Cat Deterrents

If you have a problem with cats coming into your garden and scaring, chasing or even killing birds then these simple ideas could help.


Surround an area with a fence made from chicken wire that leans in the direction from which the cat will approach. The cat is unable to climb over a fence at this angle.

Plastic roll-up fencing placed on top of a fence will prevent cats climbing over it or put some taut wire or string fitted 10-15 cm above the fence. This makes it difficult for cats to balance on the fence.

You can buy specially designed strips of plastic spikes that you fix to the top of a fence or shed which will prevent a cat from walking on it.

An old gamekeeper’s trick is to fill some plastic bottles with water and place them in your borders – the light reflection is supposed to deter cats.

Thread unwanted or blank CDs on to some twine and string them across flower beds or hang them from trees – again the light will deter cats.

A spiked tree collar will prevent cats climbing up a tree.

A biscuit tin fixed to the pole below the bird table will prevent cats climbing up it. You can also use Vaseline or other grease on a bird table pole to stop cats climbing it.

Place clippings from thorny or spiky plants under bird tables and feeders. Also, place them under bushes to prevent cats from using these areas to stalk birds.

Coleus canina is a garden plant that is marketed under the names Pee-off and Scaredy-cat. This plant has a pungent odour that will repel cats and other mammals from the garden.

Avoid growing mint, catnip or any other of the fragrant Labiates – cats love the scent of these plants.

Cats will tend to stay away from pepper, especially cayenne, or mustard powder, so sprinkle some around the bottom of your bird table and under bird feeders.

Scent deterrents will either serve to repel (eg. Citronella) or mark a territory (eg. Silent Roar). You could also try orange or lemon peel as cats do not like the smell of citrus.

A bucket of water or a water pistol will help to chase a cat out of the garden. You can also buy automated water sprinklers.

Ultrasonic deterrents are available which emit an alarm which is uncomfortable to cats but inaudible to humans.

Buy cat deterrents

Keep cats away from your garden birds

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