General Discussion:

Cats in the garden?


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Ellen C. (Toronto)22-Jun-01 11:50 AM EST 5b   
Joanna 5b22-Jun-01 01:55 PM EST   
Dave22-Jun-01 02:38 PM EST   
Linda22-Jun-01 11:15 PM EST   
Pam23-Jun-01 12:25 AM EST   
Glen Conway23-Jun-01 02:46 AM EST 3b   
Phyllis23-Jun-01 09:24 AM EST   
trouper23-Jun-01 09:51 AM EST   
T. Hayes23-Jun-01 01:17 PM EST 9   
Catherine24-Jun-01 04:56 PM EST 6b   
CAROLINCALGARY25-Jun-01 05:48 PM EST   
JoanneS27-Jun-01 12:57 PM EST 3a   
pam27-Jun-01 07:32 PM EST   
Dee27-Jun-01 09:53 PM EST 3   
Brenda28-Jun-01 01:23 AM EST 3a   
Brian @ P&P Plants28-Jun-01 02:06 AM EST 3   
JoanneS04-Jul-01 01:25 PM EST 3a   
Blanche04-Jul-01 06:25 PM EST   
Brian @ P&P Plants16-Jul-01 12:58 AM EST 3   
Amber19-Jul-01 08:41 PM EST 2b   
Amber19-Jul-01 10:08 PM EST   
Northern Gardener20-Jul-01 10:29 AM EST 3   
JoanneS20-Jul-01 11:39 AM EST 3a   
Victoria20-Jul-01 11:45 AM EST   
Linda20-Jul-01 10:57 PM EST   
Bill21-Jul-01 12:01 AM EST 2   
L:inda22-Jul-01 12:48 AM EST   
JOYCE26-Jul-01 12:59 PM EST 5b   
linda26-Jul-01 09:07 PM EST 5   
Pam27-Jul-01 02:00 AM EST   
Linda28-Jul-01 12:00 AM EST 5   
Pam28-Jul-01 12:00 PM EST   
JOYCE31-Jul-01 03:20 PM EST 5b   
Jody29-Mar-03 04:18 PM EST 1b   
Dorothyt30-Mar-03 01:24 PM EST 5   
Rebecca30-Mar-03 06:03 PM EST 3b   
01-Apr-03 02:18 PM EST 3a   
JoanneS01-Apr-03 02:23 PM EST   
PatA01-Apr-03 02:49 PM EST 3a   
ddog02-Apr-03 03:03 PM EST   
Colleen11-Apr-03 01:30 PM EST 3a   
Violet25-Jul-03 01:47 PM EST 6a   
Joelle28-Jul-03 03:30 AM EST 3a   
28-Jul-03 02:37 PM EST 5   
Michele28-Jul-03 05:46 PM EST 5b   
Gertrude29-Jul-03 12:21 PM EST   
Mary29-Apr-04 09:02 AM EST   
Patricia 29-Apr-04 01:51 PM EST 5   
Catherine02-May-04 05:17 AM EST 3a   
Dave02-May-04 05:49 PM EST 5a   
Catherine04-May-04 04:36 AM EST 3a   
Dave04-May-04 01:39 PM EST   
Catherine05-May-04 04:30 AM EST 3a   


Subject: Cats in the garden?
From: Ellen C. (Toronto)
Zone: 5b
Date: 22-Jun-01 11:50 AM EST

I got the following tips to keep cats out of our flower beds from Ann Landers column. Unfortunately I had to retype this because I couldn't find it on the Internet. I won't be retyping it word for word -- that will be too much. :-) Here are the most important tips:

- MOTH BALLS ("will not harm the cats, but will make their lives temporarily unpleasant, and they will not return.")

- CITRUS PEELINGS ("Lemon, grapefruit or orange peels placed in various spots in the flower bed will guarantee no more feline invasions.")

- PEPPER SPRAY ("It worked like magic. After 2 days, there wasn't a cat to be seen. They are fast learners.")

- MAYONNAISE JAR ("Take a mayonnaise jar filled with water, and place it in the soil. If the flower bed is large, it could take two or three jars. Place the jars down flat on their sides. Cats do not like to see their own reflection, and when they encounter the jars, they will leave and not return."

