Keeping Cats off Vegetable Beds

, written by Jeremy Dore gb flag

Keep ground covered, e.g. by using green manures, to make an area less attractive to cats for toiletting

Last week Barbara wrote about growing plants that cats will love – a delightful way to indulge your favorite pet. However, not everyone has such a positive relationship with cats in the garden. For those of us gardening in urban or suburban areas they can seem more of a nuisance when our specially prepared vegetable beds become the local toilet for the neighborhood felines. Having a row of precious seedlings dug up, or finding cat-poo when planting can be frustrating to say the least. So what can be done to persuade them to keep away?

The first thing to realize is that it’s quite natural for cats to seek out neighboring patches of earth to use as a toileting area. Unless the owners have trained them to use a litter tray at an early age most cats will prefer to find an area outside their own garden territory. When you consider how many gardens consist of lawns, densely planted borders and low-maintenance paved areas it is no surprise that they often make a beeline for the recently dug bare soil of vegetable beds.

Although the behavior is understandable it certainly isn’t desirable to have cat feces near vegetables as they contain a number of disease-bearing pathogens including those that cause toxoplasmosis. Washing home-grown food carefully is one part of the equation but to be on the safe side it’s best to try and keep cats away.



There are hundreds of commercial products available to deter cats but you only have to peruse a few gardening forums to discover that many of them aren’t as effective as the manufacturers would have you believe. Deterrents should also be evaluated for safety as quite a few are not suitable for vegetable gardens. For example, you will often see mothballs recommended but they are highly toxic to young children, dogs and cats and contain pesticides that you are unlikely to want near edible plants.

Generally, deterrents fall into the following categories:

  • Smells: Strong smelling substances that cats don’t like are often recommended such as orange peel, coffee grinds (try your local cafe for used grinds), pepper etc. These usually need replenishing every few days, particularly after rain. Commercial variants often contain the scents of predators e.g. Silent Roar (contains ‘sterilised essence of lion dung’) or Shake-Away (with coyote and fox urine).
  • Sounds: Ultrasonic cat repellent devices work by emitting a high-pitched sound, which cats don’t like but humans can’t hear, when there is movement nearby. Battery operated models are available although wired versions are more economical in the long run. An alternative sometimes used is wind chimes but they are rarely popular with neighbors.
  • Visual Warnings: Some people place short lengths of old hosepipe amongst their plants to look like snakes which cats will keep away from. Bottles of water or CDs strung together can give shifting light patterns that are said to make cats wary.
  • Barriers: The most effective barrier is to net each vegetable bed but it takes time and money to do this. Another approach is to place spiked strips on all surrounding fences but cats are extremely good at navigating obstacles. Alternatively you can place many spikes in the ground – these can be small sticks about every two inches (pea sticks work well) or trimmings from spiky plants such as roses or hawthorns that will make it uncomfortable for a cat to dig. Unfortunately they also make it very uncomfortable to weed or plant in the area!
  • Plants: A number of plants are said to be unattractive to cats including lavender, lemon balm and the 'scaredy cat plant' Coleus canina. They work by producing smells or having a texture that cats don’t like. Most are annuals and can be raised from seeds or cuttings but that means they are unlikely to be fully grown in spring when your soil needs protection most.
  • Water: Cats try to avoid getting wet and a sudden blast of water can be an effective deterrent. Motion activated sprays are one way of achieving this although they are quite an expensive option.
  • Animals: Surprisingly owning a dog is not a good deterrent. However, owning a cat will usually keep others away because they mark out your garden as their territory, though that’s not always a desirable option.
Prunings placed across a vegetable bed make cats less inclined to wander onto the soil

What Works

No single method for deterring cats is 100% effective and many are simply too expensive when scaled to the size of a large vegetable garden. However, there are some good principles to follow when deciding on a course of action:

  1. Clear Up and Replace Scent with Strong Smells: Cats are creatures of habit that use smell to locate their toileting areas. If you already have a problem then the first step is to remove the existing poo, water the surrounding earth to wash the smell away and then spread scented deterrents in the area (citrus, coffee grinds etc)
  2. Use Ground Coverings Where Possible: Keeping the soil covered for as much of the year as possible is good gardening practice anyway so make good use of green manures (cover crops) and mulches.
  3. Make Cats Feel Unsure: Cats don’t like surfaces that feel tangly or wobbly. Stretching netting over beds, running string between posts at the top of fences and using light mulches that a cat’s feet will sink into will all make a cat feel that it’s not on solid ground, encouraging it to go elsewhere.
  4. Don't be Seen: The classic mistake (I plead guilty to this!) is to chase cats from your garden. The problem is that they then associate you with the danger and it seems they like the challenge of outwitting you! Instead, cat psychology says that we should look for ways to have the cat associate the garden with danger, rather than the human, so a jet of water apparently coming from nowhere will be more likely to succeed than an angry gardener.
A snake-like hose
A length of hosepipe can look like a snake to cats

There are no easy answers to the roaming nature of cats – I wish there were. However, with a combination of the ideas mentioned above, some success can be had, or at least the problem can move on to someone else’s garden where vegetables aren’t being grown. If you are still struggling then, as a declaration of war, you could try the technique mastered by my retired parents-in-law: sitting in their conservatory with a loaded super-soaker pointed through the open door – a method that they swear has been the most effective of all!

If you have had success in keeping cats from your garden please do share your tips below.

