We may be a nation of animal lovers – but let’s face it, cats and gardens aren’t a comfortable mix! The furry blighters can cause havoc, digging up bulbs and mistaking your freshly turned soil for a litter tray. So if you’ve got a feline invading your little piece of Eden, what can you do about it?
We’re here to help! We’re going to look at the seven best cat deterrents to discourage Puss from your territory. We’ll consider their pros and cons, and help you choose the best one for your needs.
So if you’re ready, let’s see what’s out there!
The Best Cat Repellent in UK
The Best cat deterrents in UK Market 2023
1. Pestbye Motion-Activated Cat Repellent (Our Top Pick)
This cat repellent from Pestbye is very effective and user-friendly.
It works by using an infrared sensor to detect movement or body heat in your garden. It will cover an 80-degree arc to a radius of 7 metres. When the sensor picks up movement or heat, it triggers a high-pitched noise. The high frequency is irritating to cats and rodents, but virtually inaudible to humans.
And because the noise is triggered by the cats’ own movements, they’re less likely to become desensitised to it. That’s a big advantage over models that emit random noises, which research suggests cats can quickly lose their fear of.
It’s very easy to install. The gadget sits on top of a zinc-coated spike that you push into your garden. If you prefer, you can attach it to a wall or fence using the hanging hole at the top.
And although the upfront cost is fairly high, you get two deterrents in each pack. That makes it an economical choice if you have a bigger area to cover.
Make sure that you position the sensor so that it only covers your own garden. Upsetting your neighbours’ pets when they’re in their own gardens won’t help community relations!
It’s powered by four AA batteries. How long they’ll last will depend on how often the sensor is activated. But feedback from users suggests you’ll get a battery life of anything between six weeks and several months.
There are a number of different settings, allowing you to adjust both the sensitivity of the sensor and the pitch of the noise. Different settings will work for different animals. A pitch of between 2 and 7 will cover rodents, squirrels and even insects. Between 3 and 5 will work for cats.
But note that if you have a dog, a pitch between 3 and 4 will be audible to them too. So if you want to allow your dog to roam the garden freely, this won’t be the right choice.
And note that if you choose settings 1 or 2, it can be audible to humans with sharper hearing. Children and younger people are particularly likely to be affected.
- Effectively deters cats without harming them
- Triggered by the cat’s movement, so feline visitors are less likely to become desensitised over time
- You can adjust both the sensitivity of the sensor and the pitch of the sound
- Not suitable if you have dogs or other small pets you want to be able to use your garden
- Depending on the chosen pitch, this can be audible to humans.
2. INTEY Ultrasonic Cat Repellent
INTEY’s repellent uses a similar approach to the PestBye model, with a high-pitched noise deterring cats and other small creatures. But it’s a little over half the price – and it has some great features.
With this one, you’ll get two horns per sensor rather than one. It sits on top of a spike which can be stuck into the ground. Alternatively, use the hanging hook on the back to attach it to a fence or wall.
Two dials on the back allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the infrared sensor and the frequency of the sound. There are five modes for the latter, so it’s easy to work out which one you need. Mode 2 will cover cats, and shouldn’t be audible to dogs – covered by mode 1.
Bear in mind, however, that all animals’ hearing is individual to them. So if you have pets you want to be able to use your garden, make sure to check they’re unaffected. And some modes may be audible to humans, particularly smaller children.
Mode 3 can be heard by birds – leave that alone if you want to encourage feathered friends into your garden. Mode 4 simply has a flashing LED and no sound. That’s apparently effective against cockroaches. Mode 5 cycles through the other modes in turn.
The sensor has an arc of 120 degrees. It will pick up movement and body heat between 6 and 11 metres away, depending on conditions.
The device runs on three AA batteries, and they’re rechargeable. A USB charging cable is included in the pack. It also has solar panels, allowing the power of the sun to boost the energy supply.
You won’t need to worry about leaving it out in all weathers either. It’s rated to the IP44 quality standard for waterproof equipment.
- Triggered by movement and body heat for effective and efficient performance
- Batteries can be recharged via the solar panels, or with a USB cable when necessary
- Adjustable sensitivity and frequency
- You’ll need to check it isn’t affecting your own pets or garden birds
- Some frequencies can be audible to humans, especially smaller children.
3. BeauFlw Ultrasonic Cat Repellent
BeauFlw’s deterrent is the final ultrasonic device to make our list. It works in a similar way to the models from PestBye and INTEY, but covers a larger area.
Here there are three sets of sensors, enabling the device to detect movement and body heat through 360 degrees. Each sensor will cover an area with a radius of 10 metres. That will give you coverage over up to 300 square metres in total.
You can choose from two modes, with sound and silent. In both cases, the animal’s movement and body heat will trigger an ultrasonic sound and lights. A total of six LEDs will flash white. There’s also a further, larger blue LED on top of the device.
In silent mode, that’s all that will happen. Turn on the sound mode, and you’ll also get an alarm that’s audible to humans.