- POPSICLE STICKS ("Get several Popsicle sticks (about 4 or 5 inches long), and push them into the ground, leaving only 2 or 3 inches exposed. The invading cats cannot sit or dig in the dirt, so they just leave.")

- PINE CONES ("Cover the ground with pine cones. Cats hate them and will not come back. I guarantee it.")


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Joanna 5b
Zone:
Date: 22-Jun-01 01:55 PM EST

Ellen, Thanks!! Thanks!! I'm about at my wits end,I love cats have four of my own(house cats)But my nieghbours cats I'm ready to kill,I went out to look at my garden today and the cats have my Cucumbers all dug up.I'll try all the ideas you have. Again thanks!!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Dave
Zone:
Date: 22-Jun-01 02:38 PM EST

A big dog always helps!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Linda
Zone:
Date: 22-Jun-01 11:15 PM EST

(Dave) Speaking of big dogs, I have a big problem with loose neighborhood dogs pooping in my yard. Yuck! I Wish there was an easy cure for that!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Pam
Zone:
Date: 23-Jun-01 12:25 AM EST

Here in Calgary we are fortunate enough to have a bylaw prohibiting allowing cats to roam at large......too bad most owners ignore the law. At some expense to myself I purchased a cat trap and have a license to trap and then impound any cat I catch( have to take it to animal services). When the owner claims the cat the pay impound feees, fines and boarding costs...a minimum of $75 for first offense and double the next. I have been successful in making my point and most people now keep their cat at home...with one exception. I have trapped this particular cat before and he has learned to avoid the trap. Therefore I've created a bit of a land mine for him. I have prickly rose canes under his favorite perch and have set out mouse traps around the base of the bird feeder. The traps are occasional set off but never have caught a paw as I have all 20 that I started with. I'm hoping my persistence will pay off....but this cat is just as persistant!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Glen Conway
Zone: 3b
Date: 23-Jun-01 02:46 AM EST

Dave. Actually it's our cat that keeps the dogs out of our yard. Surprised the daylights out of me the first time I saw him stalking the neighbours German Shephard. Problably as much as it surprised the dog. :)


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Phyllis
Zone:
Date: 23-Jun-01 09:24 AM EST

I had the same problem with a neighbour and his 5 cats. In desperation I finally gave them a couple of well place squirts with the garden hose everytime I caught them. After several soakings {that did not harm them} they stopped using my garden as their litter box.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: trouper
Zone:
Date: 23-Jun-01 09:51 AM EST

Canadian Tire sells a product that keeps cats away...look in the pesticide area (no it doesn't kill the cats...but just keeps them away....(apparently it works)


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: T. Hayes
Zone: 9
Date: 23-Jun-01 01:17 PM EST

I understand that bad perfume sprinkled around the perimeter of the beds will deter them. My own garden Is above ground in wooden boxes (got gophers!) and I made hoods from wire that goes over the top and used sticks to close off the ends. This method has worked really well.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Catherine
Zone: 6b
Date: 24-Jun-01 04:56 PM EST

I use Languettes Scent-off Twist-ons (Dog and Cat Repellent). I ran a string from one section of the garden to the other. I hung the repellents over the string down its length. Cats are nowhere to be seen. My cat runs, even if she smells it on my hands. My neighbor asked me to keep my cat in last year. I just made sure he went to the bathroom (#2) before he went out. He left the neighbors garden alone. The twist-ons are a lot less work and they work great!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: CAROLINCALGARY
Zone:
Date: 25-Jun-01 05:48 PM EST

Linda re the dogs pooping in your yard ifyou know they are neighborhood dogs and know the owners why need pick up the poop and return it to the owners. Maybe a few neat plastic bags on the doorstep would give them the idea.In any case surely if the dogs are running loose you can call your city animal control people to pick them up. A few fines works wonders. Since I got a dog I do not have a cat in the garden problem. .


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 27-Jun-01 12:57 PM EST

First of all, I think what Pam is doing is mean. You probably baited the cat traps and are therefore actually enticing cats to come into your yard who might otherwise have just walked by. And using mouse traps trying to "catch" their paws. I don't have cats, but I'm really glad I don't live next door to Pam.