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Show Comments


"I find that putting down trimmings from holly bushes or roses works just fine. Who'd want to park their bottom on a rose branch? Ouch."
Claire Hamm on Friday 19 November 2010
"Hi when i have a problem with cats using my garden as a tiolet i go to my allotment which is surounded by blackberry bushes i think these are best because the runners are long and if i get hooked on these getting the berrys so would a cat"
Muckinfuddle on Friday 19 November 2010
"How that has made me laugh! I am plagued with cats so I do two things: I net or cover my growing areas and I also dig/turn over the earth in other parts of the garden *after* I have dug the earth where it matters to me. The bit that is fresher smells stronger and so is slightly more appealing to cats. I turn several areas over nearly daily to keep that fresh earth smell while my grow area becomes settled. I find that the cats are quite delighted to have soft earth underneath their paws and love to bury their wastes. When I come into the garden, the cats run away - except mine, of course! Next year I shall also have raised grow areas which are also netted off. I have considered and rejected the more expensive options of electronic sonic cat repellents which plug into the mains and also a pop-up water sprinkler in strategic areas which is set off when a cat (or other warm body) triggers a PIR sensor."
Kevin on Saturday 20 November 2010
"I third the idea of using rose and bramble prunings to deter cats from digging in beds. I've used rose prunings to keep the dog from taking naps on new veggie beds, too. "
Barbara Pleasant on Saturday 20 November 2010
"KEVIN all you are doing is turning over a new cat tiolet for the visitors to your garden and guess where your cat goes possibly next door"
Muckinfuddle on Sunday 21 November 2010
"Ok - so why is acceptable for a neighbours cat to come in and poo in my veg patch and I can't say anything to the neigbour, but if my dog went in and pooed in their garden - there would be hell to pay!?????? Surely the principle is the same - you own an animal you are responsible for it."
Ducking Fun on Tuesday 23 November 2010
"The answer is obvious - it is easier for an owner to control where a dog does / does not poo. Cat owners simply can't do that. Have you seen anyone try to train a cat recently? You talk of ownership and responsibility for animals. The quirk of English law is that dog owners have legal liability (and responsibility) for their dogs but cats do not attract legal liability at all."
Claire on Tuesday 23 November 2010
"I understand the law and the law does not always make things right as far as a principle is concerned - but if you take things right back to the basic principle of being responsible for your animal - then the owner should be responsible for where it poos, be it dog, cat, horse, hamster etc. Cats can be trained to use litter trays and the owner gets rid of the doings responsibly. I am not having a go - I am just highlighting the difference in what is socially accepted in society. One rule for one animal and don't uphold it for another animal. The end result is still poo in places we don't want it. I wonder if my neighbours with cats would like their poo back in little bags for them to get rid of it in their wheely bin. (that last sentence was a little rant!!Please forgive me.)"
Ducking Fun on Tuesday 23 November 2010
"My own cats are indoor-only. Last year I planted catnip in containers around my vegetable beds. We have feral cats in this area and they can be a problem, but they seemed far more interested in the catnip than in digging in my beds! Only a few scratches, and those vanished after the plants got big. The catnip containers got knocked over daily but I was fine with that. I am trying it again this year."
Megan on Sunday 29 May 2011
"My neighbours cats piss me off beyond belief. The only thing that works is the sonic alarm."
tami on Sunday 29 May 2011
"I say keep the cats around the property if not the garden itself. They are major deterrent for actual pests such as mice, moles, gophers, rabbits, birds, etc that would otherwise eat your crops. my mother grew up on a farm near Mt. St Helen's, and they always had cats around for just that purpose...plant some catnip and give them an alternate area to use the restroom...and you have a better guard for your veggies than a lazy dog. "
Shanna G on Sunday 16 October 2011
"Cats,I hate them,As far as i go they are Vermin around my estate,The neighbour at the back of my garden has the worst scruffiest dirty garden ive ever seen and has at least 3 cats,Daily i have to pick cat poo up off my borders and around my garden and im just about fed up with it now,ive tried spikes around fencing,string in between the posts,bottles half full of water,CDs,ive even got Scardey cat plants and they crapped next to that,ive only just started making raised borders for veg and fruit and have fruit trees and bushes galore,everything ive tried just does not deter them tho i havnt tried an electronic alarm as ive been told they dont work as they get used to them eventually..Ive now started throwing the cat poo back over the fence into the neighbours garden now...The next approach i think will be a .22 air rifle,thats how bad its got... "
pete on Sunday 15 January 2012
"Nothing much works. If cats have started to poo on your plot, then they'll continue to do so. Tried orange peel, renwardine, pepper dust, etc and just doesn't seem to work. The problem is, my neighbour has 5...yes 5! cats. They are all semi feral and elderly, so less inclined to seek out toileting areas further afield they seem to live outdoors, so of course make a bee line for my veg plot/flower beds. I'm sick of constantly finding cat poo in the soil prior to planting. (Really sickening, yuck!). I'm now trying a mulch of newspaper and straw...this appears to be far!. Also suppresses weeds and keeps the soil warm and can plant straight through it. Problem solved."
Alb on Wednesday 29 February 2012
"With pruning season here, I wanted to mention keeping a few prickly branches to place where you don't want cats and dogs to dig or nap. Rose branches with big, stout thorns are especially effective. "
Barbara Pleasant on Thursday 1 March 2012
"I am trying bits of old T shirt drenched in vinegar to keep my cats away from my newly planted onion sets, tatties and seeds!! who knows if this will work.The nets didn't, they crawled underneath like army commando's!"
Digging Dave on Thursday 1 March 2012
"Hi I'm 75yrs old I like to look after my garden as best as i can, due prothetic hips and lots of arthritis we own a little dog which isn't allowed in the vegy garden area any poo is always collected and disposed of responsibly, so why shoud I have to clean up other peoples cat mess. I hear excuses galore, one particular case was where a cat got shot with pellet, the owner who was up in arms about to the local press the cat never goes out of the house, "question how on earth did it get shot?""
cat a tonic on Monday 12 March 2012
"Peter Fricker I do hope you are not seen using your Slingshot by any of your neighbours because if they do you could be the one getting the fine of £2000 or more.I and others above do not like cats doing in or on their gardens/allotments but there ways to stop them just read the coments. [Refers to an earlier comment that was deleted as it contravenes our guidelines for comments] "
Muckingfuddle on Friday 16 March 2012
"My cats sprayed my lovely rhubarb recently. Can I still wash it carefully and bake with it? Unfortunately, this may not be the first time they did it -- only the first time they were caught in the act! And I've always baked with my rhubarb so likely we've survived previous onslaughts. Any suggestions on cleaning it if it is edible? "
Marisa on Monday 21 May 2012
"is thick chip bark a way of stopping cats getting into my garden?"
De on Sunday 28 October 2012
"Ive tried the Chip Bark De but again this is something else that does not work as i found this morning !! I just check the garden now every morning and any cat crap i just scoop it up and sling it back over the neighbours garden now.Its there cat poop let them deal with it."
pete fricker on Monday 29 October 2012
"Cats are a problem in my vege patch, and we are unfortunate to have many ( about 15 ) within a 200 meter radius from our house. The owners dont care, even throwing the poo onto the driveway. I am going to try and make a low shade netting cover to put over the seedlings untill they establish themselves. The only thing is this is an extrta cost to me who does not have any pets. Maybe the only way to sort this out is terminality. I think its disgusting that people have cats, and dont care about their toilet arrangements. They would have to for their dogs."
rs on Friday 14 December 2012
"Owning an outdoor cat in an urban area is an act of anti-social behaviour because it necessarily involves spreading feces on other people's property. "
voice of reason on Monday 7 January 2013
"It seems there are irresponsible cat owners the world over. Here is Australia, feral cats are a major problem and are causing devastation to much of the local native wildlife. The government brought in laws here requiring cat owners to keep their pets locked up at night. The problem is, it is completely un-enforceable and hasn't worked. I've recently tried spraying with a citronella based solution with some success. It has to be sprayed nightly to be affective. "
Errol on Friday 29 March 2013
"I got this idea via one of those motion detector halloween bowls with a ghoul hand and visual sound. was entertained as it's a bowl and my cats investigates as a new food dish got near they freaked setting off the motion sensor and the sound........... I jerry rigged a motion sensor, a strobe light, outdoor speakers and the sprinkler. Not only did it work on cats, dogs,squirrels and yes neighbor kids stealing my strawberries. I set up a camera overlooking's the most funniest video on bad days seeing the reaction being scared the living heck! :D The best caught a robber off guard trying to steal from my garage! he ran into wall of shed so hard knocked himself out! Um, the sound used gunfire - idea came from the scene in home alone with pizza delivery guy! ..............priceless"
Cassie on Sunday 7 April 2013
"Please put that video on Youtube!"
oliver on Thursday 11 April 2013
"Down the road from us there's a house full of cats. I just spent the entire weekend tidying up the front garden, creating new borders and filling them with pansies. Next morning POW! Pansies thrown aside and great piles of stinking cat poo everywhere :-( Would catching said cats and relocating them 50 miles away seem unreasonable ;-) Only joking... I made a tidy little foot high chicken wire fence around the border and cut to top of the wire to make it spikey. Surprisingly the cat poo problem has now moved to the next doors borders, so I still get the nasty stench, but I’m no longer having to replant my border every day :-)"
Chris on Tuesday 23 April 2013
"Many places have leash laws for cats. So what's the problem you cat people. If you think of it as part of your family then keep track of it. A leash won't kill it. Because the rest of us don't want the stinking things in our yard. They are disease carriers BIG TIME. "
dmb on Friday 26 April 2013
"Was just surfing the net as we will need to replace our 14 year old raised beds this fall - looking for new ideas. We have a neighbourhood cat that fancied our beds and I am guilty of attempting to toss water on it- we have a dog but she watches from behind a glass door as the cat smugly goes about it's business... A couple of years ago my son placed his toy dinosaurs in the garden and that must have scared the cat away, for a while ... When we prepare and sow the beds in spring I place a metal rod fencing element over the bed and toss random twigs over that - keeps cats off the beds, allows sunlight and water to get in - everyone is happy, it helps with the start anyways :)"
Anne on Monday 6 May 2013
"i understand that cats don't like to piss and poo in a place that another cat uses. so can i just spread my own pee around the garden and deter the cats of coming into the veggie garden and pooing? "
jimmy on Friday 10 May 2013
"Note a lot of cat haters on this site. Cats are not evil, no matter how much they defecate in the garden. One thing-do not use small mulch, like pecan shell. It is easy to dig in for the cats and the sharp edges do not deter them. There is no sure fire magic way of deterring this behavior in all cats. However the netting should work, as well as the newspaper mulch. Nice thing about the newspaper mulch is that in composts as well. I used Newspaper (covered by a thin layer of large bark mulch) in a pair of flower beds and the cats (5) have not used it in two years so I would deem that effective."
Ted on Tuesday 28 May 2013
"I guess Ted has not been working with his hands in the soil, and found the pile of Poo. It carries disease, and makes one the moerin!!!!"
Ray on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"No one has commented on why they don't want to put the stinking cat on a leash. It won't kill it and would make your neighbors a lot happier and the neighborhood healthier. Why should the neighbors have to go to the time and expense of trying to rig up a way to keep them out. It is the OWNER'S responsibility. So don't cry when the cat dissapeares."
dmb on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"Actually I work in the garden a lot and have had the experience of pooh on the palm. How about all the dog walkers out there who just stop and wath while the dog does his/her thing on the lawn, killing grass, flowers and whatever, while the owner stands there watching them? So much for animals on leashes! The reason so many places require leashes on dogs is that 1) dogs have a bad habit of biting people and other dogs. 2) dogs have a bad habit of killing or seriously injuring joggers, walkers, other dogs, sheep, goats, cattle and on and on. There have been 4 attacks resulting in injury to other animals (dogs and in one case livestock) and at least one human, just in my town of about 50 thousand people, in the last three months. There have been no reports of attacks by cats. Dogs will take to a leash in most cases. Cats are not dogs. No one can force a cat to behave like a dog, or vice-versa. Let cats be cats and learn to compromise. You don't have to totally give in and put up little signs saying "ladies" and "gents", just treat the issue like any other. Deer and rabbits for instance love gardens. It's a salad bar refreshed daily for them. Should we put them on leashes? Should we just shoot them (illegal in most places)? Just learn to live with the fauna in the neighborhood. Or move. "
Ted on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"Forgot about the comment about the cat disappears. Don't forget that animal cruelty is a crime. Brings to mind the security video a couple of years ago showing a woman picking up a cat (which has doing nothing other than being there). She calmly opens the top of one of those roll-out dust bins and drops the cat in, then closes the lid. The container obviously was waiting to be picked up and emptied. The cat was rescued. The woman was arrested. It is not a crime to be a cat. It is a crime to be cruel to animals. Let cats and dogs be cats and dogs. It is not a crime. Treating them like garbage or worse is a crime."
