While cats can be lovely pets, their instincts and behaviours can make them a nightmare for gardeners.
Cats can have several unfavourable effects on a garden, leading many gardeners to consider them pests.
One of the main reasons for this is that cats use garden beds or patches of soil as litter boxes.
This can be incredibly frustrating for gardeners who have put a lot of time and effort into growing their plants, as cat faeces can harm plants and introduce diseases into the soil.
As well as the potential harm caused by their waste, cats may also trample on plants and dig up the soil, causing damage to delicate roots and bulbs.
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They may also use garden beds to nap or play, further disturbing the ground and potentially damaging plants.
Luckily, experts are gardening retailer Primrose have shared several plants to “effectively” deter them.
They said: “There are many solutions to effectively keep cats out of your garden. Many opt for man-made cat deterrents, such as sprays or electronic repellers. But you can also choose the natural option with plants to keep cats away for good.”
The experts explained that cats won’t generally be repelled by plants as such, but “they can be deterred by the scents or textures” of particular shrubs.
Cat deterrent plants
Scaredy cat plant
The scaredy cat plant emits an odour when animals brush past and “can be effective against cats, dogs, foxes and rabbits”. Unfortunately, the smell of dog urine it gives off is so strong that it is unpleasant for nearby humans too.
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It’s easy to grow, likes the sun and is drought resistant, but will need protection from frost during the winter months.
Luckily, lavender plants come with a scent that’s nice for humans but “unappealing for felines”. These purple flowers are evergreen, so they “act as a year-round deterrent”.
Gardeners should choose the tall varieties and plant them at the front of their borders as “cats won’t jump over if they can’t see where they’ll land”.
Curry herb plant
According to the gardening pros, cats “don’t like” the smell of curry. This spicy plant grows into a thick bush that releases its odour when animals brush past and “offends the creatures with both its smell and coarse texture”.
Gardeners may want to use this one sparingly, however, as it is seen as a weed by many due to the harmful effect it can have on other flowers.
Rue is a shrub that kitties are “adverse to”. Gardeners should plant it outside and sprinkle some of its leaves on the patio or inside if Britons need to “warn cats away” from these areas.
But be careful since rue is poisonous, so always use gardening gloves when handling it.
Citrus is well known to “ward off felines”, so plant some lemon varieties to help with natural defences.
Lemon balm produces white flowers in the summer and is great for attracting honey bees. Lemon thyme is an evergreen shrub that needs lots of sun and good drainage. It has pink flowers in late summer that attract bees and butterflies.
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