Do Anti Cat Spikes Work?

Posted by Tony Goldstone on

With the arrival of spring many of us are paying attention to our gardens. But what can you do if your garden is popular with your local cat population? 

What are Anti Cat Spikes?

Cats are very sensitive to whatever is underfoot. Many cats hate wet grass, mud and uncomfortable walking surfaces. Plastic anti-cat spikes, such as our Prikla spikes, exploit this sensitivity by presenting a very uncomfortable, but harmless surface that cats will tend to avoid. These spikes are specifically designed not to cause injury while being very difficult for cats to negotiate.

These plastic spike strips are generally best installed along the tops of fences, gates and gateways commonly used by cats coming into a garden. When considering exactly where to most effectively deploy anti-cat spikes its important to determine the thoroughfares used by feline invaders.

Are Anti Cat Spikes Legal?

As we have previously reported  - anti cat spikes are entirely legal as long as they do not present the possibility of causing harm or injury. This means you can’t take a DIY approach and use glass, carpet grippers or nails that could potentially injure an animal or other intruder. 

Our blunt plastic anti cat spikes are specifically designed to fully comply with safety restrictions by not presenting any risk of injury to animals, children or anyone else who might come into contact with them.

Do Anti Cat Spikes Work?

If you are faced with a challenge to keep cats out of a garden which they have habitually visited then topping surrounding fences and gateways with anti-cat spikes may not be enough to deter them. Cats are creatures of habit so if they have routinely visited your garden to hunt, do their business or simply rest they are likely to keep coming back and will probably find a way to overcome an anti cat spike boundary.

We know of people who have moved into a new home where they discovered the previous occupants would regularly feed neighbouring pet cats who would visit their garden. The cats had grown accustomed to this friendliness and considered the garden as their territory. But the new occupants needed to keep the cats at bay due to allergies, cat faeces in vegetable plots and young children playing in the garden. The installation of anti-cat spikes around their garden boundary acted as a powerful deterrent but wasn’t enough to entirely prevent the clever cats from visiting.

How Long Does it Take to Deter Cats from a Garden?

Its important to understand that deterring and preventing cats from coming to a garden, which they consider to be part of their territory, isn’t achieved overnight. It takes time and perseverance to change the habits and routines of regular feline invaders. By following some simple but harmless precautions cats can eventually be encouraged to stay away.

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How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden

Keeping cats out of a garden space they consider to be part of their territory is difficult. Cats are creatures of habit and will always return to locations where they can hunt, rest and feel safe. Its important to recognise these aspects of cat behaviour when planning an anti cat strategy. Here are some useful recommendations that people have used to good effect.

Don’t be Friendly Toward the Cats

Domestic cats respond to friendliness so petting them and speaking to them makes them feel welcome. If you need to change the habits of cats coming into your garden clap your hands or shoo them away when you see them.

Never Feed the Cats

While this should be obvious its often overlooked and people sometimes inadvertently feed cats when they leave food outside for wildlife, such as protein feed for wild birds. And attracting wild birds to a garden can also attract their cat predators.

Use Anti-Cat Aromas

Cats have incredible olfactory senses and there are many aromas that most cats don’t like.  These include lavender, citrus, peppermint and cinnamon. Creating a spray mix and misting the garden with these aromas, especially in areas they like to rest, can be very effective.

Similarly, distributing orange and lemon peel, cayenne pepper, eucalyptus oil, citronella or peppermint oil around garden areas can prompt cats to stay away. These are all non-toxic, harmless deterrents that are entirely safe.

Focus on Areas Where They Rest

Cats spend most of their days resting and you will often find flattened plants and grasses where they’ve been resting and sleeping. Focusing your anti cat deterrents (aromas, pepper, citrus peel etc.) in these areas lets them know they are not welcome.

Anti Cat Planting

There are many plants that cats do not like. Highly aromatic plants such as Lavender and Rosemary can be effective. And cats will not walk of climb on uncomfortable surfaces so thorny, spiky plants such as Roses and Hawthorn can also be useful. 

Motion Activated Sprinklers

Most cats don’t tend to like getting wet so motion-triggered water sprinklers can be very effective. Cats returning to a garden quickly run away when subjected to a harmless spray of water.

Ultrasonic Cat Repellents

Ultrasonic cat repellents work by emitting a very high pitched sound that can’t be heard by humans but is very disturbing to cats. Its important to consider where best to locate these devices as they have a very limited range, but they can be highly effective.

Anti Cat Spikes

As previously noted, anti cat spikes alone are not likely to prevent cats from entering a garden which they have already adopted as part of their territory. But anti cat spikes do deter cats from walking on the surfaces where they are installed and when used in conjunction with other anti-cat tactics listed here they will help keep those pesky cats at bay.