Anyone have a good homemade recipe to deter cats pooping (m)

ellen_portland(z8 OR)August 21, 2006

in your plant beds?? I'm getting sick and tired of cleaning up cat poop from the neighborhood cats and was wondering if anyone has a natural recipe I can make up from spices or something to deter these guys from using my yard as their own personal toilet!!!??? I think there is something with cayenne pepper???



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Diane_Kirkland(Z8 Seattle)

Ellen, when my garden was new, I had that problem too. I put twiggy branches (without leaves) in the areas they used until they found another site in someone else's garden. Once they stop, they don't seem to come back. Also, they don't like moist soil, so you can also spray it lightly a few times a day.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:15PM
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If your neighbors aren't responsible enough to keep their cat at home, then----Buy a cage/trap. Take the cat to the pound. No more cat poop.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:29AM
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Some people do put down pepper flakes and powdered mustard. Effective,I guess, if the goal is to punish the cat--it'll be in agony after it licks its paws. The likelihood of the cat associating this pain with having pooped in your garden earlier is nil.
Several plants have the reputation of deterring cats, most notably coleus canin. Other purported cat repellants are rue, lavender, geranium (I have hardy geranium plants to give away!). Hazelnut shell mulch will keep them away, but you won't be walking barefoot on it yourself. I think the trick is to make sure there's no visible soil for them to scratch in, because I have 2 cats, have had as many as 5, and they never poop in my garden.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 12:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The less your beds are like litter boxes the less they will use them. Fine, dry, exposed soil is mostly what they go for. Moist, coarsely mulched (as with wood chips), densely planted beds aren't much of a draw.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:17PM
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Physical methods like the chips and twigs mentioned above are better than scented methods because they are long-lasting. We use pieces of wire mesh to move cats off their favorite spots. They will use areas of less than a square foot, so be thorough!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 3:31AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Use ground covers and mulches like bark chips or hazelnuts, cocoa hulls or gravel.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 1:44PM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

Thanks for all your posts! These cats have pooped in this bed even though it has been thoroughly watered (I've been diligent with all this hot dry weather). I am trying to encourage a ground cover to spread throughout, so I can't really use mulch or bark chip- though I have used bark chips elsewhere around the yard in other beds and STILL have cats pooping in those areas!!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 3:45PM
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puppy3(z8 PNW)

A friend just suggested to me to use dryer sheets they don't like the nice smell;)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 11:59AM
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jsmitka(5 NY)

I have tried everything to get rid of poop in my flower beds... The only thing that works a 100% is get to the core of the problem - trap them.

Just like in many other cases - my neighbors are irresponsible about their cats as well and left me with only one choice...

No need to buy traps... Call the animal control in your city who will provide you with a trap. Once you trap a cat all you need to do is call the animal control and they pick the cat up. I am only on my 9th day, yet have caught 8 cats. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 7:41PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Keeping cats indoor only is a relatively new concept in pet ownership and isn't required by law in many places.

Trapping and sending your neighbor's pets to the pound is mean and in some cases may be illegal. Death isn't appropriate punishment for pooping in someone's garden and most likely the owner will never even know what happened to the cat or why nor "learn their lesson"

I've got a lot of bare soil where ground covers or young shrubs and perennials haven't grown all the way in yet and mulching with composted yard debris has been a deterrant that has worked well. Mulching between young ground covers is recommened whether you have a cat problem or not.

You can also lay down chicken wire or bird netting and lightly cover it with mulch in areas they really like. You can also lay down branches or twigs temporarily, until they learn.

Using motion activated sprinklers can work, shooting the cats with a hose, water cannon or even just yelling at them can train them that your yard isn't somewhere they should be.

I get angry when my neighbor's dog gets out and poops on my lawn or when my other neighbor lets her leashed dog lift his leg on my plants along my curb but I would never consider harming the dogs!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 2:18PM
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buyorsell---A friend of mine had a neighbor who "collected" cats. One those people who thought he was saving a stray cat. Pretty soon this neighbor had 14 cats and they all pooped in my friends beds. My neighbor tried to talk to this person but with no results. My friend got to the point he couldn't stand the smell no longer. He called the humane society and they suggested buying a cage and turn the cats in to the animal shelter. I don't think they would suggest that if it is illegal. I am not a pet hater but am a big believer that people with pets are responsible for what their pets do outside their own yards. I really don't see any difference in a cat pooping in my yard and a neighbor throwing poop from his yard to my yard. The poop is still in my yard. Would you let a neighbor throw poop into your yard? I believe not. To me, it's just the same as a neighbors cat pooping in my yard. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 12:45PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Animal collectors are mentally ill and often their animals are in horrible shape and local authorities should be contacted.

Collectors usually have unsocialized or feral animals that cannot usually be considered pets. Many have to be euthanized when the authorities do catch up with them.

That is different than trapping your neighbor's beloved pet.
Multnomah County Animal Control euthanizes more animals than they successfully adopt or are reclaimed by their owners. Sending someone's pet there is as good as having it killed.

I stepped in a nice big pile of dog poop on my front lawn (which is bordered by an 8' wide mixed border so the dog had to come up my driveway to get to the lawn) just the other day. I am not going to grab him and take him to the shelter the next time he is loose. Poop happens.

There is bird, raccoon, opossum and squirrel poop in my yard too.....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 3:08PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I find holly trimmings successful in detering cats from nice soft soil. And at this time of the year, it looks nice.
We have a neighbour with 8 cats -- she picks them up from the animal shelter and saves them. Unfortunately, they don't just come and poop here, they also beat up my cat.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 3:41PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I really do find that yelling, chasing, throwing pine cones really helps to keep stray or neighbor's cats/dogs out of my yard. We rarely see the same cat/dog more than once or twice.

Our neighbor behind would rescue strays. She got them all fixed, vaccinated and did take good care of them but she fed some of the wilder ones outside and sometimes it seemed like there were twenty five cats in her yard. We really did not have problems. Her yapping Dachsunds were more problems than all the cats. We lived next to her for 11 years. She moved this last summer. She took the tame cats with her and her mother moved into the house with two really obnoxious yapping Yorkies. The mother has gradually stopped the outdoor feeding and the daughter and her husband gradually collected all of the cats so there are no more. I'm hoping the raccoons will be reduced too since they were drawn to the cat food. I had more problems with them than the cats.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 1:09PM
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I'am all for the " Havahart" traps at the Humane so. or home depot. Cat or dog its MY ground I'am paying for and you and your animal are in the wrong.
Holly/rose branchs even metal bird spikes secured to the ground.
Or plant a whole lot of cat nip plants ( summer ) or hang tie small bags etc. of dry catnip in all the right places and they'll come in get happy and lets hope the hawks and coyotes are hungry. Its all natural. right?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:45AM
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galcho(z8 Northwest)

My yard is fenced, to prevent cats to enter it, i put hardware cloth on top of it. No more cats in the garden.
Before i was used chicken wire to cover some places where they like to come. I have covered dry area under eves around the house with lava rocks, looks nice and cats don't like it any more. They don't like smell of oranges, so i blended orange peels, it helped sometimes.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 11:10AM
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itsmefaith(Coast, Oregon)

Don't ask me why this works, but it does. My girlfriend has a gallon jug of tap water sitting in her yard where the cats used to "go" and the cats don't come in anymore. After she tried everything, her auntie told her to try that. Seeing was believing.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 12:43PM
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Cat Deterrents for your Garden:

Keep in mind that each cat is different (like people), what works for one may not necessarily work for another. On the plus side, most cats will keep pesty squirrels, moles and other critters out of your garden. They're great for keeping out moles, rabbits, squirrels, and other critters which can do more damage in your garden than a cat ever will. Birds aren't stupid, they watch for cats and stay away. Sometimes natural law comes into play and the quicker animal wins, it's natural law.

If the cats have owners, talk to them without being confrontational. The cat owner who allows his cat to damage other peoples' property is as guilty as the cat hater who kills the cat for trespassing. Remember, cats will be cats, and it is unfair of us to blame them for being what they are and how nature intended them to participate in this world. After-all, we praise them when they catch mice or rats or other creatures we deem to be 'pests'.

* amonia soaked (corncobs, etc)
* aluminum foil
* bamboo skewers
* black pepper
* blood meal fertilizer
* bramble cuttings
* Carefresh - "recycled" wood pulp
* catnip - donated into your neighbor's yards (so they'll stay in their own yards)
* cedar compost
* chicken wire (metal or plastic)
* cinnamon
* citrus peels
* citrus spray
* cocoa bean shells
* coffee grounds -fresh & unbrewed, not just a light sprinkling (highly recommended by MANY Gardenwebbers!)
* dogs
* electric fence for animals
* essence of orange. essence of lemon, lime (citrus essential oils)
* fresh manure(ditto)
* garlic cloves
* gumballs from the Sweet Gum Tree
* gutter covers
* hardware cloth
* 2 liter bottle full of water (magnifies movement on other side)
* heavy bark mulch
* holly leaves
* keep the area damp, they like dry soil
* lavender
* liquid manure (good for your garden too)
* motion sensor sprinkler
* pennyroyal
* pinecones
* pipe tobacco
* plastic forks
* predator urine
* red wine vinegar
* river rocks over the exposed soil
* rocks, crushed
* rose bush clippings
* rue, an herb (Ruta graveolens) (highly recommended in plant form only)
Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler
(do a search or
Shake-Away Domestic Cat Repellent Urine Powder
(do a search or
* short twigs throughout the planted area about 6" apart
* six-inch bamboo skewers (pointy side up)
* Spray on your leaves (not the cat): fill a spray bottle with 1/2 t chili powder, 1/2 t cayenne pepper, 1 t dish soap and water
* squirt gun with water
* talk to your neighbors
* tansy
* thorny berry, lilac, hawthorn, rose clippings
* toothpicks
* upside down vinyl carpet
* vinegar sprayed on areas where they roam
* water bottle on "stream"

*** chili powder, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper (NOT recommended), it gets on the cat's paws then they wash themselves and they get it in their eyes, beware cats have literally scratched their eyes out because of this. Even if it's one cat out of 500 infected in this way, that's one too many for me.
*** Don't ever use mothballs or flakes. Those little toxic waste pellets destroy cats' kidney function, could seriously harm people who handle them, and yes, contaminate your own garden soil. Their packaging even warns against using them this way.

