How to Stop Cats Pooping in Your Garden: A Quick Guide

How to stop cats pooping in your garden header

Cats are just adorable. You have to be careful, though, because they could be carriers of bacteria, pathogens and parasites. That’s why you need to keep them away from your garden because their poop could spell a danger to your health.

How to stop cats pooping in your garden? Read on to find out. 


Why Cats Are Bad for Your Garden


Cats are just adorable, aren’t they?

They are just so cute to look at and their fur is just so soft. Their purring can also melt your heart. 

However

If you have a garden, it’s probably best to keep cats away from it. 

Here’s the deal:

Cat feces are bad for your garden. 

Surprising, right?

In most cases, feces is good for the plants. It’s a form of fertilizer. 

Let me explain

Poop is waste that we remove from our body. 

Waste it may be but it still contains nutrients that could be useful to plants. 

When you buy fertilizer

The label will say that it contains nitrogen and phosphorus. 

You’d be glad to know that those two nutrients are present in poop. The waste also contains potassium. 

Now, these nutrients lower the acidity of the soil to make plants grow faster.

But

Human poop contains other things like germs and parasites. 

That’s why, you don’t always see human waste used as fertilizers. 

Instead

Cow dung, chicken manure and even bat poop are usually used as fertilizers. 

Not human poop!

You know what else shouldn’t be used?

Cat manure. 

Cat, in general, is a carrier of bacteria. 

What bacteria?

It’s called taxoplasma gondii. 

This bacteria, which is responsible for the disease taxoplasmosis, can be easily transferred from cat to humans. 

Your plants could be the messenger

If cats poop in your garden and you just happen to harvest your produce and eat them, then there is a tendency that you could get taxoplasmosis. 

This is particularly possible with fruits and vegetables. 

Don’t you think?

Many fruits and vegetables are eaten even if they are not cooked. 

This may also happen when food is not cooked properly. 

Here’s another scenario

You may not get it from the plants you eat but through gardening. 

Mother gardening with son

You could be tending to your garden and inadvertently touched the cat poop. By doing so, your hands are already contaminated. 

When you touch something else

The bacteria will be transferred to that something else, which could also be touched by other people. 

But what if you were wearing gloves?

Well, some people are not really conscious when they are wearing gloves. 

These could be contaminated and when you remove them and you inadvertently touch the contaminated part. 

Too small

Bacteria are too small; they can’t be seen through the naked eyes. 

That’s why you need to wash your hands properly after tending the garden. 

That’s a sound advice!

The year 2020 surely showed us how important it is that we frequently wash our hands to prevent diseases. 

Back to the poop

Cat feces is easily camouflaged in the garden. 

If you have a cat, you wouldn’t know if they used the garden as their own toilet. 

If you don’t have cats

Then perhaps you just didn’t realize that the neighbor’s feline had been taking comfort in your garden. 

Cats could also have parasites and pathogens. 

This is because

They are obligate carnivores. 

This means that they need meat to survive. 

In the wild

Cats are carnivores. Period. 

Lions, tigers, jaguars and the like prey on other animals. 

On the other hand

House or pet cats usually eat canned food. 

The food has been properly manufactured to meet a cat’s protein needs. 

You must know though

Cats do eat smaller animals or critters. 

So yes, Tom & Jerry has some truth to it. A cat would love to catch a mouse for its dinner. 

They will also prey on lizards and insects. 

If they are out of the house

They would prey on moles and shrews. 

They also eat birds. 

And they can climb!

So nests on trees are quite vulnerable since cats are great climbers. 

Did you know?

A lot of cats don’t eat vegetables. 

They don’t like fruits even more because of their sweetness. 

Tortoiseshell cat in garden

What they can or will do:

Poop on your fruit and vegetable garden. 

That’s why you should prevent cats from invading your garden.


How to Stop Cats Pooping in Your Garden


Now that you know that cat feces could be detrimental to your health, it’s best that you have various mechanisms in place to stop cats from doing the number two in the place where you grow food. 

Even if you don’t have cats, you should still know how to stop cats pooping in your garden. 

1. Make the garden a bit prickly

You know how cats love to sashay as if they are models or that they own the place?

Well, you should know that they love to sashay on smooth surfaces. 

That means

You should make the garden not as smooth as cats would love. 

Hey, we’re not telling you to put thorns. 

That would make your life difficult, too

Instead, you can scatter pine cones in the garden.

