Reclaim your Flowerbed with Plants that Deter Cats

What do you get when you combine a cat and your flowerbed? As you’re probably already well aware, it’s not pretty. Cats don’t care how delicate your flowers are. They don’t care about how much effort you’ve put into your garden. They see a giant litter box, full of toys that require batting down. The result? Destruction — unless you use an effective cat repellent such as Havahart® Critter Ridder®.

My aunt knows first-hand how flowerbeds and cats don’t mix. Her neighbor had 7 cats – yes 7 – and they were indoor/outdoor cats. While any vet will recommend against letting your cat outside to fend for itself, my aunt, although an animal lover, had a different bone to pick. Primarily, these cats were ruining her landscaping.

Talking to the neighbor didn’t bode well. While she didn’t actually use the words “crazy cat lady,” my aunt insinuated as much when telling the story. Apparently, keeping all 7 cats in her house at one time wasn’t a viable option. Besides, “the kitties like the fresh air”.

My aunt had to take a different course of action to keep the destruction from continuing. She explored a number of methods, including using certain types of plants to keep cats away.

Plants to Deter Cats

After chatting with her local plant nursery and a quick online search, she found a list of plants that keep cats away.

Two common plants to deter cats are:

• Rue (Ruta Graveolen): although it prefers full sun, it’s actually quite easy to grow because once established, it can flourish in poorly nourished soils and hot dry sites.

• Coleus Calin: aptly named as the “scaredy-cat plant”, it’s actually a special hybrid plant developed by a German scientist to keep cats away … sounds perfect, right?!

If the problem you’re having is with your own cats, it’s a good sign they are craving greens. Give them some salad every couple of days, such as baby spinach and spring greens, or plant some cat grass and give them easy access to it. That might stop them from helping themselves to your garden. Smelly Citrus

Citrus is a widely accepted cat deterrent. You can try sprinkling some citrus peels around affected areas – lemon, orange and grapefruit are good choices – to add an extra “punch” to your protection plan.

Sticks in the Soil

In addition to adding plants that keep cats away, another good tactic is to make digging in your garden annoying to the cat. Grab some chopsticks, popsicle sticks, or plastic forks (tines up). When pushed into your soil they are all great ways to keep cats from digging around. The downside? It looks a bit odd.

Using Liquid or Granular Cat Repellents Instead of Plants to Deter Cats

While plants that deter cats may offer some protection, they may not offer the type of protection you need if you’ve got a larger flowerbed. They could still have a heyday on the other plants in your garden. In that case, apply some Critter Ridder®. It gives you the ability to protect even those hard-for-cats-to-resist plants. Plus, it has a long-lasting formula so you won’t have to worry about keeping certain plants in bloom or freshening your garden with new citrus peels.

Image: slipstreamjc

Suggested Solutions


Havahart® is a leading manufacturer of caring control products for pets and wildlife. By offering animal repellents and live animal traps, Havahart® covers a wide spectrum that truly is caring control for pets and wildlife.


  • Judy griffith

    I have had the neigbor cats since I moved here n 1989. All the cats come to my house. and pee and poop every where. And they stalk the wild Life I love. I feed the BIrds, the Squriels. So it makes me upset. I would never hurt someones cat. But If I wanted a cat. I would go get one. I have pet rats. So no cats in my house. I tried everything. Red wood chips. Lots and lots of month balls. And I do not want to put something down.that will hurt the BIrds and squriesl I feed. Excuss my word had so much (shit ) at my front door. when my daughter got married. It took forever to dig it all out , clean it. that is when I put all the $$$ month balls down. then everyone that came to my party. Said , Yuk !! the smell. I have caught the neighbors cats in the humane traps. but then I jsut spray them with the hose, while they are in the trap. saying, please do not come back. I do not want to take a neighbors cat to animal control. You talk to the people and they jsut get nasty with you , one neighbor for sure. dumped all her cats outside. one got killed on a busy street. two others disapeared, I took pictures to animal control for her. she is the one. who says. her cat never comes over.thank you for the advice. I will give it a try.

    • 11:28 am - December 6, 2011

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  • M Grayson

    Your cruel—you basically water boarded the cats while trapped in a cage. Your a bully

    • 8:29 pm - December 27, 2016

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