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Cat deterrents

  • Surround an area with a fence (chicken wire etc) that leans in the direction from which the cat will approach. The cat is unable to climb over such an angled fence.
  • Flimsy plastic roll-up fencing placed on top of a fence etc to prevent cats climbing over it.
  • Taut wire or string fitted 10-15 cm above the fence-top makes it difficult for cats to balance on the fence.
  • Place half-full plastic bottles in borders. This is an old gamekeeper's trick - the light reflection is supposed to deter.
  • Mailshot and other unwanted CDs can be threaded on twine with knots in between to keep them apart. String these across flower beds or hang from trees. The light reflections deter.
  • Spiked tree collar to prevent climbing up a tree.
  • Downward-opening cone or a biscuit tin fixed to the pole below the bird table to prevent cat climbing up it. Vaseline or other grease on a smooth pole will also help.
  • Placing clippings from thorny or spiky plants under bird feeders and under bushes will prevent cats from using these areas to stalk birds.
  • There is a new garden plant, Coleus canina, on the market. It is marketed under the names Pee-off and Scaredy-cat. This plant has a pungent odour that is said to repel cats and other mammals from the garden. It should be available from a number of garden suppliers.
  • Scent deterrents will either serve to repel (eg. Citronella) or mark a territory (eg. Silent Roar). Alternatively, try orange or lemon peel, since cats are not keen on the smell of citrus.
  • Bucket or water pistol full of water will help to chase a cat out of the garden. There is an automated option, the scarecrow, which is attached to a hosepipe, and will deliver a water jet when activated by a motion detector, but be aware that water freezing in the pipes can damage the gadget.
  • The CATWatch deterrent is endorsed by the RSPB and reduces cat visits by up to 33%. Follow the link from this page.    

How you can help

Help keep cats away from your garden birds