Now, having said that, I certainly understand the frustration of seedlings getting dug up. A very simple solution that worked for me - in the spring, after seeding, lay down chicken coop wire. The seedlings can grow up through the holes in the wire, and for those rare plants with stalks wider than the hole, I just use a wire clipper to enlarge the hole. I can reuse this wire year after year. The cats cannot dig and therefore move on.

One thing everyone seems to ignore about cats - and the reason I tolerate them wandering around my yard - is that cats control the rodent population. Without cats, you would have rodents in your garage, in your compost heap, in the walls of your house, and in the fall, finding your mulched plants perfect places to spend the winter (and eating those plants as well).

Cats are very predictable which is what makes outsmarting them easy. Let's recognize that cats do have a place and instead of trying to hurt them, allow them to do their job.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: pam
Zone:
Date: 27-Jun-01 07:32 PM EST

I'm back. The mouse traps simply scare the cats away and I ripped out my cat mint to avoid alluring cats to the yard. My trap has been inpected by the city and has been deemed to be safe and not cause harm to the cat. I can be jailed if I don't comply with my contract which states I must provide food and water to any imprisoned cat and that I must turn the cat over to the by law officer in 12 hours of capture. This is a much better way than some people dropping stray or unwatned pets off in farmers fields. I am an animal lover...and a gardener. If I wanted a cat in my yard I would own one. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW HERE TO ALLOW CATS TO ROAM AT LARGE WHERE THEY CAN BE CHASED BY LARGE BIRDS, DOGS, OTHER CATS OR RUN OVER BY CARS OR FREEZE TO DEATH. The pet owner is breaking the law...not me.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Dee
Zone: 3
Date: 27-Jun-01 09:53 PM EST

JoanneS has obviously never been pestered by cat owner that don't give a hoot about what their pets do. Pam Amen girl!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Brenda
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Jun-01 01:23 AM EST

Does anyone know the details of the cat bylaw in Edmonton (is it as strict as Calgary)?

There is a major war about to happen in our crescent re: cats. Our neighbor built an elaborate playground with sand for his kids and several neighborhood cats have been using it as a kitty litter box! He went over to talk to one neighbor (who's cat had been a visitor). She gave him a spray bottle with her blessing to spray the cat when it came back.

Many cats have been found inside of houses (not their's), under vehicles & steps (can't get them out), etc. The worst part is that cats attract cats. We use to have none . . . I have lost count how many are around now.

Are there any cat owners out there?? What is your perspective?? I have a dog and would not think of letting it roam around to pee and poop wherever.

Happy Pet Control!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Brian @ P&P Plants
Zone: 3
Date: 28-Jun-01 02:06 AM EST

There are more than Cats that interfere with our Utopia. Cats, Dogs, Kids, Deer, Skunks, Porcupines and Idiots of the human specie all seem to be working against us. Other than being paranoid, I take those intrusions as part of the risk in gardening. If you have an occasional incident, chill out, life is too short to blow a fuse. If it is constant, take a look at what you can do with your garden design, it may be that you are planting your plants where you are creating conditions that attract cats. If it is a flower bed that you have lots of open space between the plants, the open ground makes it easy for the Cats to use as a litter box. If you would plant denser growing plants including ground covering plants, the Cats wont give that a second look as a place to use as their toilet. Unless you get off on chasing cats and have the time to be on patrol 24 hours a day, you won't be able to enjoy your garden. They will sneak in when your guard is down, consult someone that can help you design your yard so it is not attractive to the pests that you keep getting. I can sense some of the frustration when you have just set out new transplants and then you have them dug out. Some netting or chicken wire for the first growth period untill they get firmly rooted may do the job. Once they are grown to a stage where there is little bare ground, then you can remove the net or wire and put away until next year. Hope this helps.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 04-Jul-01 01:25 PM EST

Actually I have been visited on a regular basis by cats whose owner "appeared" to not give a hoot and I chose not to allow this situation to ruin my enjoyment of my garden. Again, cats are easy to predict and not that hard to outsmart. An uncovered sand play area is an open invitation to cats. Unfortunately, I doubt that problem will be solved to anyone's satisfaction because you can't simply cover the sandy area when not in use. And believe me, I can understand the frustrations but like Brian, I just take it as being a part of a community.

