Best Cat Scarer – Our setup that actually works, repellers & granules
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The complete guide on how to effectively use cat repellers and repellents - plus the best most effective setup including some more natural solutions to the problem.
The question everybody asks - Which is the best cat scarer?
The short answer - For most people, the nearest model we would recommend which could be described as the best cat repeller, would have to be the Ultra Sonic Cat Repeller manufactured by a company called PestBye. This model has proven effective for thousands of people, is probably one of the best selling models and is effective over larger areas such as lawns and large flower beds. Its easy to use, can be tweaked accordingly and is very effective for a lot of people including myself, more on this later.
If your reading this article, then your most likely looking for the best cat scarer currently on the market. I wish I had that one solution to this very real problem that 100% effective model that everybody could buy to effectively keep cats out of your garden for good.
Unfortunately this is simply not the case as not all cats are the same, certain breeds of cat have different degrees of intelligence, this means in certain situations, they react differently to different cat repellents so some are effective while others aren't.
For example, if the cat going into your garden is an old cat, maybe it cannot hear the ultra sonic cat repeller frequency or can't smell the cat repellent pellets of Silent Roar, in this situation, a motion activated water sprayer type cat scarer would most certainly be more effective than a ultra sonic type, however you would probably still need to move it around a little to keep the cat on its toes as it will probably learn the spray pattern and learn to avoid it.
Before we get into the in's and out's on which model might be right for you and our other top recommendations, as well as why using multiple types is much more effective, below is a quick summary of our 'Best Pick'.
The best cat repellers which are included in our review:
We found a mix of different cat repellers and repellents can be the most effective way to keep cats out of your garden.
- 1PestBye Ultra S?onic Cat Repeller - Our Best Pick
- 2The Cacus Fence Wall Spikes (does not harm cats)
- 3Silent Roar Cat Repellent (uses lions scent to scare off cats)
- 4Commander Ultrasonic Electronic Cat Repeller
- 5Defenders STV415 Jet Spray Battery Operated cat Repeller
- 6PetSafe Repellent Spray SSSCAT - Great for indoors
- 7Defenders Prickle S?trip Dig Stopper
The Cat Repeller Guide
Types of cat repellers and repellents
There are many types of cat repellers so in this section we are first going to look at some of the most effective types and explain the pros and cons of each and when then should be used.
Ultra Sonic Cat Repellers
These types of cat repellers are probably the most effective overall and our first choice in the battle against deterring cats from your garden. They work by producing a very loud noise at a frequency that only cats can hear which sends them fleeing, the good news is it cannot be heard by humans. They are activated by a motion sensor and can cover around 369sq ft making it ideal for large areas such as lawns and large flower beds.
They also repel dogs, foxes and squirrels and can be adjusted to repel rodents which is a bonus for some. as previously mentioned, they are around 70% effective, for example, older cats may not respond if they have hearing loss and some cats may just not respond to the noise. If you have a dog this may not be a good choice as it will trigger the repeller and would probably upset your dog. The other downside if you need to change the batteries every 6 weeks for them to work correctly, some do have solar power to help reduce battery usage though.
Jet Spray Motion Activated Motion Repeller
These are a great alternative to ultra sonic cat repellers previously discussed, instead of using a high noise frequency to scare off cats, they use a water sprinkler setup to spray cats with water when the motion sensor is activated. As you probably know, nearly all cats hate water so these repellers have proven very effective. The downsides are, it cannot be used in winter as if the water freezes, it will break the jet sprayer in the same way pipes freeze in winter causing burst pipes. If you need to pass through the area, it will obviously trigger so you get soaked. Lastly it means having a hose pipe going across your garden.
A great alternative to sonic cat repellers of cats with hearing loss
The Defenders Jet Spray Repeller is most definitely effective and probably the best model out of all the water type models we have seen. It is painless to setup and covers a decent area. The construction is pretty solid.
The only downside, although it can be used all year round as it IP44 weather tested, it would not last long if the water froze so will need draining if frost is forecast.