Give them their own areas:

(To keep them out of where you don't want them)
(If you don't mind them protecting your garden from other critters)

+ Pick the cat up and bring it to eye level with the plant to see and smell it up close. Usually, once a cat seen and sniffed at the plant, she usually doesn't bother with it later.

+ give them their own plants - i.e., pots of grass for her to chew on and a place in a large planted container on her balcony with some miscanthus grass in it (the cat likes to curl up in that for some reason)

+ if the cats are strictly indoors and attracted to your houseplants, grow catgrass for them. If someone forced you to remain inside one enclosed structure all your life, you might be attracted to the plants too.

+ Barley Grass
+ Any type of "catgrass" from the pet store
+ Carex elata 'Bolwes Golden' but put it in some shade
+ Catmint
Nepeta mussini
cultivars (Simply put, Catmints are Catnips without any culinary or feline use. In any case, they are, however, phenomenal, long flowering, hardy perennials that belong in every fairie or flower garden.)
+ Catnip
Nepeta cataria
(in your own yard) The oils of which also work as a mosquito repellent that works 10 times better than Deet! Catmint is the common name for all varieties of Nepeta. Catnip is the common name for the specific variety of Nepeta called
nepeta cataria
, which is the variety that cats are most attracted to.
+ Cat Thyme (Teucrium marum)
+ Flax
+ Oat Grass
+ Jacob's Ladder
+ Lemon Grass
+ Loose soil and mulch like small bark mulch
+ Mints
+ Purple Fountain Grass so the cat lays in the long leaves all day. Maybe put something in that the cats really like and - you know cats won't winky were they like to hang out.
+ Sandy area
+ Silver vine (Actinidia polygama)
+ Striped Ribbon Grass (can be invasive)
+ Sweet grass
+ Trificum aestivum (type of cat grass)
+ Various Varieties of Cat Mints (Catnips)
+ Wheat Grass
+ Wheat Berries
+ Valerian

As a gardener, grow your indoor cat some catgrass and catnip. They're healthy alternatives for your houseplants and they'll much prefer them.

Change the litter to something they prefer. If you don't clean it out everyday, consider it. Cat's appreciate a clean, comfortable place to go just as much as humans do.

This list compiled from existing GW posts by Violet_Z6, email at for comments and suggestions regarding this list.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:14PM
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You can get a dog and teach him to chase them away.You have lots of help suggestions here. What worked for me when we moved to our house ( the cats were doing their job in this garden for years) My dog helped a bit to chase them.Every time the cat arrived I sent him over and he just chased them.I put chicken wire every winter and spring.The cAts are very carefull not to destroy your garden ( that's nice ) once you planted something in that area.My area was small and took at least 2 years but once they got an idea that they are not welcomed here they must have found another place.It will work if you persist and don't let them win...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 1:08AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Lee Valley Tools sells a product called CatScat, these are plastic spiked mats,
spikes 1" long, the mats are 8.5" X 6.5", 4 to a package for $19.95 Canadian. Won't hurt people or animals, just a great deterrent.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 11:26AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I meant to add not homemade but worth looking into. Stayed up late watching some great old George Saunders movies on TCM. My brain is not in gear yet. Unfortunately, the older I get the longer it takes.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 11:42AM
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Ratherbgardening(PNW 7 or 8)

Our neighbors cat just started using my beds this year for some reason. Maybe because of all the leaf mold I mixed into some areas. She has many acres of land around, so I don't know why she's always over here. I've chased her out many times, but she'll keep coming back. Some days I find her lounging on the front porch, so she hasn't gotten the message that this isn't her second home. I suspect she's lonely, since her people are gone a lot.
I think I'll spray a little deer repellent on the soil next time I use it and see if that deters her. It has a strong mint and garlic odor.
It gets me a little mad, since ours are indoors and don't bother anyone else.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 12:58PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Except for a few episodes of using thin lawn I have never seen cats go anywhere that wasn't similar to a litter box (loose, soft, dry or dryish exposed material). Eliminate the similarity of the site to a litter box and surely they will take their eliminations elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 4:55PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

That's what we did. We either put plants or gravel or moisture holding compost under the eaves of our house (where it used to look like a litter box with dry sandy soil) and they quit. I also really like the wood chips idea.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 2:12AM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

I find it interesting that many of you are saying cats won't poop if you have some kind of ground cover and recommend bark chips- this is exactly what we have and the cats still poop there.

I also can't have plants covering every spot of bare earth ;-)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:14AM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Ellen do you have fine or medium sized bark? I think that some of the recommendations above were for either large coarse chips or fragrant chips like cedar. I suppose cats are different everywhere though. :^)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 11:44AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I'm trying very hard to have plants covering every spot of bare earth! :)

I meant coarse bark nuggets, not fine shred. Fine shred is like compost, easy for them to use.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, the commonly go in dry areas where there is thin or comparatively small particle size bark over the soil. The physical deterrent has to be substantial enough that they can't get at that lovely dust with a little digging.

And, actually, you really should have all your bare dirt covered - unless you are leaving areas of soil open to warm up for plants that need it, like warm season annual vegetables.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 2:11PM
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When I lived in Portland we had so many feral and pet cats pooping in our yard. Right on the grass. Diarrhea. Under the swingset. My kids would step in it. Animal Control encouraged people to trap the cats and bring them to the pound. They don't come and pick them up in Portland. I confronted one neighbor about their cat but they literally didn't care. So I trapped and brought in twenty cats. The poop disappeared. The pound will call the cat owner if the cat brought in has a pet tag or license. But of course none of the cats I brought in did, even the pet ones.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 9:46PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

They should all be kept inside, for their own good as well as for the effects they have on the surroundings when let outside.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Oh, I can so relate. Our neighbors have two cats, and are allergic so they don't let them in their house. They decided they like our yard, and live under our deck. Our dog loves them and plays with them. I have tried everything to get rid of them. They seem to enjoy a good spray from the hose. I want to keep them out, but not endanger our dog at the same time. Do the twigs every where really help? Any dog safe ideas? They don't seem to mind going in the mulch.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 1:09AM
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bop28(z6 Mo)

We have a neighbor cat that pees on my front porch furniture cushions and the bottom of my front storm door. Our house cat sits at the front storm door and smells the pee from the other cat and now decides to poop in the area to 'mark' his territory. How can I keep this cat from peeing on my porch? It's driving me (and our cat) crazy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:26AM
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ratherbgardening, and others with indoor cats..........your neighbors cats are drawn to your house and yard because you have cats living in your home.

CatStop is the one product that I've found works 100%. My DM had problems with the neighbors cats living in her yard and stalking her bird feeder. She set up 2-3 of the units and never saw the cats again. They can be costly, but I searched online and on ebay and found much lower prices.

Here is a link that might be useful: CatStop

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:37PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I bought two ultrasonic devices to keep raccoons out of my pond. They did not work on the raccoons but they did scare the heck out of my cats when DH tried it on them.

Raccoon feces look and smell like cat and they don't cover it up. We had raccoons going on the roof of our shed until all overhanging branches were removed. They were also going on the rocks around the pond before we put up an electric fence.

The website below has do it yourself plans for a motion activated water cannon. Much cheaper than buying a Scarecrow. Raccoons don't mind being squirted though...

Here is a link that might be useful: Look under Predators for the Heronizer

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 1:01PM
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As an owner of two cats who both spend a few hours a day outside, this is an eye opener. I have never thought about it bugging the neighbors. Something to think about.

That being said, i would have a real problem with a neighbor who chose to trap my cats and take them to the pound vs. talking to me first.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:05PM
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JeanneK(z8 OR)

I agree, Steve-g. I would NOT be happy with my neighbor if they trapped my cats and took them to the pound. I would prefer my neighbor to talk to me about the problem. THAT would be the polite way to handle it.

I can understand your frustration, however as there are many stray cats in my neighborhood, that spray/pee my porch and railings. Generally, this causes my cats to freak out and spray/pee back. I do sympathize.

Thank you, buyorsell, about pointing out that racoons have similar scat. I hadn't thought of that.

Dogs can be just as much of a problem for the garden. Unleashed dogs do poop on my property and they do bark all night. But that doesn't mean I am going to trap them and send them to the pound.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:43PM
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I'm pregnant and need some way to keep the cats out of my garden, for cat crap is extremely dangerous to a pregnant woman. They are pooing in it at night, I suspect, since I rarely see them during the day. So no suggestions about paintballs, water or pinecones...I need something organic also and something that won't harm my small dogs when they are out with me while I"m working in the garden. This isn't a "someone's pet" problem, it's a slew of neighborhood strays that like to hang out next door. I would like to keep away from groundcover, since I intend to replace the soil in the bare spots they're pooping in and finish my planting, since they dug it all up. I know it's not my dogs doing this, since they are inside little Shih-Tzu's that are well supervised when outside (they stay by me, pretty much)...I'm not looking to kill them or anything, but these are not anyone's pets, they will not be missed by anyone but the other cats, and I want them to stay the eff out of my garden. I only had bare spots in there because I was waiting for the seeds to sprout. So much for that and I lost money on those seeds as a result. I have holly bushes that need pruning, but I need that ground space for my veggies...It's a SFG, so I need all the space I can get!