Brenda may not allow her dog to roam around, but plenty of others do, and again, I don't like finding a steaming pile of doggie gift on my lawn, but I am certainly not going to allow it to raise my blood pressure. You can't change other people, but you can change how you react to them.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Blanche
Zone:
Date: 04-Jul-01 06:25 PM EST

I too am frustrated with my yard being used as a toilet. Needing info I visited my nearest garden centre and was told there was nothing on the market (that included sprays) that could keep the cats out other than to physically remove them such as laying chicken wire etc. Everday my garden and flower beds have been dug up along with serveral plants. I have literally had to invest in a pooper scooper and I don't even own any animals period. I bet I clean up more crap than that of a pet owner. I have given up on most of my pepper plants. They can only be replanted so many times. They even go between closely planted plants. It's amazing! Problem is the felines are nocturnal. However there is one flower bed which they seem to be avoiding. I do believe cats do not like bee balm (monarda didyma) and citrus geraniums which are new plants in that particular flower bed this year. Has anybody tried these plants yet?. I will also try the citrus peels as Ellen suggested. As much as I despise cats. Traps are not an option for me. And yes Brian, gardening does come with it's quirks just as bugs are invasive to plants. Breathe deep and relax some suggest.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Brian @ P&P Plants
Zone: 3
Date: 16-Jul-01 12:58 AM EST

Cats are a problem to some, but I have another PEST that eats my Strawberries and damages more than they eat. The pest is th ROBIN. Those buggers pick at any that are Red. Those that are exposed stand no chance of being left alone. That is probably about 20% of my crop. That is too many. I have to pick them as they will mildew and contaminate the others close by. What can I do to deter the Robins? I have thought about painting stones red and placing them in areas that would cause the Robins to peck on them and knock their brains,(if they have any), out.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Amber
Zone: 2b
Date: 19-Jul-01 08:41 PM EST

Pam is a bitter old coot. Do you hunt big game in the winter? What are your suggestions for keeping small children away from your yard? How about the birds? Perhaps a city by-law preventing them from flying overhead and pooping in your precious garden! The city could rent you a tarp to envelope your yard. That will keep out the pesky sun, too. Blast nature! How dare there be wildlife in the outdoors! Maybe you should get into hydroponics and stay inside.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Amber
Zone:
Date: 19-Jul-01 10:08 PM EST

Pam, Why didn't you try that approach, prior to setting up the "minefield" in your yard? I have two cats, and a garden. The only thing damaging my plants are the bugs. My neighbor has a dog, which keeps my rascals away, but also leaves their yard covered in dog doodoo, and yellow circles from the urine. Good thing they don't have cats to mess it up.

I love the outdoors. The cats, dogs, birds, children, earthworms, etc. They are part of what makes being outside in the garden so special. I welcome the neighbor cats.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Northern Gardener
Zone: 3
Date: 20-Jul-01 10:29 AM EST

Having been a cat owner for over 2 decades, I'm applauded by some tactics being used. Traps are cruel; off-the-shelf retardants are semi-effective until it rains, or you turn on the sprinkler.

Cats are just as territorial as dogs, or any other animal, it's the nature of things. Mine also chases dogs, even G. Shepards & Irish Wolf Hounds, off the property...size doesn't intimidate her.

As Brian stated early on, change your yard to make it less inviting. A warm dry spot is, to a cat, the purrfect toilet. Any mulch, especially pine cones, is a deterrent; as is chicken wire...their nails get caught. Easiest to do, water your garden. Cats really dislike getting their paws muddy. (My cat meows at outside door to go INSIDE to her litter box!)

Bigger problem: squirrels (they dig & partially eat plants....even those in hanging baskets), crows, magpies & rabbits. I live in mature, well developed urban area and have these problems.

Nature is balanced and it is we, mankind, that is upsetting the applecart. Noramlity IS for birds to eat berries, squirrels, crows, magpies to raid nests of eggs & scatter food picked out of plastic garbage bags and magpies to stalk & chase rabbits, etc. Let's relax a bit. Shucks, haven't had a single blueberry in 3 years now because the rabbits feast on the blosooms and young growth in spring! Natural pruners that over-do it. (These are being moved into backyard this year where, HOPEFULLY, my natural pruners will not go.)