Ted on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"Rabbits and Deer do not get up on the front porch and crap in my flower boxes. And I live in town. When I lived in the country I did not have near the issues with wildlife and my flowers or garden. My sister has had cats for 30 years and everywhere she has lived there has been leash laws for cats and they could not just let their cats run. Cats may not attack people but they DO spread deseases. Even out on the farm, cats spread deseases from farm to farm. It happened to us and we lost alot of hogs. Could not allow cats around. Even the VET said they were desease spreaders. Just keep the animal under control and be responsable and everyone will be happy."
dmb on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"DMB just hates cats. There is no treatment for hate. And DMB will never be happy. Have never, ever heard of a cat crapping in a flower box. Something to consider: Cats are quite intuitive. The cat or cats responsible for crapping in your flower box are quite possibly doing so because they are picking up on your attitude. You have declared war on them and they are responding. Lastly, all mammals spread disease.Birds and hogs spread flu. Even to humans and of course cats. Then of course there are rabbits (tularemia), mice and rats (both tularemia and plague). The list goes on and on. As does the list of "pests" like micerats and rabbits that cats help keep under control. I repeat. Cats are not evil. There are solutions. An easy one is to shake some cayenne pepper in the planting box (on the soil). Orange or other citrus peels might work, or not. And those must be replaced often, but they have a pleasant aroma (to humans). There is no need to go to war with the cats. (another possibility is to plant some sort of low growing cover between larger plants in the box. If there is no room in the box to dig, they will go elsewhere.) Try calling a local cat rescue. There is likely to be one. They may have idea's neither of us thought of. And if the cats are feral rather than just roaming, there may be a program that will trap and neuter and relocate them. Try to find a solution rather than fight with them. In the end they will win any fight. Good luck. Keep calm, and call the cat rescue society. And remember the cat might have been abandoned or is lost."
Ted on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"Excellent product called "Boundary" works well. Available at pet stores in U.S., not sure about UK or elsewhere. Active ingredient is Methyl nonyl ketone and "related compounds". Use with moderation and follow label instructions. It does work."
Ted on Wednesday 29 May 2013
"Enjoyed reading your blog and the resulting comments gave me a chuckle. I took great pride in my garden and loved watching my veggies and herbs grow. New neighbours with kitties and my life has changed considerably. My garden is now a potty. It is very discouraging but will continue to try different tips to discourage the behaviour. :("
Diane on Wednesday 12 June 2013
"I think the most interesting suggestion has to do with the newspaper and straw mulch. Two birds with one stone approach. What sort of puzzles me here is the statements regarding the apparently gargantuan deposits left by the neighborhood cats around the world. I have cared for up to 10 cats at a time (many of them neighborhood cats belonging to a disabled neighbor), and that is in addition to about 10 or 15 additional neighborhood cats. I did indeed find the occasional deposit which I dealt with using a small garden trowel. Scoop, put in trash, problem gone. At any rate, the apparent gusto with which all of these cats mentioned by others is puzzling. Perhaps the felines in this area are merely a bit more refined when choosing toilet facilities. I urge everyone to try some of the more clever remedies. I have tried newspaper covered by bark: it works. The straw and shredded paper sounds even better and more practical. Must say the orange peel never worked well, but citronella might be a good solution. A couple of things about herbs: Cats seem to like most herbs but especially mints, and anything at all in the artemesia family, such as silver mound. But they seem to like lying around in or underneath it, not using it for toilet facilities. The artemesia and sages are great for them to roll around in( they think)and I really have never known of a cat who relaxed/played in the same spot as they poop or pee. Good luck with your new garden. If I think of any other deterrents I will share. (P.S.) Diet is an important thing-cats who are fed too much dry foods, usually bulked out with cheap grains-might well have need of bigger and more frequent bowel movements. They are carnivores. But that is a question for a veterinarian. Just a thought, not that anyone but the owner can address that."
Ted on Wednesday 12 June 2013
"Hi Ted if people kept there cats inside, there would be no interesting suggestions or cat haters. yes Dianne I have had a great belly laugh too De "
De on Thursday 13 June 2013
"If people kept their cats inside we wouldn't be having these great conversations! Seriously-I was just checking a flower bed where I put down newspaper mulch covered with bark mulch. No signs of the cats there, at all and it has been in place for just over a year. Other beds with just chipped wood mulch did not fare as well. if anyone uses the newspaper just make sure that it is printed with a soy based ink. Most papers are nowadays. The old type ink (petroleum based) had metal contaminants, OK for flowers but not food crops. Also, some colored ink, including soy, still does use metals in the color, so avoid colored ink if possible. And strips of paper two inches or three wide seem to be easiest. several layers (3 or 4). My cats are in for the night."
Ted on Thursday 13 June 2013
"Maybe Ted would like to supply all the recommended products to the neighbours who are having problems with his cat. I am sure they will try anything at his expense."
ray senior on Tuesday 18 June 2013
"Newspapers are practically free. IOn fact in most places there are free newspapers. It is obvious that the last person who posted is not going to to try anything, even if a team of professional gardeners came over and did the work for him, There have been numerous suggestions from different people about what works, what might work and what they have heard might work. If someone does not want to try it but only wants to complain, then complain away. Other people however are willing to look for solutions and intelligent enough to realize that all of life is comprised of compromise. I know there are sites out there where peopler cant rant and rave about nearly anything ranging from white supremacy to witchcraft and quite probably evil conniving animals. Meanwhile the rest of us can care for our gardens or our animals and my case, both. By the way. Medium size rock mulch works quite well. and it reduces weeds and conserves water. Might want to think about resource conservation as well while penning anti-cat diatribes."
Ted on Tuesday 18 June 2013
"Meant to tell the lady who's rhubarb was sprayed (last year!) that all she needs to do is wash it off. If there is solid waste (dog or cat, either one) it needs to be removed. In fact any uncomposted feces, steer, cow, dog cat etc should be removed because all of it has the potential for carrying parasites and spores which plants that are intended for human consumption can pick up and transfer to humans or other animals. That is according to USDA. Doesn't matter in flower beds unless the flowers are intended to grace one's salad. But the pee and the spray? Just wash off. Enjoy the rhubarb! unfortunately it doesn't grow well where I live. "
Ted on Tuesday 18 June 2013
"I happened on this web page because I have 4 awesome amazing feline friends that have a tendency to turn my vegetable garden into their potty. This happens each year when I first start digging it up. I was simply looking to see what other animal lovers do and I am sickened by the hatred on this page. People get a grip on yourselves! Nature is beautiful... as are cats, dogs, chipmunks squirrels, birds, rabbits, mice and even the bees are pretty cool. "Nature calls" to all animals...including humans... and I think there are some two legged creatures making waaay too big a deal about a little cat poo in the garden issue. If this is the worst thing some of you people have to deal with I think some of you don't have it too bad. Thank you to fellow animal lovers...who stand up tho these ignorant fools. As for my garden, I might try a couple new tips picked up from this page, but I will keep doing what I have always done. I usually dig up a separate patch of dirt near my flower garden which I edge with catnip. This draws my cats to it. Also, as I complete the sections in my vegetable garden I use tons of the little wire fencing I have saved over the years and run it around and through the fresh patches. If you buy a small wire fence each year(for less than $10) and save them each year, before long there will be plenty to wander through all of your freshly planted veggie patches. It actually looks really nice and the wire fencing only needs to stay in place until the ground hardens up a bit and the vegetables start to grow. At that point the pooing issue seems to no longer become an issue. Then I can enjoy watching my cats sleeping comfortable in my vegetable garden paths, while the bees buzz around and I notice there is a lacking of rodents(I kind of feel bad for the little creatures, but such is nature). Anyway, plants and animals living in harmony...each with its own little role in a glorious presentation...courtesy of mother nature. Too bad some of you humans cant seem to enjoy the show."
Sharon on Friday 21 June 2013
"I for one, find that throwing the poop into the cat owners garden is the most satisfying solution. Splat!"
egbert on Friday 21 June 2013
"I like Sharon's approach. I have known of the idea, and in some cases people have actually made a little outdoor catbox with sand. A shollow hole, maybe with some small gravel at the bottom, and some sand on top-about 4 to six inches. Might need to be cleaned occasionally depending on how often and how many cats use it. And it is true that there is a symbiosis involved. Cats love many plants and will relax for hours in the shade of herbs. The especially like mints and lavenders, artemesia etc. Fragrant plants of all sorts are favorites. And you will see far fewer rodents and bugs, because they also like to chase (and catch) moths, among others. So make peace with the cats and they will help you out with a degree of pest control."
Ted on Friday 21 June 2013
"Shame on you, Egbert!"
Diane on Saturday 22 June 2013
"Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to just shoot the dang pests."
John Doe on Saturday 6 July 2013
"Yes until you go to jail for animal abuse. Simple solutions are not always valid or morally acceptable. Eugenics was once considered OK. The Nazis among others showed it was not. And I can see why you posted as john Doe. Cowardice is simple also. "
Ted on Saturday 6 July 2013
"The cat owners should be made to clean up after their animals the same as dog owners. Cats are disgusting. I am fed up with clearing my garden, tubs as well as borders and even treading in the stuff, in my own garden. "
Jacamaca on Thursday 11 July 2013
"Why should we have to pay out to deter these pests or have to watch where we walk or touch in our own gardens. Bring in the same fines as dog owners for the menace cats"
Jv on Thursday 11 July 2013
"The more I get to know people, the better I like my cats. They are not judgemental. There is also something called understanding. Another called symbiosis. And consider the fact we would be up to our collective butts in mice and mouse poop without cats. Noit to speak of bird droppings, rabbits and their droppings, shrews, and the list of rodent pests goes on and on. Cats keep them in check. So a little cat poop now and then doesn't hurt. (I still would like to know where all these cats are. At least half of the households in my neighborhood have at least one cat, and they are not pooping all over my garden beds. WEhich leads me to suspect that the reported problem is massively exaggerated)."
Ted on Thursday 11 July 2013
"Like I said in the earlier post: Scoop the poo into a trowel, flick it into the cat owners garden! Instant gratification. You end up actually looking forward to finding some so that you can sling it back!!"
egbert on Friday 12 July 2013
"Egbert is right. No need to sit around fuming and hating cats. No point in hating them anyway. Not to rub in salt (well maybe a little) if humans were to disappear off the face of the earth, cats would still be fine. They would do way better than dogs, and (contrary to popular belief) cockroaches would dwindle back to their natural tropical habitat. Cats however, would rule the earth)."
Ted on Friday 12 July 2013
"why are cat owners so careless to let their cats roam into the hand of other householders! by not if you are a cat owner and lover like myself with nine, be safe and keep your cats safe by sealing in your cats by netting and sealing the edges all around so they cant escape. thus giving your lovable pets their own space to roam and keep others out!! at least then you know its not your cats that's toileting in others gardens. this way it makes it a happy home. Sharon. Dorset England."
sharon on Sunday 14 July 2013
"Good point! Unfortunately it is not always possible (cat's having a stubborn streak-or persistence) but it is worth a try. They do learn, and most are quite intelligent. Unfortunately many humans are not, or they do not care. I also have several cats (5), and in the past we have had, or at least cared for, up to 10 at a time. I also know of a case, a neighbor, who had ber cat well trained and a safe area for the cat so the cat would not get out. however, an anticat next-door neighbor, called animal control, falsely told them the cat was a nuisance and got a trap for the cat which they baited with some very tasty tuna. To keep the story short, Animal Control found out the true story (including the lie the trap setting neighbor told), cited the neighbor for a false report, the cat went home. Cat lived happily. Oddly enough, the neighbor, the cat owner and the cat all get along fine now, a year later. The moral? everyone can get along with a little patience and accommodation. But mainly, adopt a reasonable, non-antagonistic attitude. Lest ye be hauled into court by Animal Control! And thank you sharon for a voice of reason and responsibility! "
Ted on Sunday 14 July 2013
"Here's a different angle on cat manure in a veggie garden. There are people who, as a hobby, forage in the woods for edible weeds. Such weeds have been exposed to the stool of wild animals i.e. coons, squirrels, possums, birds, yet people still wash then eat them. What if a bird flies by and drops stool on your veggies? Will you leash the bird? Have you ever seen raccoon poop? It is big! That's what you could have in your garden if not for a cat or dog keeping them scared out. Also, I feed my pets healthy food, not commercial food which is in my opinion dangerous. My dog eats chicken and my cats eat salmon. If they defecate in the garden and, I miss it, there's less chance of disease if the pet has had disease free food."
Patty on Wednesday 31 July 2013
"Patty has a darn good point."
Ted Carlin on Saturday 3 August 2013
"what about vegetables that have been toileted on and around? Can you still eat them?"
Leanne on Monday 30 September 2013
"what about vegetables that have been toileted on and around? Can you still eat them?"
Leanne on Monday 30 September 2013
