help...cats using flower bed as litter box

flowerjunkie_2007February 17, 2007

Hi! Does anyone out there know if there if a home remedy of some kind that will stop stray cats from using my flower bed as a litter box without hurting the cats?


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The only thing I've heard is to scatter moth balls in the garden but I don't know how toxic they are. If you happen to see the cats you could squirt them with a hose. Maybe that would make them think twice about using your garden as a litter box. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 1:16PM
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Or you could combine the two and squirt them with Naphthalene and Paradichlorobenzene.

What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 3:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The sarcasm above was directed (I assume) to the fact that outdoors is absolutely no place for highly toxic moth balls. Ever. Karyn1, that may have been perscribed in years past, but we know better now. I hope. ;-)

Anyway, if you do a search right here in the GardenWeb, using 'cat repellent' as your key words, you'll probably come up with a zillion past posts and some good suggestions.

Here! I'll do it for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here for search results

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 6:25AM
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Placing a class 1 carcinogen in your garden is never a good idea aside from the simple fact that the label on the box, or package, of moth balls will tell you that that use is illegal, a violation of federal law.
Never, ever, use any product until you have read, and understand, the package label.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 6:48AM
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panspipes(zone 9)

Buy a small gun. What? They have nine lives, right?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 12:07AM
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I found an excellent site with sevearl cat repellents. Maybe you'll find something there that will help with your problem.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 1:45PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

Cats like to do their business in a spot that's easy to dig I have found that placing obstacles on the ground around my plants often keeps my flower beds from becoming giant litter boxes. The best by far is a plastic type of "chicken wire", with a large open weave. It comes in rolls and I found it at Lowes, really cheap. I cut it up into large pieces and place them on the ground around my plants, then stake them into place using metal landscaping pins...the pins look like giant staples but once they're pushed into the ground you can't see them and they hold the mesh in place very securely. The plastic mesh isn't noticable at all, but I like to cover it with a light layer of pine bark fines or other mulch. The cats in my neighborhood hate the mesh...they try to dig and their claws get caught in it. It's an inexpensive solution which won't harm the environment or the cats.

My neighbor has 5 cats.....5 very fat well-fed cats. I'd previously tried just about everything I could think of to keep the cats out, but this is the only thing that has worked. It is excellent for newly seeded areas, too...a favorite pooping spot for cats, with all that freshly dug earth. The mesh covering will keep the seeded area safe from the cats, while allowing in light, air and water. I'll come back and post a photo, if anyone is interested...just as a reference for what you should look for at the store.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 5:30AM
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I was just going to post about this topic. Okay, the Plastic mesh is my next step - Thank You! I am not going to use chemicals and go to the time and expense because somebody else is a bad pet owner.

Do you think putting the mesh down and mulch on top is a final fix?
Sure hope so.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 6:28PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

Hi, msbee. Yes, the mesh has certainly been a permanent solution for me. The square openings in the mesh are approx. 1/2" in width and the cat's claws get hung up in it, which annoys the heck outta them. They can't dig in it and that's the point...keeping them from digging and then pooping. They're fastidious critters and if they can't dig a hole and then cover up their business, they normally will find another place to go. If you do put mulch over it, don't put too much because that will defeat the purpose..the cats will find a deep mulch just as satisfying to dig in as dirt and they'll poop in your mulch. I barely cover mine with a dusting of pine bark fines, which hides the black colored mesh quite well. The thing is, the cats need enough space to turn around in, dig in, squat in...etc. I have found it is sufficient to only use the mesh in open areas between my plants that are large enough for the cats to comfortably use as potty area...they won't usually get too close to your plants to do their business because the plants brush them and poke them while they're at it, and they don't seem to like that. So try it in the larger open areas of your garden first.
This post has become a novella, so I'll stop blabbing now. It's only that I tried unsuccessfully for so long to keep cat poop out of my garden, and I'm thrilled to share something that DOES work. Does anyone want me to post photos?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 12:48AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Renee, post a picture of this material.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:22PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

Sorry I didn't get back here sooner, but the weather has been nice and I've been taking advantage of it : )

I just seeded a new annual patch, in the bed by our front entrance, and I put some of the mesh over it to keep the cats out. I'll take a couple of photos and post them today, if I get the chance.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:29AM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

OK - these aren't the best photos - it was late in the day when I took them and the setting sun doesn't present the best lighting for detailed images.
Anyway, the first photo is of the plastic mesh material with my blurry finger behind it - for sizing comparison.

The second photo is of the mesh installed over a newly seeded section of an annuals bed....notice that the mesh is very difficult to see. It isn't an eye sore in the garden and it works beautifully to keep the cats from digging.

The mesh is sold in rolls at Lowes, as I stated in an earlier post. I'm fairly certain a similar material could be purchased at other home improvement/gardening centers, if you don't have a Lowes near you.

Hope this info. helps somebody has worked wonders in my garden.
Good Luck with whatever method you choose -

Openings in comparison with my finger tip.

Mesh Installed

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 4:07AM
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Thank you very much for the advice. I want to put in a small vegetable garden and was wondering how I was going to keep the cats out of it. They already go after my flower beds - my neighbor has 8 of the little beasts. Anyway I see by the date that this posting was over a year ago, but if you do see this can you tell me what dept. in Loews you would find this product. I think I've heard that chicken wire works too. Again, thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:19PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

Hi, stepmis1955 ~ you can find rolls of this mesh in the gardening section at Lowes, outside with the fencing products. It's often labeled "bird mesh" or "deer fencing". Either will work. The difference is that the bird mesh is a finer material than the material labeled for keeping deer from eating your fruits and veggies. The bird netting is cheaper and will suit your purposes. By the way, I've purchased the same material at Walmart.
Apparently, the cats in my neighborhood got so used to this material covering my beds, that they no longer visit my property to poop. They're still assuming it's there but I removed it several months ago :) And yea....chicken wire works well, too, but my personal preference is the soft plastic mesh. I've worked with both materials and found the metal chicken wire difficult to handle.

Good Luck ~

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 1:33AM
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Rue works great just plant it where they go they hate rue and wont come near it even kittens dont like it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 11:16PM
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if you have clippngs from roses or other thorny shrubs these will work too. just lay them on the surface of the
garden and work around them. as rivers1202 said, the cats will move along if its too inconvienent for them


    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:12PM
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I have had the same problem. I used some of the commercial repellent, just have to spray it daily. I bought plastic devices from a garden shop that are slightly prickly and placed them around the area. I have not had cat problems since (knock on wood).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:21PM
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