Orange peel and pine cones are among the items UK homeowners can use to keep unwanted cats out of their gardens.
Outdoors specialists BillyOh.com have researched nine tactics to employ in British backyards if local cats are becoming a nuisance.
Many gardens are faced with the problem of unwanted feline visits, but independent cats are difficult to trace to their owners and even harder to control.
But now some of the best steps for households to take against four-legged trespassers have been revealed, from employing chicken wire to barking dogs.
A spokesperson for BillyOh.com said: “The UK has always been a nation of animal-lovers, but for many Brits that affection doesn’t extend to allowing their backyard to be turned into a toilet by a neighbour’s cat.
“Of course, nobody wants to cause cats any harm, but homeowners who would rather not welcome felines to their gardens can now follow a variety of safe, specialist guidance designed to keep them out.
“Remember that cats are cunning and may become wise to you, while ones new to the area might react differently to deterrents, so switch-up your methods regularly to maintain a clean lawn and undisturbed flower beds.”
Here are nine ways to keep cats off the garden:
Rough ground: Lay chicken wire under mulch or embed it in the top layer of soil (with holes cut out for plants) to create an uncomfortable surface to walk on; cats will also do their best to avoid areas covered in stones or pebbles.
Obstacles: Place a collection of pine cones or branches in gaps around bedding to form a bristly obstacle for cats without ruining the natural look of the garden or causing them pain.
Pungent plants: Introducing smelly plants that cats hate to problem areas could persuade them to head elsewhere; effective choices may include coleus canina or lavender.
Other smells: Commercial cat repellent containing predators’ odour could have them retreating, whilst spreading coffee granules or citrus (orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit) peel around the backyard might also repel feline visitors via their noses.
Water pistol: Have a children’s water pistol filled and available to gently drive away any unruly cats that persistently invade the garden.
Sounds: Purchase a high-frequency, ultrasound device to shoo unwanted visitors, hang a sensitive bell on the garden fence or fill a tin with stones that will rattle when disturbed by a cat.
Cat-zone: Create an area specifically for cats to discourage them from exploring other parts of the backyard; pick plants like catnip and insert a sandbox, which will act as a toilet and contain the problem of cat poo.
Clean up: Make sure bins are secure, declutter to remove an hiding places for mice, sweep up any enticing food waste, check no potential toys are lying around and dispose of any existing cat poo used to mark their territory.
Get a dog: One sure way to put off any cats from visiting your property is to have a loud and lively canine ready to greet them with an enthusiastic bark.