1. Must be organic
2. Must be dafe for children and pets, like I said, I don't want the cats dead, just out of my garden
3. must not hinder seeds sprouting and things starting to grow
4. Prefer to make it from stuff around the house, if possible
5. No sprinklers. I don't have the $ to be spending on that stuff what with saving money for the new baby
6. Remember that I do not see these cats in my yard, but I know it's them. I found a fresh turd in the bare earth yesterday. I almost threw up.
7. Absolutely no cayenne pepper and the like that will burn me, my kids who help me in the garden or my dogs who sit near me (not in the bed) while I garden
8. Something that will work quickly, as this is a serious health risk to myself and my unborn child
9. I sincerely doubt the humane society will come all the way out here in the boonies every day to set a trap and pick one up every day. We live pretty far out. And I don't have that kind of time.

Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 11:45PM
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Given that the poop is uncovered and you live in the sticks, perhaps it's not the cats but a raccoon (as other have mentioned above). I think you can safely avoid toxoplasmosis by wearing gardening gloves, washing your hands and having someone else dispose of the feces. Remember, catching toxoplasmosis is very rare, not all feline feces carry it, and your garden can surely go several months without being pruned if you are really worried about it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 12:37AM
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It wasn't was buried. But you know dogs, they have that acute sense of smell! It's not raccoons. It's those damn cats. And I don't care how "rare" it is to contract, these are feral cats who eat rodents and the like, it can't be that "rare" in those kinds of cats. And my garden cannot go several months without being taken care of. I worked my ass off to get it to where it is right now, I'm not giving up on my only obsession because of some doody. I guess I'll just call animal control and have them set out traps on the outside of my fence where these things are coming over. They won't last long, hopefully.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 6:56PM
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raining_in_or(Zone 8 OR)

Orange peels work really well for me :)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 8:18PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Buy some cheap nylon bird netting and lay it out over the bare spots. Don't lay it flat, fluff it up with twigs and stones. It is very inexpensive.

Wearing gloves and washing your hands before touching your face, eating, cooking or preparing food will protect you from toxoplasmosis. You have to actually ingest infected feces to get it.

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC Toxoplasmosis Fact Sheet

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 1:03PM
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I live in a garden apartment, and we also have "humane" neighbors who feed the stray cats... sometimes. I have cedar mulch, larger pieces, under the bushes outside my apartment, and dont seem to have much of a problem there. My next door neighbor has sharper, decorative rocks under hers which the cats just dig through. I think I am going to go and get her some mulch, and offer to put it down for her. I also have less bug problems than some of my neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 3:02PM
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Sometimes you have to make the best of a situation that isn't going to change. I live in a house with 2 cats and the former owner's cat doesn't understand that this isn't home anymore...and the former owners don't really seem to care. He makes it back from their house in about a day. What I do to keep him from pooping in the grass/beds... is put a covered litter box outside. I know it means more work, but i would much rather clean that than the grass/beds...and avoid the anger and frustration at the neighbors for something they just choose to not deal with. Something to consider.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:52PM
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When I bought this house there was a mountain of bark dust in the front yard, and it smelled like a giant litterbox. I also discovered that a crabby old cat who lives in the neighborhood used my front porch for daily naps and he was my prime suspect. That wasn't the worst of it; he snuck into the house whenever a door was left open. We eventually came to agreement that he can sleep on the porch but can't come in the house. Before long, I noticed he was chasing off all other cats that came into my yard. No more cat poop smell in the barkdust pile (which is gone now.) So, that's my recipe for keeping cats away. He's pretty mean. I think he off'd the mole that was tunneling all over the place, too. Doesn't mess with the raccoons, though - darn it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 1:40AM
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This read has been hysterical. I'm pointing at the computer screen and gasping and laughing all at the same time.

Who knew outdoor cats had this lifestyle? My large, soft, geriatric, indoor cat is amazed at all the action in our totally fenced backyard. A couple of notes and then perhaps someone else can share more: the 8 stray cats that live on the old lady's front lawn next door(some are pregnant! yay!) enjoy napping under my giant lavender plant. Right. Ok.
They also poop on long, wet, green grass in my backyard. How is that like cat litter?

I am however, buoyed by the idea of hardware cloth - s'pose I could lay this along the top of my fence? They don't like walking on it, is that it? Also the outdoor cat box is a brilliant idea! But for the cleaning of it. And the water bottle! Our grandmas were alright, man. I'm so trying that tonight.

My pug dogs do their level best to chase the wee beasties away and are responding very well to me hissing "Go get 'im." Bless. But every. other. fricking. day the dogs still get to that chocolate pudding before I do and start lapping it up. I tell you, I am one step away from maddness. Must all stray cats have runny bums??? I swear I wouldn't mind a daily turd find because as someone said, crap happens. But not as a breakfast blend.

So, what's my point? I love all these ideas. Keep 'em coming! I'll let you know about hardware cloth. Thanks for making my day. I thought I was the only crazy person on earth running around my yard in my pj's at 6am with a plastic bag full of cat chocolate, shaking a can of pennies into the ether.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 6:02PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It is not normal for cats to go right out on grass. They normally dig holes in soft dirt or mulch and bury it. Which is why cat litter is like cat litter.

It is also not normal for it to be runny.

Likely it is raccoons, regardless of how many cats are hanging out in your yard.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:11AM
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misslemonverbena(z8 Portland,Or.)

I took twigs & stuck them vertically in my vegetable bed about 4 inches high & 6 inches apart. The seeds just sprouted up around them, and by then the cat had fiqured out this was not a good spot to go in or nap in. Very effective for a small space, too time consuming for a large area though.

Here is a website for inexpensive cat fencing that will keep your cat in & other cats out. If you look at the picture you can see that you don't even have to buy it, I think all the components would be readily available at home depot.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 1:27PM
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We don't have raccoons in Phoenix. I know cats aren't supposed to like wet grass or lavender, but here we are.
Last night I tried the bamboo skewer thing. Seems to be holding. I also filled in with rocks the dirt "bed" a little guy made under my lavender. I guess the runny poop is because the cats are sick, which makes me worry more for my poop-eating dogs. Hopefully, I'll just keep making the area inhospitable. I'm trying not to obsess.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 5:31PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Actually, there are raccoons in Phoenix.

Do you have a pond? or leave food out for your dogs? Both will attract them to your yard. As will sheltering trees and shrubs.

Here is a link that might be useful: AZ urban wildlife

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I had tried everything to keep cats from pooping and killing my visiting birds. (Don't try talking to the owners,they don't want the poop in their yards!!) When I poured fresh concrete, they came to play and poop in the dug up dirt, had fights on the fresh concrete and left permanent marks on it. Tried a trap and found that cats are good at avoiding traps.
(Cat lovers stop reading here)
In desperation, I discovered how to repel them permanently. I bought a SMALL electric fence kit from the local ranch supply store and put a thin wire around my flower bed. No more cats. It won't hurt them too much, just enough so they don't forget. I requires a little electrical knowledge such as-don't let the wire touch your plants or the ground. And of course, don't touch it yourself when weeding or you may poop in your own flower bed! LOL

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:01PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Nothing wrong with using an electric fence! If you want it to look better, you can substitute the wire with copper tubing and the plastic posts with bamboo. That is what we did around our pond. Raccoons were tearing it up constantly and nothing worked but the electric fence. It works on stray Labradors too.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 10:24PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Ok, I agree with the posters about it being mean to catch your neighbors cats. It's the owners who are at fault not the animals they are doing what comes naturally. I have trained numerous cats and dogs to stay out of my beds by using a pellet type of repellant you can buy at your local pet stores, wal mart or Ace Hardware. It comes in a container like half gallon milk does (cardboard type) follow directions and sprinkle it, doesn't take long to train them to stay away....

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 12:34PM
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Get out! LOL !! I have never seen a raccoon in Phoenix!!! Here I thought I'd left them all up north (like carnies, very small hands...). Maybe the AZ Fish & Wildlife video means they're up in Flagstaff or Payson? Even the local wildlife rehab center hasn't had a raccoon come in for rescue in decades.
I have no pond and my dogs live inside with me along with their food and treats. The only food in my garden are my growing veggies which the cats don't touch.

Coffee grounds are working a bit and those bamboo skewers are doing wonders in the empty spaces between my plants. I even put down some cocoa bean mulch in the front yard around new plants(NOTE: poisonous to dogs, so not in the back)and that's working well.

I now consider it a sport to get to the poop before my dogs do and they consider it a sport to chase the cats out. So, we seem to have come to an agreement.

Raccoons in Phoenix!! LOL! I love it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:11PM
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All the way from Brooklyn, NY...

While we also have cat poop problems (though many of the feral cats have been trapped or CNR), our problem is RACCOON POOP!

Went up on our shed roof over the weekend (the shed has been smelling like sh*t, thus the investigation) and found pile after pile of raccoon feces. Cleaned it all up, used a disinfectant (thinking it might be a deterrent).

Just 30 mins ago, my wife witnessed a raccoon coming from our neighbor's tree onto our roof, and took a big squat!

Does anyone know a good way to get rid of the "raccoon pooping ground" on our shed roof?