Prickle strips (walls, fences and flower beds)
These are very effective if installed correctly, they don't harm cats as they are not sharp but cats do not like jumping onto them. You can buy these from many sellers but we found the best ones where made by a company called 'The Cactus', we first seen them on TV's ‘Country File’ with John Craven a few years back. You simply fasten them in strips to the top of walls and fences and they help deter cats from jumping into your fence. Cats have been known to walk on them so its best to install them where cats need to jump to get into the fence for it to be effective.
The other type we only discovered this year with a similar design is called Prickle Strips by Defenders. These are designed to be placed on flower beds just under the surface of the soil. You can still plant through them and they can be cut and shaped as needed or joined together to cover large areas. They take a little work getting them setup and fasted down with pegs but once setup they do an amazing job. Not for everyone but worth considering.
Cat repellents such as pellets, gels and granules
There are many different cat repellents granules and gels on the market that claim to repel cats but most seem to be ineffective, they can work around flower beds between plants, some people say they work, others don't agree. I think its simply down to the cats visiting there garden, it seems to repel some, while other cats may not be able to smell it, maybe . they just don't care.
Out of all the repellers the one we are most impressed with is Silent Roar, we have personally used this product for over 6 years and have found it effective which is why we recommend it here. Its actually fertiliser pellets soaked in real lions dung. How its suppose to work is, when a cat smells the scent of a bigger cat (a lion) its retreats as it smells the area has been marked by a bigger cat. Amazingly it seems to work too. The only downside it that it needs applying more often and the rain can make it less effective. Something to note, a few years back, Silent Roar started being sold as a fertiliser because of new EU rules say it cannot be sold as a cat repeller, however we confirmed the ingredients are all the same and most people who use Silent Roar are repeat buyers who use it strictly as a cat repellent. If you want to try a pellets repeller, this is the only one we would recommend trying.
Perfect for applying to problem areas such as flowerbeds and borders
Silent Roar has mixed reviews, but as I use it regularly and find it effective for me I decided to feature it here.
So what is it?, it is actually fertiliser pellets, which have been soaked in the real essence of lion dung and then dried.
The idea is that cats enter the area where the pellets have been spread and smell the scent of a larger cat (the lion). They then quickly learn to avoid the area.
Ideally you want to spread it on flower beds around plants for best results.
The downsides is you probably need to apply it every 2-3 weeks even though its suppose to last up to 3 months.
How to decide which type of cat repeller is right for you
Protecting a lawn or large flower bed
If the area effected is a open area, cat repellent pellets may not be suitable, but a sonic cat repeller or motion activated water sprinkler repeller may very effective. We would recommend in this situation you try a sonic cat repeller first, however, if the cat seems hard of hearing, for example you can open the door and it doesn't seem to notice you or it's not responsive to noise, go straight for a water sprinkler system. Just bare in mind the pros and cons of each type, do you have a dog, are you going to get wet putting the bins out etc.
Protecting a small flower bed
If the problem area is in a small flower bed surrounded by plants. Unless you can position a sonic cat repeller towards the problem area and the cat has to pass in front of the sensor, a motion activated repeller might not work to well as the cat may avoid the sensor and come from behind, for example over a fence and the plants may also block the sensor from picking up the problem cat. In this case, cat repellent pellets such as silent roar or prickle strips placed just under the soil may be a better solution.
Example of our recommended cat repellent setup that has proved very effective
Below is an example of what has worked for many people to repel cats from problem areas and has been discussed on forums, reviews, as well as our own testing. The best setup combining different methods to products several ares of the garden.
We recommend using the PestBye Cat Repeller or the Defenders Water Sprinkler over a large open area such as your lawn, if you have a very large lawn or want to cover several areas, try using 2 or 3 sonic repellers. This should protect your lawn as well as areas leading to flower beds and other problem areas.
If you still have problem with cats doing there business in your flower beds, we would recommend spreading Silent Roar Pellets over small flower beds between plants and obstacles, maybe we would also use prickle stop under the surface but this takes a little more work but may be even more effective.
You could also try planting some cat repellent plants such as the 'scaredy cat plants' in small effected areas as well which have also proven effective. If you know the cats are also jumping up onto a wall or fence then we would fasten prickle stop to the wall and fences where they jump up. Note that If they can simply walk onto the fence from a neighbouring wall or roof etc, this may not work as they need to jump onto wall spikes for it to be effective.
