bettygem

cat repellent

BettyGem
15 years ago

anyone know what I can put down to keep cats from making my flower bed their litter box

Comments (51)

  • BettyGem
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Rocks ??????

    Is that the only thing that will keep cats out???
    kind of hard to weed, fertilize etc. with rocks. Have to have quite a bit of ROCKS to keep out the weeds.

  • carmellia
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I guess my previous reply was a bit flippant. Actually, I do have an idea that I think would give you some relief, but it is not cheap.

    There is a product called "Feliway". It was formulated to stop cats from urinating and spraying in unwanted places, but the principal should work whether they are doing #1 or #2. It is a synthetic feline pheremone which mimics the pheremone released from the glands cats have on the side of their faces. You've seen cat's rubbing their faces on table legs, doorways, people's legs. You will never see them rubbing their faces on their litter box. It is a pheremone of well-being and contentment. It is excellent for introducing a new cat to an old cat, for relaxing a cat in a carrier, for making cats who just won't get along rethink their attitude, and for stopping that cat who thinks the corner behind the couch is a perfect place to take a discreet piss.

    Of course the downside is that outdoors the product would wear away more quickly in the wind and dew and rain. You are also probably talking about a much bigger area than inside a house. The stuff is not inexpensive. I got mine on line when I was introducing four rescued wild-born youngsters into a household of three blissfully ignorant and overindulged adults. I hesitated because it cost a little more than $12.00 for a pump spray mister containing about half a cup. But I was going crazy right along with the cats so I got it online at veterinary supply site. IT WORKED. One of the wild things became almost obsessive in the face-rubbing behavior. She even drags herself along the rug, rubbing her face all the way.

    There is not an odor that is obvious to humans, although the propellant has a slight odor that quickly disipates.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if the cats will start using your flower beds as a "lounge" oaisis. Carmellia

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  • Kathy46
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    You can make little spears from skewers and stick them in the garden as a deterrant(never had one impailed).

    I also put down crushed eggshells to make it uncomfortable for little pussy feet.

    You can buy a motion activated garden sprinkler.
    Kathy

  • Ina Plassa_travis
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    cayanne pepper sprinkled in the beds helps-

    there is also the 'cat scat mat' which is a flexible mat with rubber points on it that you can move while weeding.

    the motion sensor and hose idea works really well, I might add- nothing unhappier than a wet cat.

  • BettyGem
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Carmellia, thanks for the info. Yes your reply was a bit flippant; I thought you were just trying to move my message down by giving me any reply. Feliway seems like it will only arouse the cats and I may get more cats from a chemical that serves as a stimulus.

    Kathy, I tried the eggshells they were good for the plants but did not stop the cats. Motion activated garden sprinkler is there such a thing? This might work if not too expensive.

    Chinacat - not sure how to use cayenne pepper - I did sprinkle it around the plants but did not see any change. Cats still came around and as soon as you water it is gone. I don't have the problem when I am weeding so the cat scat mat will not work.....it is when I am not around that they pay me a visit and leave a present.

  • DickW
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The motion activated sprinkler is called a "Scarecrow." You can search for a source on the Internet. I have 2 in my yard that I use against the deer and they work perfectly (also work against humans when you forget and walk in front of them).

  • BettyGem
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    DickW

    Thanks!!!!!

    this will surely do the trick

  • Violet_Z6
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    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"

    NOT RECOMMENDED:
    *** 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.

  • maddigger
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    In some cases, the best thing to put down is the cat. We have several ferrel cats in this remote area and they are vicious. They not only tear up the gardens but kill numerous song birds and wildlife. I trap them and if the cat meows I wet it down with the hose and usually don't see it again. I figure it is someone's pet that wandered off. If it hisses and shows it's fangs it is put down. Some of you may find that extreme but I'm sure there are many who agree. Wild cats are a serious threat to all kinds of wildlife and can severely injure your pet cat if they come in contact.

  • kiwidoc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    You could put up a cat repellent string / fence. I bought one from catrepellent.org a few weeks ago after a debate on thi very topic and someone put up the link. It's a string which you run around the garden (or around your whole property if you want to) and it gives any animal touching it a small static shock. Not harmful. not even painful, but enough to scare away a cat and train it not to come back. It says that it may not be compatible with US voltages (dpeending where you are), but I'm sure you can get it or something like it set up easily. mine was up in less than na hour and no problems ever since.

