Does Chicken Wire Deter Cats?

Cats are a nuisance. They poop all over your flower beds, dig up vegetables and cause a mess. There are several ways to deter cats but is using chicken wire an effective solution? Does chicken wire deter cats or will they just ignore it?

Yes, chicken wire can stop cats from entering an area you want them to avoid. Cats dislike it because they hate the feel it has underneath their paws. 

Chicken wire, also referred to as poultry netting, is used in fencing and is made of flexible galvanized steel wire and, as the name suggests, is used to contain chicken and poultry.

Cats dislike going near chicken wire because they don’t like when the fencing comes in contact with their skin. It feels uncomfortable. Cats are unable to chew or gnaw on chicken wire fencing so they tend to avoid it.

The other good news for you, as a gardener, is that chicken wire is cheap. You can purchase a roll of chicken wire online or from your local DIY store. It also has a range of uses whether it’s deterring cats or providing plants, like cucumbers, with something to grow up (did you know that cats also hate cucumbers).

Why Do Cats Hate Chicken Wire?

Cats feel uncomfortable touching chicken wire with their paws. They dislike the feel the chicken wire has on the bottom of their paws. If you’ve placed the chicken wire around plants or flowers you want to secure; cats won’t climb or dig under it (more on how to use it further down this article).

As you probably know, cats are athletic animals and are very good at climbing things with ease. It’s why they’re able to pop into your garden whenever they want to. They can climb chicken wire, but it’s difficult for them as the chicken wire fencing is very thin with no stability. It’s also uncomfortable to climb.

Do Cats Hate Chicken Mesh?

Cats do not hate chicken mesh as much as they hate chicken wire. Mesh tends to be plastic and, therefore, softer on a cat’s paws. One of the main reasons they hate chicken wire is because it’s rough on their paws.

Does Netting Stop Cats?

If you can completely cover your raised beds in a netting then this will deter cats to another part of your garden. But it’s only really effective if you can completely cover a bed.

Is Chicken Wire Safe to Use Against Cats?

When it comes to most pests, you may not always care if they get hurt. If a snail or aphids dies from your efforts to deter them then you probably won’t mind too much. A cat, however, is not something you will want to injure.

It may seem like chicken wire could hurt a cat as it can be quite sharp. However, this isn’t the case, and chicken wiring is harmless to your cat as it is to you. 

Fortunately, chicken wire is actually quite soft. When pressure is applied it twists and bends. It’s not stiff.

If a cat tries to dig under the chicken wire, it will hit the wire eventually and will stop trying. Obviously, digging through the buried wire is going to be near impossible. Cats will get bored and move to another area.

Using chicken wire to stop cats from ruining your precious plants and flowers is an effective, safe, and humane way of deterring cats without hurting them. But how should you go about using chicken wire in the garden?

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How Do You Use Chicken Wire to Deter Cats?

You can use chicken wire to deter cats in varying ways. It depends on what you’re trying to prevent or protect:

If you’re trying to protect a particular plant, group of flowers or vegetable box then the first option is to build a fence or cage around it with the use of chicken wire.

First, you’ll need to put in four stakes for the corners of your cage. You then need to dig down a few inches around the edge so you can bury the bottom edge of the chicken wire to stop cats from digging under it. Finally, place four sheets of chicken wire on each side, pinning it to your stakes.

You can also place the chicken wire on the ground using pegs or stakes. Cats find walking on chicken wire quite uncomfortable. If you’re aware of a particular spot where a cat is known to enter your garden then lay a sheet of chicken wire down, and ensure it sits just above the ground level.

You could even try spraying the chicken wire with a homemade cat repellent spray (a few options here) to really ramp up your efforts.

Neaten the Edges
Whether it’s to protect children, cats or even yourself, make sure you neaten the edges of the chicken wire once you have cut it. Nip off any stray pieces of wire that could pierce or scratch your skin.


Cats are curious creatures; sometimes, their curiosity gets them into places you don’t want them. To protect your garden from a cat, chicken wire can be a very effective solution. 

Chicken wire can deter cats from places they shouldn’t go, such as a particular flower bed or veg patch. Chicken wire is also safe and won’t hurt cats. Cats avoid chicken wire because they dislike how it feels against their paws.

Enclosing a garden with chicken wire or using it to cover your whole garden is easy and, fortunately, won’t require much effort. 

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