Does anyone know how to keep cat's out of a zen garden?
Papa - There's no way you can do anything about it. To cats, a Zen Garden's a giant litter box: and when they gotta go they gotta go.
Perhaps this answers the question 'Why a Zen Garden?' in the other thread?
Yes, that does provide a plausible answer, Herb.
Herb's right, papabonsai. Cats are irresistably drawn to what looks to them like a humungous litter box. The only solution is to use a larger size gravel, such as 1/4" pea stone.
There's another, mysterious aspect to this.
Both cats and Zen gardeners, like, as a finishing touch, to rake the gravel.....
invite them in...(cats rarely comply with human requests)
I heard that moth balls might do the trick. What do you think?
They do say orange peel keeps the cats away it is obviously the citrus aroma,or if you fill empty plastic coke bottles with water and spread them around when the cats see there reflected image in the bottle which is distorted it frightens them away,
I have never tried either one ,but just remedies I have heard of.
All the best George.
Here is a link that might be useful: George's Japanese Garden
The problem is that then your garden will smell bad to people, too, especially when the breeze shifts. Cats may ignore the smell when they have a task on their minds.
Gardener's Supply Co.'s catalog has "cat spikes," a nasty looking plastic frame with black plastic spikes sticking up. You bury the frame in the mulch or gravel, and the spikes stick up and make a prickly walk for the cat. But, that probably wouldn't look good sticking out of light colored gravel.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news
but you will have to choose.
Fin ou jardin.
Porquois non un jardin du chat?
You can have a diversion garden set to one side, comprised of a nice clear stretch of turkey grit. The cats will find it irresistable and will use it as a kittie latrine. Go through every couple of days with a "pooper scooper" and remove the cat clods. Consider it charity.
But for your "jardin sans chats," use large, coarse pebbles that are too big for cat paws to scratch aside. That's really the only thing you can do to avert cat invasions.
Hope one of these remedies will be the cats meow for you.
Cats have a real dislike of vinegar. Spray your Zen area or the perimeter of your yard with vinegar. Once you deter the offending cat you do not have to keep up the treatment unless another cat appears. And you can tell the neighbors your making pickles. ;)
1/2 cup oil of mustard (can be found in oriental store)
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
Mix with 2 gallons warm water and spray perimeter of area you wish to protect.
There you go papa, start spraying. I think I would use the vinegar, cheep and easy. But the mustard might smell better.
I thought you were going to suggest spraying the cats with vinegar! heh heh. That probably would work. Sit on the porch with a mist bottle, and whenever one of the furry varmints shows up... *SPLORT!* ... let 'em have it. Of course, that only works if you don't have a life, and can sit on the porch all day and night!
I have heard that grated Irish Spring soap keeps deer and squirrel away from tasty bamboo shoots in the spring...perhaps it will deter the felines as well.
Rather than stalking the cats with a loaded squirtgun, you can purchase a sprinkler with a motion detector to do the work for you. They are supposed to be very effective against rabbits and deer in the garden.
I think Christian has the best remedy. In fact I was just thinking of motion detectors this morning. Wondering if a light on one would scare those d** deer out of my garden. No buds left on my azaleas and some other plants are about gone. This is the first year out of the 25 years we have lived here I have had any problems with deer. I put in the Japanese Garden and they are driving me nuts. I must have Deer that enjoy peace and serenity. But they are certainly spoiling mine.
Jando' lights won't do it; they acclimate after about a week. But that jet of water is a different story; good call, Christian...
Thank you all for great ideas and comments. Maybe a bamboo clacker?
Cats usually ignore noises after they see what caused them. They're smart.
The water sprinkler Christian suggested, is your best bet. The only problem is, if you get a lot of cats, you'll get a lot of water -- and your gravel garden might turn into a moss garden. ;)
invite cat cacther from japan, they work quiety in eveing , time you wake up, they are gone with cats. what they do?
I don't want to tell you. "Matatabi" seed of hardwood which attracts cats. cat catcher use it to trape cats....mike
anyone like a little snack of cheese and cat on clacker?
Félin wanders aimlessly in moonlit jardin
wistfully pondering non-plants a bloomin
blissfully unaware of a warrior in wait
he pauses a moment, subtly altering gait
the detached warrior thinking, cape diem
beheads the cat before he can flee, and
discarding intruder like a headless toad,
moves on to explore what future may hold
There's an old koan about Nansen cutting a cat in half; Dogen says the true master would show them how to cut it into one piece...;)
My philosophy is that no plant is worth killing an animal for. I love my cats and enjoy their company in the gardens. Sometimes I have to let go of the idea of having a perfect garden so I can let other beings enjoy it. (Now dismounting from high horse...:))
To Jando --- Have you tried Tree Guard for the deer? It is nontoxic, just very bitter. We have been using it for years to great effect on everything from arbor vitaes to tulips and perennials. It comes in a latex base, so it doesn't wash off (you do have to reapply if the plant grows very much). The only drawback is you have to carefully wash out the spray nozzle every time you use it or it will seize up.
