Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best cat scarer and repellers for outdoors: Ultrasonic and solar cat repellers reviewed and compared
This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 5:26 am
Let’s get straight to the point, you need a cat scarer because stray cats, (or worse) your neighbours aren’t considerate enough to keep tabs on their felines. Yes, harsh, but true. Cats, as cute as they are, are a law unto themselves and if you have neighbours that let theirs wander around freely, there is a good chance that your garden will become its playground for all -(some have the same problem with foxes too so I’d recommend taking a look at the fox repellants) as they can normally slow down both! Look at how this cat just walks about my garden leaving wonderful deposits sometimes – I caught this on my trusty security camera:
My new, beautifully crafted lawn soon became a mass public toilet for every cat within miles – at the time of the video I didn’t mind as it wasn’t finished but I soon got fed up once my lawn was sorted (or so it felt at the time) and having to go out and deal with the mess, not to mention the strong smell of cat urine on a daily basis was enough to drive me round the bend. Our feline friends can be a nuisance in a number of ways, from chasing the birds away from the feeder or bird bath, to just straight out taking a number two right on your freshly mowed lawn so time we found the best cat scarer or repellant to deal with such nasties!
I’m going to be honest here, I’m definitely not what you would call a ‘cat person’ so I feel perfectly placed and equipped to tell you about the best cat scarers and repellants in the UK and if you want detailed info about the types available and costs then please take a look at my cat scarer buyers guide.
Best cat scarers and repellants in the UK- Editors picks
Best Jet Spray Cat Scarer and Repellant: Jet Spray Battery Operated Motion Activated Cat Scarer & Repellent
Best Ultrasonic Cat Repeller: Pestbye® Waterproof Cat Repellent Ultrasonic Repeller Cat Scarer with Ground Stake
Best overall cat scarer and repellant: Pestbye® Battery Operated Motion Activated Waterproof Cat Repellent
Best alternative cat scarer: zonpor Cat Repellent, Ultrasonic Animal Repeller
Best prickle strips to deter cats: Your’s Bath 6 Pcs Cat Scat Mat with Spikes, Cat Repellent Mat prickle strips
Budget pick: Pestbye® Battery Operated Cat Repellent V2
A little bit more about why I need the best cat scarers – granules failed me.
Back in the day, if you’d have asked me if I preferred cats or dogs I would have honestly replied that I didn’t really have a preference and would go out of my way to stroke or play with any felines or canines I came across.
This all changed for me when I moved to live in France for a while. I knew that there was a problem with the number of stray dogs lurking around over there, so I found myself a nice house to rent down a closed off private road next to the beach where there weren’t any stray dogs to come and dig up my flower beds.
What I hadn’t realised, was that the absence of stray dogs produced another problem – a stray cat mass invasion!
If you are having frequent problems with cats, and believe me I know how frustrating it can be, it could be time to spend a few quid on a cat scarer to let the cats know they are not welcome.
I tried out some cat repellent granules that a friend suggested but they had little to no effect, nor orange skin peels, or lemon for that matter, so I was left to running outside to scare the cats off with the hose pipe whenever I saw one coming to use my garden as a public toilet. It was hardly ideal.
That was a fair old while ago, and well before the internet became a thing in our daily lives so my options were very limited. These days, there are some incredible products out there that really do what they say they will – scare off cats and other animal intruders without causing them any physical harm, and I have taken advantage of this and my garden here in good Old Blighty has a system set up that I’m very happy with.
Cat Scarer Buyer’s Guide
There are a few options available to you when it comes to scaring away unwanted guests from the animal kingdom, and it can be hard to know what to go for. To make things a little easier we have put together this little buyer’s guide for you.
Cat scarers are devices that are designed to keep cats, and other unwanted animal visitors such as foxes, rabbits, etc. away from your garden. There are a few different designs out there, but the main ones use either ultrasonic waves, or a good old squirt of water, to scare the animals away.
Both types of cat scarer are usually staked into the ground in your chosen spot, and will have some kind of motion sensor on them. The quality of this sensor will vary from product to product, but the best cat scarers have pretty decent infrared sensors on them that reduces the number of ‘false calls’ and this saves power.