Why so many raccoons? We live across the street from Green-Wood Cemetery's 478 acres...though most of our furry friends roost in the trees between our row houses.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:32PM
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Cocoa bean shells were of absolutely no use in deterring pooping close to my front door.

Excellent results were had with small river rocks to cover a small patch of soil next to my patio. The stray cat immediately stopped his daily diarrhea deposit in that spot.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 3:33AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I'm not kidding about raccoons in Phoenix.

I lived in Phoenix for fifteen years.

Raccoons are almost 100% nocturnal especially in the desert. It would be very rare to see one but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

I belong to an online pond forum and have since 1999 and have multiple friends who have ponds in Phoenix and who do have raccoon problems. Right in the city.

Raccoons are native to the Sonoran Desert and they are supremely adapted to life in cities with humans. Raccoon populations have spread and grown with cities.

Phoenix has tons of habitat perfect for raccoons. The canals and irrigation ditches are full of crayfish. There are golfcourses and condos with lakes on every other corner. There are millions of people with garbage, pet food and backyard ponds with fishy buffets for them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:11PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)


Are there overhanging branches that give the coons access to your shed roof?

we had the same problem until we severely pruned the neighbor's pine tree and once the shed roof was totally out in the open they stopped going up there.

I miss the look of the branches but the smell and mess were foul and I don't miss that at all.

The neighbor's finally trimmed all of their overgrown conifers that they should never have planted in the first place and raccoon traffic in general has been slowed up.

one was in my front yard pond last night though. Tore my waterlilies to shreds.......My fish pond is electrified but the smaller ponds aren't.

You might end up having to run a hotwire across your shed roof. Fidoshock is about fifty bucks and available at Petco and Petsmart. Lower voltage than livestock hot wires. Easy to install.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:16PM
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Thanks. Funny enough, that's how we found out about our high-point bathroom. I went up on the roof of our shed to clean off debris and severely prune "the tree of Brooklyn" the ailanthus.

Left ONE overhanging branch stump (it was substantial in size, needing perhaps a chainsaw). Darn it if the bugger just jumped over last night and took a big dookie in front of my wife and I.

We will resort to further trimming this weekend, though we have phone/cable lines running close by. Can't cu those ;)


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Bump to the top for a recurring topic!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 10:10AM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

Wow, I think this was my first post on this board!!!

Still have the problem, though not as much as we have gotten a dog... dog isn't out in the garden all day though!! What garden I have is behind chicken wire at the moment!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 11:42AM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thank you cascadians! I'll forward this to my friend!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 2:54PM
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i've been pretty patient with the s***-loads of cat poo until now
because the neighborhood cats are mostly pretty sweet, in spite of their poo proclivities but now there's this darn siamese that has come out of nowhere who follows me around and meows and yowls the entire time i'm outdoors.
i was already mildly annoyed, but the last time i was working outside (in my fenced in backyard) i heard a loud hiss/yowl and looked over in time to see it swat the heck out of my feeble arthritic senior pup who's about 1/2 its size.
that cat's going down.
i'm thinking about trapping and taking to the humane society.
i'll ask around with the immediate neighbors first, of course.
it would probably adopt out pretty easily.
i've heard that some people actually like 'talkative' siamese cats and it's certainly pretty and friendly enough.
i'm sure i'll end up trapping and releasing the other dozen or so cats around here first, though.
i'd just pick it up and stick it in the car, but i'm afraid it'd go nuts and spray all over the place on the way to the shelter.
any sage advice?

wish me luck

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 1:23AM
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Here's a low dollar fix for unwanted animals on your property. Get a water valve out of a old washing machine.
(Hot or cold,Does not matter).Buy a cheap outdoor motion light sensor,(These will turn on and off any time of the day).Build a wood box,(Two foot square).In the wood box,
cut out a hole for the sensor.Mount the sensor,whatever
way so the sensor does not move from the hole opening.You
will have to make a wire connection from a power outlet on
the ouside of home to the power in on the motion sensor.From
the light bulb side of the sensor,you have to make a wire connection to the water valve,(Which is a 110 volt valve).
The 110 Volt water valve has to be mounted in the box also.
Now the water valve has a In an a out.From your outside
water tap,a hose has to be hooked up to the in of the water valve.From out of the water valve a hose will go to a lawn
srinkler.Once everything has been wired and plumbed properly
plug in power and turn on the water at tap.Nothing will happen.Pass your hand in front of sensor hole in box,sensor will turn on.Normally a light would turn on,instead the water valve will open up and the lawn sprinkler will will take care of your unwanted animals.No harm done to anything or to anyone. Any questions,E-mail me. Regards Gerry

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:35PM
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Does anyone have a problem with cats pooping on your lawn?
Every week I find 10-15 piles of poop from cats. Its very frustrating because my kids like to play in the yard. By the way, lots of great ideas for cat deterrents.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:13PM
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I think someone mentioned in an earlier post about the orange peels...I can tell you they work. I was told that cats HATE the smell of rotting citrus, so we save all of our citrus peels, lemon, grapefruit, oranges, any....and we put them all around our property line. It works and it is free...especially if you make friends with someone who runs the produce stand, or works in the produce department of the grocery store and tell them to save you all the rotten citrus, or someone who works in a smoothie stand. Of course you'll have to add more every so often. I also live next to a "cat collector" who has more than 40 cats who just roam around the neighborhood, and poop in my yard. With 6 kids, who love the outdoors, we have had our share of fungus, and ringworms. Someone shared the info on the motion detector water squirter (I think someone posted the link up above, and someone even tells you how to make your own) but it looked like a great solution, but expensive, which is why I tried the rotten citrus (and in trouble spots that they really love, we use trimmings from our rose bushes and bouganvillas). Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

It looks like cat poop, but you will not believe this one! Bull Frogs!! The pest control guy came out and identified it. I live on a golf course in the hot So CA desert. I imagined all sorts of creatures... like Desert Foxes, Racoons, Skunks.. etc. It is BULL FRIGGIN FROGS!! Soooooooooo I made a very nice cocktail of fresh jalepenos blended with water, splashed it all over the patio, and no more poop!! Life is good. Jalepenos grow like crazy here, so I'm never without!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 12:00PM
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pnw_katie(8a Tualatin, OR)


I myself have been obsessed with this topic since I got a yard of my very own (a year and a half ago!). I tried the orange peels...didn't know they should be rotting, so thanks for that. Sticks poking out of the ground also works great.

Here is one that I didn't read on this post. Set up string (think cat sized tight-rope) a couple/few inches above your fence. Apparently this makes climbing over the fence difficult. I haven't tried this myself, but would love to know if you have and if it was successful.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:13AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

When I've seen them go in grass it was thin. Maybe your lawn needs to be redone and made more thick and lush. They like to dig before dropping, although if you have elderly cats coming onto the place that may be part of the problem.

Otherwise, away from lawns: Cobbles, cobbles, cobbles. Bare dusty dirt needs to be covered anyway, and cats do not like to try and push rocks aside. Turn an eyesore and source of disgust into an ornamental feature - permanently.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 12:01AM
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I use a electric stock fence which is really entertaining when you see them hit it and it turns them inside out. Now don't get me wrong I just love cats . . . . . . they taste just like chicken! I have used my stock fence to keep strays out of my garbage and to protect my garden. Try it. You'll like it and it is really shocking!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:31PM
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For raised beds and containers, I have excellent success with chicken wire. I cut it to fit plus a couple of inches on each side. I bend the edges down at right angles and rest it on top of the soil with the sharp ends just barely into the soil. Cats jump up and jump right down. Squirrels too!

For larger areas, bark mulch works. Cats poop only in my new beds with beautiful compost and smallish plants. I'm hoping that as the plants fill in the cats will not have as much surface area to poop on.

I learned another way to tell cat poop from racoon poop. In additio to being on top of the grass or other surface, racoon poop is smooth and wettish, and cat poop is dryer and segmented. We'd been finding poop right on top of the grass and I told my husband that in over 40 years of living with cats, I'd never seen a cat poop right on top of the lawn without digging.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 1:53AM
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All the neighborhood cats troop thru here. The rain and slugs take care of a lot of droppings until the warm sunny weather. These cats just poop right on top of the grass. Also dig in raised beds. We have 29 bird stations, lots of flagstone paths and 300+ trees and running water and oodles of retaining walls = tops = cat paths so it's impossible to keep cats out. Across from school so piling perimeter with rotting citrus won't work. But they may close the school.

1/4 acre, completely fenced, but fences are considered playground amenities by cats.

I chase and bark at the cats. Only thing that works. Thinking of getting a Newfoundland puppy but that breed gets along really well with other animals. I'm more ferocious.