I would vouch for the motion detector activated sprinkler. As pointed out, these are smart critters. Once they have had the few intial drenching from the sprinkler, they will never come back. And that would also take care of dogs and other warm blooded intruders.
Unless they are Siamese..........don't they like water?
The Tree Guard is good stuff, but doesn't that get expensive? Can you get away with once in fall? Twice a year? Guess it depends on the area your covering...
In my experience, Siamese don't like anything.
Thanks Lee, I'll call around and find tree guard. It is probably more expensive to buy all new plants than purchasing the spray. And if it works next year I will even have blossoms to enjoy.
Tree Guard does cost about $20 per spray bottle (you might be able to buy it concentrated and mix it yourself like "Wilt-Pruf"). It would be expensive if you had to cover a large number of trees, although one bottle goes pretty far --- you don't have to saturate the plant material, and you only have to cover the parts they can reach or like to eat. If you get it on your hands you'll find out why the deer don't like it.
We've found that one application per year will usually do it for arbor vitaes. Tulips take two applications (because they grow so fast) --- one when the bud first appears then another when it's about 1/2 way grown up. I have actually been able to stop using it on my own tulips (which I discovered through laziness) because the deer have learned they taste bad.
Last year I built a bunch of low fences for customers made of arbor vitae branches to keep their dogs out of their gardens. One customer had a Corgi who chewed everything to pieces, but Tree Guard kept her from devouring the fence.
Tree Guard also prevents chipmunks and red squirrels from eating up your perennials (just spray it on the young foliage). Around here the squirrels like to hide in stone walls abutting gardens, then they venture out for a snack.
P.S. I swear I don't work for the Tree Guard company. :)
Lee, I was sold when I saw the video the company put out. A herd of tame deer comes daily onto this couples deck (there's nearly twenty in the video). The couple sprays their pelargoniums with the stuff and they are unscathed. The missus of the house goes out and hand feeds an untreated geranium to an appreciative doe, and then trys to feed her a treated one. No sale. I''m a believer, just a cheap one...;)))
I do not think applopiate to talk about religion in gardenweb forum. Buddhism is a religion, not casual topic. Not related to japanese garden even many people say so. In JOJG march 2002 article ask some expert "What do you think about the term, "Zen Garden?"" Tim Brown say "What a silly thing to ask." J. Skuba say "The label "Zen garden" is a bogus appellation attached to a serious art form." Tamao Goda ask, "Why do some people feel the need to "spice up" Japanese gardens by linking them to religion or mysticism?" I agree with those experts. All train in Japan. ALl speek Japanese. All very wise about religion not connected to garden. same my opinion. Religion like buddhism not applopiate to talk about on gardenweb forum. Better to talk about garden stone, tree pluning, and fence. Thank you.
Here is link to Bowdoin college nihon teien website. Old website name was 'Zen Garden.' CHanged name to 'The Japanese Garden.' new name very good idea I think. Maybe website person go to Japan and become more informational. live in japanese house and understand fact that japanese garden not about religon.
Here is a link that might be useful: bowdoin college nihon teien
Watanabe-san, you are arguing the same point and yet still fail to provide supporting facts that convey your ideas. Is Buddhism no longer part of the garden because of bummei kaika? Are you saying that the government overtaking the maintenance of many of the temple gardens in 1871 ended the religious significance of those gardens? Please be specific as we can then address your assumptions on a case by case basis. Do you not feel the Tokai-an is a Zen garden? Please state your reasoning. We welcome the exchange of opinion here; some of us relish it ;). But it is of very little meaning to present the same argument over and over without any real supporting evidence; we have established beyond any reasonable doubt that JOJG is often a font of information and often just a source of particular opinion, and it is very clear which you have provided here. Please provide some verifiable facts to back your assumptions, and then we may begin to find some middle ground on which to truly have a meeting of the minds. We are only asking you show facts that lead to your reasoning as we have done ourselves; it is the basis of true learning.
busy minds buzz over interpretations of zen
unappreciated gifts under bushes gather moss
bees plunder flowers while cats ignore them
simple monks still sit content to practice...
Uh oh. Looks like Western and Eastern thinking have reached an impasse. ;)
...or perhaps the essence of Zen has just been temper-orally or temporally ;) obscured by interpretations and translations?