Once the sensor has detected movement, heat or both, the device is triggered. In the case of ultrasonic cat scarers, a sound that is barely audible to humans but very annoying to animals is sent out over a wide area to scare your little intruders away. The sounds frequencies are beautifully demonstrated in this video:
The other type of cat scarer will release a spray of water for a few seconds once the sensor is triggered.
What are the most effective types of cat scarer?
Different people have differing opinions on this, but for me, I’d say that a jet spray type of cat scarer is the one most likely to do the job each and every time. The simple fact is cats hate water, and a good blast of it when they aren’t expecting is going to make them feel very unwelcome.
Prickle strips are really effective, but they do take a bit of setting up in the right places, and if you get it wrong, you just find that the cats have changed their route of entry and are still using your garden as a communal toilet.
Ultrasonic cat scarers take time to work, and this can put some people off, especially if they’re not the most patient human beings out there. However, I have had success with them, as have friends of mine, so I would have to say that they are effective too.
Still, if I had to choose just one type of cat scarer, I’d go with the ones that squirt water, or maybe an ultrasonic one that also has flashing lights and an optional alarm feature.
Ultrasonic cat scarers
These models use high frequency sound waves that cats and other animals find shocking or uncomfortable to be around and thus they act as a deterrent to them.
The pros of these devices are that they are easy to set up and operate and are relatively inexpensive. The best ones are Pestbye® Waterproof Cat Repellent Ultrasonic Repeller and probably zonpor Cat Repellent, Ultrasonic Animal Repeller
Cons are that there are some animals that won’t be affected by the noise and also that the effects aren’t instant and make take weeks to become noticeable.
Water jet spray cat scarers
Water spraying cat scarers do offer the user instantly seeable results. The animal gets squirted with a water jet, and it runs away. I’d try the Jet Spray Battery Operated Motion Activated Cat Scarer & Repellent if that idea works for you.
However, effectiveness is usually reliant on your home’s water pressure, and often the hose connectors that come with these devices aren’t the best and need to be changed.
There is also the problem of their plastics cracking in cold weather and leaving the machine useless.
Cat repellent gels, pellets, etc.
These products used to be very popular back in the day, but these days most people prefer to use an ultrasonic or water squirting cat scarer instead.
The problem with these repellants is that they are a bit hit and miss and may only work on some cats while others are not bothered by them at all.
Prickle strips can be a good way of stopping dogs digging up your flower beds and can work on cats too. Although they have spikes on them, they are designed to only be uncomfortable for dogs and cats to jump or walk on and won’t cause them pain and the best choice for these are the Your’s Bath 6 Pcs Cat Scat Mat with Spike.
Of course these strips won’t stop cats leaving fecal matter on your lawn, but they can protect your prize botanic areas.
Those four types of cat scarers are the main ones available on the UK market, and each has their own positives and negatives. We hope this guide and reviews will help you to make a more informed decision on the right type for you.
Examples uses of cat scarers
I used to live abroad, and the street I called home had a ridiculous number of stray cats roaming around it, so you can imagine my ‘joy’ of coming out each day to the sight and smell of cat urine and excrement.
After looking into the issue, I decided to get a cat scarer but couldn’t decide on which type. In the end, I decided to get both as I had quite a large garden and the cats were coming over the walls from every direction.
I placed the ultrasonic cat scarer at the back of the garden and the water sprayer in the front and waited to see what would happen. After a day or two, I noticed that weren’t any ‘presents’ left in the front area, but around where I placed the ultrasonic one still had one or two.
At first, I thought the device was faulty but after giving the instructions another read through, I realised I needed to tweak the settings, and after doing so, I did get the results I was looking for, however, it does take a while to work due to animal behaviour and habits not being changed instantly.
So, from my own personal experience, I can say that I have used both the ultrasonic and water spray types of cat scarer, and they did what they were meant to. However, neither of them was perfect and, like most things, they had their flaws. I’ll explain more in the next section.