These wild songbirds like to congregate and socialize this time of year. There are hundreds perched in the treetops making a racket. You can hear them 2 blocks away. Finches and sparrows especially noisy. This drives the cats crazy. It advertises birds, birds, zillions of birds, come and get 'em ...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:29AM
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I'm having trouble finding a place to buy it, but there's a product called CatScat that is made of recycled plastic w/ flexible spikes, easy to move. I've used it to deter cats around my bird feeders and squirrels from my potted plants. It's easy to cut w/ a scissor. Best of all, it won't really harm the critters since that's an issue for me.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 12:26PM
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Kitty litter manufactures add cedar oil to attract cats to the litter. So adding cedar chips, is only going to attract cats. I found this out the hard way, when my cat kept crapping in a cedar piece of furniture.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Thanks for the all of the advice--I've been searching the internet, but still no luck in something that will work for my situation. It's not just a problem in flower beds--I want to keep the cats (and the raccoons) out of the entire yard. It's a quarter acre so most of these solutions won't work. And I have a dog which also eliminates many of the options. And I garden organically (including lots of fruit trees--probably what attracts the raccoons) so that precludes some options, too. Someone mentioned a single wire atop the fences. Does anyone have experience with that, DIY/how-to details? It seems doable and affordable. I checked out, but with 100s of feet of fence, forget it (and it's just too big and ugly). I looked at the ultrasonic catstop, but will it bother my dog? And not practical for the entire property. I'm tired of cleaning it up, my dog finds it, eats it and gets sick (because the cats are sick, too, and/or my doggie has allergies and a sensitive tummy). I'm also tired of being awakened in the middle of the night when they're howling (fighting or mating--hard to tell :). I will try trapping some and taking them to the shelter. If they don't have tags/microchips, they're by definition strays (and some are, but others may be pets owned by negligent owners). And YES if they're your cats, out and about without tags and such--YOU'RE the one breaking the law. SOME of it may be raccoon poop (I don't know if that attracts dogs the way cat poo does), but I KNOW some of it is cat poop. All this about cats covering it up and only using litter-like loose ground is noNSeNSE! Not all cats do. And sometimes it's runny because the cats are sick (probably/especially the strays). Often it's on top of the grass (stop telling people there's something wrong with their gardening or the quality of their lawns--how rude!). Stop saying that all means it's the raccoons. I've occasionally SEEN the cats do it! I've even seen a cat poop on the CONCRETE SIDEWALK, right in front of me while walking my dog in the neighborhood. So stick that in your "expert," judgemental pipes and smoke it. I appreciate all of the "natural," non-harmful, humane solutions, most just aren't practical on a larger scale. I'm a cat lover--more than all the "carefree"--i.e. negligent--owners. I also rescue loose dogs and take them to the shelter if I don't know who owns them. So they don't get hit by cars. And legit owners can reclaim them after paying fines for letting them loose and not having them licensed and tags and hopefully learn a lesson and make sure their dogs don't get out again (usually repeat offenders). Or someone who really cares will adopt them. Not all shelters are a death sentence either. Some have no-kill policies.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 2:51AM
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Wow. People like duane456 and jsmitka are shockingly heartless--imagine trapping neighbors' children because they got into your yard and did things that bothered you.

I lived next to a neighbor whose dog was given the area right next to my tiny back yard as its bathroom--it stank to high heaven in the warm summers, and filled my backyard with flies yet I never once of harming or killing the poor dog. I talked to my neighbor and eventually called the humane society to come talk to them, too, and eventually moved my seating further away, although within small confines.

Cat poop can be just dug into the soil. We buy manure for our yards but seem to think it only appropriate if packaged. Actually, if buried, it is likely usually good for our gardens, so long as the soil is basically healthy. If you do not want it, use twigs stuck well into the ground, upright, every inch or so, or in cute looking bunches--but sticking up out of the ground; alternatively, place some large stones among them, or just use stones. A cat will not use such land, and the twigs can pulled out later when your ground cover grows in. No trapping/harming/killing by slow painful death involved.

If you want to use pepper, just rub some on your own mouth and eyes first, daily, for a few weeks. (Such cruelty to unsuspecting animals is punishable by law.) If you want to trap your neighbors' cats to take them to the pound, you should identify your intentions to your neighbors in a calm but accurate manner first. I would both keep my cats, dogs and children well away from such a neighbor, and would make sure to never lend a helping hand to such a heartless, narcissistic and sociopathic type.

In truth, cats do better with some time outdoors to make vitamin D, to ingest a few greens, etc--they are also an asset to your garden if you see them as beautiful creatures who cross your yard. So you could choose to benefit from the poop or else put down artistically arranged upright twigs or stones, and either way, get to know the cats with their different personalities--they are quiet and very frequently sweet. Most people who think they hate cats actually fall in love with them after they learn a few basic things about them--even people with allergies to them, and pregnant women who want to keep them a bit at bay.
(Most cat owners keep their cats through their pregnancies, I must say--and just use gloves for cleaning their litter boxes/ yards.)

Unlike dogs, cats will not poop on your lawn--they dig in dirt!--and are easily deterred from using your dirt by mere twigs poking upright in the ground, or rocks, or both. (Or brick pavers, etc.) They are members of your neighbors' families--and like all mammals, they feel pain and emotion just like we humans do.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 4:12PM
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it is miserable and I sympathize with your situation.

One thing that worked was when they are lounging in your yard, if you can "surprise" them with a very strong spray of water that just might deter them. You may have to do it a few times( maybe if you have a sprinkler system just turn it on when you see one??!)

What I hate the most about these situations is this is YOUR property and YOU have to deal with this...cats should not be allowed to roam outside of THEIR owner's property.

Okay, for the raccoons and opposums I had in my yard, I got a trapper that took them to some big preservation area and let them loose(he caught six or so in six days!!) and I also enclosed my back yard. Had no more issues with the wild animals.

The cats, you can try the spray from the hose, but you know, once they smell their poop there(and it sure stinks up a yard REALLY fast) it's hard to get them to stop.Maybe you can pay someone to trap them for you? not sure, but I do hope you can resolve this issue....

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I've had some success deterring my neighbor's 30+ cats with various water devices, esp motion-activated sprinklers (always on), a super-soaker water gun (when I see the cats digging), and a well-aimed hose (ditto). Most cats really hate water, thank goodness.

Other than that, it's a matter of covering every square inch of diggable dirt with something they can't dig through. I protect bare earth with branch trimmings, landscape fabric, Reemay, etc. No bare mulch in my yard. (What a nuisance.)

And sometimes they crap on the Reemay. And on the groundcovers. And on my doormats. And yes, I know the difference between raccoon poop and cat poop. It's cat poop. (And the thought of digging it into my garden is disgusting. Unbelievable.)

Rant: Cats do not belong outdoors, period -- the environmental impacts are huge and growing. And people should obey the zoning laws and not keep dozens of animals (which is a sickness). But reasoning with cat fanatics is useless, as this thread shows. Ah well. End of rant.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 2:30AM
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I put down red lava rock and they still poop in that. Any new ideas

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 4:41PM
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This has been a very good read! Entertaining, and slightly disturbing. So my cat poop horor story is:
1) that I live in Edmonton, where it is about -40 to 25 degrees F in winter,
2) rotten peels, sents, water sprayers and pokey things get covered in lots os snow or are frozen and rendered useless during this time,
3) the damn things are cherrished by neighbours, and they can't keep them in all day.
4) my dog eats fresh flash frozen effing felion turd from all over the perimeter of the house foundation and fence all winter long. The cats go in the snow drifts, yard, everywhere, anywhere. Powder snow or hard pack type.
5) I'm the only one on my block who hates this it seems!?!. Cat is out of the bag now.
6) don't want to displace or harm to bad but am thinking of the electric fence idea....any better cheaper ideas for the frozen southern half of Canada?

BTW I'm going to build the home made water sprayer motion thingie. A bunch in fact, and gang them up in series around my house in spring/sum/fall.

Also had no idea the cats would eat mothballs. I thought is was the smell that they didn't like.

Thanks, eh!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 4:05AM
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My issue is I can't figure out if the cats are strays or not. All I know is this summer there was a cat "family" with 4 kittens living in some shrubs between our neighbors yard. Well, six months later we have 6 cats and 9 months later we have more kittens. Now there are cats along our neighbors yard, and along some shed in another neighbors yard. I would suspect they were strays, because they are very twitchy (won't approach humans), yet they appear very well fed. Can outdoor stray cats appear fat???

I used to not mind a few cats in our yard, but now that there are potentially 12 going through our yard, we no longer have birds in our yard, and they are pooing in our planters, and even humping there.

So yes, this neighbor is most likely feeding them. But then why isn't she fixing them as well so that we aren't over run by cats? I find the lack of having your cat fixed to be irresponsible, and if they are only "outdoor" cats, I think trapping them isn't evil as some have described. I know some cats don't wear tags (mine didn't when I had him - but he was an indoor cat), but then how are we to find out who owns them??? And if they aren't neutered, I can only assume they are strays.

It's mostly a cat population problem I'm having. When there were only 3, we didn't have poo issues... now we do.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Tried orange peels and orange spray, ammonia, moth balls, chili powder, commercial stuff. Cat used to go on top of thick, healthy grass. Spent beau coup bucks on xeriscaping entire yard with stones and desert plants and crusher fine pink stones near patio and flowering won't let the plants grow...dig around them and wet on them and killed several to the huge lavendar plant (so forget that suggestion). This is next to our patio which we use daily. The neighbor is extremely nice, but unconcerned. Wonder what to try next. Will try a few of the suggestions, but it uses a 20'x15' area! I don't want it full of plants. I want to enjoy the look of the xeriscraping that I paid for!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 5:27PM
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Duane, if you trapped my cat and sent it to the pound at a minimum I'd give you an ass-whipping. If my cat died or was euthenized as a result, it would be worse then an ass-whipping. You have no more right to trap a cat then you do trapping a coyote.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 7:40PM
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Buy the cheap roll of black plastic mesh (about 1"spaces) wire. Line your beds with it and use metal garden stakes to secure it. Then use cheap rocks in the areas you cannot get the wire to. This keeps the cats from pooping in our flower beds.
Now, the problem is keeping the stray, neighborhood cats OFF our house roof at night while we are trying to sleep!!! Any ideas???

