The Best UK Cat Deterrents Reviewed
By Danny Jones - Updated 13th January, 2018
We know how annoying it can be when the neighbour’s cats are continually pooping in your garden. And while we’re huge fans of the four-legged felines, we’d much rather they did their business elsewhere – instead of spoiling all our hard work in the garden.
There are a host of options available to garden-owners, from lion-dung to motion-sensor ultrasonic scarers. But which ones are actually effective?
It’s not always clear-cut; for this reason our gardening experts have tested the seven most popular cat deterrents in the UK, then rated them from best to worst based on their effectiveness. Check out our top picks below.
In this guide – we review the best cat & dog deterrent products in the UK…
All the products reviewed were obtained independently. Our reviews are 100% objective and impartial – Decking Hero receive no products or monetary compensation from any of the brands we review. Here’s a top-level breakdown of our best products –
The Best of the Rest
An indoor spray for house cats, helps to keep them off the kitchen counter and tables where they’re not welcome!
Spikes you can place around your garden walls and/or fencing to keep the cats out.
Lion dung pellets that work by marketing the scent of a ‘big cat’ in your garden, while fertilising your lawn.
Green biocide crystals that are spread around your garden to keep cats away.
Another ultrasonic scarer but an older model than the PestBye.
The PestBye ultrasonic deterrent is our top pick and for very good reason – it is by far the most effective product out there at the moment.
The product is battery-operated and uses an infra-red motion-sensor that can detect movement in your garden. When triggered, the device releases ultrasonic sound that is uncomfortable for cats, but completely inaudible to the human ear.
Each order contains two devices which means you’ll generally gain enough coverage for the average UK garden, provided you place them tactfully. Try and make sure you’re actively covering all the areas in your garden where cats are pooping and causing damage at the moment. Covering any common garden entry spots is also a good idea.
While this product is by no means perfect (as you’ll see from a small selection of the customer reviews on Amazon) it generally works for 90% of homeowners. Make sure you stock up on AA batteries as you’ll need to replace them once every 6-8 weeks for the devices to remain effective.
The frequency on the device can be changed and it’s recommended to sit at between 3-5 to deter cats. At this frequency, it should also prove effective at keeping dogs and foxes out of your garden too. If you have problems with squirrels, rodents or insects, these devices can also be used to keep them away – provided you adjust the frequencies to the recommended settings.
- 100% safe and humane – doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or biocide like other options.
- Very easy to set up. Comes with attachable stakes to easily stick into the soil. Also has a plastic tab at the top to allow it to be fitted to walls or fencing.
- Also works with other common British pests such as foxes, dogs, squirrels and other rodents such as rats. The frequency and sensitivity can be adjusted so as to work better with different animals (eg. it has a setting for cats).
- Comes with a 45 day satisfaction guarantee.
- Requires 4 x AA batteries which are not included. These usually need replacing every six weeks for the repellent to remain effective.
- Depending on your garden size, you may need more than two motion detectors in order for them to work effectively.
This product works by scaring away cats that enter your garden with short, sharp blasts of water. It can be hooked up to a water supply via your garden hose, meaning that it won’t run out – and it won’t eat through batteries quickly like the ultrasonic products.
Like the PestBye Ultrasonic deterrent, the product uses a motion detector so that it only goes off when it detects movement in your garden. Thankfully this saves the product from effectively becoming a sprinkler!
One set of 4 x AA batteries will generally last you a minimum of six months, so this product really is great for cost-efficiency. If you’re looking for the best value deterrent, this is it.
The main downside with this product lies with its motion detector. If left in direct sunlight this can sometimes trigger the infra-red sensor – meaning it goes off at random. Not great if you have a south-facing garden. If you have a shaded area of your garden that is frequented by the neighbourhood cats however, then this might just be the product for you.
In summary – buy this if you have a nearby garden hose and shaded area in your garden. If you don’t, stick with the ultrasonic sensors and some repellent.
- It is highly effective – cats really don’t like when it goes off!