Either way, I would like to thank Watanabe for the excellent, informative Japanese Gardens link!
A proper Zen Garden should be raked early morning each day. Proper maintenance for clean mind and nurtured earth....
But still, that urine smell is sure gonna be a problem.
My response to dogged stubborness is usually dogged stubborness; a family trait I should work on losing. But the reiteration of an argument that Yama (and I) have presented ample evidence refuting, without a stitch of suipporting facts or documentation, is profoundly dissappointing. The Bowdoin site has indeed changed it's name since it appeared in Jando's "Interesting Site" thread back in November, but I hardly see that as a resounding denial of Zen influence in Japanese gardens. Not all gardens are as Zen influenced as the Ryoan-ji or Tokai-an, and I do not feel it applies to every garden; yet the influences are still there every time you set a Buddhist Triad or a worshipping stone. We can do the "out, out damn spot" routine all we like, but much like the blood on m'lady's hands, Buddhism has left indelible traces on the Japanese garden as a whole, no matter how hard Watanabe, Kimura, and the rest of the JOJG crowd keep rubbing...
Insights from aikido suggest attacks are more effectively thwarted by becoming soft rather than hard.
Insights from psychology suggest that matching energies inflames rather than resolves situations.
Insights are everywhere for the taking, but like horses to water, they cannot be forced...
The more open one becomes, the more insights are welcome, neh?
I, too, would welcome evidence to support the claim that religion has nothing to do with Japanese gardens.
Sometimes I think the people who are making this claim have simply taken bits of fact and carried them to an illogical and extreme conclusion. For instance, it is true that the term "Zen Garden" is relatively new and was not in use in medieval Japan when many gardens now commonly called "Zen" were made. However, it is also true that some of these gardens were made by Zen Buddhist priests, and most of them are located in Zen temples, usually right next to the abbot's rooms. I think this fact alone makes it virtually impossible to argue that there is no connection at all between the religion and the garden.
Someone who I think does a terrific job of talking about this subject is Wybe Kuitert in his book "Themes in the History of Japanese Garden Art." For example, he argues (with complete references to all the material he used to draw his conclusions) that although Muso Kokushi was a high-ranking Zen priest who did indeed build gardens, he was in fact perhaps more of a politician than a serious man of religion. Although I don't agree with every conclusion Wybe draws, I can make up my own mind because he shows me all the raw evidence. I think Wybe makes a pretty convincing argument that the "Zen" gardens were more influenced by politics and aesthetic considerations than by religion --- but you will not find him claiming anywhere in the book that Japanese gardens have NOTHING to do with religion.
Unfortunately, aikido may profess that, but in practice does not accomplish it. Aikido is stiff and hard. By contrast, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, aikido's predecessor, is so soft that the attacker doesn't know what hit him. His attack is met by a counter-attack (sen-no-sen) with kuzushi that uses his own incoming force against him. He knocks himself on his butt.
Soft, yet still aggressive. Soft, yet still an attack.
Things are not always as they seem.
"Aikido is stiff and hard"...even modified by mention of an honorable precursor discipline, that is still a most curious statement/interpretation. Nuance and differences between these two, "gentler", but still "martial" arts, may be lost on many, but even a casual beginner student can appreciate that aikido is not an "attack" oriented, but rather a more harmonious "response" oriented and refined form.
Some things are exactly as they seem. A funny psychology related T-shirt slogan opines that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". Similarly, some comments are just comments. Now, to a practioner of either discipline referenced above, pumped up on adrenalin, opinion, anger, viagra or predisposed, perhaps due to cabin fever, towards a tussle on the mat over harmonious discussion, such may be a horse of a different color.
[bowing with due respect]
And sometimes, a "cigar is just and exploding cigar." ;)
Aikido looks nice on the mats, in the dojo, with people practicing in harmony. But if you observe, you will see that it is practiced only with ritualized attacks (yokomenuchi, shomenuchi, etc.). It is a system that works within its own bounds, but as soon as you add "conflict" - a skilled attacker -- it loses its balance.
If you are talking art for art's sake then there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are a pragmatist who wants what he does to be functional, it is inadequate.
Yes, to a casual observer aikido is not "attack" oriented and looks beautiful and flowing because people are cooperating, as with dance. By contrast, Daito-ryu looks violent. The attacker's attacks are committed and "real," and to even the casual observer, it looks as though the attacker attacked and suddenly landed on his butt, while the defender barely moved. But to me, that is the ultimate in harmony, when the attacker is not playing by rules, and yet his body and mind are still led in harmony with your own. The nuance, as you note, is lost on the beginner.
