Any gardener will know that there’s few visitors to their garden more unwelcome than the next door neighbour’s cat! From digging up flower beds, to using your perfectly manicured lawn as a toilet, to scratching up your garden furniture, it often seems there’s no limit to the destruction a strange cat can cause.
With their incredible ability to contort themselves into any size or shape, making your garden fully cat-proof can be a little tricky. Gardeners are having to be a little more creative when it comes to sending unwanted feline visitors packing.
Cat scarers offer a humane way to rid your garden of unwelcome felines. They can help deter cats from your garden for good – keeping your plants, lawn and wildlife safe.
If you’re looking to purchase a cat scarer but you’re quite sure where to start, the following tips will help you to make the right decision.
Benefits of a Cat Scarer
Cat scarers can help deter cats from your garden, and if you’ve got first hand experience of how destructive an unwelcome feline can be, you’ll understand why so many people are interested in buying one!
Cats are often drawn to flower beds and vegetable patches, and many gardeners have found their favourite flowers dug up the morning following a feline visit. They may defecate on your flower beds, lawn or pathways, which can be very bad for your garden. Not only that, cat faeces can smell very unpleasant!
You may also find there’s damage to the bark of your trees or shrubs, caused by cats scratching and marking their territory.
Finally, those who are into wildlife will also see the benefits of a cat scarer. Cats hunt garden birds and small mammals, including bats. Many gardeners pride themselves on the different wildlife that comes to their garden, so it can be very disheartening to see them scared off, or killed, by a cat.
Type of Scarer
The first thing you’ll need to decide is what type of scarer to purchase, and there’s a few on the market to choose from.
A jet scarer is one of the most effective, and this can also help to deter other unwanted wildlife. These have a motion detector and release a jet of water to scare off felines and foxes. Of course, the downside with these is that your lawn can get very wet.
Ultrasonic scarers are another good option. These often have a range of settings that allow them to target different animals. They emit an ultrasonic sound that cats find unpleasant. The sound is usually at such a high frequency that humans are unable to hear it. Some ultrasonic scarers have built in LED lights which can also help deter cats.
The final option is a simple deterrent in the form of a statue that looks like a predator. The upside to these is that they are affordable and very simple, but the downside is that they tend to be the least effective.
Ability to Scare other Species
It’s not just cats who can wreak havoc in your garden. Foxes and badgers can dig holes, eat ripening fruit, leave droppings and deter wildlife.
Some cat scarers are also capable of deterring badgers and foxes. Ultrasonic cat scarers often have different settings so you can scare specific animals. The Chasehill Ultrasonic Outdoor Cat Scarer is one such example. This model has a range of settings and is able to deter cats, badgers, mice, birds, rats and dogs depending on the frequency used.
Disruption to your Garden
Us gardeners take a lot of pride in our gardens, and the last thing we want is a loud cat scarer ruining the atmosphere!
Luckily, most cat scarers are designed to be relatively unobtrusive. They are often wireless so there’s no need to run cabling through your garden, and once installed they will be practically unnoticeable.
The water jet scarers are a little more high maintenance as they will need to be connected to a garden hose or water supply. This can cause issues in the winter if the water supply freezes.
Ultrasonic scarers usually operate at a frequency that humans can’t hear which means they’re not particularly disruptive. However, those that operate at a lower frequency may disturb you or your neighbours.
Motion Detection Range
Water or ultrasonic cat scarers will usually come with motion sensors. When the scarer is activated, the motion sensor will detect when a fox or cat is in your garden and scare them off – either with a jet of water or a high pitched sound.
The effectiveness of your cat scarer may come down to the motion detection range and angle. Those with a wider range are best for large gardens, while smaller gardens won’t require such a wide detection range.
You’ll want an accurate motion sensor, capable of picking up movement from small cats as well as large ones. If the range doesn’t cover your entire garden, ensure you position your scarer near your flowerbeds or whatever it is you are wishing to protect the most!
Batteries & Charging Method
Most animal scarers are wireless, so there’s no need to run cables throughout your garden. Solar powered scarers are the most low maintenance, as there’s no need to change the batteries. On sunny days, the batteries will charge up, which means the scarer can still be used on cloudy days.
Others use simple disposable or rechargeable batteries. These will need to be replaced or recharged on a regular basis.
Cat Scarer FAQs
Are cat scarers legal?
Sonic cat scarers which emit a high pitched noise are legal, but those with a lower noise may disturb your neighbours. It’s important to purchase a model that is inaudible to humans.
All cat scarers I’ve recommended are humane. They simply deter or scare cats, as opposed to harming them.
How do you deter cats from your garden?
As well as purchasing a cat scarer, there’s a few other ways you can deter cats from your garden.
A good way to deter cats is to use scents they dislike. Cats dislike scents like lavender, rosemary and citrus. Some gardeners sprinkle brewed coffee grounds over their soil, which cats also find unpleasant.
Another option is to make your soil less inviting for cats to walk on. You may wish to cover the soil in twigs temporarily, or push pine cones into the soil.
If possible, remove cat droppings from your garden as quickly as possible, and clean any areas that they have urinated. Cats tend to urinate in the same place over and over, marking their territory. Removing the odour when you can will prevent this behaviour reoccurring.