A cat repellent is a product, home remedy or commercial, that is used to keep cats away from an area. Cats, and sometimes dogs, who are allowed to run loose may find their way into a yard and relieve themselves. These messes can destroy gardens, grass, and children's sand boxes. Even cat lovers find that they may have an area or two where their cat is unwanted. Cat waste can be harmful to humans and especially pregnant women when toxoplasmosis, which can cause birth defects, is present. Most commercial cat repellents are very effective at keeping cats away, however cost is often an issue over the long term.
An environmentally sound cat repellent is a scarecrow sprinkler. This works like an alarm system with a motion detector. Once tripped, the sprinkler will shoot water at anything within a certain range. Scarecrow sprinklers are also a high tech cat repellent and tend to be very effective.
There are some low tech cat repellents that can be done before you lay out your landscaping. Try laying down some chicken wire after you've laid out your mulch and cut out openings for your plants. While this will prevent cats from walking on it on purpose, if they should run across it, they may cut their paws.
Citrus odors are a very effective cat repellent. There are a couple commercial products on the market that use citrus odors as a cat repellent. The drawback is they can be expensive if you have a large area to cover. They will also wash away when you water or during a rain. This might be a good option for a sand box that would be covered. Other commercial options including predator scents, like coyote or wolf urine, can be used in the same manner, sprinkled over the problem area.
Another cat repellent is cayenne pepper. Cats and dogs will stay away from this, but again, once it rains the cayenne is washed away. Also cayenne pepper is considered by many to be harmful to cats. You may want to consider another option if you're an animal lover.
There are plants that are also act as an effective cat repellent. One of those plants is commonly known as a scaredy cat plant. Lavender is another plant that cats will stay away from.
Other home remedies can be toxic so be aware of your options. Moth balls are toxic to people, especially children. Please be cautious when using moth balls. Ammonia is an effective cat repellent, but can have unwanted side effects on your yard. In the end remember that while you may not want the cat in a certain part of your yard, you also don’t want to harm your yard, friends and family, or the animal. Choose products that will be safe for all involved.