- Because it uses water as the deterrent, it’s much safer for the environment than other options such as biocide crystals. It’s also easy to replace the batteries, with the sensors needing 4 x AA batteries every six months. You’ll need to buy these separately.
- If you have your own pets, this option can be used without affecting your cats, dogs or guinea pigs. Ultrasonic deterrents can sometimes cause unexpected problems.
- If left in direct sunlight it can cause the sensor to trigger, meaning a whole lot of water being sprayed around your garden!
- Will only work with a garden hose that can withstand the pressure of the mains being permanently switched on.
- Cats can and will adapt, meaning you’ll need to change the positioning of the sprayer every few weeks to keep them on their toes
This product differs from the others in our list in that it’s meant for use with your own cats. It’s also meant for indoor use rather than being a preventative measure for cats entering your garden.
The spray works by sitting on the tables and counter tops that you’d prefer your cat didn’t jump onto. Any cat owners will know that cats love to jump onto the kitchen counter and other areas where they probably shouldn’t be (for hygienic reasons as much as anything else).
The unit is fitted with a motion detector that can sense when your cat has jumped onto the counter. With a range of up to 1 metre, when triggered it will release a light spray (completely unscented) aimed in the cat’s direction. This will generally startle the cat away.
Over time your cat should learn that the area is out of bounds to them – meaning you shouldn’t need to constantly purchase refills. With roughly 100 sprays in every refill, most cats should learn their lesson and become ‘conditioned’ long before you need to buy any more spray. We must say this is definitely a redeeming feature given the high price of the unit.
The spray is unscented and it’s safe to use in areas where you might be preparing food like kitchen counter tops. While unpleasant for cats, it’s also 100% safe and won’t harm them in any way.
You will need batteries to operate but these should last a long time and the device has an on/off switch to save them when not in use. Because the device is unable to distinguish between cats and humans (at this stage anyway!) you’ll also need to be careful that you use the off switch before entering an area that might trigger the motion detector.
- Safe to use on kitchen worktops and other areas where it’s best to keep clear for hygiene reasons. The spray is unscented which means no nasty smells!
- It won’t harm your pets – just keep them away. It’s extremely effective at keeping cats off kitchen counters and worktops.
- Can also be used to deter dogs. Works with all breeds and all sizes.
- Product features a motion detector which means spray isn’t wasted unnecessarily.
- Can only be used indoors to keep pet cats away from rooms you don’t want them in. This product is not suitable for outdoor use.
- You’ll only get a maximum of 100 sprays between refills, which isn’t an awful lot.
- In low light, the effectiveness of the sensor is poor – which means this product should only be used in well-lit rooms.
- Product will eat through batteries at a very quick rate – make sure you turn it off when it’s not needed.
Next up are the fence and wall spikes that are generally available from a number of online outlets. Made from low-quality plastic, they are probably the cheapest deterrent in our list, though definitely only suitable for a select group of people.
They work by being placed in strategic locations in the garden – namely the entry points the neighbourhood cats usually use to get into your garden. Think garden fence, gates, walls etc. To be effective, they generally need to be placed at a minimum of 6 foot from the ground, which deters cats from jumping onto them.
If you have large gaps in your gate, walls or fence you might want to consider whether this is the right product for you, as it’s not likely to be effective.
The spikes are a very simple idea and they’re equally as simple to install. Simply buy some industry-standard adhesive and fix the spikes to your fences, walls and anywhere else the neighbourhood moggies love to frequent.
While they may not be the best-looking addition to your garden (who wouldn’t want brown spikes surrounding their entire home!?) they are generally easy to uninstall by simply dissolving the adhesive.
We think the fence and wall spikes are a good idea, but most of what we’ve learnt tends to suggest they’re not a one-stop solution. They can certainly help play a part in making your garden a less desirable location for neighbourhood cats, but they need to at least be used in union with other deterrents or scarers that will disrupt any cats who do happen to make it into your garden.
- Requires no chemicals or batteries meaning it’s a very sustainable method of prevention. Importantly they won’t hurt the cats, just keep them away!
