What is that smell?

moo_sue(z5 NY City)February 9, 2006

This is weird. Right outside my front door is a strong odor of cat urine. I have a cat but she doesn't go outside - too much traffic. I only see one or two cats around - I am beginning to think the odor is coming from a hedge-like bush near my front door. If I cut some greenery from it the odor isn't noticeable - but sometimes as I am walking by the stench just jumps out and smacks me. Could it be this bush? How can I deal with this problem without offending?

***The bush is an evergreen and gets hollow red berries in the fall.

Thanks/Sues

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jlgreg(z6b MD)

I'm pretty new to this, but there are two possibilities that I can think of.

Boxwood can have an unusual urine-like odor, but it doesn't have red berries.
Here's a link with pictures:
http://landscaping.about.com/od/evergreenshrubsbushes1/p/english_boxwood.htm

Hollow red berries sounds like an english yew.
Another link with pictures:
http://landscaping.about.com/od/evergreenshrubsbushes1/a/japanese_yews.htm

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I strongly suspect that the cats are marking their territory on a regular basis, and you just haven't caught them at it. It would only take ONE male cat to create this kind of stench. I'll be that if you take some steps to repell this kind of behavior, that the odor will eventually go away.

In other words, the plants are not the problem!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 11:40AM
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loneranger(Sunset20)

I also think it's a cat marking its territory. We had one do that to us last year. We thought it was a gas leak. The confirmation was the presence of cat poop in the area of the smell.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 3:45PM
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Nurmey(5 Omaha, NE)

I think you have Yews. They have and always will smell like cat pee to me.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 7:44PM
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