From all the discussions we have had on forums, reviews we have read as well as our own testing, other gardeners who have had cat problems, usually just trying one method does not work so its well worth combining two methods for the best success.
The only time just using one method seems to have been successful for other gardeners is when they only have lawns to protect and they can place a sonic cat repeller or similar, to cover the whole area with no obstacles.
Problems caused by cat feces
Cats can actually become in your garden, specially if your a keen gardener and have children help out in the garden which we strongly encourage.
First off, its unpleasant to have cat defecating in your garden so you want to do your best to deter cats from doing this, we simply want to encourage them to do it somewhere else, perhaps in there own garden.
- 1They can be fairly destructive and dig holes in your lawn, dig up flower beds and generally make a mess of the garden.
- 2Cat poo is also harmful to the soil and is not like farm manure and cannot be used as a fertiliser as some may think. It will actually harm the soil and in turn plants will not grow very well and they can even die.
- 3Cats can be noisy and often fight at night causing unwanted disturbances.
- 4Cat poo is actually a health risk to humans as it carries a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Infected cats shed embryonic T. gondii, called oocysts, in their feces. You can read more about this here. its specially dangerous to pregnant women and children.
Below are detailed reviews of each of our top recommended cat repellers starting with our 'Best Pick'. We review each model in detail outlining the pros and cons of each as well as our conclusion on each model in terms of quality, effectiveness and whether its worth trying.
Our top recommendations!
Brilliant design and effective against all cats
Easy to setup, works every-time as no cats likes being sprayed with a jet of water.
Reviews of the best cat repellers
PestBye Cat Repeller
We previously review a very similar model by PestBuy around 3 years and this is actually the updated model. This new and improved model, the PestBuy Ultrasonic cat repeller is one of the most popular types of cat repeller you can buy and its easy to see why, generally, it's the quickest way to scare cats off and well as the most successful for most people.
We think that this model by PestBuy is probably the best ultra sonic type model out there (and theres a lot of them) and it has the reviews to further back up our finding and experience. On Amazon alone it has over 170 reviews for the 2 pack and is the Number 1 sold product in the pet & wildlife animal control category when we reviewed this model.
So like all Ultra sonic cat repellers, It works by using a infra-red PIR sensor like that found on a house alarm too sense the cats movement, once activated it emits a high frequency sound which cats do not like and will leave the area as fast as they came. Its doen't effect birds which means you can still encourage birds into your garden but it may scare off squirrels, they can also be a pest digging up gardens so but we understand some people like feeding the squirrels too so so thats something to think about. With a little adjusting it will also scare off rodents and other pests.
We like that It can cover up to 23ft (7 meters) at a 80 degree arc, that is an impressive total unobstructed working area of 184sq ft making it perfect for lawns or other large open areas.
It is fully waterproof and comes with a stake, so you can stake it into the ground or you can fasten it to a wall or fence which is handy.
Its does take 4 x AA batteries which you need to buy separately, the batteries should last around 4 weeks, this assumes it gets activated around 10 times a day, with this in mind, it should last 4-6 weeks for most people but the batteries are an obvious extra expense and it doesn't come with any so you will need to purchase these at the same time.
What we found is that sonic car repellers seem to work best when used in large open areas so this is ideal for large open spaces and lawns which is what we would recommend them for. There are many different versions of sonic cat repellers from different brands but this model by PestBuy is almost certainly the best, easy to use, very well made and it seems very effective for most people, around 90% of people should find this model works for them.
To be honest, we did find one alternative model by 'The Commander' which we really like and its probably just as good but this model but its more expensive which is why it didn't get the 'Best Pick' spot. it does however use rechargeable batteries and can be charged with USB.
What we did learn is that some cats do learn how to avoid the sensor which is why it needs to be in areas where cats need to pass through. It may also help to move it around a bit to keep the cats on their toes so they find it harder to find an alternative root.
if you do have a bigger budget and don't like the idea of buying more batteries every few weeks then our next review below would be a better alternative. Overall though, this is an excellent model and is very effective.