- Easy to fit with low-cost adhesive.
- The spikes are incredibly sharp and sit close together, making it extremely difficult for cats to walk comfortably on them.
- Very good value for money.
- Also effective for use with foxes, large birds and even humans!
- While great for preventing entry to your garden over fencing and adjoining walls, there are still usually other entry points where cats can gain access. This means it’s usually only effective in combination with other methods such as the ultra-sonic detectors.
- The spikes need to be fitted at least 6 feet up or higher. This makes the surfaces very unappealing for cats to jump onto. Any lower and they may be ineffective. When installing you will also need to consider nearby objects that cats may be able to use as a ladder onto the spikes.
An unusual premise, but one that works surprisingly well for some. Silent Roar is made from lion dung which has been formulated into capsules that can be used to fertilise your lawn, while acting as a deterrent to the local cat community.
The idea behind Silent Roar is based on feline rules around territory being marked with scent. By introducing the strong-smelling capsules into your garden you’re effectively letting the neighbourhood cats know that the king of the jungle lives here. While it’s something we humans and our poor sense of smell can’t possibly comprehend, this is supposedly a huge deterrent for the local moggies.
The Silent Roar product is marketed as a ‘fertiliser’ for the simple reason that EU rules prohibit them from labelling their product as a repellent. Nevertheless it is intended primarily as a repellent, though we are reliably informed that it will also act as a fertiliser for your lawn and garden plants.
It comes in small pellets that are easy to distribute, natural and 100% safe. Good to know that you won’t be handling and spreading raw dung across your garden!
So are they effective? As with all products in this industry, the reviews appear mixed. Personally, we didn’t find this product worked very well. However there are a whole host of reviewers online that have had overwhelmingly positive experiences and swear by it to their friends and family!
While the jury’s out, what we will say is this – with all repellents, you’re dramatically improving your chances of success when you combine them with an active garden scarer – such as an ultrasonic or jet spray device.
- This product fertilises your garden at the same time as it deters cats – double-winner!
- It might seem strange swapping one kind of feline poo for another, but the product is formulated into pellets so as to be easily disguised – as well as acting as a natural fertiliser.
- The dung is free from harmful chemicals or biocides, making it great for your garden environment.
- As with all cat deterrents, there are some reviews online that suggest the product might not be effective. Unfortunately, this usually comes down to the personal preferences of the cat itself. We actually had some success using this product in conjunction with fence wall spikes, which shows the product will work if used in the right conditions.
- Unfortunately this is a limited product, which means you’ll need to buy more once it loses its potency. Usually the pellets will need replacing after a heavy down-pouring of rain.
Like the Silent Roar lion dung, Get Off is a repellent that uses biocide crystals to create a habitat that cats really don’t enjoy. This means they’ll tend to go and find another safe place to poop!
It’s amongst the lowest cost solutions, but will need to be re-applied regularly to continue being effective – something you should bear in mind if you have a large garden to cover.
Unfortunately Get Off doesn’t use natural ingredients which means there are question marks around its environmental impact. You should consider this fully before using, especially if you have a garden habitat that is rich in local wildlife. The crystals are also very harmful to aquatic life and we strongly recommend against their use if you have an outdoor pond.
While effective, we preferred Silent Roar as our chosen repellent for its use of natural ingredients. If cost is your main concern however, Get Off is probably your ideal choice.
- Lowest cost of all options but sometimes requires multiple bottles to achieve full coverage.
- It also works with dogs and is useful as a training aid for pets.
- Should eventually condition cats not to use your garden, without requiring the crystals to be reapplied.
- Crystals will naturally disperse and disappear over time.
- Must be used carefully as it’s a biocide. Not as humane as other options such as the ultra-sonic sensors.
- Not always effective with all cats.
- Needs to be reapplied after heavy rain.
- Not a permanent solution so may get quite expensive over long time periods.
If you’ve made it this far, all we can say is well done. You must really want to stop those cats from pooing in your garden!