Problems with cat scarers
So, the main issues that I have encountered while using cat scarers are usually connected to the sensors in one way or another.
If the sensor on your cat scarer is cheap and not sensitive enough, even on the higher settings, the device will not even trigger and it is relatively useless. On the other hand, an oversensitive sensor will get triggered by all kinds of things, such as trees and plants blowing in the wind. This just leads to the batteries in your device running out prematurely, and a waste of water in the case of some type of cat scarer.
Other issues you might come across with ultrasonic cat scarers are that they might need some adjusting of the settings to get things working effectively, and also the incorrect placement of the machine can affect its performance. Then there is the fact that different machines use different types of frequencies, and this too affects performance. The biggest problem is when a cat is actually able adjust to the frequency (not all cats can) and it stops bothering them – this is where most negative reviews are coming from:
These machines don’t work instantly either, and it can take around 2 weeks before the cat’s habits change and they stop coming around. Some people have also reported that after a long period of about a year, the cats got used to the sound and started coming back.
Although ultrasonic cat scarers are usually advertised as inaudible to the human ear, it really depends on the person. Some people will not hear anything when the scarer is activated, some will detect a very quiet hum, while some younger people are occasionally bothered by the sound. Dogs can be upset by the frequencies, so if you own a canine, it might be better to go for a different type of cat scarer.
Cat scarers that release a jet water can sometimes end up getting clogged with dust and dirt, and this will stop the spray from working properly. In addition to that, this type of scarer isn’t that effective on windy days and nights, as the water spray will be blown all over the place by strong gusts.
These products can also leak from the joints, so a good idea is to grab some plumbers tape and wrap them up well before using. This will not only stop the leaks but should improve the performance of the sprayer too.
How much should I pay for my cat scarer?
I would be happy paying between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds for a decent device, with the water jet cat scarers usually costing a little more. Ultrasonic scarers can usually be bought as a pack of two for under 30 quid, but some of the newer models with extra features such as solar cells can cost that for just a single unit.
Prickle strips are the cheapest option, and you can get a 4 metre roll for around twenty pounds. However, as I explained earlier if you buy a roll, you’ll probably have to do some bending back into shape before you can use it, and it’s better to spend a little more and buy the flat strips that connect together.
Are there any hose free water cat scarers?
As there are some sprinkler systems out there that are hose free? I’m sometimes asked if there are similar products when it comes to cat scarers. Unfortunately, at least as far as I know, there aren’t any water squirting cat scarers that don’t require any connection to a garden hose or mains supply. Now, I could be wrong, so feel free to trawl the depths of the internet looking for one, but I haven’t come across one myself.
That last question concludes this article on the best cat scarers currently available, but we will of course update this page as newer products and promotions become available, so be sure to check back from time to time if you haven’t seen anything to your liking today.
I know this is a common problem for keen gardeners, so I thought it would be a good idea to review the best cat scarers that money can buy in the UK for you. Let’s crack on shall we?
1. Pestbye® Battery Operated Motion Activated Waterproof Cat Repellent
Probably the most popular product out there, this set of two battery operated cat scarers from celebrated brand Pestbye is also our pick of the bunch when it comes to ultrasonic products and the best cat scarer overall too.
These fully weatherproof products are encased in a high-quality plastic that feels strong and sturdy, and you should have no worries about leaving them out in any weather conditions, whether staked into the ground or hanging from your fence.
These cat scarers are extremely easy to set up and operate and there are very few controls involved. All you need to do is read the instructions that come with the devices to find out that the preset for cats is activated by turning the right dial to numbers dot numbers 3-5, and then use the left dial to adjust the sensor sensitivity.
After this, the machine will basically run itself and will only need you to keep an eye on the batteries and make sure the sensor or speaker isn’t covered in dirt or damaged. This cat scarer runs on four AAA batteries, and they should last between 2 and 4 months, depending on how high of a setting you have the sensor on, and how often the device is triggered.
The maximum range for this cat scarer to be effective is said to be between 7-10 metres, but it all depends on what obstructions are in the way. You also have the option to change the range of the sensor, but strangely there is no on/off button. Instead, you either have to turn both control dials completely to the left, or take the batteries out if you want to switch the machine off.