"As for Leannes question: I do not know. It is not recommended to use either cat or dog feces as compost, or to even add it to compost piles. In the US I have heard that there are some municipalities that require dog poo to be handled as toxic, but I do not know it f that is true (they don't require used diapers to be handled that way, and people poo is way more toxic than dog or cat poo. Just ask anyone whom has worked at any sort of medical facility!) Urine is not, to the best of my knowledge, a problem. Just wash it off. However, I would call and ask the agriculture department (Ministry?) or maybe a local veterinarian. I have never worried about the stray pile o'pooh, I just toss it if it in the veggies. If it is in the flowers I might just leave it, although buried. So err on the side of caution and call a vet or agricultural expert. Pregnant women should not be around dried cat feces because of a slight possibility of picking up a parasite. If it's unavoidable (like cleaning the cat box), wear a mask and disposable gloves, and wash hands when finished. Others do not need worry about it as whatever the bad thing is affects fetuses. Sometimes over-caution is a positive thing."
Ted Carlin on Monday 30 September 2013
"thanks Ted, I think I will toss my vegies lol"
leanne on Tuesday 1 October 2013
"Well, compost the veggies, just not the poo. Seriously though, if I knew for sure I would say they were safe. I just do not know for certain."
Ted Carlin on Tuesday 1 October 2013
"As an owner and lover of cats I'm repelled by all the cat hatred here. I started reading comments to look for simple ways to keep my cats out of my garden. I can't read anymore. I find this wholly useless. My cats are indoor/outdoor. Cats do not require to be trained to use a litter box. They just do. However, when they're outside and they see a big plot of what appears to be empty dirt they'll use that as well. They just see it as another potty. As soon as the plants fill in the space they go away. Netting seems to be a good solution. I managed to get that far. Geesh people. Get a grip on the hatred and make this something useful. Disappointed in many of you. :-("
Melissa on Friday 4 October 2013
"Yay Melissa!!! Everything you say is true! I do no discourage my cats from doing their thing wherever they need and/or want to. I too am appalled by the hatred. Let cats be cats. They are good and wonderful creatures. All part of Natures/Gods plan and they encourage, in fact bring, bio-diversity to the entire ecosystem, be it urban or wild. So, in the words of Doris Day "Que Sera, Sera." Never forget that our entire world is an interconnected biosystem and as such all parts of it are, in one way or another in a symbiotic relationship. So cats and people go together. Plants and people go together, ergo cats and plants must go together and will nourish one another. And If I had a spare medal or two laying around I would send one to melissa for putting it in perspective."
Ted Carlin on Friday 4 October 2013
"Don't forget to toss the cat turd back into the cat owners garden"
egbert on Friday 4 October 2013
"I am happy what Melissa and Ted have said, I agree BUT I want my vegies too lol :-) I adore my 2 cats."
Leanne on Saturday 5 October 2013
"My neighbor has three cats who uses my garden as their toilet. Now,we are pensioners, not strong and healthy anymore, but has spend lots and lots of money and effort to make new flowerbeds, on cat away stuff etc etc, and plant seeds and new plants. OVER and OVER for the last three years. The DIG UP the garden, DIG OUT the plants and foul everywhere. The neighbor has no interest in her "garden" and simply slams her door when we try to talk to (nicely) I am highly to cats and can not have them around anyway. Are we not allowed to have a nice garden? Do we have to bend over backwards for a very selfish neighbor? So, tell me, is it OK to GET RID of them.....PERMANENTLY!!!!!"
Annette on Wednesday 9 October 2013
"Annette, I would suggest scooping up the poop into a container for a few weeks until it's nice and full (and smelly). Then, thrust the whole container towards your neighbour's garden in a manner that will ensure optimal faecal distribution. Then, when your neighbour comes over to speak with you about it... slam the door in their face. Double the satisfaction. Enjoy."
egbert on Wednesday 9 October 2013
"No it is not alright to get rid of them-not thye cats at any rate. Do I live in the only community in the world that has an Animal Services department? When any animal becomes a problem we can call them. They can actually impose a fine on the cat caregiver (or non-caregiver as the case may be). Of course we usually sort it out ourselves. Newsprint can be used underneath some sort of mulch (I assume you use mulch). I hate to say it but I have had as many as ten cats at a time (some were being fostered by us) and i have never, ever had any of my plants dug up by a cat. Ever. And that includes those planted with seed. No edibles and no ornamentals. The only "problem" was one cat-now 18 years old-who liked to sharpen her claws on a young apricot tree. The tree is fine 13 years later. Best suggestion is to dig up an area, near but not too near your flowers, and leave everything out of it. Make it really easy for cats to dig up. Mulch your flower beds with paper and bark mulch on top for esthetics. Cats will go to the bare spot. Wherever I have done this the cats do not go to "go". They go elsewhere. Once there are plants in the garden (mature plants) the cats will definitely go to the non-planted spot. In my lifetime I have probably cared for fifty cats, and have never had the panoply of problems-especially the rampant destruction- described here. I have also had thousands (literally) of plants, including both edibles and ornamentals. Many a cat has enjoyed blissfully and non-destructively herb gardens and flower beds, lolling about in the shade provided and enjoying the pleasing and relaxing aromatic sachet provided by nature. Has there never been an annoyance caused by natures call? Of course, but I and my neighbors deal with it in a rational and usually courteous manner. Meaning we clean it up. But I repeat. I have never, ever, in my life, known of a cat or group or cats who dig up garden beds and or the plants there-in. People? Yes, to the point I had to call the police because of the wanton destruction caused by a human being. Not a cat. Dogs? yes but to a small enough degree that I merely fixed the damage myself without resorting to in-your-face confrontation. Skunks? Yup. Defnately no confrontation there. They like the tender shoots of little sunflowers, which grow under the birdfeeder after the birds drop the seeds. My solution to that is easy. I figure skunks are people too and need to eat. So I let the sunflowers grow and then, quietly, watch the skunks eat away, happy and only minimally aromatic. Then they are on their way to the next feeding spot-or watering hole-and I and the cats are off to bed. No harm. No foul (skunk poop is quite smelly-and yes we had a skunk many years ago, as a pet) The whole point is: accommodate, do not confront. Cats are not evil. They do not do this to annoy you. They do not hate you. Cats love flowers. They love the aroma.They love the shade. I can't say the same for the neighbor, because I do not know that person. But I do know cats. If treated well even a "mean" cat will respond with affection. Last item: cats, including domesticated cats, mark their territorial boundaries with urine and fecal matter. So I assume they really like your garden and want to keep other cats out! "
Ted Carlin on Wednesday 9 October 2013
"I have had many cats since I was a little girl on the farm. None of these suggestions to keep cats out of our yard so far have totally worked for us as now, in our family we have a child who is HIGHLY allergic to cats. If this child is ever taken away by ambulance or we are at the hospital in the middle of the night again because of neighbors letting their cats out to roam well... I'm just am blown away. As you open the door and let your precious cats out do you tell yourself I'm helping the whole neighborhood because they kill rodents that affect the whole community? Besides cats have rights to be who they are and pat yourselves on the back? These animals come over and do their business (cause they are cats and that's what they do) then play on our lawns, lay on our decks for a little sunshine and roam my yard to get rid of those pesty rodents - even the pretty birds and babies in their nests! Compare that to a child who can't play in a yard meant for him or lay around on our deck because he may have some contact with cats and can't breathe. No sympathy? Then there is no compassion left in this world! YOUR cats YOU decide to get affects others lives whether you admit it or not. It's your choice and with that comes a level of maturity to be responsible. When you let them roam day or night into other peoples yards it definitely affects the whole community but in other ways you can't imagine. Cats leave behind dangerous life threatening health issues and it can be serious. It happens to affect this boy's life. BE RESPONSIBLE! Period! Enough of these debates of 'I have a right to this or that' or 'you just have to put up with it' sounding arguments.This child has a right to breathe, a right to play in his own back yard. Breathing problems has NO comparisons to any debates and if you think otherwise come with me to the hospital next time when an attack happens and watch him struggle for breathe and look into his eyes tell him why it's okay you let your cats roam. I guarantee you it will change your mind. We have mulched, wired, built high fences, stuffed up holes and considered moving but cats are everywhere! Man up and let us all enjoy our freedom as human beings and the fresh air we need to breathe."
Mel on Friday 18 October 2013
"Mel I want to shout "GO GIRL" You could not have put it any clearer!!!! People, have your cats....but keep them in your own yard - if you can?????? The fact is, if they are messing up my garden, my health end MY RIGHT to live my life in my own yard....I WILL GET RID OF THEM!!!!! PERMANENTLY!!! This is a childs LIFE at stake here.....what do you not understand!!! Mel, my sympathy end prayers are with you...."
Annette on Friday 18 October 2013
"Well said Mel. Cat owners don't like it if dogs crap in their yards and run at large and there are laws for that but it's OK for cats!! What's the difference? I have a cousin that has a son that has the disease that cats give pregenant women and she dosn't have cats. It had to come from her flower beds in her yard. So SAD you irrsponsible cat owners. You think of them as your children then keep track of them as you would children and don't let them play anywhere they please."
dmb on Friday 18 October 2013
"OK. The "disease that cats ghive pregnant women" is in part a myth. I say in party becuase the disease is carried by up to a third of the human population of the world (as much as 75% of women of child-bearing age in some parts of the world). It is transmitted mostly by eating contaminated meat, especially pork, venison and veal, or ny accidental transmission from contaminated utensils or through improper handwashing after handling contaminated meat. Of course there is the possibility of transmission by failing to wash ones hands after cleaning the cat box, or of course after eating cat poop. So do not eat cat poop. And do not eat meat. and wash your hands thoroughly (hand sanitizers do not work as this is a parasite, not a bacterium or a virus). Now to allergies. No one, and I mean no one is so allergic to cats that they cannot go outside. Basically you have to be within about ten feet, inside, or about 10 inches outdoors before cat dander will have an effect, or running your hands through the cat pooping and peeing area, before your allergies will kick up. As for dogs on the lawn as opposed to cats. Dogs urine has a lot, and I mean a LOT of ammonia in it and it kills the grass, withing about 48 hours. Cat pee, on the othrer hand, has no effect unless it is a spot that they use many times a day for weeks on end and is never watered. Dog poo, on the other hand is merely annoying and I just scoop it and put it in the trash, with the cat poop. Back to toxoplasmosis: eeven in developed countries, toxoplasmosis is prevalent, up to 22.7%, and is mostly transmitted through contaminated meat, or the prep tools used top prepare said meat, or through inadequate hand washing. Having worked in a health are facility, a hospital, I can safely say that proper hand washing is a lost art even among so-called health-care prpfessionals. I point that out because I am not being judgemental. Having also worked at EMS I am a bit paranoid about such blood and bodily fluid transmitted diseases as HIV, all of the hepatitis viruses and bacterium, as well as the many deadly parasites, antibiotic resistant diseases and the many as yet to be discovered nasty ways to die pathogens. I may have caught a cse of the flu or something from one of the cats I have lived with over the decades, but stupidity and paranoia is not one of them. Face it. This site is populated by and frequented by a lot of cat haters. So why not just start ypur own "We Hate cats" page and go there to tell your paranoid horror stories and suggestions about how to ill treat animals. Meanwhile, in most countries, mistreating animals, for any reason, is ilklegal and in many places can get a person sent to jail, with sex offenders, murderers of people and tax cheats. Sometimes politicians! Also worth a mention to anyone of any faith or who might profess to be of some religious belief: all of the major religions and most minor ones teach that mistreating animals is wrong' And last, I have never mentioned hating dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds (I especially am fond of ducks), deer, moose or just about any other animal taht you can think of, though I am not familiar with all animals of the world, and am awayre that it is best to keep a safe distance between myself and some such as grizzly bears or adult chimps. So please, go start a cat haters page and leave the rest of us to deal, logically, with a minor problem. And cook your meat well and wash your hands very thoroughly! "
Ted Carlin on Saturday 19 October 2013
"Doctor Ted, you just proved my point. Please re-read my article. It is nice to get a second opinion and I guess Dr Ted, all the test results given by the medical system that came back are wrong. Thanks. Seriously though do you mind if I'm going to listen to the specialist in Er? Professionals who prescribe medication? Who got our child breathing properly again? Who told us to take a route no more than 10 minutes away from a hospital as we drove home from a wedding we missed because we were in ER until 4:30 in the morning the night before? Do you know that even though it is a very long line up in ER when a child comes in with breathing problems they RUSH you straight up to the front of the line? Well, Dr Ted again thank you for your second opinion,but your book theory and personal knowledge used for self defense is very weak compared to actual life breathing breath. THANK YOU VERY MUCH but we will leave our child's life in professional hands not with a blog page opinion to administer medical attention with - Which sorry to say but it seems YOU have turned into a 'hate cats' blog page because of lack of compassion or humbleness or true understanding. Sounds like you want the fight and can't be wrong. Thanks, but it isn't helping. Otherwise people ignore the extreme negative comments and be a better person. People like me are just trying to educate other people who own cats to please think of what others go through because of their attitude of 'my life does not affect their life' simplistic thoughts. You do not always or really know what is going on in a neighbor's life and to be decent about your decisions in caring for your animal( which we all enjoy on this earth ).Then and only then you have made this place a better world. You will have succeeded in making your point when you keep your animal inside your home. Actions speak louder than words. As to anybody else out there recently I was told to use wind chimes for keeping cats away in a yard? Does it really work? "