  • utsharpie
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    chicken wire works very well. cats cant dig or bury with it on the ground.

  • fonzie47
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The problem with all these chemical repelents is they eventually lose their effective properties through rain and time requiring more to be purchased and reapplying.
    I have found a gadget on the market that has worked pefectly and needs no maintainence once installed.
    It is a mains(recommended) or battery operated gismo that sends out a high pitch sound that cats dislike therefore making them avoid the area covered.
    It can cover an area about 100 metres.
    The battery one activates when a cat (or anything else) passes within it's beam. Whereas the mains one operates continually. Hope this is of use. They work for me!

  • jaelb
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We have an outdoor cat and each of our neighbors has at least one, if not several, outdoor cats. Chickenwire has been the best deterrent. I still mulch over top of the chickenwire, but the cats hate the feel of it under their feet. I've also dedicated a small garden to the cats, with loose-sandy soil and catmint. The cats love to lay in the catmint and stay out of my gardens.

  • muddy
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    does anyone else find maddigger's response extreme? i hope no one ever puts down one of his pets. give me a break!

  • Debbie Downer
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Not only extreme but does not really address the original poster's issue. Keeping cats from peeing in the garden is easy. Its just a matter of laying down rough wood chip mulch which the cat does not like to walk on, or using any one of the deterrents listed above.

    Inflicting pain after the fact is not effective, the cat does not associate pepper in its eyes with its having peed 5 or 10 minutes ago. You may not SEE the cat after you hose it down but that doesn't mean its not peeing in your garden! Nope, it's simply learned to avoid YOU, the human!

    The motion detector/sprinkler thing is highly effective because the consequence happens every time whether you're there or not. From his point of view its just entering the garden that does it so he is more inclined to stay out.

    Feral cats are indeed a problem in some areas, and there may be arguments to be made for humane population control. However the cat hater's true agenda is given away every time by all the gratuitous details about how the cat is made to suffer.

  • morz8
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Havahart - you know, the animal friendly company whose motto is 'caring control for pets and wildlife'? - makes an animal repellent made of oils of black pepper, piperine pepper, and capsaicin pepper that repels for 30 days when sprinkled around ornamentals and edibles. Havahart Critter Ridder Granular Repellent, at WalMart for one. Blue plastic container. I feel confident in using their products that I'm not causing undue injury to any animal.

    I also have a Scarecrow motion activated sprayer, and would have a second (they don't spray around corners) if they just weren't so costly...very, very effective. (and I've been watching those on eBay, waiting for a good price)

    I love animals, including cats, but I get very discouraged finding dripping foliage on expensive collectors perennials and shrubs right about cat-butt high (cat urine + sun burns leaves!)...we have a spraying cat visiting and darned if I can catch it in the act and find out who it belongs to.

  • JasperDale
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am a cat lover as well but hate it when neighbors cats use my beds as a litter box. I have tried every repellent out there...After a while they become inured to them so I alternate products. Eventually they do give up and will go elsewhere.
    My best bets so far are rose cane clippings...I cut them up into small pcs. and put them in the path where they walk...Cocoa shell mulch works very well also...

    I ultimately did establish one very small area about 3 ft. square where they can do their thing. I camoflaged it with a short fence and it REALLY works. Any droppings I do find elsewhere I quickly move to this spot...they tend to go where other cats have been. After one day I remove them..

    This is a problem which will endure as long as people allow their cats to roam...which of course is their nature...
    The less open soil space you have, the more likely you'll have the litter problem...I try to keep all "empty spaces" filled.

  • flowerpower_girl
    15 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am a huge fan of coffee grinds for repelling cats. They are easy to come by and although I have to keep re-applying on a regular basis it has all but eliminated the unwanted presents I used to find when weeding.

  • lisawestman_gmail_com
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    thought this was helpful!

  • buyorsell888
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    This webpage has instructions for making a Do It Yourself Scarecrow motion sensing sprinkler.

    John has designed it for herons in his pond but it will work on deer, cats etc.

    Fishock makes an electric fence that is lower voltage than those for livestock that you can buy for around $50 at Petsmart or Petco and many farm and ranch stores that works well too. I use mine around my pond because of raccoons.

  • Embothrium
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If you mulch the aflicted area with cobbles you don't have to dig out weeds anyway, likewise fertilizer can be applied right over the top of them. An patch of ground that is chronically dry enough for cats to make a habit of soiling it and is sprouting lots of weeds as well needs to be covered.