As Scott mentioned earlier in this post in regards to rubbing off... it would be advisable if this post returned to its origins of cats being Zen-like in their raking actions.
apparently several posts have been rubbed off the archive, which reflected a magazines content, and the use of the GW threads as new content for their editorials. And... with new additions, resulting in thread evolvement, the resultant content was deemed not to be about magazines... and thusly removed. If there is winning or losing in the world, we can all see who won.
perhaps, to keep this post on the board, it should address how the Zen-like activity of raking, combined with cats and their removal, has anything to do with the movements of Aikido and other artforms... and try to desist in evolving a thread beyond its scope.
in between, it seems prudent, in addition to Mikes silence, as a personal choice, to visit other forums for a while and in appreciation I express my thanks for enjoyable exchanges of thought.
with best regards,
I say give the cat it's own Zen litter box and let's see what patterns it can create using its natural, unfettered creative abilities!
And, put electric fencing around the gravel garden.
Hai Sabi, the point is well taken as it HAS become tiring trying to defend a point that seems unimportant to most. The conservation of energy in aikido seems a good metaphor for the clash of ideaologies here, but Cady is right, it is still a clash. Sun Tzu says "...those who win at every battle are not really skillful-those who render others' armies helpless without fighting are the best of all."
Lee, we can wish all day, but the horses are not drinking and are not coming up with any new thought either. Most advertising is not new thought but rote repitition until the brand becomes imbedded by the relentless pounding, and I think thats all we have here, advertising (Hey Spike, if I come up with a nom de plum, can I flout my website shamelessly? I know I can't do it honestly...).
So Edzard is right, let's leave this thread and it's by-products to the cats. At least when they poop on something it's not commentary. Perhaps that aloof demeanor of theirs deserves more study. I'm off to give myself a tongue bath and lay in a sunbeam...(well, maybe just the sunbeam...) ;)
As a final note, I recall an old episode of the late, great comic strip, Bloom County, in which the Steve Dallas character finds his brain transplanted and hence trapped in the body of scruffy, scurilous Bill the Cat.
Trying to make the best of the bad news the doctor has given him... that he is trapped in a cat body... Steve/Bill says, "I have to look at the bright side: By rights, I can legally poop in (then mayor of New York City) Ed Koch's flowebed!"
Clever of you to surreptitiously get in a couple more licks before the thread is entirely soiled, Cady. By saying you are undoubtedly right that nuance is lost, I don't mean to be a sour puss. As Lee says, we can wish (for right understanding?", but as another old adage goes (I like old adages in case you hadn't gathered)...if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Judo beats Aikijujutsu and Aikido so there!!
Judo came from jujutsu. Judo rocks, but good jujutsu rocks too. :)
I just wondering why watanabe san do not ask to some one who can read classic japanese litrature and studied japanese garden histry for 40 years 50 years.
I like Tim Brown. he is very sinccere young man.
so I am going to leave him alone.
I can find many historical evidences that japanese garden
have very strong relationship. only watanabe san refering some one who can not read japanese history books, buddhsim and japanese garden historians report.
should we look into year of 538, officaly buddhsim came to japan from koria.
according Nishimura Kocho shi ( shi means master, teacher,) (1915~ ) who served Director of national tresure repair center, professore of Tokyo art univercity, abbot of Atago nenbutsu ji
In the "bonmyu sutara " there is " renge zo sekaikan" which tell what shumisen look like or how to curve statue of buddhas . early japanese garden design are base on bonmyo sutra...
since watanabe san know many things about japanese garden
I believe you have read Sakuteiki and Tsukiyama teizoden.
sakuteiki is about 1100 years old book.
in sakuteki ,stone /boulders are named buddha's name. one set of three
budda is amida nyorai is center, right side is Kan non bosatsu( buddha of mercy) left side is Seishi bosatsu( buddha of wisedom).known as san zon seki/three buddhas.
Nanda, ubananda ,those two dargons which gurding base of shumisen/mountain of paradise, above two dragon , there are demon/ jaki of yasha are gurding second line of defence. above jaki palace there are four gurdian gods are defending third line of defence line. east by Jikokuten, west by zochoten, south by zochoten, north by tamonten. top of shumisen there are 33 more buddahs. above shumisen there are 25 divided sections , in the 25 section above shumisen,there infinite number of buddhas are
flying abobe shumisen.
if watanabe san do not see any relation between japanese garden and buddhsim. how about Muso kokushi, Zen ami, so ami, Tei ami, shun ami, daito kokushi, Kuya shonin,
Eshin sojyo,Hogan joi, Isebo rinken, shingyobo, jyoshun bo,
above names are buddhist preists who build japanaese gardens of temples. if you want know more about them I am happy to provide you more informations.
when I want to study history of japanese garden or buddhsim I do not seek information form Tim Brown, Tamoa Goda nor J skuba,
they are too young and they may not able to access to national tresure of old litiretures, tresure of the temples which we can lean history.
