cat pooping in garden

How to Keep Cats from Pooping in My Yard

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How to stop cats from pooping in my yard? That’s a question that many homeowners have at some point. 

Cats are adorable, but they can be a real pain when they start using your yard as their personal litter box. If you’re struggling to keep your feline friends from doing their business in your yard, follow these tips to help deter them from going there again.

Cats, no matter the breed, are curious creatures, yearning to wander and explore to their heart’s content. However, that does mean that we wake up to cat poop or cat urine in our yards sometimes. 

Unlike other animals, cat feces can carry harmful microorganisms that can harm us and other animals. Additionally, it’s never fun to have to clean up extra poop. 

We compiled a guide to safe cat deterrents to prevent these furry friends from using your yard as a public restroom. 

Why Are Cats Pooping in My Yard?

Cats have many reasons as to why they choose your yard to poop in. They may seem to poop randomly, but your yard might be one of their preferred destinations for when it’s time to “go.” 

For example, cats (your own, your neighbour’s cat, feral cats or stray cats) may be using your yard as a bathroom due to health concerns. There could be a digestive problem present on account of the color, texture, and quantity of feces present in your yard. If your own cat seems to be pooping excessively in your yard or preferring your backyard to their litterbox, take them to the vet to get checked out. 

Next, cats poop to mark their territory. The smell solidifies that a certain spot in your yard is theirs, and, in turn, can attract cats to try and cover up the previous cats’ smells. 

Finally, your yard might as well be heaven to them. In other words, your yard may be rich with soft soil, opportunities for shelter, or food sources. These felines want, above all, a comfortable place to poop. 

If any of these factors apply to you, read on! Let’s dive into how to stop cats from using your yard as a bathroom.

 stop cats from pooping

How Can I Stop Neighbors Cat Pooping in My Garden?

Your neighborhood cats are cute, but they need to stop wandering into your yard to do their business. Here are a few options to stop your neighbor’s cat from pooping in your yard.

Talk to Your Neighbor

When you notice neighbor’s cats on your property, and if you’re absolutely certain that the cat’s poop in your yard is your neighbor’s cat, it will be worthwhile to talk to them. Simply call up your neighbor or knock on their door to start the conversation. 

Ask them to take some preventative measures of their own to keep their cat restricted to their yard. Alternatively, you can collaborate with your neighbor on game plans to discourage their cat from pooping, not just in your yard, but in other neighbor’s yards too.

Cat-Proof Fencing

Cats are intelligent creatures and, therefore, will most likely figure out a way to get around your fence. That’s why it is important to utilize a cat-proof fence as your first line of defense rather than your sole preventative measure. 

These fences primarily discourage cats from being able to crest the top and from sitting on them (which is what cats love to do). The tops of these fences have plastic spikes, thin edges, or special netting to deter cats. 

However, it is important to take additional measures. As stated previously, cats are crafty and might dig under the fence or use other tools in their arsenal to get around the fence. 

Some additions to your cat-proof fence can come in the form of automatic sprinklers, hanging CDs, or mechanical sound machines. Water, sporadic light reflection, and predator sounds are great methods at safely startling cats away from your yard. 

Clean Up & Deodorize 

Although this is not the most fun method, it is one of the most effective methods. Cats return to places that smell like them or other cats. Therefore, it is essential to keep up with cleaning up the areas that cats frequent. With this step comes analyzing its patterns in your yard. 

To clean up after a cat, first pick up the pieces it has left behind. Then, thoroughly spray down the area with a hose. Finally, it will be worth it to buy a pet, plant, and people-safe deodorizer. 

Regular cleaning of these areas will discourage cats from returning. Eventually, they might give up on your yard altogether. 

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

The stereotype that cats hate water rings true! Installing motion-activated sprinklers in your yard is a great way to scare cats and not have to constantly monitor your yard for cat activity. Since their routine bathroom time in your yard will be interrupted, they’ll be forced to find somewhere else to do their business. 

A Litterbox Far From Home

It is your neighbor’s responsibility to keep their cats business within their own four walls, but it might help to set up a small litterbox of your own if the cat is persistent. 

With this method, you can create a makeshift sandbox or use actual litter in a small container. However, it is important to keep the litterbox as far away from your yard and home as possible to keep both the smell and the cats away. 

We recommend this method as a last resort since the litter tray or sandbox is an ideal comfort for cats and will call their attention. 

Chicken Wire or Mulch

The number one deterrent method to keep in mind is to make your yard as uncomfortable for cats as possible. Look around your yard and notice if you have a lot of areas that are just soft soil. Soft soil is incredibly attractive for cats who need to do their business. 

To remedy this, consider laying down some chicken wire. The texture is unpleasant for cats, but it can promote plant growth if you enjoy gardening!

The other alternative is to purchase sharp-edged or stone mulch. In the same way, chicken wire creates an unpleasant texture, sharp-edged mulch creates the same experience. 

What Scent Deterrents Cats from Pooping?

What may be pleasant aromas to us may be too powerful or bitter to cats. Cats have over 200 million odor receptors while humans only have 5 million. In other words, cats’ noses are extremely sensitive. That being said, here is a list of smells that often deter cats.

Coffee Grounds

Looking for a way to dispose of your coffee grounds? Consider sprinkling the grounds throughout your garden. Although coffee is one of the best smells to us humans, cats absolutely hate it. 

Not only that but, if you’re an avid gardener, you can kill two birds with one stone. Coffee grounds make for great fertilizer and bug repellent! 


There are many plants that can prevent cats from wanting to use your yard as a restroom. Here is a list of plants to consider growing to keep cats away. 