  • Embothrium
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If the flowers are planted so they cover the bed this can help, cats like bare ground.

  • lisawestman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    thanks for all the great tips! I am looking forward to trying the chicken wire!

    Lisa

  • chilicon64
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Regarding the coffee grounds and cocoa-shell mulch, is it the scent, or the texture, or something else that deters the felines? Anyone tried these with success? Someone mentioned cedar mulch -- is that enough in and of itself?

    My problem is I need something to keep neighborhood cats from relieving themselves in my flowerbeds and gravel courtyard (guess it looks like a big communal litterbox to them), without annoying my dog when he's outside. And to answer your next question -- he's not a deterrent himself because he's inside at night, when the cats come around.

  • billb9990
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The DIY scarecrow is great if you're mechanical enough to make one! For those of us that aren't, they have a motion-activated sprinkler that works not only on cats, but dogs, and deer too. I've got one and it works. Also, from the 50+ positive reviews I've seen on it at amazon, I guess it works for a few other people too.

    Here's a link to a review of the scarecrow sprinkler.

  • lapageria
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We have spent a lot of time trying to discourage cats from coming to our yard. Here's my experience with the list of remedies listed above:

    * amonia soaked (corncobs, etc)
    Really stinks. I totally understand the cat not liking it, and I do not use it because I want to be able to be in the yard myself.
    * aluminum foil
    With all the environmental issues surrounding aluminum, I prefer to skip this one.
    * bamboo skewers
    As long as you don't forget where you put them... My friends' children got a hole in their football thanks to these, so I gave up on them.
    * black pepper
    If you have the money.
    * blood meal fertilizer
    This works until it gets washed away with the rain.
    * bramble cuttings
    I use all of my roses' trims to protect areas, but I have seen cats walking on them. It works for raccoons though.
    * catnip - donated into your neighbor's yards (so they'll stay in their own yards)
    Mints never stay in one place.
    * cedar compost
    Have seen cats coming every day and sit in the cedar mulch for hours.
    * chicken wire (metal or plastic)
    Not very pretty, so I use it in areas that are not that visible.
    * cinnamon
    Washes away with rain.
    * citrus peels
    Citrus is good for the yard, so I chop it and throw it around, yet the cats don't seem to mind.
    * citrus spray
    If you eat oranges and lemons, why buy a spray?
    * cocoa bean shells
    They smell so good, yet cats go around it anyway.
    * coffee grounds -fresh & unbrewed, not just a light sprinkling (highly recommended by MANY Gardenwebbers!)
    I do this too, cats come anyway.
    * garlic cloves
    I have garlic and chives all around. I am beginning to think that my neighborhood's cats have lost their sense of smell.
    * gutter covers
    Not very aesthetic.
    * heavy bark mulch
    I had this under a stair, and cats and coons love hanging out there, so I replaced it with rough rocks.
    * keep the area damp, they like dry soil
    This is true but a constantly damp area attracts too many pests here.
    * lavender
    Saw cats walking next to it all the time
    * motion sensor sprinkler
    This works. Too bad we cannot have it up year round.
    * pennyroyal
    Isn't this invasive?
    * pinecones
    I always gather pinecones when I see them in sidewalks, just in case. They look pretty.
    * plastic forks
    Yikes! Don't like plastic in the garden.
    * predator urine
    It worked for a while, and I replaced the liquid and all, yet the cats stopped believing it.
    * river rocks over the exposed soil
    I had better experience with rough rocks.
    * rose bush clippings
    It has to be a large area, and dense, because the cats will either walk through it or jump.
    * rue, an herb (Ruta graveolens) (highly recommended in plant form only)
    Some people like the smell of this plant but I don't. It also produces a red rash if I touch it, and I am not an allergic person. I still have three bushes of this plant in the yard because it is supposed to help with japanese bettle. The cats would walk by the plants all the time.. until we put the sprinkler.
    * short twigs throughout the planted area about 6" apart
    I do this to also discourage critters from disturbing the soil in recently planted areas, and it works really well.
    * squirt gun with water
    We got a super soaker for this purpose (we only use water). It worked to scare the cats away, but for some reason they didn't seem to get the hint that they were not welcome.
    * talk to your neighbors
    This was a disaster. It is my experience that the self proclaimed cat lovers have a hard time curtailing the freedom of their outdoors exotic pets. Plus there are plenty of wishful thinking websites that say that toxoplasmosis does not exist, or that cats do not kill birds. After a while the veterinarian told our neighbors that if they wanted their cat to live longer, it had to be indoors.
    * tansy
    This is very invasive.
    * upside down vinyl carpet
    Vinyl is one of the most polluting materials one can use, from its manufacture, to the fumes it releases, to their final disposal. Before buying anything made from this material, please watch "Blue vinyl".
    * vinegar sprayed on areas where they roam
    Vinegar is bad news for the soil.