Mel on Monday 21 October 2013
"----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for all the discussion everyone but it is getting a little heated. We are exclusively a gardening blog and we would respectfully ask that further discussion is restricted to which simple humane methods work for keeping cats off vegetable beds, not opinion about whether cats should be allowed to roam, what effect they might have, what responsibilities their owners have etc (there are plenty of other forums where such questions can be asked). Many thanks in anticipation of your help in keeping this blog focussed on practical gardening! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------"
Jeremy Dore on Monday 21 October 2013
"Best way to keep a cat out of the garden is not to till or disturb the soil. Or, as I suggested many, many, many times, use newsprint (almost free) ass a mulch. The cat will not attempt to dig through newsprint and it is cost effective. If the cat cannot dig, it will not use that spot for toilet purposes. And as I have pointed out also, cats are not evil. They do target a house because they do not like the owner. They merely do their thing at the most convenient spot (like people do). Sorry, but there is no fool-proof way to keep cats (or deer or rabbits or dogs) away from your garden. If it is that big of a deal, move to an apartment. If that is not practical, fencing really is not that expensive. I have learned to live not only with the cats, but with hares and rabbits (provide a tasty treat that they really like, such as ornamental cabbage) away from where your garden is. Near the boundary fence is a good spot. If possible a bit of water. Skunks love sunflower sprouts, so don't put sunflowers near your vegetables or herbs. Someone was wondering a while back if vegetables grown where cats do their thing is safe to eat. I asked a couple of veterinarians, and it is safe but be sure to wash it well. Do your best to remove solid matter from the garden before it starts to self compost, if possible. If I ever do find a fool-proof way (enclosed greenhouse?) i will pass it along. Meanwhile, as suggested earlier also, if the cat's are really that big of a problem and the owners will not do anything at all, call animal control or the Humane Society or whoever is responsible for enforcing leash laws and the like. That is their job. Taking it on yourself is usually illegal and could get you in trouble. And to the lady with the allergic child, in fifteen years with the fire and EMS service, I am sorry your child has those difficulties. But I have seen insect bites and stings cause severe reactions,as well as food allergies and medication reactions. I have also seen, firsthand, doctors screw up badly. Very badly. Bets bet? Move to an apartment that does not allow animals. My cousin did that, and the beneficial effects on her health were immediate. P.S. Sonic repellers are worthless. But those sensors that turn on a sprinkler to chase off animals work pretty well I am told. Whatever you do, good luck. "
Ted on Monday 21 October 2013
"I am sorry, Jeremy. I did not mean to make this blog into something you didn't want. If you have children I hope you would understand why this is so close to my heart and gets me going. Again I am sorry if I have let my emotions get in the way of finding a solution. I still need some more ideas from other people to help me out because my situation is extraordinary. Please tell me if I'm out of line. In my area of the country where I live in, moving is not an option especially with specialized ‘cat free’ places. Also because of our finances I need my two very large vegetable gardens to feed my child as you know by now is sick. Like I said previously, cats are everywhere and there is no animal control to phone. As people we assume things but not everyone lives in places where all these conveniences are available.I cannot set up a water motion device with no running water available (which sounds the best so far). With your permission Jeremy may I take a different approach? A lot of past suggestions have been made on how to keep animals out of our yards. How about ways to keep cats or other animals owned by people in their own yards so they do not come into our gardens? In my research a new thing has come up I haven’t seen any comments on; Someone has advertised keeping a pet in their own yard that acts like a wireless silent unseen fence? A device is put on a dog/cats collar and you put stakes around your yard to keep them in. You don’t even have to build a big fence! Sounds easy for an animal owner. Is there anybody out there who has seen this and does it work in keeping animals in their own owners yard and out of my garden/yard? Please Ted I’d like to hear from someone else. Thanks."
Mel on Wednesday 23 October 2013
"Last post for the long winters nap. Those do work A lot of people near me use them for their dogs, and they do make a size for cats (my sister has one for her dog) I hope you're able to negotiate with neighbors. You are absolutely correct that the best way is to keep the cats at home, not roaming. Meanwhile (i hate to interject religion of any sort, but this sounds like a worthy exception) I will keep you and your child in my prayers. Good luck with all of this, and I mean that honestly and whole heartedly. Meanwhile, off for a long winter nap. "
Ted on Wednesday 23 October 2013
"Is it possible to net your vegetable beds?After years of sonic repellents and other homemade ideas I decided to net mine. I reduced the size of the beds and then made more 1 metre x 3m works well so that it covered the same amount of ground and then work on them one at a time. I string old CD's over them so the birds don't get tangled and it works well. I agree it is annoying that you should have to but as you say sometimes moving is just not an option. I have been agreeably surprised how few cats now enter the garden at all. Now all the areas that are tilled are covered they go else where. I have also been pleased how long the net (which was only cheap has lasted). I put bamboo poles in each corner and fit them together with garden accessory balls with holes in them (sorry don't know the name of them). We are into our third year of this, we still have good relationships with our neighbours (3 cats in 3 houses, none mine) and our fresh veg."
Susie Hughes on Wednesday 23 October 2013
"Great idea!"
Ted on Wednesday 23 October 2013
"I'm going to stop my cat from pooping in my garden by moving next door to Ted. They can use his garden since he doesn't seem to mind."
Wanda on Saturday 23 November 2013
"Just joking. Lighten up a little guys."
Wanda on Saturday 23 November 2013
"plastic forks facing up wards placed randomly in your vege garden does the trick "
Aaron on Friday 6 December 2013
"I recently tried "Port-a-potties" Best solution yet! But yes, plastic forks would definitely do the trick and not expensive, either. Great Idea!"
Ted on Friday 6 December 2013
"I put a strip of thick narrow copper foil wired up to a 12 volt car battery around my bed and it works like a charm! Cheap to setup and rechargeable. It also kills rats. A win/win situation"
notmycat on Sunday 23 February 2014
"I see a lot of comments about individuals wondering if the neighbours would like to come and pick up or sort out the cat shit. I have cats (both were strays and just kinda turned up) and I also had a rescue dog. Emphasis on had. I also grow vegetables, I have the same issue with my cat that others have with their neighbours - I know for a fact that she doesn't go in the neighbour's garden because they hate cats and I often hear the noise of animal cries coming from their garden. I have a couple of raised beds set up with nothing planted in it and fresh soil to attract my cat and keep her away from the veg, i may even go one further and get a sand pit for her. My neighbours on the other hand have a problem with my cat, when she first arrived and explored (before she became too scared to go over the fence) she would come back with her whiskers cut off, cigar burns on her and one time came back passing blood from where she had been kicked. She no longer visits any other gardens and is too scared to venture even out of the front door. However that did not stop my neighbours hate parade against the local cats, food began appearing in our garden - years after she stopped visiting and obviously because they were still having a problem with cats. I assume that food began appearing in the other surrounding gardens too. Anyway my dog got hold of this food ate it and died less than a week after. Now I own rescue animals (which are incredibly difficult to insure), I am a responsible owner and not once did these individuals knock on my door and ask for funds for netting or help clearing up or even for me fence off my garden. Instead they persisted to torture the local animals. I now have a cat who has been kicked and has difficulties climbing the stairs, a dog who died after a week of treatment and a horrendous vet bill despite all the steps I have taken to keep my animals close at hand (animals I never bought to add to that). So you see some people just like to torture animals, excuses aside and describing them as vermin aside. They aren't interested in informing the neighbours or looking for alternatives. And I think the local authorities need to be informed about these people - we all know what animal torture leads to. And from what I've read there are more than a few on here. You can retort with the "you don't know" and "I know best" all you want but fact is, we all know what your type are."
Hannah on Tuesday 18 March 2014
"After trying some of the methods listed here the best two have to be cheap garden netting covering the growing area and using the hose to squirt them up the bum. I think changing their habits / behaviour works much better than flinging poo (however much fun that might be) or anything that would harm the cat. We have an understanding now and they enter at their own risk of getting soaked. Until the next time I find a nice little surprise tensions have eased. Just earthed up some spuds today so will have to see if they want to test my patience again. "
John on Friday 18 April 2014
"I've used several: -- Netting - Effective but prepare for the onslaught the moment you take it down. It is also rather unsightly and I like to be able to see my seedlings (not have to search through a thick net) -- Poly tunnel - Same as netting, great until it comes off. Not one I've personally used but my neighbours use it, though if the ends aren't blocked up the cats will get in as it is warm and dry. Funnily enough it's usually her cats that get in so she can't complain. -- Dog - My Jack Russell is fabulous for cat scaring. They don't come around in the day any more. This means the nesting birds at the back of my garden are doing much better this year without a gormless moggies staring wistfully up. -- Water Pistol - It's fun and if you keep up the patrols (on nights you stay up, randomly take a turn about the garden when it's been dark a few hours) the fear is always there in their minds. They get to seeing you as a threat too which is handy. It's a form of training them to stay away too, which is far more long lasting than protecting plants each year. -- Chilli - like other people above, it works but I have to apply everywhere, every time it rains so is best used for people with flower pots and other small areas. -- Sharpened bamboo and pointy-side-up kebab sticks - Looks like a laser death trap maze and that's how the cats see it. -- Lavender and other scented plants - Not too effective. I planted some lavs by the patio because I love the smell and then googled for cat solutions and discovered that (conveniently) they supposedly keep cats away. My lavs are only small but are right next to the raised beds the cats always use and they haven't stopped them in the slightest. I'm sceptical but I'm leaving them to get bushy because I love them and if they keep the poop machines away then great. -- Lilies - I grow perennial lilies in pots because I love the sight of them. I simply move them from the patio onto the raised beds at night and the toxins tend to keep cats away. Trouble is with this I've struggled to grow a perennial (don't want the maintenance of seed growing EVERY year)that flowers when I need it most. (April-May) Most flower July-Sept but most plants are grown up by then. Hope this helps someone with the perennial pain in the ass that is neighbouring cats."
Laura on Tuesday 22 April 2014
"In most communities in the United States it is illegal to allow cats or dogs either one to roam. Cat owners tend to not follow this law for the most part it seems. Many dog owners are the same. Problem is, at least the dog owner's realize it is illegal and responsible owners do not allow their pets to roam...I guess responsible cat owners don't care about the law. This would all be solved if cat owners obeyed the law."
Mike on Tuesday 8 July 2014
"After trying some of the methods i found the best two methods are either using repellent spray or sonic cat repellers. "
Johnkristen on Tuesday 3 February 2015
"I put the cat poo back over my neighbours' fence (they have SIX cats between them). Apologists for cats, desist! The faeces are discusting and the smell of so much cat poo sometimes overwhelms our garden (the favoured toilet spot is by our deck and in our scented herb bed). I have created alternative areas for them. Result? they shit in those AND the herb/flower beds. I clear up every day as I have young children who keep treading in it, and use brambles, wooden spikes etc to try and keep the tide of poo at bay, with limited success... I know the cats eat mice etc - but they also attack the songbirds. I don't dislike the animals themselves, but they have no place in a crowded urban setting... "
casbah on Thursday 5 February 2015
"Australia has FERAL cats conservative figure quoted 20 million killing off native birds and animals . GUESS WHERE THEY CAME FROM owners who do not keep their cats on their own property as my daughter does . Hope Ted does the right thing. Do you get on well with your neighbours Ted ??? Colin. "
Colin Hingley on Friday 13 February 2015
"Dear mel I do not like cat haters, and i think cats usually go mostly to them. because if you chase away a cat it feels challenged, it is just its nature. I do think cat haters should find their own site to ramp on that some spiecies of animals should not exist. But i do think you are not one of those, you have a serious problem, i do not think that cats should be on a line or always inside, but i do think this forum should try in every way to try and help you with any suggestions. For me I heard the plant rute graveolens growing here and there will help, but do not put there where your child can eat it, since it is a medicine and a very strong one. Further if you have a zoo in your town, or if not ask the zoo in another town to send you some lion,s poop. You put this in your garden with a fence around so your child can not go near, since this is a very big cat, but a cat nevertheless and your child might be allergic there too, but also very possible your child is nor allergic to that. You have to try it out with care maybe put some in a container and place it (outdoors) closer and closed to your child to see if he/she reacts to it with breathing problems) other wild animals feecies you can also try, in other cats minds this is just a too much of a big cat to come near to, see how much you need, and if you only see one cat in your garden, you know you have to put again. It does not have to be in the soil, just in places the cats enter your garden, and it might be frustrating do not ksst them away, they will all come to look at that strange guy who goes ksst. If you prefer wild animal pee can do the trick too, just more difficult to get. Cats should have a life, and so should your kid."