What I like about this particular product is that the sensor is a PIR infra-red unit, and that means that it isn’t triggered by anything that doesn’t give off a heat signature. Ultimately, this results in the batteries lasting longer which is always a good thing, especially when you need to unscrew the compartment to change them on this machine.
At the current price of around 35 quid for a set of machines, complete with ground stakes, and having good build quality, this product offers great value for money and is our choice as best ultrasonic cat scarer.
2. Pestbye® Waterproof Cat Repellent Ultrasonic Repeller Cat Scarer with Ground Stake
Easy to set up, simple to operate, and a proven effectiveness in its intended field, have made this cat scarer from Pestbye a best-selling product.
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, the Pestbye cat scarer uses ultrasonic sound waves to ward off any unwanted guests from the animal kingdom such as cats, dogs, foxes, and squirrels.
The sound it emits is actually very loud but can’t be detected easily by the human ear because of its high frequency, a bit like a dog whistle, so it won’t disturb you or your neighbours when it is triggered.
So, how is it triggered? The device is fitted with a PIR sensor which uses infra-red technology to detect body heat from animals. This is a step up from some earlier cat scares that worked on motion technology as they could be triggered by things like fast moving foliage in strong winds and this would drain battery life quickly.
The fact that the sound is constantly blasting out like this also gets the cat used to it being a general background sound and so it becomes less effective.
With PIR sensors, the ultrasonic sound is only set off by animals and so it saves your battery and also shocks them because they are not used to hearing the sound.
The simple design of Pestbye’s best-selling cat scarer only requires you to either fix the device to a wall, or mount it on the supplied stake and stick it into the ground. The plastic housing feels strong enough to not warrant any worry about damage, and it is also completely waterproof so you can leave it out in the garden 24/7 without issues.
Operating it is also very straightforward as there are only 2 dials on the main unit, one that controls the sensitivity of the sensor, and the other that alters the frequency. There are instructions about what frequency settings work best for different animals.
With the sensor turned up to full, it will detect in an 80 degree arc up to 23 feet but this will drain the battery more so than if you turn the dial down to have the sensor cover a smaller area:
For best effects, you should have the device pointing at an unobstructed area. This is because obstacles such as garden sheds, fences, etc. will have an effect on the sound and will probably block it. This is also a good thing too though, as the sound will not upset your pets inside the house.
If you’ve never used one of these devices before, please be aware that they don’t work instantly and it can take a one to a few weeks in some cases for the animals to associate the noise with their own movements and become deterred, especially if it has become a habit for it to use your garden as a lavatory.
Use a little bit of patience, keep on top of the battery situation to ensure it is working, and this handy little animal repeller should see you good, and at such a low price, you don’t really have any excuses not to give it a try.
3. zonpor Cat Repellent, Ultrasonic Animal Repeller
I would say that the Zonpor cat scarer is the closest competitor of Pestbye’s ultrasonic models, and some would even say it has features that make it a superior product that warrants the 10 pounds or so extra that you have to pay for it.
So, let’s talk about the similarities and differences between the two products, starting with what they have in common. Firstly, the designs of the housing are very similar, with both cat scarers having two dials that are used to control the sensitivity and frequency, respectively.
They are both constructed of heavy duty plastic and are highly waterproof, allowing them to be left outside even in heavy rain, which of course is essential for the UK.
They also share the ability to be mounted up on a wall or dug into the ground on a stake and have PIR infrared sensors.
Now, for the differences. While Pestbye’s model is powered by 4 AA batteries, Zonpor’s cat scarer is actually solar powered, and for those winter months when there isn’t much sun shine going on, you can simply use a USB charger to top up the power instead. I really like the convenience of having to go out and buy batteries every couple of months (you can fit this model with 3AAA batteries in the back if you like ). However there is just one downside to USB charging, and that is that the infrared sensor won’t work while the device is being charged.