  • alaska_angela
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Wow, I've been having so much trouble, and going absolutely crazy every time I step outside and see mounds of disturbed dirt. I've gotten to the point where I refuse to clean it up until I find a sure fire way to prevent it. I've bought the local greenhouse's repellent - a green gel that is supposed to work up to 3 days (2 days longer than the spray or powder). It succeeded in burning my lawn. I adore cats and have one of my own... an INDOOR cat that does not know what she is missing, thank goodness. My neighbor is also upset at us for even mentioning the problem his cat has contributed to. I'm at my wits end... but will try the wire on top of the soil. The other promising alternatives seem extremely expensive for what seems to be some other pet owner's doing!! I hate to trap a cat (my mother did that due to birds being caught, and we never knew if the cat made it out of the pound or not). I realize I only have 3 months out of the year to worry about this, but those 3 months are precious, and as a new gardener I am finding this to be less and less enjoyable. I'll keep checking in, in hopes of seeing an inexpensive, nonharmful 'sure cure' soon!
    Thanks so much for all of the information!

  • binsb
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Oh, boy. This is not encouraging.

    I tried CritterRidder (sp) and that worked for all of 5 days. $15 down the drain.

    I was about ready to go out & buy moth balls until I read this thread so now I'm not sure what to do. We had not had this problem until one of our neighbors decided to do away with their cat's litter box. Now the cat uses our front garden!

    We've talked to them to no avail; all they do is smile & say "oh...how embarrassing!" But then they do nothing! Gggrrrr...

    It's just frustrating because I'm not the best of gardeners but I finally have something going that is quite pretty & adds a lot to our curb appeal. To have it "shat" on by a neighbor's cat and have to spend money to prevent it is very annoying just because they don't want to maintain a kitty litter box.

  • tracyguilbeau_houston_rr_com
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I'm looking fo cheap, easy and effective.

    My problem is a little different than any mentioned above. On one side of my property I have a (chain link) fence-line. On just the other side, the neighbor's cat/cats poop. When I let my dog out, he goes straight there and sticks his front leg through the fence so he can dig for, retrieve and eat those smelly morsels. This not only gets the cat poop in his mouth but on his front paws... EUCH! And he's obsessed! there is no making him give up this habbit.

    I've seen products containing animal urine.... please don't think I'm a freak, but, would human urine do the trick? A cheap garden sprayer in the bathroom would be very easy... once it's full, spraying through the fence along the fence line then returning it to the bathroom. It's not like my neighbor has grass he likes or anything, mostly weeds along the fence. I doubt he would even notice, He probably wouldn't even care if he did notice.

    Might this work?

  • alaska_angela
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I actually found something that really works! I cut out chicken wire and laid it down between my flowers, covering up every bare spot of dirt. It definitely helps to have an extra pair of hands to help lay it out (some of the wire ends can be pokey and difficult to get around stems and leafs). I haven't had a cat in the garden since, and you can't hardly see that it is there! That is the best part. Being able to come outside and see that there aren't disturbed mounds of dirt in my flower beds is also a wonderful relief!

  • mariannela
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hey! One product that works pretty good is Get Away Cat and Dog Repellent. It keeps pets away from gardens, lawns, garbage cans and more. The ready to use bottle last 7-10 days, but you have to reapply it after rain. Another good product is Liquid Fence Dog & Cat Repellent. It's an all natural product and is biodegradable and earth friendly. It can safely be used around people and will not harm animals or plants. I found a site that sales both products and some other animal deterents as well. The site is yardiac.com. I'll enclose a link. Hope this helps!
    http://www2.yardiac.com/show_category.asp?category=394