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The Commander Solar Ultrasonic Cat Repeller
The Commander Solar Powered Ultrasonic Cat Repeller boasts a record-breaking trigger field of 180 degrees, in truth our 'Best Pick' by PestBuy also have a 180 degrees arc but many cheaper model don't. What this means is, this ultra-sonic pet repellent activates once it detects a cat within a 180-degree radius, unlike most of the competing repellers (excluding PestBuy) that only activate sound and lights when pesky invaders approach straight at it, this means they can sneak in from the sides.
There’s still a lot more that makes this product stand out from most other models though. The Solar Ultrasonic is virtually indestructible to cats and surprisingly dogs; when you see the quality of the plastic you can see why, the plastic is very robust, probably better than PestBuy and certainly better than cheaper alternatives on the market. This is because, the construction features military-grade plastic that will stand up to worst weather for years.
It features a built in solar panel to save on battery charging in summer but also have a USB charging option which means you save on batteries which is very useful. Unlike cat repellents that emit sprays or obnoxiously loud sounds, this ultrasonic device gently, yet quickly and effectively repels animals away from your garden using three ultrasonic frequencies plus a super bright flashing light with 7 sensitivity control settings. The model also features a very bright LED light which also helps deter cats and other unwanted animals.
The device requires 3 x Ni-, MH AA 1.2V solar rechargeable batteries, which come included, this is another advantage over the PestBuy Cat Repeller. No installation is required at all, simply stick the cat repeller into the ground and switch it on, that it, you may need to adjust the setting but thats about it.
This cat scarer works brilliantly out of the box and is a little more advanced than our 'Best Pick', if you have a larger budget then it probably is worth the extra investment sor the rechargeable batteries and Solar charger capabilities. It doesn’t require any long procedures to install which we like and the fact that it uses solar rechargeable batteries ensures minimal running costs, a big plus as those Duracell batteries can add up.
The product is really effective with a larger trigger field, is seems very solid and weatherproof construction is probably the best we have seen. This is more of a permanent pet deterrent in your garden compared to sprays and pellets that are easily washed away by rainwater or blown away by winds.
We really recommend the Commander Solar Ultrasonic Animal Repeller, especially for its vast trigger field and strong build. Its more expensive that any other model but you do get quality and hopefully, for most people effectiveness. If it was not the expensive price tag, this would of been our Top Recommended Model.
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Defenders Prickle Strip Dig Stopper
The Defenders Prickle Strip Dig Stopper is designed for those who want to keep pets off their flowerbeds, seedbeds, containers, vegetable gardens, pots, and other vulnerable planted areas. This prevents animals such as cats, dogs, squirrels, and rabbits from digging in planted areas in a simple, yet effective manner. If animals try to dig at all, the prickle strip gives a tingling sensation to their feet, it doesn't cause them pain but does seem to really deter them from digging. You could put them just under the soil and seeding can grow through them while you can carefully place it around larger plants.
It comes in rolls that are 28cm wide by x 2m in length which is just over 6ft long, its a little fidderly but it can be secured in the ground with tent pegs or similar. They can be trimmed to size or connected together which we like so you can cover a large garden area if needed.
Install just below the ground level, this prickle strip allows seedlings to grow and find their way freely through the mesh to thrive.
In addition, the prickle strip is made of weather-resistant plastic that won’t damage or deteriorate at the hands of the elements and the British weather.
The Defenders Prickle Strip Dig Stopper is specifically designed for installing in planted grounds. If you have been struggling to keep cats off your flower beds, then the Dig Stopper is your perfect solution that is nearly always guaranteed to work. You can even install this near fences or specific places where cats tend to jump down into planted areas but it better to use it to help deter then from digging.
The spikes are very effective at deterring domestic felines but it doesn't cut them in any way, its more uncomfortable and helps to simply put them off digging. The strips are easy to cut, join and install, so you can buy as many to meet your garden requirements. We absolutely recommend this product for guarding vulnerable sections of your garden. Be sure to follow the installation instructions carefully for it to work perfectly. Overall a great simple product and very well made. If you have pots, its probably the best way to stop cat digging in your pots. One possible negative are the fixing pins it comes with, they seem a little inadequate for holding it flat on a surface so maybe a little improvement hear would be worthwhile.
