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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 06, 2006

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Boundary plants to control cats
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is there a plant especially ANNOYING to cats that I could plant along my fence line to keep him away from the street beyond? It would have to be hardy enough for hot temps & full sun. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions from Animal Care Services in Berkeley, CA for repeling cats. They, along with several other sources, recommend the herb, common rue (Ruta graveolens) for repeling cats. However, I would be very doubtful that it could keep your cat from going out into the street. A solid hedge of very prickly cactus might be a deterrent, but I wouldn't count on it either. You might consider an invisible electric fence to keep him in the yard and away from the street.

 

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