  • lesdvs9
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I'm coming across this thread really late, but this is always a problem for someone. I have a litter box outside for the cats. I have 4 cats, two of which weigh 20 pounds and are big boys. I have a mini rose bed that is raised and created with some very nice amended soil that the cats consider to be their special large litter box. I take exception to this was a new garden last Sept and there were 25 new roses in there and each was from a small 2 inch pot. The new bed measures 12x20' and this made for alot of room for the cats to go in and do considerable amount of damage both in digging a hole and burying. After trying just about every remedy offered on this thread including the water scarecrow I was told about cat scats. Essentially they are little plastic spikes on a board about 4x8" with an addition spike to bury in the ground in the opposite direction. You bury the top part in the dirt where you don't want the cats to be and no more cats in the mini rose bed. I wish I had saved the money on the scarecrow. It worked but the water flow was too hard for a small area. It couldn't be adjusted down to what I needed.

    Cat scats work the best, I started out with two sets to try, I'm going to pick up more now that I found out it really does work and doesn't hurt the cats.

  • amazon
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Instead of trying to change your cat how about giving it what it like. You could give it his/her very own "bed" of catnip. Kitty could lounge ther all it wants.
    Middigers response I can understand. We apparently live close to one another. This entire area is overrun with feral cats. They are carrying diseases such as Chlamydia, rabies, worms, Feline hiv, i could go on but you get the idea. To many hillbillies not neutreing their cats has created a real problem for the ozarks. i shoot them with paint balls. Alot more fun than water torture. They need to be put down though. i'm just not the one for the job.

  • thorndncr
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks to anyone who posted suggestions here -- I have a list of solutions to try.

    Just a thought, though, as an animal lover and a fan of cats in particular. Feral cats CAN be destructive, sick, or unfriendly. But if you are going through the trouble to take them to be killed or otherwise harming them, why not head off the problem and have them neutered/spayed and re-released?

    Yes, this can be expensive, but a few calls to local vets and shelters do much good -- many wish to help control the size and health of the local population and may offer discounts, the use of a humane trap, or other benefits, especially if you explain what you are doing (and that you won't be adding another animal to their certainly overcrowded facilities). I'm a college student in a small city, and at least one local nursing student used to advertise inexpensive neutering as part of her training. Check with colleges with veterinary programs -- just be sure they won't harm or unnecessarily test on them.

    As a result, there will be fewer litters, and neutering reduces or eliminates spraying and overt aggression. My family did this for many years, and it helps -- we even got a few wonderful companions (indoor!!) out of it. Probably neutered a few neighbors' cats in error, but in my opinion, that's not too terrible a mistake if the alternative is that the same pet might end up in a shelter or needlessly killed.

    Why not get your neighbors involved if ferals are a local problem? One or two may want to help, and if you live in an area with children, they might be able to make a school or community project of helping local strays.

    Obvious, but bears mention: if you do this, do NOT use your own pet's carriers, towels, etc. and wash everything, including yourself and your clothes, before coming in contact with your own pets or their food.

    The cost, research on shelters/vets, and calls can be a bit daunting, but weigh it against the time and money wasted on combating damage and frustration. Think of it as an investment for your garden and the safety of your pets/family. Please, please, please do the humane thing!

  • cali-girl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    According to the Animal Poison Control Center cocoa mulch can be very harmful to dogs should it be ingested. Dogs love to eat it because it smells like chocolate; therefore, unsupervised dogs will most likely be drawn to it. If you have dogs it is suggested not to use the cocoa mulch.

  • pythonette
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Now, now--just because some cats are wild doesn't mean that they don't deserve their place in the eco-system. Ferals should be neutered and returned--not destroyed. If you aren't feeding them, they'll move along anyway, but, if they do stay, at least they won't multiply. Even if you don't kill them, trap-and-remove only makes room for more, unaltered (read: breeding) cats. Spay and neuter is the only way to manage the numbers--and it suppresses the nuisance behavior to which most cat-haters object. In addition, it is a huge myth that they kill any significant numbers of wildlife--blame loss of habitat. Look it up.

  • mrslove
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Ugh. Was hoping I'd find a sure-fire answer in here. My neighbor's cat is always in our yard going #2. This normally wouldn't be that giant of a problem, but I just got a new puppy and they're very susceptible to diseases from un-vaccinated animals. And I happened to catch her with--whaddyaknow--a cat turd in her mouth the other day.