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Defenders STV415 Jet Spray Battery Operated Fox & Cat Repeller
According to STV, the Defenders STV415 Jet Spray Repeller repels garden invading animals such as foxes in a humane way, its advertised as a fox repeller but its perfect for using if you have a problem with the local cats. We think it's probably the best water sprinkler repeller we have seen and seem well made overall, it got a few design improvements such as the removable pop out battery compartment which makes changing the batteries much easier, specially if its at the other end of the garden.
It's a brilliant but simple design, it uses a PIR sensor and a water sprinkler like that used on garden sprinklers. When something passes in front of the sensor, just like the Ultrasonic cat repellers, the device is activated and in the case of this model, directs a jet of water at the animal, hopefully a cat to scare it away. A harmless but very effective design. It’s a brilliant idea since cats naturally hate water, but this device is also meant to scare off foxes as mentioned.
This has a coverage area of up to 10 metres in a 120-degree arc but can be set to only 2 meters using the black reach dial in top of the sprinkler, it creates a protected zone of over 100 square metres. The device is a breeze to install and at least you can rely on supplied straightforward directions for use for first-time installation. Basically, you only have to connect a hose to the main unit and put batteries into the pop out battery box, and voila! The cat deterrent doesn’t come with batteries, so you have to buy 2 x AA (1.5V) alkaline batteries but rechargeable AA should will do the trick.
Can it survive through the harsh British weather? Certainly yes!, well sort of, more on this below. The device boasts IP44 ingress rating and it has been tested and proven to withstand heavy downpours. Rest assured the electronic components will be in their best condition all year round which is reassuring. The problem is, as with all water sprinklers and water pipes outside in winter, the water can freeze and the pipes could freeze and burst the plastic. We don't think there are any 'frost proof' devices but maybe putting some lagging around the most of the device like you do with outdoor water pipes might help.
The Defenders STV415 Jet Spray is most definitely effective, especially for the fact that cats run at the slightest sight of water and the design is brilliant and quality is robust. We like that it is painless to install and covers a decent area.
As mentioned, the construction is pretty solid and this model is reliable all year round but will ether need disconnecting when frost is forecast (keep an eye on the weather forecast) or maybe try some lagging, don't forget if you try this the hose pipe would also need lagging.
Now we are not sure how much water this device uses, but that probably depends on how often animals come around.
A 2 year guarantee on all its electronic components provides additional peace of mind should anything become faulty. If you are looking to protect vulnerable areas such as hen runs from foxes, beautifully mowed lawns, your beloved fish pond from pesky herons, then this deterrent is worth considering and will certainly do the job.
A problem some users have reported, common on most PIR type devices, not just this model, is the sun can sometimes set them off, we discovered a solution to this, if you position the detector facing North, so the sunny behind it, this tends to resolve this issue on very sunny days. Just a little trick worth noting.
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PetSafe Repellant Spray SSSCAT
This ones for the cat lovers who have there own feline friends, this list could not have been complete without a spray deterrent for indoor for your own cat, and here we have a quality product called the PetSafe Repellent Spray SSSCAT. Perfect for use on kitchen worktops, dining tables, and other areas where hygiene standards must be maintained, this repellant helps you set boundaries for your own cats or kittens in a safe and humane manner.
We all know how curious cats are and how agile they are that nothing’s really far from their reach. Using a motion sensor, this device detects movement up to 1 metre away and triggers a short burst of spray that disturbs cats. With continuous use, hopefully your pet learns to avoid the out-of-bounds areas. The spray is harmless for pets and odourless, so it’s totally safe if there are allergic folks within your house. This device is also ideal for preventing dogs from infesting food preparation areas and waste bins.
A full canister gives 80 to 100 sprays and furthermore, the spray direction can be adjusted accordingly. The PetSafe SSCAT requires 4 x AAA batteries and there’s an on/off switch to conserve energy when the device is not in use. A very effective automatic spray for inside the home.
