We’re not talking about your greenfly and your slugs today, no. Instead, we’re looking at larger animal pests and how you can prevent them damaging your beautiful garden.

There are many garden pests out there and we’re planning to look at more over the next few weeks. For today, stay tuned if you are beset with cat and rabbit problems.


 Problem: Cats

Cats roam their territory and often find empty soil the perfect place to poop – to put it bluntly. The jury does appear to be out about the health risks of cat poop in the garden – particularly the veg patch. Concerns seem to be most targeted at pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Aside from being deeply unpleasant to deal with, the best advice is to avoid growing edible plants in poop-infested soil – and to do your own research, insert disclaimer here.



Sharp objects like wooden skewers, old CDs planted into the soil on their side, large stones with sharp edges (definitely not small ones that look like kitty litter), short bamboo canes, and rose cuttings (especially the thorns) are all believed to work especially well. Cats like empty soil and they don’t like anything sharp and prickly – they will avoid such areas at all costs. Filling the empty spaces of your veg patch or garden bed with sharp things means they should get the hint.

 Repelling cats from particular areas of your garden can work wonders. You can make or buy scented spray repellents but do remember that these will need to be re-applied after rain. Anything citrus scented added to water should help to see off persistent moggy offenders.

 Planting certain plants like lavender, geranium, and plants from the garlic family like chives may also work. The jury appears to be most undivided about this one though so proceed with an open mind.


Problem: Rabbits

Rabbits are adorable. Like many of the pests listed here, a lot of people keep rabbits as pets and they are not a problem. Wild rabbits however, can cause an awful lot of damage to your garden – particularly if you grow your own vegetables. They can also damage new plants and trees that have not yet established themselves. The biggest rabbit problem is their well-known proclivity for digging holes.



Rabbits generally stay out of the way during daylight hours and come out to feed from dusk to dawn. They reproduce ‘like bunnies’ and herein is the problem; all those mouths to feed for mama bunny. The best solution we’ve come across is to protect your tender areas with wire mesh. If you’re garden is a manageable size and rabbits are causing you major problems, sink wire mesh down along your fencing to a depth of about 30cm. If you have a huge garden, you could fence off sensitive areas like your veg patch or your prized dahlias.

 It is possible to live in harmony with all the creatures of the earth. It is a matter of knowing how best to deter and how best to protect.



We would never advocate harm to any animal – far better instead to work together to create a garden for you and your pests.