Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Stop Cats From Pooping in Your Yard – 8 Easy Techniques

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat pooping outside

If you have a cat, or even if you don’t, finding poop in the yard when you’re mowing the grass can be aggravating. Since we have no way of knowing why cats use the bathroom where they do, it’s best to just try to keep the cats from pooping in your yard instead.

Not only do cats leave a stinky mess when they poop, but they may also decide to mark their territory in your yard, leaving a horrible odor behind. So, if the neighborhood cats have decided that your yard is their new restroom, we’re here to recommend a few ways you can keep them from pooping in your yard in humane ways.

The 8 Ways to Stop a Cat from Pooping in a Yard

1. Clean the Area

Person sweeping the yard full of leaves
Image Credit: Greenstock, Pixabay

The first thing you’ll want to do is clean up the cat poop that’s already in your yard. If you leave the cat feces in the yard, you’re sending out an invite to every cat in the neighborhood, and soon your yard will be bathroom number one for these felines.

Cats smell the feces and determine that this yard is where they’re supposed to go. If you don’t get rid of the urine and feces smell in your yard, then none of the methods we’ll go into below will do you any good. You might not be able to get every bit of feces and urine out of your yard, but give it a good cleaning and do the best you can.

Once the yard is clean, try one or all of the methods we’ll be discussing below.

If you're tired of all the smells and stains that come with pet parenting, you should check out the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray. Okay, it's our product, so we may be biased – but we love it so much, we just have to share it! It permanently removes even the very worst smells and stains, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.


2. Bury Some Orange Peels in the Yard

You might not have heard, but it’s rumored that cats hate the smell of citrus. It’s thought that citrus can be toxic to cats in large amounts, so it seems they’ll go out of their way to avoid even the smell of it. If you bury orange peels in a few spots in your yard, the cats will catch a whiff of the scent and choose another bathroom instead.


3. Install a Cat-Free Fence

pvc fence
Image Credit: Genotar, Shutterstock

You’re probably thinking, what good is a fence? Cats can climb anything. While that is a fact, there are now cruelty-free, anti-cat fences that you can install on your property to keep them out of your yard. There are plastic spikes lining the tops of these fences, so they don’t hurt the cat but do make it difficult for him to climb over or sit on.

A great first line of defense, you do need to be careful because if the cat does manage to get over the fence, it could end up trapped in your yard, which is the exact opposite of what you wanted to happen.


4. Use Cat Repellent Plants

Planting rosemary or lavender plants in your yard could help to take care of the problem as well. There are quite a few plants out there that cats don’t like. Mint plants can also be used as dogs or cats don’t like the smell. Many humans can’t stand the smell of too much mint, so imagine how a cat who has a much more sensitive nose will react to a yard full of mint.


5. Set Up Motion-Sensing Sprinklers

garden sprinkler
Image Credit: bluebudgie, Pixabay

Everyone knows that most cats can’t stand water. If you set up motion-sensing sprinklers in your yard, then every time the cat walks by one, it’ll switch on, and he’ll get wet. If he gets soaked when he comes into your yard, he’ll soon realize it isn’t worth it and find a bathroom further on down the road.


6. Scatter Coffee Grounds

Coffee grinds are used for more than just making that morning cup of Joe. Coffee grounds can be toxic to cats in large doses, but the smell usually keeps them away from them. Scatter your used coffee grounds across your yard or around the area the cat has been using. The smell will drive them away once and for all. Not only does this method work for cats, it’ll work to keep stray dogs from using your yard as a bathroom also.

Many people use coffee grounds in their garden to keep pests away as well since they are safe around most plants. However, they will turn the soil acidic, so make sure the plants you have there aren’t affected by the acid.


7. Add Some Scary Snakes

No, this doesn’t mean to go out to your local pet store and release snakes into your backyard. This is also a hit-or-miss solution for stopping cats from pooping in your yard. However, fake plastic snakes scattered around the yard might keep the felines out since cats are afraid of snakes.

The cat doesn’t know the difference between a real and a fake snake, so this one is worth a try and quite inexpensive as well. Just make sure that people know you have fake snakes scattered about the yard, so they don’t get the fright of their lives when they go outside or come to visit.


8. Remove Any Attractions

If the cats are attracted to your yard, then the above methods might not work. You have to remove whatever is attracting the cats to your yard, to begin with, to get the best results. Sometimes, it’s just the soft dirt you have any your yard. Other times, it could be a simple bird feeder you’ve placed too close to the ground.

Food that’s been left out for the dogs, or even a hole that leads under your porch or house that shelters the cat from the weather. While you hate to take protection away from the cats, if you don’t want them to poop in your yard, then you have to remove the things that draw them to your yard, to begin with. So the next time you see a cat in your yard, watch and see what it’s attracted to, then simply remove that attraction for the best results.

Final Thoughts

As previously stated, there’s no knowing why a cat decides to poop where they poop. What is known is once they’ve started using your yard, they’re hard to stop. Hopefully, these methods will help you keep your yard cat and poop-free for many years to come.


Featured Image Credit: AjayTvm, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further reading

Vet Articles

Latest vet answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database

join our newsletter today

And get our latest articles, food recall alerts, exclusive content, insider pricing, care guides, sale alerts & more for free!

hepperorangebluebadgebuttonfeb