Three ‘effective’ tips to deter cats or foxes from pooping and digging in garden

Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

Clever foxes and friendly cats can be fun to spot around your neighbourhood, but these curious animals can potentially cause mayhem by digging up a vegetable patch or prized flower bed when they wander into your garden. 

Gardens will always attract all sorts of wildlife, and it can be devastating to discover plants you have been working on for most of the year being destroyed by playful foxes or cats digging. 

It is also very likely for gardens to become a fox or cat’s territory, which means they will use their poo and pee an area they consider theirs daily, which can be incredibly annoying to clean up regularly. 

Not only can animals defecating spread disease and smell awful, but cat faeces can contain a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which can contaminate and ruin vegetable patches as well as being a serious health risk for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems. 

There are many effective ways to keep animals away, such as making a homemade spray made of herbs and vegetables, but there are also many small things you can do around your garden to prevent foxes and cats out of your garden for good. 

Alessandro Vitale, an urban gardener from London, has lots of experience dealing with both cats and foxes rummaging around his plants and has some suggestions on how to keep them away. 

In a video online, Alessandro said: “A recurring issue that most people with a garden are facing every season is dealing with foxes. You can also apply the following methods to keep away cats from your growing space without using any sort of chemicals.” 

How to effectively keep foxes and cats out of your garden

Cover your flower and plant beds

If you have any raised garden beds, Alessandro has said covering them with a plastic sheet and securing them with something heavy, such as pots or a bucket, will prevent cats or foxes from digging up the bed. 

He said: “Doing so I make sure not to leave any spot of soil uncovered so that foxes won’t find any place to dig.” 

You can also use strongly scented mulch to cover the soil around your plants, as both cats and foxes have a very strong sense of smell which is very sensitive which can discourage them from entering a garden. 

Alessandro said: “Strong scent like geranium leaves or lavender flowers, garlic and many others that could potentially repel them. This will help discourage foxes from digging in your garden.” 

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Block any entrances 

Covering up any holes, nooks, and crannies which may be around your garden will not completely stop cats or foxes, but will likely discourage most if they cannot easily access your garden. 

Alessandro explained: “They can easily leap over an eight-foot wall or squeeze their body through trellises or small entrances, but if you make their life harder, they won’t bother to come to your garden.” 

He added: “There was a small hole in the corner of my garden, so I stacked two buckets of water in front of it. This not only blocks foxes’ access to the gardens but also all the cats from the neighbourhood. “

Another method to keep foxes and cats away is to buy cheap spikes and place them around your fence. Alessandro said: “This won’t harm the foxes or the cats, but they will discourage them from accessing your garden.” 

Scare foxes away

Even if you secure your garden, both foxes and cats love to explore their local area, which means the most effective way to keep them away is to give them a little scare.

Alessandro said he has tried and tested many noisy fox and cat repellent devices over the years, but in urban area, the animals are likely very used to humans and will not be scared by such things. 

However, Alessandro discovered that a water sprayer has helped keep his garden cat and fox-free for a long time. He said: “The most effective products are sprayers which are motion-activated, battery-powered and connected and connected to a source of tap water with a good water pressure. 

“These devices detect movement from foxes cats, badgers and many other animals and they spray a jet of water to scare them off.”

Move the water sprayer around your garden once a week to confuse the animals, and it will likely stop both foxes and cats from hanging around your garden once and for all.

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