With this one, you can’t adjust the sensor sensitivity or the frequency of the sound. So if you’re worried about the noise affecting other animals in the vicinity, this won’t be the right choice. And it can be audible to people with sensitive hearing.
It’s powered by a 2200 mAH lithium battery. It’s equipped with solar panels to help it recharge when the sun is shining. And if it needs an extra boost, there’s a USB cable too.
Note that the 360-degree coverage means it’s not suitable for installation on a fence or wall. Instead place it on a table or attach it to the stake included in the pack and stick it in the ground. It’s waterproof to IP65 standards, so will withstand rain, hail and snow.
- Offers 360-degree coverage
- Includes both flashing lights and ultrasonic sound, with the option of an audible alarm too
- Can be recharged using a USB cable or solar power
- It isn’t possible to adjust the frequency or sensitivity
- May be audible to humans with sensitive hearing.
4. Plai Cat Repellent Mat
If you want to keep cats away from specific areas of your garden, a physical barrier could be the answer. Plai’s cat repellent mats provide exactly that.
Each pack contains six “prickle strips” – plastic mats with a series of vertical spikes 2.7 centimetres high. They’re soft enough that they won’t harm the animal – or you, if you lean on them by accident. But they’re firm enough that they’re uncomfortable for cats’ paws.
The mesh makes it nigh on impossible for them to dig into your flower beds. And it will do an equally good job of deterring dogs, or foxes or other wild animals.
Each mat measures 49 by 14 centimetres. They can easily be cut into smaller shapes if required, handy to go on top of flowerpots or troughs. And if you need to cover a bigger area, the clever design allows them to be locked together.
Also included in the pack are twelve solid metal garden staples to secure them in the ground. If you prefer, you can partially bury them instead. You’ll also get 30 wire ties, which can be used to attach the mats to vertical surfaces if you wish. That will prevent cats climbing up trees.
The plastic is weather resistant, so you won’t have to replace the mats for several years.
The main drawback to this one is cost. If you have a larger area to cover, you’ll need several packs. And that will work out to be rather expensive. But this is a very effective approach to prevent cats and other critters digging and fouling in your garden.
- Allows you to protect specific areas
- Very effective at preventing cats or other wildlife digging or fouling in your garden
- Easy to use and completely safe for animals and people
- Will take a little time to install if you’ve got a large or complicated space to cover
- Can work out to be quite expensive over a larger area.
5. Karlsten Cat Repellent Granules
Karlsten’s cat repellent granules use the power of citronella to deter cats from your garden.
The idea is very simple. Citronella has a strong lemony smell. By shaking the granules around the perimeter of your garden, the odour should mask animals’ scents. That means that if they’ve previously marked the area as their territory, the granules should effectively “un-mark” it.
You can add additional granules around flower beds or other areas you particularly want to protect. And because the scent is appealing to humans, you’ll still be able to use your outside space in comfort.
The granules come in a canister with a shaker cap to make it easy to distribute them. The manufacturers recommend using them over a period of two weeks to completely mask the scent of animal visitors. Each set of granules should last for a week.
Each canister includes enough product to cover 216 square metres. The granules are weatherproof, so rain or bad weather won’t affect the odour. They’re environmentally friendly too, and they won’t harm your pets, other animals or plants.
We have, however, heard differing experiences about the effectiveness of this. Some people have found their neighbourhood cats have given up visiting their garden entirely. Others haven’t seen much difference. It’s possible it depends on the olfactory preferences of the moggie in question.
The good news is that Karlsten are so confident in their product that they provide a satisfaction guarantee. If you try it and believe it hasn’t worked, you can return it for a refund.
- Pleasant odour to humans
- Harmless to cats and other animals
- Can be targeted at specific areas as needed, or used around the perimeter of the whole garden
- Varied reports on its effectiveness – but there’s a money-back guarantee if you find it doesn’t work
- You’ll need to keep topping up the granules about once a week.
6. Defenders Pepper Dust
Another product to work on the basis of smell is Defenders Pepper Dust.
As the name suggests, this uses a pungent pepper formula in place of citronella to confuse animals’ sense of smell. It will prevent cats and dogs from detecting their scent markings. And that means they won’t be able to identify your garden as their territory.
Apply it generously around the boundaries of your outside space. Extra doses to protect flowerbeds or other vulnerable areas are a good idea. It can be used in all weathers, but you’ll get better results if used when it’s dry.
It does need to be topped up more often than the citronella option. Apply fresh powder twice a week. And apply it again after rain or windy weather.
It’s easy to do with the canister’s shaker cap. You’ll get 300 grams of product per can. That’s enough to treat up to 10 square metres. And if you buy two cans at once, you get a modest discount.
You won’t need to worry about any residue being left behind. The powder degrades naturally and it’s entirely safe for plants, animals and humans.
But as with the citronella granules, this has variable results. For some cats, it works a treat. Others seem to be immune.
