Averting cat-astrophes

Cats are among the most persistent of garden pests. Even if you love your pet cat to bits, it's no fun discovering they've been using your garden as a toilet. If it's your neighbour's cat it's downright infuriating.

Luckily cats are fastidious creatures and it's relatively easy to make your garden into a no-go zone they'll prefer to avoid. Here's how.

Get a dog: perhaps not always practical, but cats will avoid your garden like the plague.

Avoid patches of bare, dry soil: these have 'cat litter tray' written all over them. After sowing seeds, poke prickly rose, holly or hawthorn prunings into the ground every 15cm or so to keep cats clear.

Use large-grade gravel: small chippings on pathways and drives are inviting to cats, so use larger stones instead: there's a good choice in our garden centre.

Hang citrus peel among your plants: cats hate oranges and lemons, so hang fresh peel among vulnerable plants.

Motion sensor sprinklers and ultrasonic cat deterrents: the high-tech option, available in our garden centre, these emit unpleasant noises only cats can hear or spray them with water each time they come past.

Please ask the staff in our Poynings garden centre for more information and advice about keeping cats off your garden.

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