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I grow sugar snap peas in a half-barrel, right outside my back door. The neighborhood kitties think that this is an ideal cat-box location and used the barrel as such, driving me (and my indoor cats) crazy! I got some of the plastic construction fence (comes on a roll) and cut a length long enough to cover the opening of the barrel, plus an inch or so on each side. I stapled the "fence" over the top of the barrel, at the top of the edge, making a perforated cover through which the baby plants can grow, rain can fall, and the tomato tower can fit for support. No more cat problems!
Yes, I can re-plant through the fence material - drop the new seeds in, poke with a stick or a pencil, and they are good to go! I am hoping to get this year's peas into the barrel this weekend. I like to plant them around Thanksgiving, but got distracted this year - we'll have fresh sugar snap peas for Easter dinner!
By MooseMom from Elk Grove, CA
Thanks for the ideas. I've just moved into a place with two large raised beds and wanted something that wouldn't take away from the beauty of the planters. I love the citrus peel idea; we have a ponderosa lemon tree. I now know what I will do with them :-)
Source: Absolute frustration with the neighborhood furrrrrs using my big pots as littler boxes.
By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA
I don't have a problem with cats in my pots (not yet anyhow), but I do get chipmunks and squirrels. They use the pot to bury their walnuts and seeds. Sometimes they will chew up the plant or bulb I've planted. Infuriating.
I'm not picturing your 2nd suggestion of the garden fencing.
I use plastic rain gutter mesh that I always seem to be able to find at garage sales. I've never bought any from a store. Anyway, this works great. I just cut it to fit whatever pot or area around a plant in the garden and hold it in place with stones (from the driveway, much to my husband's chagrin).
Maybe you could post of photo of the fencing idea so I can see what you mean.
I also get cats using my gardens as their personal litter box, which I think is the height of rudeness and inconsideration by neighbors.
I'd be mortified if my pet ever did this to a neighbor's yard. But that's just me. Guess many folks don't feel this way. Any ideas for keeping cats out of the garden, inexpensively? I think I've tried all the ones I've found on Thriftyfun.
Thanks for your pinecone idea, too.
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The following is from the Purina Website. The site clearly lists Mothballs as a potential poison whereas cats are concerned. The use of mothballs is NOT recommended.
Please err in the side of caution when dealing with the health of any member of your family, be they two legged, fourlegged, winged or scaled.
Many common household items have been shown to be lethal in certain species. Miscellaneous items that are highly toxic even in low quantities include pennies (high concentration of zinc), mothballs (contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, one or two balls can be life-threatening in most species), potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, automatic dish detergents (contain cationic detergents which could cause corrosive lesions), batteries (contain acids or alkali which can also cause corrosive lesions), homemade play dough (contains high quantity of salt), winter heat source agents like hand or foot warmers (contain high levels of iron), cigarettes, coffee grounds, and alcoholic drinks.
By By Racer
By By Leila
A cheaper remedy might be sprinkling very hot pepper powder around the plant. A neighbor of mine used to mix up a concoction of the juice from garlic jars and ultra hot pepper powder which she diluted with water and sprayed on the plants. Animals can smell the stuff from quite a distance and it scares them away.
I used to have a cat, and one of the ways that I trained her to stay away from my plants was by spraying her with a plant mister whenever she went near them.
Another thing I would do was roll up a newspaper and hit the floor with it. Cats have very sensitive hearing. It bothered her greatly. It didn't take her very long to realize that there were consequences for playing with my plants, and she stopped quickly. I never had trouble with her and the plants again.
Perhaps you can provide a separate planter for cat use. Fill it part-way with kitty litter, and never forget to change it when company comes. This can work because it is easier to dig in litter than in a potted plant. I use this method for my garden; at each edge of our property, we have a pile of cat litter so cats can find an easy place to dig *other than* my vegetable garden! Mulches can help. I found that what cats liked about my freshly planted or freshly weeded beds was the loosened soil. So, as much as possible, I now cover my garden beds with a layer of mulch. Cats may actually like some mulches better than the real litter, so be ready to change kinds. One that discourages them is newspaper layered all over the bed, and held down with a few rocks at the edge and a sprinkling of something like peat moss. Indoors, you might try large gravel, decorative rocks, seashells, or knickknacks. I think that Spanish moss might work, and nut shells (saved from our snacks -- get unsalted) . You are looking for something that just doesn't seem suited for digging in.
You could put a piece of screen or hardware cloth over the planter, with openings the plant can get through. You might use the mesh that is used for flower-arrangements, and let the stems grow up through it. You could plant a ground-cover plant in the planter. We have some small trees in planters with moss covering the soil. In others, we have a *weed* that has edible leaves. In others, we grow grasses that have interesting textures. You can grow short plants under tall ones, short plants that tend to fill up the space and even show a tendency to sprawl. (Coincidentally, one nice plant for underplanting taller ornamentals is called catmint. An herb, rue, is said to deter cats.) This can be quite attractive and double the enjoyment of your container plants. You can group smaller pots in the larger planters. All those rims get in the way of digging. This can also save time when you are watering. Animals rarely choose to mess where they eat. So, if you feed you cats at the planters, if you put their food dishes or treats right in there, chances are, the cats will not use those planters as litter boxes. In the same vein, you might try growing shallow dishes of rye grass for cat nibbling, and place those in the planters. To sum up these ideas, you try to place something between the cat and the potting soil you don't want dug up, and you make sure the cat has a convenient alternative place to dig his potty.