I rather learn from Mr Mori Osamu, Mr Shegemori kanto, Mr saito katsuo, Mr Tatsui Matsunosuke, Dr Uehars keiji, Dr Tamura tsuyushi, Mr Toyama Eisuke, Dr Honda seiroku,for landscaping
Dr Tokoro shigemoto, Dr Yamaori Tetsuo, Dr Umehara Takeshi, Dr Inoue Mistusada, Mr Toyota Aritsune, Suzki Daisetsu Zenshi
Dr Watanabe shoko etc for Buddhsim.
If watanabe san can provide me any of your informations source such as, title of books, name of japanese garden historian who believe religen has nothing to do with japanese garden,
then I like to study their opinions.
any one who want to know relationship between buddhsim and Japanese gardens written by above exparts opinions or his articles I am happy to send a copy of articles.
I am seeking good information sourses much as you do.
once I can settle problem I have now, I subscrib the juornal and take jojg's pruning, japanese garden design class to lean more about japanese garden.
I hope , can take jojg class togather with watanabe san.
Hi watanabe san.
it's me again.
we should start with very begining of japanese garden in Japan.
who build the first garden which recorded in history of japan.
where garden was build ? the informations like this clear
out defernt opionons of yours and mine.
forget writer of jojg. most of then can not read japanese and they do not know histroy of japan . if they can read old literetures , history of buddhism then they can write better articles. but I can not wait that long.
most Boldoin college web site garden are belongs to the temples. nijo castle was build by Tokugawa Ieyasu. he is jodo shu believer.
you think religion and japanese garden have no relations, then why you refer to boldoin college web site ?.
if you want know history of United states, you have to study back ground of history of christaianity and history of Euorpe .
Have you ever read" Sakuteiki", "tsukiyama teizoden", "sansui narabini yakeizu" did you noticed that all name of buddhas in the gardens/boulders ?
we have asking you to provide information source which tell japanese garden have no tie to buddhsim. you never give us answer. instead of giving us information now you are saying it is not applopiate to discuss relegion in this fourm.
we are not talking relegion directry. Japanese garden forum
has some relation to buddsim becourese of relation ship of japanese garden and buddhsim.
if you have give us the facts that your claim we study your opinion and respect your opinion.
instead giveing us any information , now you are put your tail between legs and run ? ( japanese expression = run a way, no offencive word)
If you like to know why I beleive that japanese garden have strong tie to buddhsim ,I am happy to tell you what books I am reading , where information come from. if you want to see it your self I am happy to send you copy of article. if Mr kimura ask, I will do same.
Only we asking is that your information sources which make you believe japanese garden has no tie to buddhsim.
I don't think we are not asking you difficult task.
can you ask to Mr kimura to help you? . mike
This has become a very interesting post.
But I think things get lost in the understanding of words.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince
When I'm sitting in my garden, separating the broken pebbles from the whole pebbles from a large bucket, am I practicing Zen? My roommate laughs at me for doing this?
His mother calling on the telephone interrupts me from my task, and I do not tell her what I am doing, for she may think I am eccentric. Still I feel a need to separate the broken pebbles from the whole pebbles before places them in my garden, though I realized I will need thousands to cover a small area.
I don't know much about practicing religion or zen.
I only know when I separate those broken stones from the whole stones, it feels .... in process...
I don't know how to even say it.
Maybe the same way a cat burries his business when he is done. It is just done. He's not practicing religion when he is raking the sand. It is just done. That's all there is to it.
Am I full of it?
Not yet, but you are on the right track...keep practicing
Not yet what?
Not yet full of zen...
Yeah. You can't get a cup full of Zen unless the cup is empty!
"Wisdom" is not learned in people. it doesn't arise of itself; wisdom is communicated to wisdom, wisdom seeks wisdom.
Not bad for a thread on cat pee...
Coffee grounds, dried and sprinkled around the site, then hosed in (they don't like the smell). But this will tend to dye your gravel brownish.
Eggshells, dried and broken up (the sharp edges hurt their little pawsies).
Dog hair, or hair from non-local cats, underneath the gravel (it smells like some other animal has claimed the place, and they don't like the texture).
And, as last resort:
The urine, preferably diluted 1:1 with water and sprinkled from a watering can, of a large (preferably carnivorous)mammal who really hates it when cats poop in his or her garden.
I like Sumo wrestling. I would hate to encounter a 450 pound man in a diaper.