There are, unfortunately, irresponsible pet owners such as dog owners who are not scooping-the-poop while on a walk (have actually called out to them, "Oh dear, you've 'dropped' something!" only to be greeted by me with an empty plastic bag for them to 'retreive' their 'dropped' item. Letting dogs run-at-large is another problem as some 'dig' as well.

Let's all remember where we fit (or don't fit) in when it comes to the ecological chain.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 20-Jul-01 11:39 AM EST

Hello everyone. I just got back from a lovely little holiday in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. While there, we went to a store that sells treehouses and play structures, and noticed something that may help keep cats from using the sandy area under the play structure. In the display area, about 12 different play sets were arranged and the whole ground area was covered with shredded bark. Now, I don't know if it will solve the litter box problem completely, but I do know shredded bark is not attractive to cats. It was soft and springy to walk on. The salesman said they prefer it to sand. I know it has to be topped up every year, but so does sand. Just a thought.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Victoria
Zone:
Date: 20-Jul-01 11:45 AM EST

I have 2 cats that always come with me when I garden - they roam around the garden freely (mine only). I also have a neighbour with a cat and the lady across the street has 4 cats. That's 7 cats all together and I have never had anything dug up in any of my gardens - and they are new gardens with tons of small seedlings that I have started as well as bulbs! There is lots of space in between them too. I'm wondering if it's because of the cedar bark mulch I have down? I've never found cats digging (or squirrels,rabbits or mice for that matter). If only they would eat slugs! Sigh! Oh, and I think that traps are a waste of money - cats are quick learners - once they have been caught once they will usually not go near the cage again.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Linda
Zone:
Date: 20-Jul-01 10:57 PM EST

I have often seen gardens with the mulch and bark but I figured it would just be more incentive for the cats. From reading the above remarks, I, for one, plan to give it a try. Now if I can just find a way to keep the dog poopers off my lawn when I'm gone!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Bill
Zone: 2
Date: 21-Jul-01 12:01 AM EST

I heard the following cat deterent tip on television this week (I think it was on Ken Beattie's show). Save your prickly rose prunings as well as raspberry canes and then place them on the ground around your plants. It is impossible for a cat to do his (or her) business when he (or she) can't dig through the torns. I was planning on trying this but unfortunately (??) my neighbors gave their cat away.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: L:inda
Zone:
Date: 22-Jul-01 12:48 AM EST

Good sense of humor, Bill!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JOYCE
Zone: 5b
Date: 26-Jul-01 12:59 PM EST

MULCH DIDN'T KEEP CATS OUT OF MY GARDEN. I HAVE APPROX. 1" OF THE RED DEVIL MULCH AND THE CATS JUST LOVE IT. I THINK I'LL USE THE CHICKEN WIRE NEXT YEAR. I THINK IF YOU WANT TO OWN A CAT YOU SHOULDN'T EXPECT OTHER PEOPLE TO BE TOLERANT OF YOUR PET DIGGING UP FLOWERS ETC. THAT COST MONEY AND TAKE A LOT OF EFFORT. PERHAPS THESE PEOPLE WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY TO REPLACE THE DAMAGED PLANTS AND ALSO DO THE REPLANTING. I THINK THIS WOULD ONLY BE FAIR. I REALIZE CATS HAVE A PLACE AND PROVIDE A GOOD SERVICE IN RODENT CONTROL BUT I THINK CAT OWNERS SHOULD RESPECT OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTIES. IF I WANTED A CAT I'D HAVE ONE. YOU ARE THE INTRUDER.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: linda
Zone: 5
Date: 26-Jul-01 09:07 PM EST

Joyce, Is Red Devil mulch the same as cedar chips? I am planning to put down some cedar chips. I hope it will work. Mostly I hope it will keep out the unleashed dogs. They seem to be the really bad poopers in my yard. Dogs leave their poop out in the open. I don't know which is worse--seeing visible poop from the dogs, or stepping in hidden poop from the cats.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Pam
Zone:
Date: 27-Jul-01 02:00 AM EST

