figure out the cause of stress in cats. Unfortunately, cats are extremely prone to stress, which makes them fragile.
Some of the things that may lead to a stressed cat may include a change of ownership, residence, and even having someone else join the family. If you do not spend much time with your cat, he might also start spraying in the garden. This is a common problem in outdoor cats.
In addition, having limited or dirty litter boxes can also drive your cat to spray outdoors. The garden provides a perfect opportunity to spray because of the soft soil. Therefore, you need to monitor your cat whenever you realize that he has been engaging in the disgusting behavior of spraying.
Just like stress, cats are also vulnerable to anxiety. In fact, they are triggered by the normal aspects of life like having guests or even other pets. Outdoor cats will definitely choose to spray in the garden because, once again, it provides comfort.
You can also trigger your cat to anxiety by simply leaving home for longer periods of time. Change in their routine, which somehow involves your schedule, is a leading cause of anxiety in cats. This type of anxiety is referred to as separation anxiety. Your cat will engage in unwanted habits whenever he is experiencing anxiety. One of their favorite coping mechanisms for anxiety is spraying urine. If he has access to the garden, then you might definitely have a problem.
Urinary tract issues
Cats tend to develop urinary tract problems that make cats start spraying. In fact, spraying is usually the very first sign of urinary tract infections in cats. You should not take this lightly as these illnesses may put your life in danger. Well, spend time with your cat and observe him when he is spraying. If he shows additional signs of feline urinary tract problems, then take him to the vet.
Some of the symptoms of feline urinary tract infections include difficulty in passing urine, drinking more water than usual and sometimes your cat will be unable to pee completely.
It is my hope that you will be able to stop cats from spraying in your garden using the above-discussed methods. Do not punish or use harmful methods to curb this habit even when you are dealing with stray cats. Good luck!