Olga de Weger on Friday 13 February 2015
"why is the law different for cats than it is for dogs, if you own a dog you are supposed to clean up after it why not do the same for cat owners. I am 78yrs old and not so fit as I used to be, I do sow seeds but nearby cat lovers seem to relish the thought that my plans for the garden are made far more difficult by cats digging up my carefully placed seeds and plants I suggest all cat owners pay a levy of £100 a year to a local garden club to provide chemicals and equipment to keep cats at bay available to every one Why should other people have to pay for the privilege of not owning a cat. "
n collins on Thursday 5 March 2015
"Before we moved we had a neighbour who hated cats, including our outdoor cat. A pretty little tabby in a sparkly purple collar. (The other was indoor only) He admitted that our cat did not poop in his gravelled over yard but she did like to sit in the sun on one of the paving stones. He got increasingly angry and vocal about the feral cats from the common land behind our houses coming into his yard and leaving their deposits, threatening to poison them and all kinds of things. In order to keep things amiable, and to protect the cats from harm I offered to come into his yard once every couple of days, clean up the poop and disinfect the areas where they peed. He declined. A week after he declined we found a dead feral cat in our yard, i have no evidence he did anything but it was suspicious. We continued to let our cat out as he had said she wasn't causing a problem, and we knew she came in every 3-4 hours to eat and use her litter tray. A week or so after we found the dead feral cat we found my cat, she had been shot. I was devastated. I *Tried* to help, I offered a solution, he wouldn't have had to do anything! He said she was no problem! Cat poop is gross, and can harbour disease, they shouldn't be doing it in your garden, and definitely not your vegetable patch, but like everything else, they have to poop. Please, try to discourage them, and speak with the owners if you can, try to work together."
Pep on Friday 6 March 2015
"I have tried many methods of keeping the many cats out of my garden. They are all so determined to use my garden as their own personal toilet. They have even dumped on top of netting on my raised veg beds!!! I work long hours and love the precious time i can spend in my garden but am so sick of the cat poo. So recently in desperation, i've been replacing the fencing at huge expense to myself. I have put lots of chicken wire in and around various areas. I have netted everything possible, put wire on the top of the fence lines, used tree and bush cuttings in vulnerable areas, replaced fence panels, put hundreds of canes around any exposed areas and dug a special toilet area near my fence boundary. I tried speaking to my next door neighbour about her four cats but she is ignorant and rude and thinks it's perfectly ok for her pets to do whatever they want wherever they want. I suggested she have litter trays but she said cat litter makes her asthma worse!! I have given up with trying to reason with this person. In the past i've collected all cat poo and flung it back into her garden. It's the only thing i feel i can do to be honest. So now my garden looks an absolute state but so cat poo free. No idea what i'll do if i find any poo after all this effort though. I'd move but nowhere is free from irresponsible neighbours these days. By the way, i'm an animal lover but a poo hater......"
dizzyb on Wednesday 11 March 2015
"Netting is my way but i forgot this winter. Keep the cats roaming good for vermin but could we not try and train our cats to use litter trays. Or sort it in the cat food. if every cat ate good meat will there be a problem?. The concern is Toxoplasosis google:-cat pathogens and vegetable. I'm wondering whether to not plant my vegetables this year as ive left that plot open over the winter forgetting the neighbors cats. Ive got loads of it in there- CAN i plant in there now??? or is it too dangerous thx S"
steveW on Friday 13 March 2015
"I would avoid planting in that plot at the moment SteveW. Clear out the poo, dig over throughly and then net. I'd leave that bedding area unused for a while or maybe plant some green fertilizer. You can perhaps plant some wild flower seeds so the insects can benefit. I agree that netting does help keep cats away to some extent. One of the cats next door to me is very determined and goes to the toilet on top of the netting. I've never seen anything like it to be honest. Up until two years ago, all i needed to do was net everywhere. Now that doesn't work with this particular cat. I've checked my garden yesterday and so far have not found any special little "presents" from the neighbourhood cats. I have some more fencing being delivered soon plus security spikes that you fix to the top of the fencing and it is supposed to stop cats jumping up onto the fence. I have no idea if these things will make any difference but i'm running out of options fast. I really want to go back to having a lovely, fragrant garden this year. My grandaughter has become very mobile and will be wanting to play out in the garden. No way will she be able to that safely if i don't put a stop to the bad habits of these cats. I really wish that my neighbours would be more proactive with their pets. Litter trays would be such a big help. But way too much trouble for my neighbours."
dizzyb23 on Friday 13 March 2015
"cats should have a chip inserted with their DNA profile on and should be registered on a national data base so any cat poo can be traced to the cats, and the owner responsible be up for a fine, similar to a dog fouling a pavement or other public area. both cats and dogs are animals and unless under control deposit their poo where convenient but I've yet to see any so called cat lover "carrying" a poo bag "
hippy 2 on Friday 13 March 2015
"thanks Dizzyb23, i appreciate your advice. They carried on pooping on the net a few times then stopped. its a fine meshed net (5mm holes) So it must have irritated them. since then I disturbed one crouching on my lawn where there's longer grass. So moving - not solving the problem.. thing is, they have to go somewhere??. I'm planning to build a netted frame over the veg bed and going to dig bits of the flower beds to create pooping areas. The fine mesh netting is brilliant it keeps out butterflies and most insects [still get mealy Aphids though]. i don't get caterpillars on my brasicas any more hooray!!, I ensure there's plenty ov over lap and no large holes. "
steveW on Friday 13 March 2015
"They do have to go somewhere of course but not in our gardens. I have prepared a special area at the back of my house in an area where no one really goes (especially children) and dug what is hopefully a really attractive and useful toileting area for them. It's not on anyone's land and is waste ground. So far, they do appear to be using it. And not using my garden. I have also left decent food for them as i think some cats may be feral. It's worth doing if it keeps them away from people's gardens. Not sure if you have an area near your house like this. It is worth considering. "
dizzyb23 on Saturday 14 March 2015
"hippy 2 - cats bury their poo and dogs don't. Are we going to chase the council because a bird has pooped on your car? Where are we going to stop with this? My cat came home yesterday after going through brambles. He lost one eye and had deep wounds all over him. He had to have surgery and stitches and won't be able to go out for at least a month. These were just wild brambles and therefore a nasty accident for the cat (he got tangled and couldn't get out). I understand that you don't want cats' pooh in your gardens but be humane! If you want me to come and dig through your garden to retrieve my cats' pooh then please just knock at my door and ask me kindly and I will oblige"
Maria on Sunday 22 March 2015
"birds are classed as wild or feral, Cats are supposed to be domesticated, if you keep domesticated animals you should be responsible for them, and if they are depositing poo on someone else's garden the cat should be put into a cats home and you pay for its keep. Who in their right mind would want neighbours tramping over their garden to remove cat poo that shouldn't have been there in the first place, A gardener puts his or her plants and seeds in when they think is the correct time for them, and whatever the cat owner thinks they can't replace the care and attention that the gardener took to raise their plants and the planning and time, I am 77 years old suffer with arthritis as well as artificial joints, I enjoy my gardening but I'm always glad when I have sown and planted my garden and then enjoy pottering about to enjoy the proceeds of my labour, That is until some so called cat lovers cat comes and disrupts it all. And to top it all the cat owners think its every one else's problem not theirs. Maria I would like to gamble the brambles your cat went through didn't belong to you. I thought cats had whiskers to guide them through tight spaces "
hippy2 on Monday 23 March 2015
"Hi, i live in Australia and we have a huge cat problem, feral and domesticated. The solution? Feral cats are destroyed, they are a pest, eat local wildlife, carry disease, and yes can easily attack a human if cornered and will fight and severely injure your own cats. Over here they grow very big, ive personally seen one the size of a small leopard. They wreak havok on the local fauna. For domestic cats, i use a pine needle mulch, the coarser the better. We have a lot of pine forests here so my mulch is free. You can also use coarse seaweed, just give it a good wash first and make sure you get the dry stuff, not wet. Both work well as they are very sharp and cats hate them, also the mulch breaks down by next planting season and you can just dig it back in."
Mitch on Tuesday 31 March 2015
HIPPY2 on Tuesday 31 March 2015
"going through recent posts. One of my cats was just injured by a neighborhood cat. The cat that did the damage is a huge animal that is not feral but is not cared for by the owner. So, yes I can to some extent see the pint of those anti-cat peole. But keep in mind that most cats, especially feral as opposed to abandoned or merely ignored, do not stalk people or other animal that they are not planning to eat such as mice and other small rodents as well as birds. Many of the birds they get are older weaker etc. In other words it is in their dna and it is normal behaviour. The big cat mentioned by one person is probably not feral, but has been abandoned or abused/ignored, like the cat that attacked mine-it also has been seen stalking small dogs and big people, and if there are more problems I, a cat defender will personally call Animal Contol. Hopefully the ignorant owner will be fined. Her cat obviously is not cared for, has no rabies shot and shou;d be taken to the pound.It is unfortunate that has to happen. But the people like that are the ones who anger their neighbors through neglect andignorance and should be charged with animal abuse. By the way, the way to discern between feral and dumped/abandoned cats is that the feral cat will be neat and clean. The neglected or dumped cat will be unkempt and likely dirty. The second version is ususally ok if animal control picks them up, they can be adopted out. Feral cats where I live are usually given innoculations for rabies, spayed or neutered then returned to their colonies. They do not typically cause problems."
Ted Carlin on Friday 4 September 2015
"Just to post an update. The measures i've taken to keep cats out of my garden, although costly and hard work, has paid off. For the first time in over 12 years not one single cat has been able to get in my garden. All summer i've been able to put my hands in the earth and not worry about touching s***. I've been able to grow so much without having to cover everything in netting and put out orange peel and other silly home remedies. My garden is free from all that stuff. And it has been fantastic. The neighbourhood cats are still well looked after and they use the toilet in their own gardens which is exactly how it should be. Have a pet by all means but this pet should never affect anyone else. One of my neighbours now has 7 cats...none of which are looked after properly. I can only imagine how much mess i would be having to clean up had i not cat proofed my garden. My neighbour even mentioned how much mess she now has to deal with. When i told her now she knows what i've been putting up with for years, she didn't know what to say. So if you are having the same problems then go all out and put a stop to it once and for all. Cat proofing the garden is the only way. I promise you it will make such a huge difference. "
dizzyb on Saturday 12 September 2015
"We've got a cat who we don't let out without one of us being there for this reason, she uses a litter tray in the house and we don't let her leave our garden. At the end of the day her poo is my responsibility as much as my rabbits poo is or my dogs. "
senorbadger on Thursday 1 October 2015
"I wish you were my neighbour Senorbadger. I know it's difficult to keep an eye on some cats who love to wander. I'm not a pet owner but love animals very much and it upset me when i got angry at the cats when they used to use my garden as a toilet. It is not their fault. At least now everyone's happy. Well except my neighbours."
dizzyb on Thursday 1 October 2015
"A BB gun works fairly well at getting a cat off your property. It might be temporary at first but it is incredibly satisfying watching them run away in shock after being smacked in the ass with a bb at 350 feet per second. I find myself hoping the cat will come back so I can do it again. The only thing worse than cats is cat owners. It is impossible to reason with them. They are too selfish and entitled to see that their abomination has no right to be on your property. They just make excuses about the cats instincts n stuff. We don't give a rats a*s about their cats needs. We just want them off our land. Try a few things to scare the cat away. If they don't work, put it in a bag and drop it in the river. Then tell you selfish neighbor that you haven't seen it if they ask. They asked for it. Whatever the actual law is, I seriously doubt you'll get a visit from the CSI team over a missing cat."
Rob on Wednesday 9 December 2015
"A couple years ago I planted some onions in a growbag (I? not really a gardener but wanted to have a go). I was fed up with cats pooing in it and found out that they hate the smell of tea-tree oil, so I just put a few drops in watering-can and sure enough I didn't see any more cat poo. Now I am revisiting attempting to grow more veggies, and I also have my own cat, who has a few neighbourhood buddies, so I came online to find out more ways I could safely protect my crops. I don't think anyone has mentioned tea-tree oil here, which is safe for the veggies too, and no-one has really come up with a better solution, so I think I will stick with that. It is very strong-smelling so you only need a few drops. This article I found mentions eucalyptus and peppermint oil too"
Diane on Saturday 9 January 2016
