cat doo doo question

blaferbyJuly 6, 2013

Our disabled daughter can no longer care for her indoor cat, so he's now an outdoor cat. Stays close to home, and our vegetable garden has now become a gigantic litter box. Before committing to funding and cleaning a real outdoor litter box, I'm wondering if cat poop is actually toxic or otherwise harmful to vegetable plants and/or the food they produce?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Not to the plants, but cat feces can introduce numerous problems that can adversly affect human health. A food garden is not a good place for domestic pets feces.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:22AM
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lazy_gardens

It depends on what bacteria and parasites the cat has ... and his use of the garden is going to attract other cats.

Adult cats are unlikely to have toxoplasmosis, but I would worry a bit about E coli and the other enteric pathogens.

Why not put a litterbox for him on a porch?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:05AM
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woohooman

Or relocate the turds to another part of the yard and then go set the cat in that area. He/she might get the hint. It's worked for me.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:50AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Over the years my cat(s) occasionally have liked to dig in the veggie garden, and I have laid down pieces of fencing over the freshly sown rows to prevent the cat from digging. You can also mulch the veggie garden with a good layer of straw or grass clippings and the cat won't have such easy soil to dig in.

Or perhaps create a spot that is easier digging for the cat and possibly train them to go there using Woohoo's method. My cat likes to go in areas that are fairly clear of weeds and lightly mulched with wood chips or leaves - it's pretty easy digging.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 4:10PM
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october17(5chgo)

Aside from solutions above, I think you just need to be sure to wash your veggies good. The plants won't uptake the e coli or any virus.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 2:15PM
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