‘Effective and safe’ tips to stop cats and foxes pooing in your garden

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There’s nothing worse than going out into your garden to relax only to discover it’s covered in animal excrement – especially when it’s not even from your pet. Cat stool in particular poses a very serious threat to both humans and other cats alike and should never be left to fester in the garden. When deterring these animals it’s important to remember that if you are going to use any commercial products, make sure that the products won’t harm them as it is illegal to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, even when it comes to pest control. With that in mind, Jordan Foster, pest control specialist at Fantastic Pest Control has exclusively shared how to effectively deter cats and foxes in safer ways to stop them pooing in gardens.

How to deter cats 

One of the first ways gardeners can keep cats out of the garden so they don’t leave their excrement behind is to use certain scents.

Cats are very sensitive to smell and are much more sensitive to smells and odours than humans. Gardeners can use this trait to their advantage to repel cats. 

Jordan said: “You might be surprised to learn that cats dislike some scents. You can use orange and lemon peels, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, lavender oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and mustard oil. 

“Drops can either be sprinkled directly on the flower bed or soaking cotton wool around it and placed in entry points. Just one sniff and they’re gone.”

Growing coleus canina for its scent in the garden is a great idea. It is sold as Pee-off and Scaredy-cat, and has a pungent odour that “repels cats and other invasive animals”.

This easy-to-grow perennial was specifically bred to deter unwanted cats from gardens. 

It’s a really attractive plant with lush foliage and lavender-like flowers, but it gives off a scent that cats don’t like, so they’ll soon learn to avoid the areas where it’s planted.

Cats are fine with water to drink, but if it gets near their fur water can instantly keep them away.

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Jordan explained: “Water repellers are a humane way to keep cats and other animals away from your garden. Water bursts are gently shot out for a few seconds in the general direction of the animal.

“They are effective and safe. On the first spray, cats will be gone as they hate getting wet.”

Water can also be used to deter cats from flower beds. The expert said: “When growing edible plants, you don’t want cat poop in your soil. Keeping your flower beds well watered will prevent cats from pooping in your garden as cats prefer loose and dry soil.”

As cats prefer soft, smooth surfaces to walk on, why not make your gardens less appealing by adding stone chippings, rocks, pebbles, or netting?

Jordan said: “The moment their paws touch the scratchy surface, they are sure to leave.”

How to deter foxes

The pest control specialist said: “Foxes do not poop in our gardens at all if they are not allowed to enter. Therefore, it is important to make your garden as unappealing as possible in order to discourage fox poo in it.”

One of the first ways to do this is to maintain a tidy garden. Overgrown areas provide shelter and places to hide for foxes. Besides cutting back plants, keep old shoes and gardening gloves out of reach, instructed Jordan.

Bins also need to be kept securely closed. The expert said: “The key to stopping foxes from pooing in your garden is removing the things that lure them to your property in the first place – and that’s usually food.

“Be sure to securely shut your rubbish bin if you don’t want them to scavenge through it.”

Gardeners will also need to get rid of fox scents. Jordan noted: “As foxes mark their territory with scent, you must remove their scent from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios in the garden to prevent fox poo. 

“To actually remove the scent, you will need a special enzyme-based product, which a vet can provide. For a couple of weeks, you’ll have to wash the fox every day, but eventually, the fox will get the message.”

Another way to deter these pests is to put a concrete base under your shed. The expert said: “Foxes love digging under sheds to build safe dens for their cubs. The concrete base will eliminate this opportunity, making your garden less attractive.”

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