Another extra feature that the Zonpor has is that when you set the device to mode 4 or 5, the ultrasonic sound is also accompanied by flashing LED lights intended to scare away bats, birds, and other wild animals.
With a 55 degree vertical angle, and a 110 degree horizontal arc, the sensor in this model covers a wider area than Pestbye’s device, and also has a longer range of 9 metres, that’s 2 metres longer than its rival.
One thing I did notice about this model was I could hear the sound that was being emitted when it was more than I could with the Pestbye cat scarer. This didn’t bother my wife though, so I think it is different for everyone and depends on your hearing sensitivity.
Overall, this cat/animal scarer is a good product and available at a fair price point considering the extra features it has over some of its closer competitors.
4. Pestbye® Battery Operated Cat Repellent V2
This is the latest model from Pestbye (version two, hence the V2 in the name) and has been designed as an upgrade of the previous cat scarer.
The V2 is fundamentally the same device as its incredibly popular predecessor but with various improvements. For a start, the sensor has been taken up a notch and now has an effective range of 32 feet. It also seemed to be more sensitive and could be triggered by even small animals on the higher settings. The width of the arc has been increased from 80 degrees to a far more useful 128 degrees.
In addition to the ultrasonic sound waves, the Pestbye V2 also now has an LED light which can act as a good indicator that the device is working as expected.
Durability is also something that has been improved, with better waterproofing and dust protection, and is now IP44 rated. The old model was already able to sit out in bad weather, but it’s always nice to have more protection from the elements.
Hyper Resonance Frequency (HRF) is the method that the V2 uses to provide maximum shock to the animals in the garden. It works by alternating quickly between different frequencies and is supposed to be a more effective way of deterring cats than the gradual step up in frequency levels that some other models use. How true this is, I couldn’t say, but after a week or so of using this device I did notice that it seemed to be having the desired effect.
I also noticed that I could detect the sound myself, as did my friend’s young daughter when they visited us. While it didn’t really have too much of an effect on me, she complained that gave her a headache when she was in the garden.
Like the first version of this cat scarer, the V2 requires 3 AAA batteries to run, and based on 10 activations per day, they should give you about 3 months of working life. It would have been nice to have a solar panel on top like the Zonpor cat scarer or a charging option, but 3 months’ worth of use isn’t bad for a few batteries.
To sum up, the V2 is an improvement over its older sibling and also has the very good price of 14.99. There are some people who say these types of cat scarers don’t work, and with some animals they can be ineffective, but I have used them and I would have to say that I have seen results, and this one was particularly fast producing those.
5. Frostfire Solar Powered Battery Operated Ultrasonic Cat and Pest Repeller
This Ultrasonic cat scarer from Frostfire appears in many ways to be extremely similar to the Pestbye version we reviewed earlier in this article, and that’s not a bad thing.
It has the same practical features, such as a passive infrared sensor for detecting movement and heat signatures, and a front mounted speaker that emits a high frequency sound when the sensor is tripped by something.
The controls are pretty much identical, with two simple dials controlling the frequency presets and the sensitivity of the sensor, and that’s pretty much all there is it. Child’s play to operate, really.
Where this product differs from the Pestbye one, is that it is solar powered, and the solar cells will pick up sunlight and charge the batteries. Now, I know what you are thinking: “solar cells in the British gloomy weather?” and you are right, but Frostfire have thought of that and it is possible to top up the batteries when needed by using a USB charger.
If you don’t like the idea of a solar powered cat scarer, this near identical model is available in a battery-powered-only version for the same price, which is around 25 quid at the moment (July 2021). When compared to the PestBye set of 2 cat scarers for 30 pounds, that might seem a little expensive to some, and that’s why we chose the Pestbye as our number 1 over this product.
This is a high-quality machine though, the plastic used is very tough and I have no doubts that it is a durable product. The ground spike that comes with the cat scarer is made from aluminum, and so it will not have problems with rust. This is quite important considering you’ll be leaving the machine outside all the time.