    I asked my neighbor when the cat was last vaccinated and she "can't remember." Now I'm faced with the possibility of having to trap the cat and take it to be vaccinated for her and then demand she keep her cat out of my yard OR take the cat to a no-kill shelter. Unless I can figure out a way to keep the cat from pooping in my yard. It just goes in the grass, and doesn't even try to cover it. Gross.

    I tried the motion activated sprinkler so the cat just came over the fence on the other side and did its business over there. I have a pretty large yard (for the San Francisco bay area) so I can't afford to hook up 20 sprinklers on the off chance of catching the cat jumping over the fence.

    I just can't have my new baby get sick because of a careless owner. Both of my cats are indoor cats and receive their vaccinations. I would know in 30 seconds or less when their next vaccination is due just by reviewing my records. I swear some people should just not be allowed to have pets.

    I'll keep searching for a way to keep the cat out of the yard for now.

  • BettyGem
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Sorry Mrslove
    As you can see I asked this question two years ago and still have not found the answer that truly works.

    The only way is to trap the cats and take them away. Their owners don't care about the mess that they are leaving for us to deal with . . so I don't care if they have no pet. . or let their unkind owners pick up the mess. Why does the law make dog owners pick up after their pet and why not the cat owners?

  • ipodpal
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    bettygem: We have several dwarf fruit trees in a 20'x 20' planting bed where we also plant cherry tomato vines. Everything we did to discourage neighborhood cats from digging in the bare areas failed 'till we put down bark chips and set on top of the chips plastic (wood is good too) pieces cut from 4'x 8' lattice panels to fit in between the trees and plants. (Small lattice pieces can be anchored with rocks). Panels come in green, brown & white. Water & air get to the plants thru the lattice holes and we can pick up the lattice when feeding the plants. Voila! Cats can't dig thru the solid lattice holes and their paws are protected from chemicals and harsh materials!

  • imtrying
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    While the extensive list of cat repellents from Violet above gives the impression that cats should be easy to deter, I have tried many or most of the suggestions she offers. The least effective, in my dry climate, are any that rely on chemicals or scent. The most effective have been physical barriers such as chicken wire, ground covers of pine cones, large bark chips, etc. I recommend chicken wire laid over soil that you don't need to turn over very often. I also lay it over ornamentals like blue fescue that feral cats use as a dry place to leave deposits. Yes, they don't need to dig to choose a bathroom spot.

    A ground cover mulch of pine cones are easy to rake aside when it's time to work the soil. The cones break down into organic mulch eventually. Cats don't like to walk over them because of their sap and slight prickliness. I gather them from parks where they are disposed of by landscape maintenance crews anyway. People like the landscape effect of the cones, and I have the pleasure of knowing that I didn't spend a penny.

    I also put up green wire fencing. At only 3 ft in height, any cat could leap over it, but in general they would rather not bother, especially if they're going to land on pine cones on the other side, and the yard next door is easier to cruise into. The fencing is available from stores like Home Depot or Ace, and is marketed as rabbit fencing. Because it is green, it disappears from view, even when you're standing next to it. Good luck.

    The reward for these efforts is a bird and butterfly garden, with natives and wildflowers bursting with winged visitors. Check out the National Wildlife Federations's garden website (http://www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife/) for suggestions on attracting local species and protection from cats. They will even certify your garden as a mini-wildlife refuge!

  • greengardener07
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    DO NOT USE ANY KIND OF PEPPER OR CHILI POWDER TYPE PRODUCT!!!!!

    This will cause the cats to scratch their eyesout if it gets in their eyes! That is animal cruelty!

    Try a sacraficial planting of something away from the problem area that will attract them. Catnip?

  • ekoboat
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have used mousetraps for several years. I've seen cats trip them and it just scares them away. Never had a mousetrap disappear. I place them where the cats have been digging and sometimes will place them on lawn furniture, so they don't sleep(and shed)on the cushions. Once one has been tripped I move it to a different location or remove it. Also seems to help with squirrels.

  • mersiepoo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Cat's are not part of the eco system, they are not indigenous to the US. Feral cats get rabies just as much as raccoons do. They produce at an astronomical rate.

    We have two sets of totally irresponsible neighbors who have litters and LITTERS of cats every single year. Sad for the cats, I know, but these people are totally irresponsible and are NOT right in the head. They have serious issues, and you can't talk to them. They are insane. Sort of like the movie "Deliverance".

    We have cats on our property constantly, and they do NOTHING for the mouse problem. Mice are everywhere out here. They piss and crap on everything, make everything stink like cat piss.