I was tarred & feathered above so I will not be making any cat comments....but I will talk about mulch. I have used cedar mulch for 3 years then switched to a non cedar wood mulch for the last three years. It does not deter cats. I stopped using cedar mulch as I was told the cedar oil leaches into the soil and may to toxic to some plants. The loved the smell of cedar but found it quite coarse and took a longer time to break down. Wood mulch robs the soil of nitrogen as it composts down so you will want to keep that in mind. I love the tidy effect mulching gives but best of all I've gone from 1/2 hour daily weeding to 15 to 30 minutes a week...and my flower beds are twice the size. Happy Gardening.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Linda
Zone: 5
Date: 28-Jul-01 12:00 AM EST

Thanks for your information, Pam. Unfortunately I had already bought some cedar mulch today. What I bought is the cedar bedding chips. They are small lightweight shavings of cedar. They really do smell good! But I already had scattered them around my flower area this evening before I saw your message. I may unknowingly have made a lot of neighborhood cats very happy tonite. Tomorrow I may find a WHOLE LOTTA POOP underneath my newly scattered cedar shavings. Oh, well. Live & learn as they say.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Pam
Zone:
Date: 28-Jul-01 12:00 PM EST

Linda our local Hort Society has a chat line and right now there is much discussion re what types of mulch to use. I switched from cedar because I heard the oil is toxic to plants......but I don't feel it ever caused a problem. This chat line has many others saying the same thing...they've used cedar mulch for years without problems....and it's only if over used does it rob nitrogen from the soil. ( I put this on so I don't lead anyone astray.) The chat line also confirmed....mulching doesn't usually deter cats...although my thought is a very coarse mulch might.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JOYCE
Zone: 5b
Date: 31-Jul-01 03:20 PM EST

Hi Linda, About the red devil mulch - I think it is probably the same as the cedar as it consists of chunks of lightweight wood and also shredded wood so I think its the same but dyed red. Sorry I didn't get back to you in time but try sprinkling blood meal around the plants as it seems to keep the squirrels out and the cat hasn't been in the garden as often either. Good luck. Joyce


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Jody
Zone: 1b
Date: 29-Mar-03 04:18 PM EST

This is for Pam, My goodness, mouse traps in the garden!! that could get kittys paws or sqirrels legs, what on earth are you thinking, you should be arressted for animal abuse!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Dorothyt
Zone: 5
Date: 30-Mar-03 01:24 PM EST

Interesting to read most of the comments and having tried many so-called remedies, the only one I think is foolproof is chicken wire, scrunched around the 'open' areas. I also have lots of cats around, own a large dog who hates them but it doesn't seem to deter their habits! Quite frankly, I find cats obnoxious animals which I would rather do without! Obviously, I am not a cat lover!!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Rebecca
Zone: 3b
Date: 30-Mar-03 06:03 PM EST

I honestly find it quite depressing when a homeowner (who has to go to work to pay for their home and property taxes) takes a "barefoot" morning stroll through their own yard, which should be their own sanctuary, and ends up stepping in a pile of ****! It is also devestating when an expensive plant is wrecked due to the lack of respect of the pet owners (not the animals). I have tried many remedies, including politely telling people "did you know my shrubs cost money?" as the doting pet owner watches their animal pee on my plants. I have been the one to be sworn at. Maybe I should find where these people live and send my children to play a game of soccer or ride their bikes through their garden, which is probally cleaner than mine because mine is their pets litter box. Although there are bi-laws with concern of domesticated animals which should be more enforced, I know if my children or I went into their backyard, it would be considered trespassing, and we would be fined. Why should it be any different for disrespectful pet owners? And who's upset when their pet on the "loose" gets ran over? Overall, it's the pet owners fault...it's just too bad we can't start trapping them, and wrapping them in chicken wire so they know what it's like to be an animal on the loose...


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 01-Apr-03 02:18 PM EST

Man, you are one angry lady Rebecca. Dorothy, you hate cats, some hate dogs. Can you contain your dog's barking? Would you like your neighbours to complain to the authorities every time your dog barked at a passer by or the garbage truck?