I heard that the coffee grounds works well to keep rabbits away too. It will stain white or light colored rocks. I was wondering if you could train a dog to stay away from your garden it would keep the cats away. The mere presents of a big dog wouldput the same fear in the cat that a large man in a diaper would to me.
... what keeps the man in a daiper away?
makes me wonder why the turtle is always swimming away from the crane and exactly how many of those stones look like dogs lying in wait for a simple cat wishing to practise zen and simple sand raking.
Does no one feel the zen of the need of nature the cat is forced to practise by virtue of its nature?
I find my chickens to have the zen nature. They scratch the earth for worms, weed seeds and bugs. I walk behind them and fill in the bark mulch they have kicked aside, and replant the young perennials they have dug up. Then they retrace their steps and scratch the same earth, and I repeat my task too.
Do I have the zen nature as well, or am I just a dope?!
You're not a dope!
Not only that, but the chickens are scratching your mulch and plants up for a helpful reason: to find juicy, delicious herbivorous bugs, and eat them before they eat your plants. (Organic gardeners recommend using a open-bottomed moveable pen to apply the chicken's attention to each area in sucession: they call it a "chicken tractor.")
Cats scratch for a different reason: to cover up something with an unpleasant smell. In addition to her litterbox calisthenics, mine has repeatedly tried to bury my coffee (to my enormous confusion and frustration early in the morning).
But she doesn't scratch (or poop) in the garden where I've top-dressed with my magic mixture of coffee grounds, eggshells, sawdust and a small proportion of her own cat hair (covered by more crushed eggshells). This mixture also deters the squirrels: the cat hair makes them think a bigger predator is nearby. It works well enough that I haven't had to resort to the fourth of the methods that I mentioned in an earlier post to this thread :)
But for a sand/gravel garden, only the eggshells would really be appropriate. A dog might keep cats away if a) he were the sort of dog that chases cats, and b) he either didn't poop in the gravel, or you didn't mind picking up after him there any more than anywhere else (and it it didn't stain unacceptably).
Come to think of it, the smell of "Fido was here" might help keep cats away, too.
Thanks, Evelyn. That makes me feel better. The image of Sisyphus eternally pushing a boulder uphill came to mind last time I followed the chickens around to rake the mulch back in place and remound soil around the dug-up perennial roots.
What a clever idea for deterring cats - and squirrels. I never thought of cat fur for fooling squirrels. I'm going to try something like that to keep them from chomping my the new shoots in my bamboo plantings.
Finding tufts of hair makes an animal think that the other animal is somewhere nearby (kinda like when you find your SO's beard stubble in the sink). If the other animal is bigger, and carnivorous (horse or cow hair wouldn't work as well), they figure it's a predator and the area is likely to be an unhealthy one.
Same thing for urine and scat, only more so, since animals use these deliberately to mark out their territory. The most extreme example of this I've heard is a fellow who could *not* keep the deer out of his yard until he bought some lion & tiger manure from the zoo and spread it about. The deer immediately moved onto a less dangerous smelling yard.
It reminds me of guys who drink a lot of water (or beer) and then pee on all the trees on their property. It's supposed to "mark turf" to keep varmints away. I don't know how effective it is, but maybe I can get my SO to "mark trees" and see if it scares the squirrels off. :)
Hi, Cady :)
[The cat is trying to scrape the surface of the desk up over my coffee as I type.]
Send him out!
Apparently (some) guys actually like to do this, and it does seem to be effective. A gentleman of my acquaintance who was once involved in raising an illegal crop on the island of Oahu informed me that deer love their sensimilla(sp?), and the way to deter them was to seek out the deer's nest and then subject it to the mighty whiz.
I have tried direct application myself, in a spot at my mother's place. Racoons had taken advantage of a gravel patch protected by the eaves of the house and a wildly overgrown Fatsia japonica to open up a highway rest area. In conjuction with whacking the heck out of the Fatsia (which I highly recommend as good for the soul (subject to sound pruning technique, of course)) and the application coffee grounds, eggshells and cat hair - oh, and removing all the old turds: did I mention you'd have to do that? :) - it's been almost sucessful. The rest stop is closed, but a single scat keeps appearing on top of a nearby hummock. I *think* that this is the alpha racoon telling me that he (or she) is beaten but unbowed.
(I've suggested to Mom that she invite a few of her male friends to step out into that area for the Pause That Refreshes, but I don't think that the lads of the Greatest Generation are prepared to do that while on gentlemanly calls.)
BTW, I've also used a water pistol (filled with *water*, you guys - now stop that! :) for the squirrels in my garden. There are inherent limits to its effectiveness, but boy, is it fun! :) :) :)
[Or it was for a while: now all I have to do is tense the muscles of my right shoulder, and the local squirrels scatter out of the water pistol's range - which they know to the millimeter. I haven't been able to nail one good for a couple of years now.]