  • Lavender
  • Rue
  • Pennyroyal
  • Coleus Canina
  • Rosemary
  • Curry Leaves
  • Mint (Peppermint, Spearmint, Sweet Mint, etc.)
  • Lemongrass

Shake-Away Powder/Pellets

Shake-Away powder or pellets are small granules of predator urine/scent that warn cats and other critters of a predator’s presence. 


Lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc. are all excellent ways to keep cats from pooping in your yard. You can either spray the juice itself around your yard or lightly bury the peels under your soil. 


This fruit works in a similar way as citrus. Simply peel the banana and scatter the peel throughout your yard. Or, you can even cut up older bananas that have spoiled and litter them throughout your yard. 

Does Vinegar Stop Cats from Pooping? 

Vinegar is an excellent deterrent for keeping cats from pooping in your yard. Additionally, it discourages a lot of other critters and bugs from destroying your yard as well! There are a couple of methods for using vinegar as a cat deterrent.

Dilute Vinegar with Water and Spray

You don’t have to worry about the measurements for this method so much, as vinegar is a safe resource. However, it works best when you pour half vinegar and half water into a spray bottle. Then, you can spray all around your yard! Similarly, you can concentrate the amount of spray to that specific spot where cats are pooping. 

Set out Small Bowls

Having concentrated vinegar in small bowls throughout your yard is also a great method of spreading this strong smell. This method also helps deodorize the area so cats aren’t likely to return to a place that 1) smells like vinegar and 2) doesn’t smell like them. 

What is a Good Homemade Cat Repellent? 

Looking for homemade cat repellents that are safe for those furry friends but still effective? Here’s a list of homemade cat repellents to try. 


As stated above, vinegar is a fantastic repellent. Not only does it keep cats away, but almost any critter is likely to steer clear of areas with this intense scent. Dilute it with water or pour small amounts in tiny bowls to place around the yard for repelling cats.

Essential Oils

If you don’t want to plant lavender, mint, or other strong-smelling plants, essential oils will do just fine. Cats dislike these scents. You can soak some cotton balls in your essential oil of choice, put the cotton balls in a bowl or jar, and place them around your yard. 

Alternatively, you can dilute the essential oils with water and spray them around your yard. 

Garlic, Pepper, & Lemon

For this concoction, mix 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 garlic clove (crushed), 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil, or lemon juice, and water. Mix in a spray bottle and spray around your yard or fence. 


Lemongrass is another strong scent, like vinegar, that cats hate. You can buy essential oil or grow lemongrass around the areas that cats frequent the most. 

Does Coffee Stop Cats Pooping in My Garden?

Coffee does indeed stop cats from pooping in your garden! As stated previously, the strong, bitter scent is unpleasant to cats. Here are a few methods of using coffee to deter cats from pooping in your yard. 

Mix into the Soil

If you want to promote plant growth while keeping cats from pooping in your yard, this is the perfect method for you. Take moist coffee grounds (the fresher the better) and gently turn the grounds into your soil where desired. 

Scatter Throughout the Yard

You don’t have to mix the grounds into the soil if you don’t want to. It works just fine to scatter the grounds over your yard. Make sure to replenish the grounds every time you have harsh rain or weather to keep that smell alive.

Place Ground Around Your Borders

Have you noticed cats getting into your flower beds, hedges, or sheds? Pack in some fresh coffee grounds around your borders to create a barrier to prevent cats from entering. 

Does Pepper Stop Cats Pooping in Your Garden?

Yes, pepper does keep cats from pooping in your garden! Here are a few ways you can use pepper.

Freshly Ground Pepper

You can grind pepper right there throughout your garden! Simply walk around your garden grinding the pepper over your lawn, soil, or in your shed.

Mix it with Homemade Remedies

To safely up the strength of the pepper, you might want to consider mixing it with other materials. For example, you can mix pepper, garlic, and lemon juice in a spray bottle of water to spray throughout your yard. You can also mix it with essential oils if desired. 

Try These Home Remedies to Stop Cats Pooping in Garden

Many cats are lovely animals whether or not they are domestic or stray. It is important to treat them with care regardless if they are your pet or not. That being said, however, we don’t want cats pooping in our yard. 

With that in mind, it is important to remember to disrupt anything that might be a comfortable environment for cats. 

For example, it is highly recommended to use scents such as lemongrass, coffee grounds, or vinegar to help deter cats. In addition, you can use a wide variety of mechanical devices such as automatic sprinklers or motion-activated sound machines to help keep those cats away. 

Don’t stress about which method to use. Try them all or a combination of some of them! All of these methods are safe for the cats, you, your family, and other animals that might wander into your yard. 

Go down the list. Try and see which method or methods work best for you.


What is the most effective cat deterrent?

The most effective cat deterrents often involve a combination of methods, including physical barriers, deterrent sprays or repellents, and environmental modifications. Ultrasonic devices, motion-activated sprinklers, and citrus-based sprays are commonly used as effective cat deterrents.

What home remedy keeps cats away?

Several home remedies can help deter cats, including citrus peels, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, and lavender oil. These scents are disliked by many cats and may help discourage them from entering specific areas or pooping in unwanted areas.

What scent deters cats from pooping?

Scents such as citrus, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are known to deter cats due to their strong smell. These scents can be used in the form of essential oils, sprays, or natural deterrents placed around areas where cats are unwanted.

Do coffee grounds keep cats away?

While some people believe that coffee grounds can deter cats due to their strong odor, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. However, some cats may be sensitive to the smell of coffee grounds and may avoid areas where they are present.

See more: How do you keep cats out of your yard

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