We got a friend of ours to test this for us as he was having problems with a local cat being attracted to his fish pond. He reported to us that at first, the cat didn’t seem too fazed with the machine, but after a few nights he tuned up the frequency to a higher setting. This seemed to get the cat’s attention and it started to have the desired effect, so that’s something to keep in mind if you go with this type of cat scarer.
6. Defenders Jet-Spray Pond & Garden Protector
With this product, the Defenders brand are trying to compete with the Pestbyte jet sprayer cat scarer, but for me, they just fall a little short.
The design of the Defenders pest scarer is almost identical to the Pestbyte product and it works in the same way. You stick it in the ground via the plastic ground stake, connect it to a hose and your garden tap, and you’re ready to go. So far, so good.
The little problems arise when you start trying to adjust the spray. The small plastic pieces that you use to set the arc seemed to be overly stiff to me, and sometimes wouldn’t budge at all. After playing around with it, I figured out the way it should be operated, but at first it was frustrating.
Adjusting the range is much easier, and only takes a turn of the dial that is situated on the back of the sprayer. Again, the maximum range is 10 metres, but you will need the right amount of water pressure to get that out of the device, and most will have to settle for less range.
Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the width of the spray on this particular pest scarer, but by changing the range, you can get it to spray at different heights. Unfortunately, just like with the Pestbye spray scarer, you can’t modify the height separately to the range.
You can adjust the sensitivity on the PIR sensor though, and the sensor itself works well if placed with an unobstructed view, but will have the same problem of false alarms if you have a plant placed in front of it.
The Defender pest scarer is mostly solidly built, although once again we see that it has a plastic ground spike instead of a metal one. However, after giving it some thought, I think plastic was chosen to prevent rust that could happen due to the water flowing through there and the inevitable leaking.
Battery life is very good, and the two AAA batteries will get you around 3 months of use before the need for swapping them arises. Getting into the battery compartment is a little fiddly at first, but you soon get used to it, like with the spray controls.
All in all, this is a decent product but it just has one or two niggly little things that, in my mind at least, make it a second-place product when compared to the Pestbye one, which is in the same price bracket.
7. Tech Max Battery Operated Cat Scarer Solar Powered Motion Activated Animal Repellent Waterproof
Formerly known as Tech Max’s this has now changed brand to Tech Max ultrasonic animal repeller, and it has some nice features to offer the potential buyers out there.
First of all, its three-sided design means that you get a full 360-degree coverage instead of the usual, single direction offered by most of its competitors. Each side has the same features, such as sensor and speaker and this means that not only will the Tech Max cat scarer detect in every direction, but will emit the ultrasonic sound in all of them too.
This cat scarer doesn’t only rely on ultrasonic frequencies to get rid of animal pests, it also has an audible alarm sound intended to shock the intruder, and on top of that, a flashing light. When all three are used, it does a great job of scaring animals away.
Of course, you can’t have a loud alarm or flashing lights at night or your neighbours will soon have something to say about it, but thankfully, you have the option of selecting a silent mode.
One thing you can’t switch off is the flashing blue LED light that comes on at night or on dark, rainy days. It isn’t the brightest thing in the world, but if you have the device placed near to a window, it might get a bit annoying, and it would have been nice to have the option to switch it off.
The modes are swapped by using the only two control buttons found on the bottom of the machine and these are marked in English. However, with them being on the underside, you can’t really read them, so you just have to remember which is which.
I didn’t like the fact that every time you switch the machine on it goes into ‘initial mode’ and the lights flash and the alarm sounds, leaving you rushing to find the sound button and switch it into silent mode. This is particularly frustrating if you want to set up at night and end up waking the street up in the process.
This is a solar powered machine, but just like the Frostfire cat scarer it can be charged via a USB cable when you need to. Charging takes roughly three hours, but that full charge should see you good for about a month, even if the weather isn’t good enough to recharge the battery through the solar cells.
The build quality of the Tech Max is decent, and it has been waterproof tested and certified to IP44, so it is good to be left out in the rain, as long as it isn’t an abnormally heavy downpour. I thought the ground stake could have been better quality, and not come in multiple parts that click together. I know it’s good for height options, but I just think it will make the stake weaker.
