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The Best Cat Scarers, repellents and Deterrents plus lots of extra tips
Last Updated on June 16, 2020 by John
The question everybody asks – Which is the best cat scarer?
Cats are no doubt great companions for us humans, but at times they can be a nuisance especially if you don’t even have a cat yourself. This is never more true than a neighbour’s cat frequently relieving itself in your garden, leaving behind cat mess for you to clean up. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it; buy a cat scarer.
As the title suggests, these devices are designed to keep cats off certain areas of your garden. They come in different forms including motion-activated models that use sound or water to scare cats which are our personal favourite and most effective. You can also get simple granules that can be spread on a lawn or flower beds that have proven effective for deterring cats. If you’re looking for the best cat scarer, below we’ve reviewed some top-rated models that you can consider. Our best pick – Pestbye Ultra Sonic Solar-powered Cat Repellent can even scare foxes and other animals such as squirrels that can be a nuisance. Check it out below before going any further.
Using its PIR motion sensor, it turns on when a warm body enters the controlled zone and automatically shuts off to save the battery when there’s nothing within. In any case, you can save money on batteries and electric supply since it uses solar energy. It also features ground spike that allows it to be installed anywhere in your garden. Given the effectiveness of this product, the variety of animals it can repel and zero cost of operation, there’s no question why it this model is our est pick.
We found a mix of different cat repellers and repellents can be the most effective way to keep cats out of your garden.
The best cat scarers which we review are listed below:
- PestBye Ultra Sonic Solar Powered Cat Repeller – Our Best Pick
- Defenders STV415 Jet Spray Battery Operated cat Repeller – Runner-up
- The Cacus Fence Wall Spikes (does not harm cats)
- Silent Roar Cat Repellent (uses lions scent to scare off cats)
- PetSafe Repellent Spray SSSCAT – Great for indoors
- Defenders Prickle Strip Dig Stopper
- Get Off 2044406 Cat and Dog Repellent Green Crystals
The model is extremely versatile as it can be installed in nearly every situation around the home including lawns, aquatic areas, flowerbeds, hen runs and pools. It requires 2 x AA alkaline batteries though they are not supplied so make sure you buy some ready. The electrical components of this device are well protected against weather and you get a 2-year warranty for your purchase. This cat scarer offers a truly humane way of dealing with pets in your garden and would be a great buy for any home.
Ideally, you want to spread it on flower beds around plants for best results. The downsides are you probably need to apply it every 2-3 weeks even though its suppose to last up to 3 months.
6 Best Cat Scarers
1. PestBye Solar Powered Cat Repeller
- Produces a high-frequency noise that quickly sends the cat fleeing but cannot be heard by humans.
- Uses an infra-red PIR sensor which can detect cats up to 23ft away in an 80-degree arc protecting large areas.
- It does not affect birds which means it’s wildlife-friendly but can also be adjusted to repel rodents.
- Comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee, if it doesn’t work for you, simply send back for a full refund.
- Does not include batteries and needs 4 x AA batteries which need replacing around every 4-6 weeks.
- Not effective to a cat that may suffer from loss of hearing such as old cats.
We previously reviewed 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 it’s 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 ultrasonic type model out there (and there’s 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 an infra-red PIR sensor like that found on a house alarm too sense the cat’s 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 doesn’t affect 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 that’s 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 an 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.
2. 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, it’s advertised as a fox repeller but it’s 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, especially if it’s 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 the 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 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 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.
3. Get Off Cat and Dog Repellent Green Crystals
This Get Off Cat and Dog Repellent Green Crystals are made to deter pets from fouling and marking your garden grass as well as hard surfaces. It does so by confusing the smell of both cats and dogs, thus pushing them to seek elsewhere to mark their territory. The product is a garlic free formulation that has been tried and tested since 1987. The crystals can be very useful for puppy training and helping them learn how to use the toilet outside.
While some cat scarers may be affected by varying weather conditions, this one is effective come rain or shine. You can use it on lawns and flowerbeds, but never indoors as the odor is too strong and unpleasant in our living space. Also, make sure to keep it out of the reach of children.