This easy to use spray deterrent can help you repel cats and dogs from special areas, especially when you are not around to control them. Apart from that, this spray is compatible with indoor pet training tools, so it’s really useful in many ways. You will love the flexibility of the spray and one canister can last for a relatively long time. Safe for your family and pets, the PetSafe Repellant Spray SSSCAT is one of the most effective spray repellents on the market, though it’s available at a premium price.
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The Cactus Fence & Wall Spikes
The Cactus Fence wall spikes have proved very successful but there are many brands available and the one that stands out as being the best quality and most effective is by a company called ‘The Cactus’ and they are UK made as a bonus, a real quality product.
These strips of spikes fasten to the top of your fence and will stop cats coming into your garden, they come in 4.5 meter lengths and you simply fix them to the top of your fence or walls, you can even put them on the top of play swing sets if you have a problem with birds sitting on them and pooing on the swing etc.
They don't actually harm the cat or animals that stand on them but they are very uncomfortable to stand on. ideally you set them up high, so that the cats or foxes have to physically jump up onto them, they don't like that and will soon be discouraged from doing that.
We first seen these on TV's ‘Country File’ with John Craven and were very impressed, these could really be the fix for your cat problem.
Some pointers to note is that we found you need to place them on a fence or wall that is fairly tall, 5 or 6ft or taller would be ideal, this mean the have to jump up onto the spikes rather than step on them slowly which some cats will still do, the idea is to deter them so they find an easier route to another garden.
Another tip is, if you split each strip into 3 narrow strips, one pack with cover 13,5 meters instead of only 4.5 meters and there still just as effective. Another tip we only recently learn is to bend them into half moons along the fence, we think this makes them much more effective too.
Priority is to cause discomfort and NOT HARM Cats which is why we recommend this type of cat deterrent.
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Silent Roar Cat Repellent
Silent roar has a interesting story and has proven very effective for some people and we have used it for over 6 years ourselves now which is why we strongly recommend it. We have a long history of success with using this product.
Being pellets it is best used in smaller areas where cats are pooing in small flower beds in small areas of the garden. We recommend lightly raking it into the soil for the best effectiveness.
So what is is?, Silent Roar are actually fertiliser pellets which have been soaked in real essence of lion dung and dried. The idea is cats enter the area where the pellets have been spread and smell the scent of a larger cat (the lion). They then see this area as marked by another larger cat and move on to find another area, , this makes sense as this is how cats and lions scent there territory to warn off other cats.
You may notice that it is sold as a fertiliser and not a cat repellent and it took some research to find out why. It did use to be sold as a cat repellent but then new EU rules can in that meant that EU certification was needed as cat repellents are usually made up of certain chemicals and they need the relevant EU certification to be able to put on the packet that it is a cat repellent.
If you read the reviews in Amazon.co.uk you will soon see the amazing success some gardeners have had, using it as a cat repellent.
I have personally used silent roar on my garden for over 6 years now and it does seem to be very effective, I do see an odd cat now and again but they seem to just be passing through. People have mixed views on Silent Roar, some say it works wonders, some say its a waste of money, however, we think its worth a try as its seems to work for us in our own garden but it does take a while before the local cats get the message.
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We first look at different cat repellents back in 2015 and now its nearly 2019, we have seen some improvements in design, specially with the water sprinkler type models, however what still rings true is that a mixture of a different types of repellents and repellers work best.
If you have a large open area such as a lawn or large flower bed, then the PestBuy ultrasonic cat repeller or Defenders STV415 Jet Spray Repeller are without doubt, the best options for keeping cats out of your garden. if you have a larger budget then we think the Commander Solar Powered Ultrasonic Cat Repeller is probably the best model as it solar powered as well as easy to recharge using USB which means less money spend on batteries.
We still think Silent Roar Cat Repellent is the best pelleted option for spreading around beds and borders and if you have problem with cats or foxes jumping onto fences to get into your garden then the wall spikes are well worth fitting and there relatively cheap.
We will continue to find new cat repellers and hopefully can share some effective models in the future. If you have any questions or want to share your personal setup, feel free to comment below.