Hey, waydydda minute here...
how about shells? Crushed seashells?
Didn't expensive homes on the SE seaboard always used to have crushed oyster shell driveways? I think the oysters are no longer available, but there's reference over on the JGarden forum to using crushed zebra mussel shells: Mike-san even says that you wouldn't want to because they have sharp edges and would be uncomfortable to come into contact with.
And they're probably a nice speckly whitish gray that would fit into a sand garden visually, and be at least moderately rakeable.
Crushed seashells added to the sand to deter cats & other critters: that might really even work!
(Now I wish I had a sand garden to try it in :)
I am holding my middle while laughing at the thought of the looks on all my neighbors faces as they see my hubby running around the yard whizzing on everything we want to keep all the critters out of. (don't know if whizzing is has two Z"s or not)
This is just to much!!!!!!!!!!!! He he ha ha ha chuckling and even a snort ;)
(Deep belly laughs, falling almost out of chair :) :) :)
I'm gonna be watching the offbeat news items for anything from northern Illinois now: "But the wife said I *had* to! It's for the garden!" :) :) :)
Um, direct application is only recommended for places not in public view. OTOH, my understanding is that some males of the species (your beloved hubby apparently not included) expand the definition of "not in public view" to include "after dark" and/or "while drunk."
(There's a thought: buy a keg or five, invite the frat boys from the local college over, and the critters will never bother what's left of your garden again :)
Indirect application involves a separate collection process, which can be performed in the location of your choice :) This also allows a 50% dilution with water, which I understands help to minimize odor problems. (The animals will still get it, don't worry, we've got something like 50,000 scent receptor cells in our noses; they've got on the order of 10 million).
But if you opt for the indoor collection method, what will the neightbors have to talk about? :) :) :)
Jando, my recommendation would be to have him do it at night or real early in the morning, before the neighbors are out and about. Of course, if the local cops have a night beat and are patrolling your street, that could have some even more interesting consequences.
"Uh, ma'am, we wanted to let you know that this middle aged man was whizzing in your peonies...Do you want to press charges?"
'Whizzing'? What a strange word for it. It's quite put me off Cheese Whiz.
Good lord! Put you off Cheese Whiz?!!! What a culinary tragedy! :) :) :)
While most critters likely find the urine of both male and female humans off-putting, males are generally acknowledged as the preferred candidates for this pleasant task due to their unique distribution equipment. This is not to say this cat deterrent technique necessarily need be gender specific....which gives rise to the question...if females were to master the art of efficient distribution, would the rightly directed squirt be called the "arc of the coven"
Herb I've tasted Cheese Whiz and it was accurately named! Chuckle chuckle hehehe. Glad you're off of it.
Falliing on the floor,hehehe, "arc of coven" No need to master the art. We would just use our brains and apply with a pressure sprayer. ;)
Women actually can pee standing up. It's just that they're conditioned from toddlerhood to think they can't. I had to learn how, as a hiker and horseback rider, for the convenience when deep in the woods. Once you get the knack, it's a wiz...er...a breeze. No, I'm not giving details. ;)
As for the preferred urine, I'd say that male pee is it, because mammals such as cats and coyotes typically avoid another male's turf. Male pheremones will indicate that they are treading on a male predator's territory at their own peril. Human female urine contains pheremones that might actually attract rather than repel - at least male cats - depending on the time of her monthly cycle.
Growing up with sisters, and now flanked by wife and three daughters, I'm fully aware of the ability of women to pee standing up. I'm also well exposed to wit, intelligence, mood swings, one-upsmanship and am thoroughly accustomed to being corrected by the fairer sex, on virtually everything. Once again, thanks for setting the record straight, Cady.
How fortunate you are, Sabi, to have so many females in your life to keep you well informed of all those subjects in which you are "just plain wrong"! lol
I have a zen garden which is approximately 20' x 13'.
There was a neighborhood cat which was using it as a litter box. I bought an ultrasonic cat alarm which seemed to do the trick. However, the woman's cat across the street had kittens and she kept three. The young cats ignored the alarm.
I put a layer of plastic sheeting on the garden (cutting out holes where rocks or plants are) and put it over the garden. I then covered it with a very thin layer of sand.
(So thin that in spots the plastic shows).
So far this has worked. I guess the theory is that the cats like to bury thier waste and know that there isn't enough sand to do so.
I plan on adding a bag or two of sand a week to find the minimum depth needed to make the garden rake-able yet not deep enough for the cats to use it.
(Why people let thier cats roam at night is another question worth pondering).