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Yes.....a good dog.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:40AM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

LOL, you are probably right!!! Ever since we got our Golden Retriever the cat poop hasn't been as much of a problem!!! Only where the dog can't go ;-) but much less!!

What kinds of puppers do you have?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:58PM
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Hm.... odd that humans buy so-called manure in bags to feed their gardens but object when it is contributed for free. "Essence of Cat" is loved by your growing things and a quick dip with a trowel next to one of your plants to create a depository and a second flip to bury the treasure is better than exhausting oneself with deterents and rage.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 1:17AM
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I am dying to try the rose bush twigs..Do they really work?
More than the citrus peels? Twigs have thorns there4 I can understand why these would work.
And one more question?
For the experienced garden owners with this kind of problem...
I have been thinking of lining up plastic yogurt containers with some vinegar or ammonia in them. Which is a better solution.....
the citrus and twigs or the containers.......
Awaiting prompt response.....

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:09PM
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I use Cayenne Pepper-sprinkled in their fav. spots. At least they will suffer for what they are doing. Have to re apply after a strong rain though.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 1:34PM
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In the last week I have witnessed my cat going right on the grass. Why would she do that?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:15AM
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I've witnessed with my own eyes a cat pooping on lush green grass, spiked rubber STUFF, and on cement. Normal behavior-No! But true. I own a golden retriever that adores cats. Plus she loves to eat their poop! The idea I have not tried is coffee grounds. Has anyone had their dog eating that?
If its safe I'm giving it a try.
I read these sites and wonder if only I have these issues. This site has assured me I'm not alone.
Good luck everyone -

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:17AM
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Use carpet tack strips - place them around your garden - they will not like to stand on them and will avoid the area.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:31AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

hazelnut shell mulch works on slugs and cats...

DIY motion sensor water cannon linked, my friend designed it to keep herons away from his koi but it will work on cats though most raccoons love to play in the spray. The only way I've been able to reduce them is to trim up the (neighbor's) trees so they can't go from fence to tree and to put an electric fence around my pond. We no longer have them running or "going" on our roof or shed roof.

Fidoshock fences are very effective against dogs trying to play in my pond as well. They would be easily adapted to protect any area and you can use more attractive copper tubing from home improvement store and bamboo posts instead of the plastic posts and wire.

I cleaned three piles of dog feces off my lawn this week alone. My lawn is separated from the street by an eight to ten foot flowerbed that has trees, shrubs and flowers but they crash on through to use the lawn sometimes they are on a leash too, owner looking other way. Far too big of piles to be anything but dog. I don't have a dog.

Here is a link that might be useful: water cannon

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:50AM
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I found this sight because I am the cat owner who's cat is pooping in my super friendly neighbors garden. I am so bummed! So we went out and bought a few racks of beautiful Australian Violets (they have this in most of their yard already) and we are going to plant them in his chosen potty spot. It's such a bummer because he has a perfectly clean litter box he chooses against using. I hope my solution works and is a positive approach to keeping the peace. Fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 5:29PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

When I lived in the city I made a place for the cats to poop. I kept a dry, shaded place spaded up all the time. They used it and not the rest of the garden. I'd clean it out as needed and put it on a compost pile nearby.
Worked for me.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:02PM
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For all those friendly cat owners, who think it is cruel to catch cats, water them, use crushed pepper. I have to say. I simply do not care about your cats if they will eat rat poison and die! You want to know the reason? Because you apparently don't care at all that your stupid animal is coming on my backyard and leaves piles all around it! And my little 1.5-year-old daughter can't play on our own backyard! We got the dog and we put mulch everywhere. I used pepper. BUT!!! Those cats keep pooping on MY PROPERTY! So don't get all upset when one day because of your stupidity your animal won't return home!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:57PM
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laurell(8 - Washington)

Victoria - you are advocating poisoning cats who are simply doing their business because the owners are too irresponsible to keep track of them? The cat is merely doing what it would do in nature. Murdering an animal that is just following it's instincts is totally disgusting.

This coming from an indoor-only cat and backyard-only dog owner.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:21AM
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Victoria, I can add you to the list of people who'd be in serious trouble if I ever found out you were intentionally killing cats. This is both inhuman and illegal. Personally, if you murdered my pets(which to me ARE my children), at a minimum, I'd give you an asswhipping and maybe worse.

You could complain to your local cat owners who are invading your property, but in the end, you don't own it, the bank or the state does - and thus, you have no right to kill pets, which are considered personal property in most states and have higher status in others.

Like I said, use non-lethal methods if you need to but intentionally murdering pets puts you down an alley you don't want to walk down alone.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Four mouse-traps and a tin of cat food. Short sharp shock treatment. Three months before need to reapply.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 5:37AM
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Dear firefighter (supra)
Please add me to your list asap - believe me, I'm qualified. Let me get this straight...
1. You consider your pets as your "children" - would that make it okay for folks to send out their kids to come trespass, pi$$ and crap all over your yard? Yeah, thought not.
2. "You don't own your property, the bank does" - obviously you have no knowledge of the law, you dumb piece of plankton. Or are you saying that if you haven't paid off your mortgage you could never, say, bring a trespass action against anyone? Tard.
3. "Complain to the owners" - what's the point? They're (mostly) self-centered, self-serving a$$holes, just like their fleabags, who think their "pets" have some glorified rights equal to or even over and above that of a human being. Just because they are lithe, athletic, and can jump a fence/wall does NOT give them the freedom to damage/soil my property nor anyone else's.
4. " would be more then [sic] an ass-whipping" - just so you get something educational out of it, the superlative phrase is more THAN...then is a temporal reference, i.e. I will kill your cat(s) first, then I will kill you. You really do like to lay down the "ass-whipping" line, don't you, regardless of whether it's man, woman or child. What's the matter, you get rejected by the Army? Bullied as a kid? Freakin keyboard warriors. Go join the UFC instead of threatening women if you're so bad a$$.

Anyway, let's be practical. The important thing to remember, folks, is to cause MAXIMUM inconvenience, pain, anguish and cost to the owners - trust me, I've done my stint in the military and sometimes you have to be cruel to be's the only way some people learn.
What you do is get some nice deli meats (I recommend Boar's Head smoked turkey, sliced extra thick) and some full-strengh antifreeze (don't be a cheapskate with that 50/50 mix), chop up the "treats" into nice kitty-size bites, and leave it to soak up a few tablespoonfuls of the special drink. Then let it dry out for a couple of days. This way, it soaks up all the USEFUL nutritional goodies (read hydrocarbon chains, lol) but doesn't retain the odor, so the dopey critters will still eat it. Scatter liberally and watch as the lil fuggahs writhe in pain. If that upsets you, you can take some pleasure from the anxiety and expense the owner has to go through with the (hopefully multiple) visit(s) to the vet's office. Don't forget, you can always give your kids some decent target practice with a BB gun and some wandering strays...much better training than boring stationary Coke cans.

Bottom line: You wouldn't want my pack of hounds off-leash and wandering at will on your property. By the same token, I don't want your nasty untrained POS on my property. And don't give my any BS about free spirit etc. You want a cat or cats, keep it/them in your house or in your yard otherwise it's fair game. And as for you liberal-heart muppets going on about the cat just following its instincts, well I'm just following mine. Fair enough?

Anyway, must fly, have another "batch of love" to prepare. Long live the birds!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:12PM
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Heh, what you just wrote is the death of man. The evil within allows you to intentionally kill animals in a horrific way and what justifies other humans to do the same to you. It's also illegal, not that you appear to be an upstanding citizen in our society.

More then likely you had a horrific upbringing with some terrible, inept or absent parents at the helm. You CANNOT kill pets simply because they trespass, the same way you cannot kill me(without recourse) if I trespass.

""Can I kill an a dog or cat that enters my property?

No. You have no right to use deadly force against another's dog/cat simply because it has entered your property uninvited. The only time that the use of deadly force against at trespassing dog or other animal is justified is when that animal is posing an immediate threat to you or your property as a result of the trespass.""

Anyone killing pets, children or other people without due reason(or legality) is simply asking for legal recourse, or as I said, retaliation. This isn't a complicated thought process.

Dog's are man's best friend, by the way, our country and society LOVES pets and do routinely consider them family.

""You wouldn't want my pack of hounds off-leash and wandering at will on your property.""

I wouldn't care unless they were damaging property. If they were repeatedly pissing/pooping on my property, I'd ask the owners to do something about it but I certainly wouldn't be conceiving some torture/murder plan for your hounds. I respect your hounds as both your property and animals dear to you. You should see this from another person's shoes.

Incidentally, it's also illegal to kill coyotes here, the prime hunters of birds in most areas.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:51AM
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What is wrong with you people. Maybe you can form a club with Michael you have posters of Ted Bundy in your house. I have tons of gardens that we work hours on and would never ever think of doing anything to harm another living creature. You all seriously need to get a reality check as to what is really important in life. Please, get some professional help.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 2:30PM
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Just a quick note, don't use the cocoa shells as they are poisonous to cats and dogs. Good luck, I know it's annoying but making the animals sick is not the way to go.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 2:29AM
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I have just read everything here, and first off I would like to say that some of you people are just sick, and really need some help from a trained professional. Second, these are my stupid cats that are pooping in my new raised veggie garden so I DO NOT want to do anything that would hurt them. My Mom told me about pepper, and I am so glad that I searched before I did that. So, I took some of your ideas, and used them. My little raised garden now has skewers laying like pick up sticks, orange peals, and holly branchs (it needed to be pruned anyway). We will see if it works, and I will let you all know. Happy gardening, and I really hope that you disturbed people get the help you need.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:02PM
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If anyone EVER messed with my cat. I would blow their effin head OFF!
And I am dead serious!