From user reviews, this product seems like a hit or miss but this is the case with most cat repellents. It’s a brilliant cat repellent out of the box that would be a temporary fix for pet problems for some people. It comes in a big 640g bottle with lurid green crystals as shown in the picture. The substances tend to lose its original colour after a while especially if it rains after application. You will also need to reapply them from time to time. All in all, expect fair results from this cat repellent but as with all car repellents, is not 100% effective but well worth trying.
4. 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 fiddly 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.
5. PetSafe Repellant Spray SSSCAT
This one’s 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.
6. 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 saw 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 means they 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 learned 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.
7. Silent Roar Cat Repellent
Silent roar has an 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 their 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.
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 they 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 set up 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.
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 were made by a company called ‘The Cactus’, we first saw 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 set up 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. It’s actually fertiliser pellets soaked in real lions dung. How its supposed 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 is 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.
How to decide which type of cat repeller is right for you
Protecting a lawn or large flower bed
If the area affected is an 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 bear 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 too 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 for combining different methods to protect several areas 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 their 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 maybe 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, especially if your a keen gardener and have children help out in the garden which we strongly encourage.
First off, it’s 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 their own garden.
- They can be fairly destructive and dig holes in your lawn, dig up flower beds and generally make a mess of the garden.
- Cat 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.
- Cats can be noisy and often fight at night causing unwanted disturbances.
- Cat 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. it’s especially 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 it’s worth trying.
Problems caused by cats
Cats can wreak havoc in the garden and this is something commonly experienced by homeowners across the country. It’s even more frustrating if the felines belong to your neighbour as it can leave you feeling even more powerless to stop them.
Some of the issues include cats pooping in areas of your lawn, digging up flower beds and some areas in the garden, as well as fighting and causing so much noise and disturbance. Pet poo can actually be toxic and cause soil de-fertilisation, hence hindering the growth of grass and plants in future. Moreover, if cats keep pooping on your lawn, you will find it hard to keep it appealing no matter how much effort you put.
How to dispose of cat poo in the garden?
One, you can bury the poo. This has to be done away from crucial plants. You also must bury it deep so that cats can’t feel the smell and think your garden is their territory.
Another way is to compost the mess but this again should not be mixed with your normal compost nor should you use the resulting compost on your lawn. Alternatively, you can bag the mess and dispose of in a bin which is probably the best option. Get a special bag for this purpose.
Do cats hate vinegar?
Cats don’t share the same love some of us have for vinegar. They just hate the smell of it. For this reason, vinegar can be used as a natural repellent if there’s an area you want your felines to avoid. You can use a spray bottle to spray vinegar solution of garden accessories, plants, posts, garden borders and around your fence so as to keep stray cats from invading your home. It can also be used indoors, for instance, if you want to keep cats away from furniture and counters. Use a lower concentration indoors.
What do cats not like to walk on?
There are really a lot of things that cats don’t like to walk on and such can be used as deterrents in areas where cats aren’t wanted. Below are just a few:
- Chicken wire: cats hate the feeling of this wire under their paws and it can stop them from digging.
- Plant branches: if placed in a crisscross pattern across plant beds, they can stop cats from walking on them.
- Sticky stuff: cats hate laying their paws on anything sticky and would tend to distance themselves from such surfaces.
- Aluminium foil: the feel and crinkly sound of aluminium foil is something cats dislike, leave sitting or scratching on the shiny, smooth and cold surface.
- Plastic: it doesn’t appeal to cats as far as scratching is concerned. Felines like to scratch surfaces to sharpen their claws as well as leave their scent, but they can’t really sink them into plastic. They also don’t like stepping on the nubby side of plastic car mats.
- Microfiber: smooth and soft, this material is the complete opposite of the surface cats like to scratch. This surface is also tough and difficult to shred. While it may not stop cats climbing over your countertops, it makes a good choice for sofas as felines won’t bother it.
How do you stop cats pooping in your garden?
There are natural remedies to curb this problem, such as spraying vinegar around the garden. The most effective method, however, is using electronic deterrents which possess some kind of scaring mechanism, such as the ones we’ve reviewed in this post. Some people also use cat scarecrows and this can be placed at strategic locations in the garden.
Most people will find success with the cat scarers listed above and the good thing is that they are not expensive items to buy. The best cat scarer will help you maintain a livable garden where you can enjoy watching birds and entertain your guests. We hope this guide has insightfully influenced your purchasing decision.
Last update on 2020-10-01 at 09:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API