How to keep pet cats from pooping in my yard

Written by katherine bradley
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How to keep pet cats from pooping in my yard
"Wow, what a huge litter box." (cat image by Darren Ager from

The time, energy and expense of designing and maintaining a landscaped yard can be all for nothing if your yard is used as a litter box. Frequent feline visitors can contribute to the demise of your flowering paradise. In addition to killing foliage and making an unsightly and foul-smelling deposit, unwanted felines act as host to fleas -- which they leave behind in your yard.

Protect your masterpiece lawn with some simple steps. Planting cat repelling foliage, fencing flower gardens and selecting bedding materials that are inhospitable to cats may eliminate the feline intruders and preserve your lawn.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cat repelling plants
  • Bedding material that is offensive to cats
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells

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  1. 1

    Plant cat-repelling plants such as rue at strategic locations in the garden -- close to decks, porches and other potential lounging areas. Lavender, geranium, garlic and lemon verbena are also excellent for keeping cats away.

    How to keep pet cats from pooping in my yard
    Lavender is a strong-smelling plant which is offensive to cats. (flowers image by OMKAR A.V from
  2. 2

    Add a bedding material that is inhospitable to cats such as pine cones, wood chips and even nutshells. These materials will not only preserve moisture, but also contribute to the aesthetic quality of your garden and are uninviting to cats.

    How to keep pet cats from pooping in my yard
    Wood chips provide a hostile surface to the tender-footed feline. (wood chips image by robert mobley from
  3. 3

    Collect and distribute used coffee grounds or egg shells in the garden on a regular basis. Cats find these materials unpleasant to walk on, but your soil will like them a lot.

    How to keep pet cats from pooping in my yard
    Distribute coffee grounds in areas that are off limits to cats. (Ground Coffee image by Steven Newell from

Tips and warnings

  • Use a large coffee can to save the coffee grounds and distribute a can full at a strategic location or problem area.
  • Apply a cat repellent spray in your yard. Or, as a last resort, you might want to consider installing a motion-sensitive sprinkler system. There's nothing like a blast of cold water to repel a cat. If you choose this option, keep in mind that the sprinkler system will alert on any motion (children, deer, squirrels or you -- as you retrieve your morning paper).

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