Honestly, the final product in our list is probably not the ideal solution for most people, but we felt like we needed to include it anyway.
It works in exactly the same way as the PestBye Ultrasonic model, with some distinct disadvantages. Namely, with this product you get only one device rather than two – and for a similar price. This means you get far less coverage of your garden. The technology also appears to be older and less effective at keeping cats away.
One advantage this product does have over its near-rival is that it can be plugged-in via the mains of your house, providing you have the right equipment and entry-points. This saves the annoyance of constantly replacing the batteries each time they run out. The two-year warranty is also a nice-to-have that guarantees against malfunction.
In summary: if you’re happy to put up with the displeasure of buying and changing batteries in your devices, go for the PestBye deterrent – you won’t regret it.
- Can be powered through the mains of your house if you have the right equipment (meaning no constant battery replacements).
- Can be ‘planted’ in the ground using the in-built stake or mounted to the wall with screws.
- Can be used year-round as the units are weather-proof in all seasons.
- Comes with a 2 year warranty.
- The ‘Mega Sonic’ unit also works with dogs and foxes.
- Not as effective as the PestBye Ultrasonic repellent. You also receive only one detector for a similar price as you’d get two with PestBye.
- Only works if the cat trips the motion sensor – so it’s important to ensure proper coverage.
- Though you cannot hear the ultra-sonic sounds being emitted, this device does emit a whistling sound which can be quite loud for some people.
Common problems caused by cats
We know that cats can be particularly destructive in the garden and this is something commonly experienced by homeowners the length and breadth of the UK.
It can be even more frustrating if the cats belong to your neighbours, as it can leave you feeling even more powerless to stop them. Common issues include –
- Cats defecating in areas of your garden
- Digging up of your lawn, flowers and plant beds
- Cats fighting in your garden, causing a lot of noise and disturbance
Cat poo can actually be toxic and can lead to the de-fertilisation of your soil, meaning that plants and grass may fail to grow in future. If you allow your garden to become a playground for the local cats you can also soon find that no matter how much effort you put into making your garden look nice, it can seemingly all be undone in just a single night!
Thankfully there are options, some of which involve the cat deterrents listed above, while others involve more traditional methods widely used in the past.
How to stop cats pooping in your garden
If you notice that a cat is using your garden as its neighbourhood toilet, the first thing you should do is immediately remove any existing poop. It’s not a nice thought but unfortunately if it’s not removed, the cat will more than likely be back sometime soon. That space in your garden has just become its new litter tray.
What you do next is really up to you. There are natural remedies you can try like lemon and orange peel mixed with pepper corns and water, but we’ve rarely heard of many success stories through this approach. Generally, the most effective deterrents are electronic with some sort of scaring mechanism like the one chosen as our top pick above.
Though we haven’t reviewed them in this post, some users have also experienced success with cat scarecrows that you leave strategically placed in your garden. They have reflective ‘cats eyes’ to give the impression that they are alive and should work during the night provided there is a local source of light such as the motion-triggered garden lights.
How to keep cats out of your garden completely
If you’d like to go one step further and keep cats completely out of your garden, you can follow one of two steps:
- Get your own cat to scare the neighbours away
- Or (assuming this is not practical) use a cat repellent on your garden surface and a cat scarer to fend off intruders
Assuming that the second option is the one you’re looking to take, may we suggest our ideal combo and one that is yet to fail us:
- Silent Roar Lion Dung: to be spread around the garden as a cat repellent, making cats nervy that they are entering the territory of a much larger rival.
- PestBye Ultrasonic Cat Scarer: the deterrent that will then help to frighten off any cats that dare enter your garden.
These products work so well together because the first causes the cat to be suspicious and apprehensive when entering your garden. Then, if they do enter, the ultrasonic scarer is triggered and provides the shock needed to panic the cat straight out of your garden. Yes, you’ll occasionally need to re-distribute the pellets and replace the batteries in the motion detector, but believe us: it really is so much less hassle than constantly re-planting your flowers and cleaning up cat poop.