Rich - Babylon, Long Island, NY.
Too bad you don't have coyotes in your 'hood. They do a great job reducing the kitty population (flame shield up!).
If you use a larger grit size, it might make the garden less appealing for cats, who prefer sand or finer gravel as litter. You could experiment with slightly coarser material until you get to a size that works. You may end up with 3/8" pea stone. Although it isn't quite the same as using sand, it will not attract cats. But, you can try smaller stuff before that to see if anything smaller than 3/8" will work.
I think Sento is Zen master. He come up own idea and he is not thinking harm kitty.
sento : you have reminded my childhood. boys play hard on play ground. after playing, we often sent to Sento/ public bath by mother. one of Sento in my neighborhood had big bath tab.It was divided only above water level. we could dive and go to woman's side. one of a brave friend dive and went to woman's side, and he reported What he saw other side of bath tab. If young lady are other side, then we were in big trouble, but 30's 40's 50's and over they did not care much. probably they are thinking that thire own son doing same. .......... mike
Cats are repelled by the smell of citrus.
Oil of lemongrass is the usual repellant.
(I will also try to e-mail this, as I'm newish and not sure this will "take".)
I followed the Rinzai Zen school of buddhism for many years (now I focus on a different school, but that's not important). As a gift, my husband created a beautiful zen garden of mahogony, table-top size, with a perfect little rake. It's a wonderful, tranquil, mezmerizing activity.
So you may well imagine how upset I was when I found my sandy garden had become...well, a Cat Commode!
I tried everything, including ground mothballs, dried and powdered Rue leaves and Marigold petals (cats hate these things)....no luck.
While I was getting my jade "guardian monkey" (Chinese tradition) for the New Year, I saw a zen garden in the store and mentioned my problem. The woman at the counter said "use salt".
It works wonderfully. And very pretty, all white and sparkly.
Have you tried this?
Namaste (A respectful bow),
I think I made a mistake. You're speaking of a LARGE garden, not an indoor one.
I would suggest the catscat method. It doesn't hurt them, it's just very very annoying. The "spikes" last a lifetime.
Another way....well...um....you could mark your territory.
Living in a rural area as we do, we have many places where I would rather not have critters enter. So if you're willing, have a nice big meat-meal - a rack of ribs is about right - and....mark. This discourages ALL carnivores. We have kept out coyotes for years. They sniff the area and seem to think "whoa! There's a really big meat-eating animal here and he's made it clear this is HIS. I'm out of here!"
(And, since we're on the subject, a little "sprinkle" in a watering can - VERY diluted - makes for amazing tomatoes. Just don't tell the neighbors how you grew them. :-D )
I hope I've been of some help.
I have found an effective way to keep cats from my raked gravel garden. I modify mouse traps to soften the catch bar and bury them just below the surface. When triggered by a cat's pawing around it snaps and scares the bejeebers out of them. It is a little aggressive but I had real problems with cat mess and smell. I hope not to hurt them but I mean business. I don't own cats due to an allergy.
To soften the catch bar [the nasty part that catches the mouse] I cut a piece of 1/4 inch plastic tubing to the width of the bar. I split the tubing so it can slide over the bar. This slows down the trap and softens the blow if it should catch the cat.
This works on crows too which is unfortunate because they used to eat the insects and snails from the garden. Now they will only perch on the rocks.
I came home from work one day and 3 of my 4 traps were triggered and laying on the surface. The cat never returned. Me, on the other hand, I got a good fright the next morning when I forgot about the remaining trap and began raking my garden in the gentle morning light!
While I enjoy hanging out in my garden, and have always wished to be thought of as a garden whiz, I have noticed on the occasions when I was either too far or too dirty to go inside to releave myself, my male dog was not long to remark any areas I had ruined for him.
If coffee indeed is a deterent, and male urine as well, I wonder what the effect of drinking too much coffee would have as a deterent?
In my area, letting your cat run free is illegal. I have spoken to a neighbor about this and they simply stopped letting the cat run. This is probably a rare solution.
I use the flat, smooth stones known as Mexican Beach pebbles in gardens where the starkness of white gravel and sand is not desired. The stones come in many sizes and I have not heard of any problems with cats.
Finally, cayenne pepper sprinkled on entry paths will deter squirels, dogs, and cats.
Ask your cat to describe the sound of one hand clapping. It drives them nuts - they stay out of the zen garden and head to the nearest catnip bar.
Yes, in Japan you can often see up-turned PET (plastic bottles) with water. It scares them. You can also try a natural cat repellent. Maybe after awhile, they will not go there. Try:
1 Quart Ready-to-Use Dog & Cat Repellent
If that fails, you should threaten the cats with 'za zen'