Flower bed to detour cats in the neighborhood. What to plant?

ilovepinkMay 16, 2004

We have an ugly flower bed on the front of the house. We have a front porch and would like to actually extend the front porch over this flower bed. But, for now it is just sitting there.

It would seem that the cats in the neighborhood keep using it as their litter box.

What can I plant to get rid of them? Or if I plant flowers for now will that help?

I would like to put some color in the bed b/c it is so ugly. It gets sun during the day. Any ideas what would grow fast and furious and beautiful?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our neighbors have pea gravel with big nasty cactus growing in it....nicknamed "the cat box". :0) Is there anything you can plant that cat's find unappealing?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catladysgarden(z5 CO)

I have heard that mothballs will repel cats. I can't swear that it's true because my cats are all indoors.
If you just want some quick color, you could try some zinnias. I don't know how cats feel about marigolds, but they repel me.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2004 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On Paul James's show this morning, he said that garlic repel cats. Just toss a few cloves in the flower bed. Worth a try.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2004 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mom used to feed our cat garlic to keep off the fleas and ticks. She just mixed it in with the catfood, and the cat ate it so I doubt it would be much of a deterrent. She never needed a flea collar though.
I've tried mothballs for dogs, and it did seem to deter them, but attracted a more destructive pest. The neighborhood kids kept wandering through the bed, trampling the flowers to pick up the cool white balls. I even had one young man's mother yell at me after her son came home with his pockets full of mothballs. The moth crystals evaporated to fast to be of much use.

Sprinklers on the other hand worked quite well to keep both of the problems at bay. The dogs were being let out about the same time that the kids left for school. I just programmed my sprinklers to come on then. If the cat's visits are at a regular time, a little water could work well.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

They have those sprinkler heads now that are motion-detector operated. Folks on this forum have been using them for deer and I am tempted to get one for neighborhood dogs & cats. (I am a dog and several-cats owner and lover myself, but I TRY HARD to keep my pets from my beds and others' beds, as it IRKS me to no end when I find someone walking their fido in front of my house and letting him do doo doo on my penstemons. ARG!)

We are on strict watering restrictions here so no doubt I would be "cited" for inciting the intruders, but it might be worth a citation or two....

    Bookmark   June 11, 2004 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
* 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)
* 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. She noted that once her cat has 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 mussinicultivars (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

This list compiled by Violet_Z6, email at violetgw@care2.com for comments and suggestions regarding this list.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marie23(z5 Boulder, CO)

What a great list of plants from Violet.

When we moved into our house, we had the same problem with cats using an untended flower bed by the front door for a litter box. I laid down landscape fabric after replanting the bed. (The flowers poke through large-sized holes in the fabric, so they get plenty of moisture.) Then cedar bark mulch on top. It looks nice, and the cats are no longer interested since there's no dirt to scratch in. Once the flowers grow in more thickly, I figure there will be less dirt exposed, and I can trim away the fabric and reduce the mulch.

There is also dog and cat repellent spray you can buy in the hardware store. It is water soluble so won't last through a rain, but right after you plant your bed you can use it on the perimeter for awhile to help "retrain" the cats.

Now if I could just control the raccoons, which seem to poop anywhere they please!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 1:07AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
The opening bell has rung
bell peppers? No, not this year, but several hot's! We've...
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
Anyone interested in unusual peonies take a look at Adelman's
Just got the catalog for Adelmans Peony Paradise for...
Crops That Can Thrive At Lower Temps
Hey gardening geniuses.... glad to see most of us made...
What are Your Plans
... for the yard and garden, this year? Zach has some...
Lettuce without direct sun?
Hi, everyone! I'm thinking of putting a raised Bed...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™