    The laws are at least where we are at, if an animal is on your property, you have every right to shoot it. Don't like it, keep the cat indoors, where it belongs. People shoot dogs that run loose, sad to say, but cats that become feral are dangerous and carry diseases, just like any other wild animal.

    Australia had a bounty on feral cats awhile back, they got to be so overpopulated and a nuisance (and killing indigenous wild life and birds), so they had a bounty, I think it was $10 for every cat. If feral cats keep breeding and aren't in check, this could happen too.

    Unfortunately too many people don't fix their cats and are irresponsible. Then everyone has to pay.

  • nwjudi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am amazed that this conversation has gone on so long and covered so much ground. I have tried some of these ideas already and think I will try chicken wire in the places I can put it and leave it for lengths of time.
    I proposed to my neighbor that has 8 or so cats that I would help build a cat litter box in her yard... she was very defensive and I asked her to at least consider. In the meantime I thought I might build one in my own easement.
    Has anyone had success with outdoor litter boxes? And has anyone had success making new habits for old cats?
    Tired of the s#&* in my flower and vegetable beds.... Judi

  • gypsysunrise
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yeah MADDIGGER, you are right. SOME of us find your statement quite "extreme" and ridiculous.

    I'm not thrilled to see a cat harm a mouse/squirrel/bird any more than anyone else would be. But, that doesn't mean they should be put down! So, with that thinking, we should put down any animal that hunts/eats other animals. Does this inculde meat-eating humans, as well?

    And the idea that a cat should be put to death because he/she is in your garden.. Wow, you really feel that way huh?

    Ferals are not typically "vicious". If you are so concerned about the feral cat population, there are things you can do to help! You can trap the cat (as you said you do anyway) and transport the cat to a feral cat colony and/or a rescue that does the TNR (trap-neuter-release) program.

    Just because a cat hisses at you does NOT mean it is "feral". I set a human trap a few years ago, to find out what was getting into my trash.. Caught my neighbor's pet cat. He was hissing, and acting insane, from FEAR of being trapped. But, if this were YOU, he would have been put to death? You'd be freaking out too if someone trapped you!!

    So sad...........

  • SmokyMist
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I was so hoping to find an answer here...
    I live in a neighborhood where I am the ONLY gardener. My neighbor, who is very close to me on one side, hates my guts...so does things just to get on my nerves, like have her 6 year old run over on the 4th of July to throw fireworks in my flower beds ( I did witness this ).
    Well....they have , over the past year, gotten 4 cats. All 4, are outdoor cats. She also got a small dog, that is highly wired. She lets them all run loose, and what do you know, they come right over into MY yard, hang out here all day, and one of my major raised beds is used as their litter box. I have watched out the window and saw her watch her dog come over and poop right into that box. The digging they do is tearing up some expensive daylilies.
    Talking to the neighbor is not an option, as she is using animals to get to me. We actually work with the local humane society on rescues, and have a small animal rescue in my house, so I am an animal lover, but I have to tell you I love my flowers too. I wish I knew what to do.

  • DianeGA
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I was just reading a post on another GW forum about success using chopped up orange peels. She just chopped them up in her food processor & spread them in the garden. Not sure, but maybe other citrus would work as well.

  • brownthumb65
    10 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Check out this link/website. They have a lot of stuff with a money back guarantee!!!

    I purchased the Cat Stop but have been too lazy to put it out yet!

  • i_fortuna
    10 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi, I read your remedies to feral cats to keep them out of the garden. I must say that catching feral cats is very dangerous and even the saliva can carry rabies.
    Instead all pet cats should be kept inside the domicile always.
    Not only does this protect the cat from predators it protects them from contracting feline aids which all cats will eventually contract if allowed to be outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats.
    I have had many cats and even had occasion to care for a vicious feral cat we called "Terminator".
    Although it was not possible to get near this cat, I fed him and gave him water and he did not approach until I was a safe distance away from him.
    If one wants to get rid of these great mousers and some possibly dangerous cats it is best to leave it to animal control and let them take the risks.
    We currently have several feral cats in our neighborhood and they are not friendly but are not vicious either. They keep the mice population down. So I would approach this on a case by case basis.

  • jeffiii49_yahoo_co_uk
    9 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Get some starfish an cut them up-put them out for the cat's,they love them-but it cuts there insides-permanant solution