Surround your growing plants with these and your cat or other people’s cats would no longer frequent your garden. 

As a result

They wouldn’t be pooping there either.

Or you could put chicken wire over the garden bed. The plant will just grow through the holes. 

Sticks and stones

Stone mulch could also do the trick. 

Or you could put garden stakes around. 

The trick

You have to figure out an interval that would annoy the cat that they wouldn’t try to navigate the place anymore. 

Truth is

Cats are cute and you sometimes just want to give them the world. 

That is until your health is on the line. 

Lady cuddling cat

2. Provide them with a litter box

Most people just assume that only dogs can be trained. 

That’s wrong!

Cats are actually trainable. 

There are even agility tournaments for cats.

This means that you can also train them to only poop in the litter box.

In a way, it’s not a ban

You are basically not preventing them from visiting your garden. 

You just want the cats to not poop in the garden. 

So

Put a litter box near the garden but not within. 

Although, this wouldn’t diminish the danger of cat’s poop so you still have to be careful when you clean the litter. 

3. Install motion-sensor device/s

There are two you can choose from:

  1. Water
  2. Music

Cats don’t like water

Don’t get this wrong, cats are hygienic and they generally don’t mess up things like playful dogs do. 

However, they aren’t fans of water. 

It’s not hygiene-related

They don’t like water because it keeps the fur clinging to them and they don’t dry easily. 

It’s uncomfortable. 

What you can do

Install a motion-activated sprinkler system. 

Gardens need water, for sure, but they are not like lawns where you have a sprinkler that will go off at a programmed time. 

What it does

It will sprinkle water when unwanted animals are detected in the garden. 

If this is too expensive for you, a simple spray bottle would do. 

Let me elaborate

As soon as you see your cat in the garden, you can spray it with water. 

This allows it to associate water with the garden. As a result, it will avoid the garden at all cost. 

You would have to monitor the cat’s movement in the garden the first few times, though, to make this effective. 

As earlier mentioned

You can also install a motion-activated sound device. 

There is a sound that is annoying to cats that humans would not be able to hear. It’s about the frequency. 

Ask the experts!

Again, if this is too expensive for you, you can make do with wind chimes or maracas. 

As soon as you see your cat approaching your garden, sound the chimes, maracas or whatever loud sound-maker you have at hand. 

Again

This would take diligence from you during the first few times. Just enough for the cat to associate the sound with going to the garden. 

When it does, it would avoid the garden like a plague. 

In general

Cats hate loud sounds. 

Young man holding cat

4. Assault the cat’s nose

If there are sounds that really irritate cats, there are also scents that would annoy the living daylights out of them. 

A lot of the scents they hate are fragrant ones that humans love. 

It’s really quite surprising

All the better for you!

This means that you can make the garden smell really good while also making sure that cats will not poop there. 

What scents do cats hate?

  • Citrus
  • Lavender
  • Lemon thyme
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rue

Easy!

You can just plant these or even just one of these in your garden and your cat won’t be a visitor. 

Or if you don’t want to plant them, you can just throw citrus peel around the garden, especially areas where the plants are growing. 

Here’s more

Brewed coffee grounds–cats hate these, too. 

These are just basically the used coffee that are going to just be thrown in the bin anyway. 

They are mostly free

If you visit your local coffee shop and ask for the brewed coffee grounds, they would most likely give it to you for free. 

There are also cat repellents that are sold in the market. They are not harmful to plants. 

Lady lying on grass with cat by her side

Summary


Cats are cute. Even those who don’t like cats cannot argue that they are just adorable. However, cute doesn’t always translate to safe. Cats, particularly their poop, could make people sick. The best solution to this is just proper hygiene. You basically just need to properly get rid of cat feces and wash your hands thoroughly. 

But what if you have a garden? Now, this could be dangerous. Your cat may be pooping in your garden without your knowledge. The poop could contain taxoplasma gondii bacteria that could make people sick. When it infects the plant that you would eat, you could get sick, too. 

So, how to stop cats pooping in your garden. There are some easy ideas from making the garden uncomfortable for cats to walk on to planting lavender.


Useful Resources

  • Keeping Cats Off Vegetable Beds – GrowVeg
  • Ways to Keep Cats Out of Your Yard or Garden – The Spruce
  • Want the Good Life? This Philosopher Suggests Learning from Cats – New York Times
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