Rose B, mother of three, in NC
Here are several easy, safe, and effective ways to deter cats from using your neighbor's garden as a litter box, but, unlike moth balls, they don't pose a health hazard to cats or humans. Or, heck, you could do what my boss suggested and try releasing a whole herd of gophers or mice. Then your kitties will be the guests of honor! (Just kidding!)
There are many herbs that cats don't like to be around, including lavender, rue, geranium, absinthe, and lemon-thyme. Also, a German professional gardener, Dieter Stegmaier of Essingen, has created a hybrid so repulsive to cats, they stay a yard away from it. It smells like schnapps to us, and is actually a pretty and hardy plant with blue flowers that bloom throughout most of the summer. Its Latin name is Coleus canin. You can order it through various mail order services in Germany.
This mixture is easy to make and can be used anywhere you want to repel cats (or groundhogs, for that matter):
Simply mix together and sprinkle.
By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Healthy Living Channels
So glad that I had decided to do a little "research" on the use of mothballs. It was a recommendation that was recommended yesterday and I totally forgot to purchase mothballs yesterday. I will use the 2 parts cayenne pepper-3 parts dry mustard & 5 parts flour. (before I use aluminum foil as I really don't want to appear to be some sort of kook). Not knowing what mothballs are made of I was aliitle nervous about the use of mothballs. I am so very thankful that there was information available to persuade me off of the use of mothballs. Poison. I will tell the person who recommended the idea of mothballs as a cat deterant. You bet !
I bought some cinnamon scented pine cones for Christmas, to place in bowls around the house. Not too long after that, my cats discovered the joys of playing in the giant pot where my 4' tall fatsia is growing. I put the scented pine cones all around the base of the plant. It smelled pretty, looked nice, and instantly ended play time in that pot.
I bet regular pine cones would work just as well and best of all, they are free.
I used aluminum foil and the cat would either find the edge between the pieces and borrow beneath one, or would actually rip a hole in the foil.
I have two issues with my cats and my flowers - a new kitten is the big culprit! I have a flower box on the side of my house and one day I noticed a small body flying by the window. The kitten is jumping from the deck into the flower box and then using this as a jumping off point to get on the roof! Gotta love my cats. I intend on putting geraniums into the box once spring arrives here but I'm concerned that, on the first leap, she will break the expensive flowers. I have taken it down in the meantime but how do I protect the plants? Once she gets there, I see from your suggestions that, hopefully, she will not like the geraniums but that first jump may damage them. She is also pulling the screws out of the wall from the weight. It sounds like someone is pounding the side of my wall when she lands and takes off. Any suggestions? My older cat as well as the kitten are also using my beautiful raised beds for a giant litter box. Can I plant veggies in these or is it now contaminated?
Hello, You have posted some really good ideas. I only have exception to one of them. The Rose Bush Cuttings! If a cat steps on a thorn, it can cause an infection if it breaks the skin on their pad. I have worked for a Veterinarian for over 27 years and we have pulled thorns from quite a few cats. The cats are treated with antibiotics.. if they are not treated the infection can travel through their system and cause death. This is also true with humans.
I just hit on this idea three days ago...so far, so good. I have a 'serenity garden' filled with sand. I use a rake to make different designs in the sand. My cat uses his intestinal contents to mess it up. I had several rolls of black net that is used for covering trees so birds won't eat the fruit. This stuff is very inexpensive. I covered the sand with it and weighted it down along the edges with pretty rocks. My cat hates this stuff...his claws get stuck in it when he tries to dig. Extra perk: When the sand is dry, I can use the rake (Upside down) and still make designs right thru the net. Yippee!
You should buy these things. It is NOT your neighbor's responsibility to buy things to control YOUR cat.
Neighbors need to take care of their cats. Your neighbors DO NOT want them in their yards. Your neighbors do not need to spend their money to take care of your cats!! I did not buy my property to be a litter box for YOUR pets. Keep them at your house! I have had it!!
How do I discourage my neighbor's two cats from pooping in my front yard planter which is covered with small pea gravel? It sort of looks like kitty litter! My friend suggested moth balls, but I was wondering if anyone on ThriftyFun has a method that has proven to work.
By Judy P.
Pea gravel won't deter cats as they think it's cat litter. Either use larger size gravel or just add large stones or decorative shale to the the original gravel in the planter. I've tried this and it does work. Good luck.
Keep it wet. Cats don't like to dig in wet soil. Spray with something that smells like citrus. Cats don't like citrus. Get a big squirt gun and shoot the cats with it. They don't like getting wet at all. Put a cage of chickenwire over it. Put little trays of ammonia around. That's something else they don't like to smell. Moth balls are poisonous and not recommended especially if you have children who might think they were candy. Good luck!
Move your gravel out of the way or lay chicken wire on it. Use scissors to cut space for your plants. Cover with more of your gravel. When the cats dig to go potty they will step on the wire. They can't stand walking on it!
Sprinkle cayenne pepper. Needs to be done after each watering.
Take all used coffee grounds and spread over top of dirt....Cats hate the smell
I have a large planter in my yard and the cats use it as a potty. How can I keep them out of it?
By V Meyers from Discovery Bay, CA
Cats don't like it when there is something in the middle of the pot. Like tall spindly lights, or just one of the shorter wider ones from dollar tree. It makes it uncomfortable for them to get comfortable. Also if you shave some orange peels around the top, the cat finds it offensive.
I had problems with my cats thinking my flower pots were there beds. Something in the pot that is uncomfortable for them to lay on does the trick. Even if it is a dollar tree decoration, or even a few pointed stones. An ornamental stick from the ground etc...
If your planter has kitty smell, clean out and use some garden lime. The garden lime takes away the cat smell. Do all of these and there is less of a chance of cat problems.