This is a good cat scarer, and it’s really nice to see people trying to improve on the basic design instead of just making carbon copies with a different brand name attached. I haven’t had time to test this over a long period of time yet, so I can’t speak to its durability, and this, plus a few other things, have kept it out of the top spot for now.
8. Your's Bath 6 Pcs Cat Scat Mat with Spikes, Cat Repellent Mat
If you don’t fancy using neither the ultrasonic nor the water spraying cat scarers, there is still another option for you to consider. It’s very low tech, but actually very effective if used correctly.
I’m talking about prickle strips, sometimes called prickle mats or scat mats. These are strips of plastic that are covered in hundreds of little blunt spikes, and can be bought in big rolls or, as in the case of this product, in smaller sections that can be clipped together.
I actually prefer the strips that come separated over the larger rolls because they are easier to use straight out of the packaging. When you buy a roll, you will find that the piece you cut off will bend, and you’ll have to spend time bending it back the other way in order to get it to stay flat.
The recommended way to use this kind of cat scarer is to bury them just under the surface of your flower beds, or wherever else the cats are doing their business, and when the cat stands on them, it will be so uncomfortable they will move on somewhere else.
Now, the problem that sometimes arises is that the cats just move a few feet to your lawn and leave a souvenir there instead, but again, there is a solution. When I used these a few years back, I cut them into very thin strips and fixed them to the top of my fence, and also on the ground along the inside of it. The local cats didn’t want to walk on top of there and were in for a shock when they tried to jump over.
I really like these strips because you can place them on top of anything or anywhere that cats might be frequenting. A friend of mine was fuming after a neighbourhood cat had climbed up onto his motorcycle seat and clawed it to pieces. So, after buying a new seat, he made mini prickle mats that he could fix in place there and never had problems again.
If you’re thinking it sounds a little inhumane, don’t worry. These mats are designed to shock and make the animals uncomfortable and won’t cause any harm to them. What’s more, they don’t emit any ultrasonic sounds to disturb your pets, or alarms to disturb your neighbours, and on top of that, they are inexpensive.
9. PestBye® Jet Spray Battery Operated Motion Activated Cat Scarer & Repellent
If you are looking for a water spray cat scarer but don’t want to spend the kind of money that Contech are asking for their scarecrow model, you might want to take a look at this one from Pestbye priced at just under 19 quid at the moment on Amazon.
The makers claim that the sensor has a 120 degree arc and that the water spray will reach 10 metres. After our tests, I would say the effective arc of the sensor was more like 70 degrees, which is still pretty good, you just need to set up the device properly to get the most out of it. We didn’t measure the water spray but it did have decent range on it.
For the low price, the build quality of this cat scarer is actually very good and not too dissimilar to the much pricier Contech machine. Having said that, the hose connectors did have some small drips coming out of them, but this is an easy fix with inexpensive brass replacements.
You also have to be aware though that both this model and its rival, the Scarecrow, are mainly plastic constructions and so are not really suited to be left out in cold weather as it will no doubt lead to cracking and warping. They should be fine for spring and summer use though.
Like any device of this kind, decent water pressure is a must if you want it to be effective. It doesn’t have to be super high pressure, but if you have lower than average pressure in your home, it will affect the range of the water spray. My place has what I’d call slightly better than average and it was able to spray about 8 metres in a burst that lasted about 4-5 seconds. Like the Scarecrow cat scarer, the height and length of the water burst is adjustable.
When this machine is triggered by an animal, not only does it spray water but it also emits a noise which is audible to both animals and people and is actually quite loud, so you might get some complaints from the neighbours if you live in a terraced house with a narrow garden.
Our best water spray cat scarer also comes to us courtesy of the Pestbye brand, and is available to buy for around 30 pounds or so at the time of writing, but is it worth it?
Having spent some time with this cat scarer, and others similar to it, I would have to say that it is indeed the best of the bunch, and worth paying that little extra for it.
This machine works in much the same way as the ultrasonic scarers: the sensor is triggered and then that causes the device to spring into action. In this case though, it is a spray of water rather than an ultrasonic sound.