- Very easy to use
- Safe for animals, wildlife and the environment
- Add extra granules for targeted protection of high-risk areas
- Works like a dream for some cats – but others seem to be immune
- You’ll need to apply it at least twice a week, and more often in wet or windy weather.
7. Defenders Jet-Spray Pond and Garden Protector
If you’re worried about ultrasonic deterrents affecting human ears, this product from Defenders could be a good alternative. It works on a similar principle, with an infrared sensor detecting movement. But in this case, instead of sound, the sensor triggers a jet of water.
That does, of course, mean that you’ll need an external water source to connect it to. If you want to protect your garden pond from moggies who think your fish are dinner, it’s a great choice. Alternatively, you can connect it up to a water butt, or even a large bucket.
There’s plenty of scope to fine tune the set-up. You can adjust the sensor’s sensitivity, the angle of the jet, and the distance you want the water to spray. The sensor will cover an arc of 120 degrees, with a radius of 10 metres. That will protect an area of over 100 square metres.
The unit is powered by two AA batteries, which you’ll need to buy separately.
It’s waterproof to IPR 44 standards, so it will cope with heavy rain. But it’s not suitable for use in icy or frosty weather. Make sure you disconnect the hose from the product when the temperature drops.
You’ll need to locate it in the right place for it to work effectively too. Don’t position it in direct sunlight, as that can interfere with the sensor. Locating it facing north is best. And avoid plants in the area covered by the sensor. If they move in the wind, they can set off the water jet.
- Great choice for protecting garden ponds from cats or herons
- You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, the angle of the jet, and the distance of the spray
- Waterproof, so you can leave it outside in heavy rain
- Can’t be used in frosty conditions
- Make sure you keep it out of direct sunlight, or it will trigger the sensor.
If you’re still not sure which is the right deterrent for the moggies in your garden, read on! We’re going to look at a few factors to help decide on the best model for your needs.
Do you need to avoid discomfort to other animals?
To begin with, you need to know how much freedom you have to choose a deterrent. And that means considering whether there are other animals – or people – you want to be able to use your garden in peace.
If there aren’t, ultrasonic devices could be a good choice. Once set up, you can largely leave them to do their job. All you’ll need to do is check the batteries every so often. And some even have solar panels so they can recharge themselves.
But if you have dogs, children or other animals, the ultrasonic sound can affect them too. Some models allow you to target the frequency on cats. But because the hearing of cats and dogs is quite similar, you may find that it upsets your own pet.
Physical barriers like prickle strips will be a better option in those conditions. Alternatively, you could opt for deterrents with a strong smell. These will confuse scent markings and avoid cats thinking your garden is their territory.
How much area do you need to cover?
The next thing to think about is how large an area you need to protect. Do you want to make your entire garden a cat-free zone? Or are there particular spots – flower beds or pots, for example – that need to be safeguarded?
If you want to cover the whole area, deterrents with sensors can be a good bet. But check their range. Each sensor will have an arc, measured in degrees, within which they will pick up movement. (Some will also detect body heat.) That arc will also have a particular radius.
For larger gardens, you may need to purchase more than one deterrent. Make sure you take that into account in your costings.
If, however, you’re mainly concerned to stop the local moggies turning your flower beds into a latrine, consider barrier methods. Prickle strips can work very well, and once they’re in place they’ll last for years. But if you’ve got a large area to cover, they can be quite expensive.
And if you’re considering scent granules, check the area that will be covered by each canister. They will allow you to create a scent barrier around your whole boundary. But you’ll also be able to add extra protection to vulnerable spots.
How much work are you prepared to do?
Some types of deterrent are more labour-intensive than others.
Ultrasonic devices are generally the least work. You’ll need to position them correctly and perhaps adjust the settings to get the best results. But once that’s done, they’ll keep working as long as there’s juice in the batteries.
Scent granules, on the other hand, will need to be topped up regularly. The citronella ones on our list need to be refreshed once a week. The pepper powder needs to be done twice as often, and again after rain. And in both cases, windy weather can interfere with their impact.
Physical barriers like prickle strips are very easy to use. Once they’re in place, they’ll keep working for years with very little attention. But you may need to spend a bit of time cutting them to the correct size and shape in the first place. That goes double if you have a large space to cover.
Ready to say goodbye to feline visitors?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of seven of the best cat deterrents on the market right now. There are lots of different approaches to discouraging your feline neighbours from paying a visit! Considering the questions in our buying guide will help you make the right choice for your garden.
Our top pick is the ultrasonic deterrent from Pestbye. With its range of different sensitivity and frequency settings, it gives plenty of scope to accurately target garden intruders. And the double pack ensures you can effectively cover a wide area.
But if you have other pets or small children to take into account, we’d recommend Plai’s cat repellent mats. Once in place, they’re extremely effective. And you won’t even have to worry about changing a battery.
Whichever option is right for you, you can look forward to a cat-free garden. Enjoy it!