Do Bark Chippings Deter Cats?

A crucial part of any garden is to lay down mulch. Mulching helps the garden by protecting the soil and the plants. Mulch also helps the soil retain moisture and discourages any weed growth. But could it also attract unwanted guests? Do bark chippings deter cats (or will it attract them)?

Unfortunately, bark chippings attract cats rather than deter them. 

While mulching is important, it soon becomes a favourite spot for cats to poop in. Having cats in your garden can be a problem because, apart from the mess, their poop is toxic.

Bark chippings are a mulch option that is similar to their litter tray. Therefore, using bark chippings in your garden can encourage cats to poop. Not what you want to see happening!

Do Cats Poo in Bark Chippings?

Bark chippings are great to use in your garden as they keep your soil nourished and protected. Unfortunately, while bark chippings are a good option, most gardeners have faced the issue of cats pooping in them. 

Bark chippings come in different sizes, and although they may appear sharp, it still does not stop cats from pooping.

The chippings closely resemble litter and provide the perfect space and opportunity for cats to relieve themselves. In addition, it is fairly easy for cats to poop in bark chippings. Therefore, it is best to resort to other mulching methods instead of putting your garden at risk. 

Do Cats Poo on Slate Chippings?

You should not feel so disappointed with hearing about bark chippings. Another kind of mulch you can use that will help protect your soil and keep it safe from cats is slate chippings. 

Slate chippings are larger than bark chippings and more pointed. Therefore, standing on the slate chippings and pooping is quite an uncomfortable experience, so cats avoid doing it. However, it is helpful to remember that a cat who needs to poop will do it anywhere!

What Garden Mulch Doesn’t Attract Cats?

Mulching is a must in your garden. You cannot stop using mulch because cats pee or poop in it. Therefore, it is best to use mulch that will not attract cats to your garden. Here are a few garden mulch options you can look into to avoid cats from pooping: 

Stone Mulch 

Stone mulch is also known as rock mulch. You can find this mulch in multiple options like pea gravel, granite, lava rock. In addition, you can also find stone mulch in various sizes. 

Stone mulch does not attract cats to poop in it because of its hard texture. Also, a great thing about using stone mulch is that you do not need to replace it as often.

For instance, bark mulch needs to be replaced because it tends to decay and decompose. However, with stone mulch, you do not need to worry about that aspect. 

You gain other benefits from using stone mulch. The mulch does not retain excess moisture, which helps reduce fungi growth. Also, you can choose whichever stone mulch fits well with your garden’s aesthetic from the wide variety available. You do not need to spend much on maintaining the mulch either, saving you a lot of money. 

Pinecone Mulch 

One of the other ways you can use pinecones is as mulch. Pinecones also prevent cats from pooping or peeing in them because of their rough texture. 

You can either add small pinecones to your existing mulch or use them as they are. Pinecones are great at retaining moisture and work nicely like store-bought mulch. If you live in an area with easy access to pinecones, you will be saving a lot of money on mulch!

Slate Mulch 

Lastly, as aforementioned, you can use slate mulch in your garden to keep the cats away. Slate mulch, with its rough exterior, is uncomfortable for cats to poop in. 

Using slate mulch is also great for the garden because it stops the growth of weeds. In addition, the water retention when it comes to slate mulch is also excellent. You will find that you do not need to water your garden as frequently, and the mulch does not get blown away by the wind. 


Mulching is important, but it can attract cats to poop in it. Bark chipping is the most susceptible when it comes to this problem. There are other options of mulch you can use, including slate chippings that are pointing and uncomfortable for cats to step on. 

Other options of garden mulch that do not attract cats include stone mulch and pinecones. It is best to avoid gravel or leaves as mulch as they are soft and easy for cats to dig into.

1 thought on “Do Bark Chippings Deter Cats?”

  1. Very helpful info for novices like me troubled by pooh in my back garden and front flower patch. Back I know it’s a cat ignore from the neighbours.
    The pooh in the front patch not sure whether it’s the 2 dogs owned by two neighbours and also the gates in the 6 complex units are not locked between each neighbour and the fact that we are on the main road. Whether it’s a mischievous act from neighbours I wouldn’t know.


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