Now if I wanted to build another house on my owned property wouldn't I need a permit from the City/ state I lived in? I guess I am stupid for believing paying taxes on my property means I truly own it...

Firefighter I loved reading your posts! .....

I am waiting for the day when someone hurts one of my animals

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:06AM
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homernoy(z8b Bemerton)

The sooner the better for the rational sane people. AKA the rest of us.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Wearing gloves and washing your hands before touching your face, eating, cooking or preparing food will protect you from toxoplasmosis. You have to actually ingest infected feces to get it.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:29AM
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I have been told if you pee in your own garden it will deter any cat from going near it.

The best i have heard is a fellow worker at an oil refinery took some of the liquid that is mixed with natural gas to give it the smell. He poured this in his front garden after a night shift in the early hours of the morning and woke up to find his road being dug up by the gas company.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 4:08PM
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OK, I started at the top reading and by the time I got to that Firefighter person, I was horrified! What IS the matter with these people? even if he writes all of that just to yank our collective chain, All that anger is still pathetic and sick. Gosh, I hope he never has to rescue any animals from a fire!Not that the posters who "live for the day someone harms one..." of his/her animals is any better! Sigh...
Anyway, Thank you all who posted constructive posts. I have learned alot and will now stay clear of cocoa shells and never considered pepper or the like, good grief. While I like the natural organic mulch idea, I just do not have time to dig it every day andin the summer, well, you know.
So thanks again and gain, Happy New Year and Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Not a recipe, but I bought 2 ultrasonic cordless repellers made by "Garden Creations". I found them on, I think, and they really work, covering a large area. I used them to clear my bird feeding area from cats, and now I use them in my garden shed to keep it free from cats and mice. I read that one woman uses them to keep cats off her car (they left footprints).

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Reading this because I have been searching for three months on how to humanely stop cats from pooping in my yard and realizew that there is a lot of cat owner denial going on here! I love the "cats never..or its rare" I've had two cats poop not in the grass, but on my patio and sidewalk and shed stairs for three months! So the grass and covering it up is not the only thing cats do. Pleeeeeease cat owners, keep your cats inside, have them go inside..its not cute! I just witnessed one of the cats pooping on the pavement in my backyard...I have a small dog they hiss'm at my wits end at the moment.-

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 6:46PM
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They don't like Cayenne pepper, but need to re apply after it rains.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:41PM
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The best and most humane way, in my opinion, is to trap them in a humane trap provided by the animal control dept. of your city.
My personal experience is, after trying $30.00 of cayenne pepper which is only a temporary fix, and may be harmful to the cat, trapping them will make the owners aware their is a problem. There is a $100.00 dollar fine. for the first offense.
Here is the thing about trapping. There are self righteous idiots out there who take it personal and may try to take retribution on you, for what is their responsibility.
My personal experience is to do it, with as few as possible, people knowing. Don't broadcast it. Don't give warning. Don't try to do it in a nice way. You will still be the bad guy! They, no matter what, feel it is their right to let their cats out even though their are leash laws.
If I had it to do over again, that's what I might try. If I wasn't an animal lover, they may not have gotten a second chance at being obstinate owners of their pets and would always be wondering and worrying what happen to their pet that they refuse to take care of properly. But now I have the worry of some idiot escalating things to "get even".

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:58PM
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From what I've read and experienced, there is nothing to deter cats. So I found, on, a portable sonic repeller that covers a larger area than the ones that plug in. It runs on batteries and works for me. I use it in my bird feeder area and it works. I also have one in my storage shed to keep mice and cats out.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Like a sledgehammer to hit a pin? Like a moron that kills people's pets??? For a garden? Really? That important ???
Anyone that would talk so blithely about killing a living thing, someone's pet, for doing what is in the nature of a cat to do, may have intelligence but zero wisdom, sense of proportion or compassion. Chilling to think they walk amongst us.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Wow, this is quite the thread...

I searched this topic out because the neighbor cats have a habit of pooping right under my bedroom window and the smell is ungodly, I can't even open my bedroom window without gagging. Whoever said to use it like manure, I'm sorry, but no, no, no!

I added a good rough mulch of wood chips over the dirt and it had no effect at all. Wetting it down had no effect, either. I finally put river rock all along the house about 18" out from the foundation. It works but they just moved their pooping activity to the edge of it and I still smell it when I open the window. And I don't want to use rock over the whole planting area.

It is frustrating, but I like and enjoy cats and would never do anything to harm one. If it were feral cats, it might be one thing, but I would never trap and remove an animal that may be some child's dearest friend. I don't have one now, but I've owned cats in my life and I know you cannot train a cat or teach it to stay in your own yard. The owners of the cats mean no harm, this is how cats are and have been since the dawn of time, don't take it so personal. For those of you who have neighbors with many cats, most areas do have restrictions on how many pets a household can have, check into it and file a complaint if you have that option. Too many of any kind of animal in too small a space is unpleasant and unhealthy.

Cats also serve a good purpose, they prowl my yard at night catching rodents and keeping the moles at bay. I just don't want the poop where I can smell it or where I'm going to be digging in the dirt.

I had an ultrasonic repeller that worked incredibly well but it finally broke, they don't make that brand anymore, and the new one I bought off of amazon was a piece of junk that has one issue after another- $50 for something useless. So forget that.

The idea I'm trying out now is, I bought a bag of builder's sand and made a sand area back in a far corner where it won't bother me. If they use it, great, problem solved. If not I'll move on to the chicken wire under the mulch or an electric wire along the edge of the bed, I think. I like that idea of using copper pipe.

Thanks for all the good ideas. As for the horrible ideas, if I ever get another cat I will keep in mind that some people are freakish wackos.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:42AM
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david_74012(OK 7)

I put a layer of pine cones in my beds. Cats hate walking on them. Works for snakes here too. Looks good as well.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:08AM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

LOL, we have since got a dog, so no cat poop in the backyard ;-) but every so often I still encounter it on the side of the house from time to time.

I can't believe how many times this thread still surfaces!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I am also frustrated with cat poop in my yard. Each spring, I clean out enough poop that would probably fill 2 1-gallon milk jugs. It's just so gross. I talked with my neighbors, and they have no intention of bringing their cats indoors ( and yes, their cats are always in my yard). I'm all about using animal friendly methods to rid my yard of cats, but honestly, I've tried everything over the past 6 years. I know that there are cat lovers on this page, and I just wanted to express my frustration, because I have literally no where else to complain. Cat owners in my neighborhood just do not care to do anything about "my" problem. To make matters worse, I have 2 pet chickens who frequently are let out in my backyard. Last weekend I was working in my yard & heard one of my chickens screaming. I ran over to the area, and a cat was attacking one of my chickens. Luckily, it ran off when it saw me running at him, and my chicken was only slightly scratched up. My blood was boiling at this point. This occurred in MY yard, at the home that I OWN. I am sick of the cat people defending their free roaming cats!!! At this point, it is becoming dangerous for my pets, so at this point I have no other choice than to trap them and take them to the pound. It is my responsibility to protect my pets, and it is sad that cat owners in my neighborhood cannot say the same.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:05AM
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david_74012(OK 7)

Free roaming cats run the risk of getting feline lukemia, which infects any cats they come in contact with. I lost mine because of this.

Trapping free roaming cats is the only thing I can think of to avoid the risk to your animals since most cat owners who think their cats should be free to roam never get their cats the vaccines to protect them and other cats.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Thanks for all the great idess folks. I am trying the diced citrus peels today to deter neighborhood cats from digging in my new garden. The surface of the garden is a fine to medium, dark brown to black composted municipal yard waste with a medium natural Nitrogen content. Every day I find new dug up areas and cat feces.

As for humane treatment of loose pets: Any cat, dog, cow, goat, boa constrictor, etc., left to roam free from an owner's boundary is at risk of harm of getting into toxic materials or being trapped or shot by people who feel trespssed upon. If you care for your pet, keep it under your control at ALL times by leash, fence, wall, cage, or sedation.
Cars are major cause of death to cats, some cause of death to dogs. Pet cats and feral cats are the cause of a 50% decline in neotropical songbirds (The songbirds that return each spring) Feed your pets, do not allow them to predate on native wildlife. The idea that cats are good to let roam because they catch mice is a poor and ignoraant excuse for all the harm they do. Have mice problem? The you deal with it! Ground nesting warblers and other native ground nesting species are especially affected by cat predation, with some species virtually wiped out in many areas.

I have two cats, I love cats. They stay indoors. If they go out they are leashed or caged.
I have also trapped, removed and/or exterminated numerous wild, feral or loose, cats and dogs.
If you love your pet, and the environment, don't let your pets roam.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 12:52PM
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For those of you living in the Portland Oregon area there is help out there. I have tried everything imaginable thats humane to keep cats out of my yard and planting beds....nothing really works, they may go away for awhile but do come back. After extensive research I have found that, specifically in Multnomah county, a cat owner is ultimately responsible for what their cat does. They are allowed to roam free on public land but it becomes an issue of trespassing on private property. Animal Control here tells me directly that an owner of a cat is suppose to keep that pet in their yard by a leash or other means. You should attempt to talk to the owner but we all know that does not work out well. You are also allowed to trap them and it is encouraged to turn them in to animal control so they can check them for vaccinations and license information. This can be a huge deterrent as they will vaccinate and license the animal and under some circumstances sterilize the animal at the cost to the owner. Don't get flustered over what doesnt work, get empowered with what the law actually is and force it upon the owner and make them responsible and or liable for what their cat does. Oh a cheap camera that is set off by motion really helps for liability reasons too.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 3:15PM
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This is one thread that has continual interest. I noticed that I had posted on it almost a year ago and thought I would add an update- the builder's sand idea worked great, and it's still working. I put a pile of it in an out-of-the-way spot under some trees and the cats prefer it to my shrub borders. If you don't have too many cats (we have 4 neighborhood cats that come through our yard daily) it works great.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 5:13PM
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I have two cats who would rather dig the loose soil in my garden than anywhere else...For the past two years I have used the sticks, twigs and branches with much success.They have managed to squeeze in a couple piles if I missed a space but no real damage from digging has occured. My garden is located in a large, sunny front yard we share with our neighbors. This year is their first attempt at gardening and while they don't have cats I recommended the sticks to deter my furry friends. So far so good.