It is called GETTING ALONG. As part of a community, we take the good and we take the bad. Dogs serve a useful purpose (protection and a useful alarm system) and cats serve a useful purpose (rodent control). Both have downsides too.

If you want to live in isolation and have EVERYTHING your way, move to an acreage, although I'm sure you'd find something to complain about there too.

Good lord people, if a bit of kitty poo is the worst thing happening in your life, count your blessings. Maybe you guys should take the time you spend obsessing about cats, and use that time to volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. You guys need to see what a real problem is.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone:
Date: 01-Apr-03 02:23 PM EST

All of this reminds me of a letter I saw written to the editor of a local newspaper. The writer had attended an outdoor concert in a beautiful riverside park. He was writing to complain about the birds making too much noise and that something should be done about those birds because they had ruined his enjoyment of that concert.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 01-Apr-03 02:49 PM EST

JoanneS YOU GO GIRL! Gardening is about relaxing not obsessing! I hear and undestand both sides but PLEASE!!! Everyone should recognize we all have differing opinions and stop the name calling. The 'tips' were given in a spirit of helpfulness, use them or not as you wish.

I am a cat owner who chooses to keep my cat on a leash when I walk him, confined to my own yard when I'm there to supervise and in the house when I'm not. He has not suffered and I do not have any neighbour issues. I do have 'Visits' from stray cats and I humanely discourage them from defacing my garden. I have resorted to trapping a stray that caused fights with my own cat. All this and I remain (relatively) serene!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: ddog
Zone:
Date: 02-Apr-03 03:03 PM EST

I have tryed all of the above and nothing works for me.I think cat owners who let their cats roam are not very nice people.We live in a complex where it is in the lease not to let your cats roam ,so I hope someone comes up with a good idea other than shoot them!!!!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Colleen
Zone: 3a
Date: 11-Apr-03 01:30 PM EST

What I have found extremely effective to keep cats from my gardens (both flower and veggie), is to plant garlic. It is the smell that they do not like. Perfectly safe all around, affordable without a lot of fuss.

Also to Brenda - the cat bylaw in Edmonton was never passed.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Violet
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-Jul-03 01:47 PM EST

Cat Deterrents for your Garden:

Keep in mind that each cat is different (like people), what works for one may not necessarily work for another. On the plus side, most cats will keep pesty squirrels, moles and other critters out of your garden.

* aluminum foil * black pepper * blood meal fertilizer * bramble cuttings * Carefresh - "recycled" wood pulp * catnip - donated into your neighbor's yards (so they'll stay in their own yards) * cedar compost * chicken wire * cinnamon * citrus peels * citrus spray * cocoa bean shells * coffee grounds -fresh & unbrewed (highly recommended) * dogs * electric fence for animals * essence of orange. essence of lemon, lime (citrus essential oils) * fresh manure(ditto) * garlic cloves * gumballs from the Sweet Gum Tree * gutter covers * hardware cloth * heavy bark mulch * holly leaves * keep the area damp, they like dry soil * lavender * liquid manure (good for your garden too) * motion sensor sprinkler * pinecones * pipe tobacco * plastic forks * predator urine * river rocks over the exposed soil * rocks, crushed * rose bush clippings * rue (highly recommended) * short twigs throughout the planted area about 6" apart * six-inch bamboo skewers (pointy side up) * Spray on your leaves (not the cat): fill a spray bottle with 1/2 t chili powder, 1/2 t cayenne pepper, 1 t dish soap and water * squirt gun with water * talk to your neighbors * thorny berry, lilac, hawthorn, rose clippings * toothpicks * upside down vinyl carpet * vinegar sprayed on areas where they roam * water bottle on "stream"

NOT RECOMMENDED: *** chili powder, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper (NOT recommended), it gets on the cat's paws then they wash themselves and they get it in their eyes, beware cats have literally scratched their eyes out because of this *** moth balls (not recommended), avoid these in your garden because they are highly toxic

Give them their own areas:

(To keep them out of where you don't want them) (If you don't mind them protecting your garden from other critters)

+ pick the cat up and bring it to eye level with the plant to see and smell it up close. She noted that once her cat has seen and sniffed at the plant, she usually doesn't bother with it later.

