Discouraging cats from gardens is a must for many gardeners or those who love spending their time outdoors but don’t want to have to dodge the cat poop or deal with cats sleeping on their favourite outdoor chairs and tables.
There are lots of ways that you can discourage cats from your garden and some work better than others. Cats have particularly sensitive noses and find many scents difficult to deal with so working out the scents that a cat dislikes can be a great natural deterrent that will save your garden and your sanity.
There are lots of weird and wonderful ideas out there about how best to discourage cats from entering or doing their business in your garden and some work and some are just urban myths!
Which leads us to start to think about the latest in advice being passed from gardener to gardener and that is the idea that human urine will discourage or even repel cats!
Do Cats Dislike Urine?
Fresh urine has a strong scent and is a way that many animals choose to mark their territory. This is why that local Tomcat is choosing to spray his urine all over your garden! He has claimed your garden as his and is letting every other cat in the area know that it is his and they should stay out.
This might work to keep other cats out but it doesn’t help gardeners who now have a garden that smells like cat urine! Urine has a strong ammonia scent that may well work to discourage other cats from the garden. They will be able to smell and understand the scent markers left behind and if they don’t want to fight for the patch they will avoid it and find their own patch to mark as their own.
If the scent of cat urine is bothersome to us humans just imagine what it must be like to another cat who has a much stronger sense of smell! With their extra scent receptors even a scent that feels mild to us will be unbearably strong to a cat.
Does Human Urine Repel Cats?
So does human urine have a particular effect on cats? Some gardeners swear by it as a solution and this anecdotal evidence has been passed from gardener to gardener and there is some logic to it as a solution!
Humans are like any other mammal when it comes to their urine and although we may be long past our need to mark our territory in this way (thankfully!) our urine is still the same and other animals that still use this way of marketing territory could still see scent markers being left behind by a human as a signal that this is someone else’s territory and to stay away.
Aside from territory marking there is also the scent of ammonia which human urine does contain a lot of. This scent is particularly strong to cats and the smell alone might well be disgusting enough to a cat’s sensitive nose to keep it away from your garden.
For this to work it would need doing regularly and for it to have best results the urine would need to be fresh as the scent dissipates fairly quickly. Some gardeners choose to make up a mix of urine and add it to a spray bottle so that it can be sprayed in hot spots or around the perimeter.
It is probably worth a mention that cats are all different and what will work for one cat won’t automatically work for another. Some cats might detest the scent of urine, but another won’t mind it at all! With any solution it is a matter of trial and error to find out the best solution for you and the local cats.
The Problem With Using Urine As A Repellent
There is an obvious problem to the urine solution and that is the smell! There is quite a big trade-off between repelling cats but having urine scattered over your garden. No one wants a garden that smells like a public toilet and with the amount and regularity in which you would need to keep up this practice then this is a real danger!
Some people choose this option as a last resort when they are at the end of their tether and can’t think of what else to do! There are plenty of other options out there to choose from including plants and scents that are much more pleasant to humans so it is definitely worth trying these or using other methods, such as cat-proof fencing, to deter cats before resorting to covering your garden in pee!