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 Post subject: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 pm 
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i have two big beautiful raised beds. so far, everything is growing great and the squirrels and bunnies have miraculously left them alone without the need for fencing. which is great, because we really can't afford to buy any fencing, so we were just kind of crossing our fingers.

earlier this week, i noticed some little footprints leading to some dug up soil in the middle of my kale, and (fortunately with the help of a plastic bag) i discovered a half-buried cat turd! my garden is not your litter box, crassholes!! then just now i discovered another one in pretty much the same spot. i'm so upset about my toxoplasmosis-covered kale now.

does anyone have suggestions for deterring cats from using my garden as their personal bathroom? should i pour my own pee around the border to make them think it's my litter box, not theirs? or will that just encourage them to mark their territory even more? i'll do whatever it takes, but am hoping to avoid a fence!


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:09 pm 
ol' garly cooch
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Oh, how we've had this discussion before. My Maury Bernstein loves a raised bed. You can cover the bed with fine chicken wire, the cats won't dig in it. You can also poke sticks all over the beds and they are not fond of that either. Motion sensor sprinklers will do the trick too. Think like a cat: what do cats hate? Make the garden as unwelcome to a cat as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:04 pm 
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I've been having this problem too, as much to my dismay the neighbor one side has many (un-spayed or neutered) cats which keep multiplying and making litter boxes out of the planting beds. Since my plants are directly in the ground and not in raised boxes or anything it has been hard to avoid, and somewhat annoying when they dig up plants, but how much is cat poop a problem anyway? Will it kill anything, or do anything harmful to the garden?


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Some people say to put citrus peel on areas where you don't want cats to go, I don't know if that's a good enough deterrent for all cats.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:27 pm 
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Encourage your next door neighbor to install a sandbox.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:05 pm 
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I put bird netting on top of the beds before anything sprouts and then bamboo skewers when the plants get bigger. It works pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Best thread title ever.


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:44 am 
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vegetable_assassin wrote:
I've been having this problem too, as much to my dismay the neighbor one side has many (un-spayed or neutered) cats which keep multiplying and making litter boxes out of the planting beds. Since my plants are directly in the ground and not in raised boxes or anything it has been hard to avoid, and somewhat annoying when they dig up plants, but how much is cat poop a problem anyway? Will it kill anything, or do anything harmful to the garden?



Pet and human waste are not suitable for gardening edibles. With cat waste there's the risk of toxoplasmosis and worms. If you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, nursing, or have a compromised immune system, you should never handle cat waste, or use universal precautions when handling it if you can't get someone to do it for you. Take a look at this thread from Tomatoville-(one of my favorite gardening sites!)

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=18239

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:55 pm 
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thanks for the feedback.

yeah, it's not healthy. there are so many stray cats in my neighborhood, they probably all have syphilis, too. (just kidding. you cannot get syphilis from cat shiitake.)

i guess i'll try the stick method. hopefully i can collect enough sticks from around the yard that this will be a free, albeit ugly, solution!


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:12 pm 
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You could try tying some string between two sticks and hanging empty cans or anything that will make noise around the border or in high-traffic cat-toilet spots. Cats hate to be startled by loud noises and if they knock into these a few times it should deter them from coming back. I suppose your set up will determine the degree of difficulty in making something like this work, but it's worth thinking about and is a very low-cost solution. I saw a cat-trainer on tv do something similar with a motion activated puff of air. The idea is similar -startles the cat but doesn't hurt it. String is just a lot less expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:47 pm 
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the sticks have been working! it looks pretty silly, but it seems like the cats have lost interest and i'm so happy. i'm going to try to take some pictures of my garden tomorrow to post here!


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:31 am 
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mooo wrote:
the sticks have been working! it looks pretty silly, but it seems like the cats have lost interest and i'm so happy. i'm going to try to take some pictures of my garden tomorrow to post here!


You could work on making it cute? Like paint some of the bamboo skewers different colors? Put some little trinkets on top? Get mismatching forks from the thrift store and stick em prong side up?

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:26 am 
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mooo wrote:
the sticks have been working! it looks pretty silly, but it seems like the cats have lost interest and i'm so happy. i'm going to try to take some pictures of my garden tomorrow to post here!



Yay! I second making the sticks all crazy and cute. Pics!

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:54 pm 
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This problem has been reduced by putting stakes in since the tomatoes and peas are large enough for stakes now. Also by having the lettuces and other greens that are planted under the others as companion plants get big enough that there is not much dirt left open in the beds, making it hard for the cats to get in. I have begun putting lots of sticks in the exposed dirt on your suggestions, and this is working too. So thanks for the help you all.


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:14 am 
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How many sticks are we talking about Jewbacca? And will this work for opossums, too? While there is a cat who occasionally hangs out in my yard, I've never seen him digging in my garden. And I frequently catch Mr. Opossum digging in my garden or compost pile. I'm not sure which of them is the culprit.


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:33 am 
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Citrus fruits are about the only food my cat won't try to steal, so I'd have gone with that. Glad the sticks helped! Hooray for people who want to find SANE solutions for keeping animals out of their gardens.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:08 pm 
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I just came in here to post my very original idea of putting bamboo skewers, pointy side up, in the raised bed. I see that I am a little late.

It does turn the raised bed into a bit of a torture garden, but it definitely keeps the pooping kitty cats out. Since the dogs have apparently decided to let just any old stray pillage the back 40.


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:54 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
How many sticks are we talking about Jewbacca? And will this work for opossums, too? While there is a cat who occasionally hangs out in my yard, I've never seen him digging in my garden. And I frequently catch Mr. Opossum digging in my garden or compost pile. I'm not sure which of them is the culprit.



I have no idea about opossums. You can always put garlic or hot pepper wax around the area. In my old raised bed I had about 10-15 sticks from the yard in the bed. My garden looked a little Blair Witch Project, but Maury focused his attention on other things.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:44 pm 
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Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:41 pm 
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My solution would be to shiitake in their garden first.

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 Post subject: Re: how to keep neighborhood cats from shitting in my garden
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:48 pm 
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