The spray of water can be modified using simple controls on the main unit, and you can adjust how far the sprayer turns in each direction, the height of the spray, and how wide the spray will spread.
With a maximum arc of the spray is 120 degrees, and the maximum range of around 10 metres, it can cover a good bit of ground. However, a lot will depend on the water pressure of your house and outdoor tap, as well as the quality of your hose, connections and fittings. If you have low water pressure, you might not get the best results from products such as this one.
Like the Pestbye ultrasonic scarer it has a sensor that is activated by motion, and can be triggered accidentally by the movement of other things, so try your best to set it up with a clear path in front of it or you’ll be wasting water. The sensitivity of the sensor can be altered though, and the controls are really simple to use.
Some of our customers have reported a couple of problems with their jet spray cat scarers, but they were usually easily solved. For example, there have been instances of the main unit leaking at the joints and connections, but this is a simple fix with some PTFE tape.
Another issue was that the device was being triggered all the time, even with the sensor turned right down to the lowest setting. After a lot of testing and messing around, we figured out that the water pressure on this person’s house was very high, and a simple turning of the tap to reduce the flow solved the problem.
I would say that this is an effective cat deterrent. The spray of water, plus the sound it makes when activated, certainly shocks the cats into running away, and it doesn’t take 2 weeks for them to change their habits like with the ultrasonic models either. Funny how a 5 second blast of cold water can change things huh?
The only thing I didn’t really like about this cat scarer was the plastic stake that is used to stick it into the ground. I don’t know why Pestbye didn’t give it a metal one like with some of their other products, but I think it was a poor decision on their part. The plastic feels ok, but as this is a machine that moves around, you need the base to be as strong as possible.
Like any product, this cat scarer isn’t without a flaw or two, but overall, it is a good product, and does what it is meant to very effectively.
So, in conclusion I would say that this is a good cat and animal scarer that can be bought for relatively cheap. Just be prepared to change the hose connectors and have good water pressure to get it work the way it was intended.
10. Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Animal Deterrent
Although ultrasonic cat scarers are becoming the most popular mode of getting rid of animal pests, some people still prefer the physical deterrent of spraying water at them – Contech is a cracking offer but currently out of stock so if you want this one you may have to wait a bit.
Unlike my old method of sitting on the sofa and running out to the garden, armed with the hose, these automated devices are far more convenient.
To set this Scarecrow model from Contech up, you just need to insert the supplied 9V battery into the main unit then connect it to any standard garden hose and you’re good to go,
This is a very lightweight cat scarer, being made mostly out of plastic, but it doesn’t feel flimsy at all which is a good job considering the high price tag (just under a hundred pounds at the time of writing) that Contech gave this scarecrow model.
Included in the box are the 9V battery, stake to stick the unit into the ground, sensor head, instructions, and, rather strangely I thought, some decal stickers that sort of make the device resemble a large bird.
Detection of intruders is handled by a motion sensor that can be set to be triggered by even the smallest movement using the sensitivity adjustment, so you will have to carefully think through where you will place it so it doesn’t get unnecessarily triggered by things like cars going past, or trees blowing in the wind if you want to have it on the highest setting.
When the sensor does detect movement and heat signatures within its very large, 1000 sq/ft (claimed) range, the scarecrow cat scarer will be triggered and do a number of things to scare the animal away. The combination of water burst, sudden movement from the unit, and noise is very effective and will scare away even larger animals such as foxes.
The water spray is adjustable and you can alter the both the height and length of it. With good water pressure, you can expect the water to reach about 30 feet, however to sustain that pressure, I would change the hose connectors that come with the product for some better ones such as hozelock, or some high quality brass ones.
If you have a recurring problem with animals coming into your garden, and you really want to have this cat scarer set up all year, I would seriously suggest that you invest in a water butt or two just in case there is an all too common UK hosepipe ban.
I have to say, that this cat scarer did indeed work very well, but I also think that the price is a little bit too steep for some people. Then again, thinking about my own cat poo problem, I would have gladly paid a fair old sum to be rid of it.