"It was okay until several years ago the neighbour's cat got pregnant and had kittens. I soon learned they don't believe in getting them nurtured or shoveled because it wasn't long before one cat became a dozen cats, with inbreeding running rampant. Worst still was realising they would keep the kittens indoors until they were no longer kittens then kick them out of the house to make room for the next litter they found, leaving the young cats to fend for themselves. They've all gone feral and it's just crazy. You could wander out at night with a torch and instantly half a dozen cats eyes turn to face you before scarpering when they realise you can see them. So I bought a lion and keep it in a cage next to the vegetable patch. You can tell when one of the neighbours cats, well I guess they're not really the neighbours cats anymore because they don't care for them at all, but you can tell when one has wandered too close because the roar is unmistakable. Utterly brilliant!"
DM on Friday 26 February 2016
"Sorry...not sure i read that right've bought a lion!! An actual lion!?!? I forgot about this thread so maybe is a good time to update. Three new cats have moved in to the neighbourhood. Two kittens and one i'm not sure about. I had managed through all my hard work and £2000 of my own money to cat proof my garden however, that does not apply to kittens. They are so much more nimble and energetic and they managed to get in my garden. Of course, the damn thing s*** in my veg beds. I have a decent sized garden with lots of bare freshly dug earth but no....the s*** in my veg beds. There's so many places around here they could go. And so many defences to get around to get in my garden. It's as if they saw it as some sort of challenge. It makes you paranoid after a while. So, i needed to know who it was that was getting in and how where they doing it. I spent another £70 on a trail camera and installed it and waited....and waited. Then bingo....caught the little bastards climbing up next doors fence, up a tree and onto my shed roof. So more money on chicken wire, security spikes and sonic alarms. This put a stop to one of them but the more determined one found a tiny gap. At least i now know who gets the s*** thrown back into their garden. To be honest, i'm getting to breaking point with all this. We've decided to pave most of the garden, erect a huge potting shed and greenhouse and construct a large cage to grow my veg in. It's the only way. So, because of other people, my love of gardening is pretty much ruined. It really makes me actually hate my neighbours and their pets. This is simply not fair. So could i sincerely ask anyone reading this who has a cat/cats or is considering it to think. Please think about what your desire for a pet may end up doing to your neighbours. I genuinely think most pet owners don't realise what it could do. And not just to the neighbours. I saw a programme recently about the damage and destruction a cat can do to the local wildlife. I was shocked. I knew they killed things for the fun of it but the amount of wildlife killed each year by cats really is staggering. In recent years, i've wondered why there are so few garden birds around where i live these days, now i know. With over a dozen cats in a small area, the birds won't stand a chance. "
dizzyb on Friday 26 February 2016
"Yeah, you can get them quite cheap online, although the shipping costs can be extortionate. I got mine from exotic animals online, or something like that, can't actually remember. Leon has just gone two and he's quite big now, so I might have to build a larger cage this year. He's brilliant at keeping all the feral cats off my vegetable plot though, not a single surprise since the day I got him. I'd tried everything but there's just too many cats and more every year. When it was just the one it was all sweet and innocent and it kept out of my garden, but I just really don't like cats anymore because they crap everywhere, so I had to do something."
DM on Saturday 27 February 2016
"You know what, this is a gardening blog and I cannot believe the number of people who are so ignorant and yes clearly under-educated and unappreciative of this planet we live on. I haven't updated my comments in couple of years because this has turned into a hate page, but I am so sick of the lack of compassion in this world I felt compelled to speak up. Newsflash! The world is a big place filled with all kinds of exquisite creatures and an all too large growing human population. Guess what people, its not all about you. Shame on those of you whom seem to be filled with a false sense of self-importance. I know there can be so much goodness in humankind. It is because of our potential for not only intelligence, but also compassion that it is our responsibility to appreciate and protect all creatures large and small. I can only hope that you younger bloggers will grow wise with age. And, as for you older bloggers who are so full of hatred, I am sorry that you have lead such a difficult life that you have been left with such bitterness in your soul. The cat drama is so exaggerated and frankly just mean. The "bigger picture" problem here is not cats, its well intentioned but ignorant people who adopt kittens when they are small and then decide they don't want them anymore. The only real solution to that problem is education. I did not go out and actively seek my cats, they were strays that were shunned and abandoned, and left to fend for themselves after being cared for once from probably a well intentioned family. Two of my cats might have frozen to death at one time, as they showed up on two separate seasons in the bitter midst of a freezing CNY winter(Upstate New York). People need to be educated about not adopting animals that they may not prepared to care for. We are not talking feral cats here, we are talking about cats that were born into a domestic situation by cats that were not neutered or spayed. Cats that may not have had a chance to learn from their mother in a natural outdoor setting and would not be able to survive on their own. Many cat owners, such as myself are just KIND people who, due to the nature of how we acquired our feline friends, are unable to keep them indoors at all times. If a cat has been raised from the start indoors, that is a different matter and many people adopt cats who have always been inside and that is great. However, cats have an innate nature to explore the outdoors and if a cat has spent considerable time outside from the start, it is cruel to deny them that pleasure. I have a beautiful large vegetable garden and I have cats. I also have a fenced in yard, and mostly my cats stay in the yard, but they occasionally venture out before they eventually settle in for the evening, often in my garden's luxurious paths. Such is life. From my experience, most true gardeners are also nature lovers. This includes an ability to have appreciation of cats, rabbits, birds, deer, snakes, bees and everything else that makes its way into a garden. Every experienced gardener I know, has figured out a safe and creative way to fend off unwanted critters in the early stages of gardening (before the soil has hardened, after which, if you know anything about gardening, rarely creates a problem). A gardener faces all kinds of challenges: i.e. drought, frost, disease, birds (which I love)... and overcoming the challenges is all part of enjoyment and satisfaction. If it is only cats that make you hate gardening, maybe you should find a new hobby. Now lets try to be positive... if you are new to gardening please don't despair, there are many great tips on this page and I am sure you will find what works for you. Please ignore the ignorant contributors who quite frankly need to start a cat hating blog somewhere else... as stated earlier, cat hatred was NOT the intention of this forum. If you are an experienced gardener and problem solver, please continue to share your safe, creative ideas. Getting a lion, interesting idea although maybe not so practical for most, getting a dog...maybe a little warmer, using a safe chemical or physical barrier, great suggestions. I am confident that people who come to this forum will find some safe, innovative ideas to help achieve splendid, fruitful gardens. I also hope people can enjoy and appreciate mother nature's show in the process. And finally, I hope people will continue to be kind and appreciative toward all our four legged, feathered, winged, furry, whatever...cohabiters of this beautiful planet we call earth. Sharon T, from Central New York"
Sharon on Saturday 27 February 2016
"Maybe the only way to raise awareness and get the message across to cat owners and the government is to call a boycott on picking up your dog mess(publicly that is) until all owners of any pet type are responsible for cleaning up after them. Maybe after it got so bad the government might just then take notice of all the people having to spend money and time to solve a problem thats NOT there fault. Agree or Do you have a better solution? )) "
lewis on Wednesday 6 April 2016
"I have 2 cats and only one uses my patch to poop, so I now buy plastic forks and place them handle first into my freshly dug plot, no cat poop try parking your butt on those prongs, now my poop cat leaves my veggie and flower plots alone xx no chemicals used."
Tracey on Monday 23 May 2016
"So, because I am auto immune challenged and cannot be around animal pee and poo, I can no longer work my garden, because it is contaminated by all the local cats, who use my elevated beds as their private latrines. I can not grow vegetables in my own yard to supplement my small retirement income because of the possibility of contamination. Simply working in my yard becomes a "cover-up challenge " because all night my entire yard is visited by the local pets where they rage and fight with each other over territory rights. Guess I have become expendable, because obviously pets are more important than humans. This world has become a truly strange place, where responsibility and respect are no longer active in human interaction. Also, all the cats have chased off or killed the mockingbirds and other songbirds. The only birds who are not intimidated are the grackels, blackbirds and blue jays. Finding dead pigeons is a daily occurrence because their reaction time is so slow. Gardening use to be one of my greatest joys, and I was very successful at it. Guess I have been done-in by all the neighborhood pets. "
sarah on Saturday 4 June 2016
"Cat feces contains toxoplasmosis, it is incurable. Cats are the HOST. Toxoplasmosis parasite effects the rodents brain, it makes rodents attracted to cat urine in order for the cat to more easily catch them. (think about that) Toxoplasmosis also effects the human brain...FOREVER. Toxoplasma gondii is among the most prevalent of human infections in the FIRST WORLD, the world where cats are kept as pets to roam free. People tested and found positive for Toxo are involved in more vehicle accidents, they become risk takers, many with schizophrenia test positive for Toxo etc. The Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior: More medical articles at the side of the page. I use a kids bow and arrow (foam), it whistles as it goes through the air, at night the arrows light up."
McShane on Tuesday 21 June 2016
"I remember as a kid when the neighborhood dogs (and children) all ran around the neighborhood and each other's yards. I guess I am one of the few who misses that friendliness. I don't mind picking up a dog poop here or there or getting a visit from a neighborhood dog. I could fence my yard in if it bothered me that much. That would keep cats out too. I have one cat and she has not bothered our new garden one bit as she is too busy bird and squirrel watching or sun bathing, but hubby brought home a kitten, and she has been in the garden. We tried to keep both as indoor cats, because in the past we had indoor cats. But these two were relentless in meowing and scratching to go out. Some are just born like that. We do have a litter box they use, but when they are outside, they sometimes will feel the need to go to the bathroom and no, they don't come back inside to go use their litter box in that case if they are outside. But my two cats have a good size yard and many trees and bushes to play in, so they stay in our yard. But we have two neighborhood cats from up the street who roam all over the neighborhood and terrorize my cats if I let them out at night (so now I keep them in at night). It's just the way it is. I don't get mad or blame the neighbors. Like I said, worst case is we could always fence in our back yard if it gets too bad. Meanwhile, I am sure other critters might be in our garden, especially at night when we aren't looking. Once in a while we've seen some bites taken out of some of our veggies and no, that is not from our cats. Those wild animals could very well pee or poo in there too, who knows. So far I tried sprinkling cayenne pepper around the soil and that kept my kitten out and who knows, maybe even nighttime critters. But I have to re-do that every few days. I love the idea of using rose or blackberry bush trimmings. Anything to just occupy some of the open soil area seems like it would work. Even those plastic or resin garden stepping stones and designed pieces, and little ceramic gnomes and such. Just things that are easy to deal with and take up any open areas that look inviting to cats. Next year we might put a small fence around the garden too. Some chicken wire or something just even a foot or two high will help. "
Lily on Saturday 20 August 2016
"P.S. I had toxoplasmosis once. I did not change litter boxes or anything back then and my dr. said you can get it from improperly cooked meat. I used to order meat rare whenever I went out, so that seems to be how I got it. I also had epstein barr virus at the same time and the dr. told me that was creating more fatigue and that most healthy people won't even know if they get toxoplasmosis. And there is nothing to do to heal it, it just goes away on its own or at least the active symptoms are suppose to. I am not sure if you could get it via cat pee in your garden or not. I think it's just from cat poop. This is what I am trying to look up online, but so far I am not finding any expert or facts, just many of us gardeners trying to figure it out. I wish we could find an expert to know for sure. If we wash all our veggies off well, is it safe to eat? Or can the plants soak up any urine in the soil, and does that contaminate or affect the vegetables at all, even if not with toxoplasmosis, but with any problems from cat urine? I'm still browsing online to see if I can find an answer. So far, I don't dare eat our veggies this year, and will be more prepared next year. My husband ate some. He has a strong immune system. I still don't dare try anything from the garden this year. "
Lily on Saturday 20 August 2016
"Toxoplasmosis is a food borne illness, transmitted through meat, especially pork. Obviously we are talking uncooked or undercooked meats, and is most often passed from meat to the people if they forget to adequately wash utensils, cutting boards or hands when handling uncooked meat or using utensils eyc without cleaning between cutting meat and vegetables. Cats get it the same way people do-raw meat. Once the cat is over the infection they can not transmit toxoplasmosis. The litter box thing is for the most part an old wives tale. This information does not com from I Love Cats dot com, it is from the U.S Dept of health, Centers for Disease Control. If you get toxoplasmosis, your poop will be infectious too, so wash your hands before making those hamburger patties. And cook the meat. Or go vegan!"
Ted on Friday 2 September 2016