From the few posts I read of this thread it appears many people think of cats as garden pests, but living in a wooded area they are an essential part of our environment, controlling and warding off pests that could do far more damage. My neighbors seem to appreciate their role as well :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:21PM
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laurell(8 - Washington)

I was listening to the gardening with Ciscoe podcast over the weekend and he recommended stakes every 4 inches or less.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:37PM
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I'm having the same problem with my own cats, (I have 3 in total but only 1 is using my garden) to give you an idea of my situation, firstly all my other neighbours have cats so i'm not just moving my problem to the neighbours garden before anyone says so. Also my cats have been indoor cats for most of their lives, i couldn't bare the smell in my house anymore (even when changing the litter box every other day) so I have started to let them outside now. My garden which I only have pots in, I think the main problem is my garden pebbles look a lot like the woodchips I use for the cat litter box. I've tried mothballs the cat doesn't bother with them at all.
I'm going to try Helichrysum Italicum/ Angustifolium plant apparently they don't like this plant at all. I will let you know the outcome of this fingers crossed.
Also i think a few people on this forum are forgetting that cats are 'free animals' and cannot tresspass on someones land well in the UK anyway. So owners cannot be legally responsible for what their cat does outside of their property. It is a criminal offence to cruelly beat, kick, ill-treat, torture, infuriate or terrify any animal.

Rant over

Happy Gardening :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:21AM
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opossums5(8WA/ Sunset6)

Wow! Incredible thread, showcasing the best and worst of humanity. The long post by Violet_z6 from 2007 has some great info.
I'm the one with the cats! My neighbor likes cats too, but I did offer to buy him a supersoaker squirt gun one time.
I have some tomato cages that have 4 sides and fold up, and these are wonderful to lay on top of a seed bed to keep the cats out. I've also used hardware cloth, and various fencing scraps, even the grills from discarded grills and ovens. This is simple, cheap and works great. I remove them as the seedlings grow, sooner for say, beans and later for carrots. The only other place cat poop bothers me is in the bark mulch around the blueberries, and I'm going right now to put some bamboo skewers around there.
For any cat people interested in protecting wildlife, there is a product called CatBib that you put on your cat to prevent it from catching most wildlife.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Chiming in here to share my personal experience.

Years ago I had a cat that I desperately tried to keep indoors. If you opened the door a fraction he would bolt out passed your legs and run so fast you could not catch him.

I don't feel I was irresponsible, I was trying my best. I was desperate to keep him indoors and safe. I tried electric collars, he ran through the shock. I tried fencing, he jumped up or crawled under. I tried anything and everything possible to keep him home.

He pulled his Houdini act during a week when my SIL was housesitting and a neighbour trapped him and sent him to the pound. SIL wasn't cat smart enough to check the pound. I got home and when he told me the cat had been missing for 4 days I raced to the pound. He was scheduled to be euthanized that afternoon. When I got to the pound I was taken to the cages to identify him. His open wire cage was sitting side by side to other cages AND perched on top of the dog cages. His nose was broken from the "humane" trap they used to catch him. He was covered in urine from other cats spraying him. He was in shock from sitting on top of an attacking dog for 4 days. He was utterly limp when I picked him up and he wouldn't open his eyes or move.

It took 3 days of veterinary care for him to come around and begin to lift his head and want to eat or drink.

This is what happens to some pets when people trap them and send them to the pound.

Did it help? No, the minute he was healthy he was back to making mad dashes for the outdoors. Our only saving grace was a job opportunity that allowed us to move to a country property where the nearest neighbours were a mile away. He continued to bolt out that door for 16 years.

Our friends from that same neighbourhood were not so lucky. For weeks their 5 year old daughter cried herself to sleep, laying on the floor with her head in the cat's basket.

As a fellow gardener I understand your frustration at cats in your gardens but please think about all of this before you choose to trap someone's cat. There are many other methods that will keep a cat out of your yard.

As a non-dog person I live with the neighbour's dog attacking me through the fence every time I try to enjoy my garden. It drives me crazy and I have tried talking with them politely but they don't care and don't think their dog is a problem. I find safe ways of dealing with the problem without harming their dog because it's not the dog's fault. He's just being a dog.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:05AM
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naejakire(Oregon 8b)

I had a cat problem in two of my raised beds. It was very upsetting because 1. I don't like cats to begin with and 2. I think the darn thing killed my cucumbers.

I decided to try the stake idea as was suggested here. I placed foot-long twigs about 8-inches apart in the two areas (3' x 2') and, a week later, it seems to be working. Best of luck to everyone else!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Hello everyone,

I think I found the ultimate cat solution for anyone with say, 500 square feet or less of raised beds.

I basically covered everything with burlap. I got the sacking from a coffee roaster for free (that's a place that imports raw beans and sells coffee), split the sacks at the seams, and paved over every square inch of my beds, which total to around 360 sq ft I think. Then I just cut X's where I wanted to plant stuff and folded the flaps under to make a planting hole.

The sacks are food-grade jute, so they should be fine for planting. It might be a bit of work to set it up, but once it is going it seems to work fine, and is also a good mulch. I am not sure how soon they will rot, but for the time being they are solid- it's been about 2 months.

Right now I have a very big crop of kale and lettuce surrounded by the burlap, and it seems totally impervious to the cats.

I had to go to extreme measures, because my wife is pregnant, and I can't take chances with toxoplasmosis!

Reccommended for anyone who lives in a place with lots of coffee roasters (such as Seattle). I think oyster bars also have burlap sacks, but you'll need to investigate to find out if the burlap is safe to use for this.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Hello All,
I, too, am having the same problem with a cat coming into my yard. It is a neighbor's cat, who comes into my yard, all the time, when we aren't looking. I asked the owner to do something about it, but she just laughed. Once more, since moving in, I can't allow my porch kitty to go and lie under my honeysuckle and enjoy my fenced in yard, because her three cats attack my kitty!
The cat that jumps my fence, comes up to my porch, where my kitty lives, in the screened in porch, and picks fights with it. Plus, it has marked all over my front porch, making it smell horrible. It also had killed my plants, plus, the other two kitties, come right up to my fence and poops and pees there, also making my plants sick and smell.
I'm at a wit's end, because I am low income, disabled and am trying to care for my animals, (one kitty, two dogs, who are afraid of cats), and a blind & destitute ex-husband. I don't have any extra money to buy things to repel the cats.
It is frustrating, because this woman will scream, down the street, for people who walk their dogs on her side of the street, and she also has built a cat litter box, right up against my fence, which really stinks, during our monsoon season. I don't know what to do. Plus, I also asked her nicely, to stop making noise, in her yard, at 11:30 p.m., 4:30 a.m., and 2:35 a.m.! She has stopped talking to me and has done so many little things to bother us, keeping us up, all the wee hours of the morning, by slamming doors, talking out loud, etc. when my bedroom window, is right there, across from her yard. I don't sleep well, at night, due to chronic pain, which I explained to her, but she keeps on doing things to bother us. Plus, she watches who comes and goes, in my driveway and announces it, loudly to the rest of the neighborhood. One is my pharmacy, delivering my medications to me. She has spread horrible rumors against me, no one bothers with us now. So, talking to her, about her cats, is out of the question. Does anyone have a suggestion, that won't cost money, that will cover my large, front yard?
Thank you, for reading this...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Been following this thread for a little bit. Just got back into the house from getting my $70 contech motion controlled sprinkler working again. Now the hose to the contech has a hole that needs mending or replacement. Duct tape didn't cut it. I've spent a lot of time and money trying to get cats to stop using my backyard as a litter box.

They don't even take care of the gophers and I can't put poison for the gophers because it might kill the neighbor's lazy ass cats.

Seeing the cat apologists in this thread makes my blood boil. So inconsiderate, you chose to have a pet not everyone around you. Sorry it is not a natural part of the environment or a child. Your cat may be your precious little baby but you have no right to expect others to treat them as such. If you let them become a problem for others don't be surprised if they choose the easiest and cheapest methods for dealing with the nuisance animal. The craziest person on here is the poster saying they would physically assault someone for handling a problem animal that was thrust upon them.

I like my neighbor an old lady that's been there forever. So out of respect for her I have to deal with it. Most of the cats are her's. But it's so frustrating. I shouldn't have to be spending time, money, and blood pressure points on this problem.

There'd be an uproar if dog folks decided to let their precious ones loose upon the world to crap and prowl freely....

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:54PM
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Hi,, I have the same problem in my garden stray cats and my neighbors cats pooping and peeing each and every rose bushes in my garden. Im so frustrated because Im working hard to take care of my roses, and these darn cats just pee and poop on them (i hope they dont die on me),, I love animals and I have a dog, if i can put my dog indoors why cant other people?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2014 at 6:18PM
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