"Insecticides and herbicides are just as harmful if not more so than cat poop and I doubt that there are many gardeners who never buy veggies, fruit and herbs from the retail channels, therefore if we are serious about avoid toxins we need a more holistic approach. There is no need of hostile attitudes. The best way to deal with cat poop and in fact ALL challenges in life is to find a balanced and objective way, while also understanding that a magic bullet to instantly solve our problems does not exist. There will always be irresponsible pet owners and there will always be spiteful neighbours. Our job is to find a way through the minefield. Keeping a lion or any animal so confined is hugely disgusting and heartless, be it in a circus, or any other situation. Even a zoo is a horrible place for wild animals, but A CAGE! Good luck in answering to your neighbours and the authorities when one day it goes wrong (or maybe you’re one of those people that it can’t happen to?). Successful gardening in all settings takes WORK and has CHALLENGES and we all need to use the brains God gave us to do it creatively and ethically. Veggies can be washed in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar or grape vinegar as this is a natural non-toxic solution that cleans and disinfects and which has many other household uses too. Killing or maiming nuisance animals is not a long term solution, especially given that PEOPLE are most likely the true source of the problem and in any case there will be other animals to take their place. Annoying cats are only the symptom of problems caused by people so it seems unfair to take it out on them. PEOPLE are the ones who make bad decisions which impact all life on earth (eg. buying and selling of lions to provide them a life of suffering, not sterilising domestic animals etc.). Have cat poop, will use brains! It’s an opportunity to grow our intellect and create good solutions. Keep sharing the good solutions and thanks to Ted and all those who are doing so. "
Colette on Thursday 8 September 2016
"Cats get Toxoplasma infection by eating infected rodents, birds or other small animals, or anything contaminated with feces from another cat that is shedding the microscopic parasite in its feces. After a cat has been infected, it can shed the parasite for up to two weeks. The parasite can live in the environment for many months and contaminate soil, water, fruits and vegetables, sandboxes, grass where animals graze for food, litter boxes, or any place where an infected cat defecated. Video Parasites seize control over animal and human behaviour"
McShane on Friday 9 September 2016
"Hi everyone. Hope you are all well. Haven't had the chance to post an update as i've been very unwell. Anyway, things have been fairly quiet in my garden. I decided to install a pond, bog garden, fountain and waterfall, change my garden to a container garden as we've had a couple of years of higher than average rainfall and the clay soil no longer copes with it so i lost a lot of plants. The only way to continue is to change to container gardening. I'm currently installing drainage pipes and we'll be putting shingle on the entire area this weekend. As for the "cat problem", up until last week, it had been fine. The cat population has increased further. I think there are now 13 cats in my area. The majority live next door and next door but one. And their owners don't care about them. Only one cat really tries to get in my garden despite my best efforts. I spoke to the owner but they told me they haven't got the time to train the cat to use a tray which is weird because their cat has just started digging in the shingle in my polytunnel to take a dump so pretty sure it wouldn't take much to train him/her. I found the entrance point that this cat was using and i've sorted the area so the cat will have to find another way in. Hope that everyone is enjoying their gardening even at this time of year!!"
dizzyb23 on Wednesday 30 November 2016
"Thanks for the tips. Just finished today building two raised bed gardens, one for me, and one for my kids. We weren't even finished pouring our mix into the last one when our cat decided that we had just built her a large litter box and almost looked thankful to us as she did her business. Will need to figure out what works."
Matt on Tuesday 18 April 2017
"Most cat rescue groups no longer advice allowing cats to roam...they should be confined indoors (and obviously litter trained)to ensure their safety and health. I know this may seem excessive restriction to some cat owners but in the not too distant past we also let our dogs roam the neighborhoods and thought nothing of it. I clearly remember this from the 70's and earlier. The results...lots of puppies and dead dogs on the side of the road. Confining cats, as we now do dogs, can become the norm if we are so motivated."
Animal Lover on Tuesday 2 May 2017
"I think confining cats to their own areas could be the way to go. Most decent cat owners will spend the time and money doing this. But it's those lazy owners who think letting the animal roam, devastate the local wildlife and ruin everyone's gardens is their god given right. You can train cats and you can cat proof a garden. It just takes time and effort both of which some cat owners won't bother with. Simple solution....don't get a cat or cats. Cats do affect the whole neighbourhood so you need to think about all that before you get that cute kitty. And now there's one or maybe a group of very evil people going around certain areas of the uk and killing small animals. They believe that so far this sicko has killed over 200 cats. If this knowledge doesn't make you think twice before leaving the cat out at night then nothing will."
dizzyb23 on Wednesday 3 May 2017
"I have read through this whole thread and still really haven't got an answer. I've been growing parsnips. Dug some up yesterday and there is cat poo in the raised bed. Are they safe to eat or not? They are beautiful and huge (the parsnips not the cat) so really don't want to have to throw them away :( "
Sharon. UK on Wednesday 18 April 2018
"Right! If owners of pedigree cats can keep their cats in and only let them out into a caged garden, then why not ALL cat lovers do the same! Once it was acceptable for dog to roam around neighbourhoods until laws came in to keep them under control. SO why not do the same for cats! Personally I would like legislation for all cat owners to take responsibility for their cat's toilet arrangements and to only have 1 cat! My neighbour as upwards of 7 cats, he's been there 7months and I am heart sick of picking up the poo numerous times everyday. I have had to renew the soil in my veggie patch 3 times already this year. It has cost me money to buy new soil, plants and seeds and cat deterrent preparations, plus netting which I have now resorted to stop these vermin from using my garden as their toilet. I am in favour of throwing the cat poo back here it came from, preferably back up the cats backside!"
Boomerang all cat poo on Monday 14 May 2018
"Fantastic, realistic help from someone who has clearly had experience of these annoying pests! The super soakers suggestion is my answer to this also but I have a huge garden and its catching them isn't it! I have tried all other very expensive methods to no avail. thanks for the laugh I had reading this and good luck to all"
N on Saturday 30 June 2018
"It's such a relief to know I'm not alone in having a cat poo problem. Like most of you, I've tried everything but without success - and really don't want to resort to chemicals. I now realise that I've made the mistake of getting angry with the cats and they definitely seem to see it as a challenge. In the end - quite recently - I got someone to rig up a wooden frame and net to cover the bed at great expense - it was about 1' off the ground. The next morning, there was cat poo ON TOP OF THE NET (and every day since - I need to get netting with bigger gaps so their paws go through). However I do use my neighbour's spent rabbit litter (wood shavings) elsewhere and that is great stuff: i) cat's don't like it - although they do start coming back if it's not topped up; ii) slugs don't like it; iii) it's a very good mulch; iv) it's a fantastic soil improver - the rabbit poo is like slow-release fertiliser pellets, and the worms take the topping down quite quickly; v) attracts birds, and if there's rabbit hair in the litter they use it for nest-building; vi) it's free. I asked a local pet shop what they did with their used litter and they said they throw it away - but it would be great for gardens / allotments. Finally, can anyone recommend a really good super-soaker gun to buy in the UK?"
Carly on Tuesday 30 October 2018
"Just a comment about cases or other "snakes things". Cats are cautious about snakes and will, when they see something long an snakelike they will approach with cation, or if the "snake" moves they will often jump uo and backwards. Thy will run like hell if anything at all hisses-even if they are eating they will move at something just a little less than lightning speed. However... cats will also kill snakes. I have had at least one that killed a fairly large snake and dragged it into the yard. In Egypt=ancient Egypt-cats were actually valued highly for the fact that they killed rats and mice and other invaders who had an eye on the grain, they also guarded against snakes and apparently killed them a lot of the time. If the didn't kill them all of the time there is the fact that their actions would alert a human to the presence of a snake so the people could kill them. The reason that cats get all cautious when they see something long and snakelike is that their near vision isn't good, so they aren't sure what they might be looking at. Once they determine it isn't a snake or something else thats dangerous, they will ignore it. So, a hose laid out in the garden probably won't help. I once had a cat that loved to bring large earthworms into the house, and even the occasional very large centipede. I made a deal with her that she could bring all the earthworms she wanted, but no more centipedes. It worked. Im not joking or making it up. We actually had a deal, and she stuck to it for nearly 20 years. To be helpful-I hope- gardeners, particularly vegetable gardeners, might try putting deer fencing- or bird netting, made of the plastic material that will bend and sway. If the cat can't get a good grip to climb on, like the easily bent plastic fencing,the cat will find somewhere else. Of course the stuff has to be pinned how sufficiently so the cat can't scoot underneath to get to the nice soft garden soil But don't put up anything that lets them climb or jump up easily. Cats can jump pretty high, and I have seen some climb the walls of a stuccoed house to about 12 or 15 feet."
Ted on Monday 2 March 2020
"Hello! I have been using Bar-B-Q sticks, placing them in areas that look tempting as a toilet, and around seedlings and small plants. I also water the area, giving it a good soaking, making all three small gardens undesirable. And, it is working! The problem I am having is the cats are tearing up the netting enclosing two of the small gardens, by jumping onto the windowsill to get inside these small gardens Infront of two windows. Only when I water the gardens at night will they stay away. "
Norma Iris Montalvo on Sunday 28 June 2020
"I have outdoor cats, and can successfully deter them from areas of the garden by liberally sprinkling garlic powder on areas that they're attracted to. Placing branches from prickly trimmings works as well. For my raised veg garden, I have netting around it. Thanks for the great advice on here for other solutions, the netting is a bit cumbersome to deal with at times! Mine do kill hunt/kill snakes in the garden, so as a previous poster mentioned, I don't think that replicating a snake would work very well? Edible plants that have been urinated on by cats can still be eaten, but should be washed very well. Plants that have been in contact with cat feces should NOT be eaten, because there is a likelihood of being infected by toxoplasmosis, especially for pregnant women and those with impaired immunity. "
Angela on Saturday 1 August 2020
"When COVID-19 was at its peak in 2020 and the world was virtually shut down, a female cat with three small kittens showed up on my back patio. She was clearly starving and the kittens were thin and emaciated. They were what is referred to as “feral “ or “community” cats. At the time NO animal shelters, rescue groups or foster homes were even open, much less accepting animals - ESPECIALLY feral cats. I could not let them die, so I began feeding them and getting them healthy. I educated myself on community cats. I personally paid to have each one spayed/neutered, vaccinated, wormed, and “de-flead”. “Fixing” each cat early prevented the problem behaviors such as spraying, marking, fighting, howling, etc. They also tend to “roam” less and stay closer to home. And just FYI: the mother cat was already pregnant with another litter when they did the spay surgery! I could have had a whole NEW litter! Yikes! Ultimately one cat “disappeared”, one cat is able to be handled somewhat, and the Mama cat and small female continue to stay away from humans. The people-friendly cat sustained a fractured hip from a baseball bat or similar trauma (per the vet), requiring costly surgery. Because it took so long for California to “open up“ post-COVID, the cats are not adoptable and, per our Animal Control department, are now considered “community cats” and must stay with me. So in the end, I, a dog-owner person all my life, now have 3 community cats. They stay in my yard for the most part, and they help me and my surrounding neighbors with the rodent population with which we all are besieged. But they do occasionally roam (which is normal for them and entirely out of my control) and recently a neighbor mentioned that he saw my cat on his security system, and the cat was pooping in his yard. I explained the concept of “community cats“ and helped to educate him on them, and I also told him to let me know anytime that occurred and that I would be happy to pick up the litter from his yard and dispose of it. He replied “no big deal” but I will check in with him periodically to make sure he is still ok with the cats. Secondly, I have 4 raised garden beds that I used in past summers for vegetables. Last year I did not plant anything but had hoped to this year. The beds unfortunately have been used by the cats and I will probably skip this year. I will use the suggestions that have been offered by others here and I will hope that, next year or so, I will once again be able to plant tomatoes and other veggies. I am also thinking of purchasing a small, child’s hard plastic pool, and filling it with sand for the cats to use as a giant sandbox that I will routinely clean. Hopefully they will use this in place of my garden beds. Time will tell and I’ll keep you updated! Thanks!"
PJ from Cali on Tuesday 25 May 2021
"It is simply not feasible to confine a cat to a yard. People try, but you have little chance of success. It is generally not possible to enclose an entire yard nor to subdivide the space into a cat enclosure part and a non-enclosure part. My experience is also that in spite of neighbouring cats using the garden as a toilet it is nothing compared to the quantity of dog faeces that cover every pavement and the paths of local walks. The requirement to keep dogs in a yard and on a leash when out in public is probably more to do with the danger that dogs can pose to people rather than an attempt to control the extent to which they can spread their faeces. But even dogs can be a challenge to keep enclosed. We’ve had one dig all the way under a wall and one that managed to get over a 6’ wall. Keeping them leashed in a yard is not strictly speaking illegal, but becomes so if there is a possibility of the dog getting strangled or unable to move sufficiently. These risks are significantly higher with cats, thus keeping them tied up in your yard is not practical."
Elena on Friday 25 March 2022
"I have invested in a couple of solar powered sonic cat alarms. I was getting daily visits, now just one in the last month. Result!"
Paul McLoughlin on Thursday 19 May 2022

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