+ give them their own plants - i.e., pots of grass for her to chew on and a place in a large planted container on her balcony with some miscanthus grass in it (the cat likes to curl up in that for some reason)

+ Barley Grass + Carex elata 'Bolwes Golden' but put it in some shade + Catmint cultivars + Cat Thyme (Teucrium marum) + Flax + Oat Grass + Jacob's Ladder + Lemon Grass + Loose soil and mulch like small bark mulch + Mints + Purple Fountain Grass so the cat lays in the long leaves all day. Maybe put something in that the cats really like and - you know cats won't winky were they like to hang out. + Sandy area + Silver vine (Actinidia polygama) + Striped Ribbon Grass (can be invasive) + Sweet grass + Various Varieties of Cat Mints (Catnips) + Wheat Grass + Wheat Berries + Valerian

This list compiled by Violet_Z6


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Joelle
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Jul-03 03:30 AM EST

WOW, Now there is a whole lot of opinions! Many seem very valid. You can certainly tell who the unleashed cat owners are. I feel so bad for these cats that have basically been abandoned by there so called loving owners. Besides getting ran over or attacked by another animal these little so called "loved" fur balls can get into chemicals(antifreeze dripping from a vecicle-very painful death), or abused by people(shot at with a bb gun or worse yet I have seen cats that have been set on fire) Please if you think you deserve a pet for Gods sake take care of it---Where is the love in abandonment.It is up to you to protect this member of your family. Joelle An Animals Rights Activist


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 5
Date: 28-Jul-03 02:37 PM EST

Joelle, thank you so much for your broad assumptions. I am assuming you are lumping me into your "unleashed cat owner" category since I don't mind cats roaming. Let me state once and for all, I am not a cat owner. But I am informed enough to understand that cats are predators that serve a beneficial funtion in maintaining (keeping down)rodent populations. They are only able to do this by roaming. This is nature. And I would sooner deal with a little bit of cat poo than the nasty poisions necessary to kill rodents.

I am also sick and tired of people blaming everything that goes wrong in their yards on cats. Many of the problems that people blame on cats could have been caused by other animals - skunks, porcupines, dogs, magpies, crows, squirrels, etc.

My neighbours have two cats who roam. I have absolutely no trouble in keeping these cats away from areas I don't want them in, and I have trouble understanding how I can control my neighbours cats, but other people can't?

These cats are not abandoned, unless you choose to believe so. They have loving homes where they return every day. Sometimes they get hit by cars ... sometimes dogs get hit by cars .... sometimes people get hit by cars.

Personally, I would like to thank cat owners, for allowing their cats to roam. Now I don't have to put down poison that could be ingested by a child. And if kitty gets a bird or two, rest assured that bird was probably sick, weak, stunned or dieing.

Ask yourself this. Are you really that concerned about the cat's safety, or are you just using the cat as an excuse.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Michele
Zone: 5b
Date: 28-Jul-03 05:46 PM EST

I have a cat(house)and a dog and neither are allowed to roam (fenced in yard). I also love birds and have several feeders in my yard. And I also have several neighborhood cats including 3 that belong to my sister. I would never put anything in my garden to harm any animal but it does get frustrating. Chicken wire wasn't an option because I am constantly planting new things and that would drive me crazy. My very large dog does not like cats but he was doing more damage to it chasing the cats out of the yard. I moved the feeders to the other side of my yard away from the garden and the cats don't seem to go in there as much now. I also noticed the cats love to lie under the hostas to keep out of the sun (or maybe hide from the dog)soI planted some in another section. I had also bought a plant from Superstore called "Scardy Cat". Smells bad up close and when my cat is outside with me on her leash she avoids it. Sometimes its a matter of trial and error, some creativity, and biting your tongue. My sister and I are still speaking!!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Gertrude
Zone:
Date: 29-Jul-03 12:21 PM EST

I'm certain that these poor cats would like to set human traps for a few of you.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Mary
Zone:
Date: 29-Apr-04 09:02 AM EST

I have to agree with PAM. I hate cats. I have two small children and everytime they play outside I always have to worry about the enormous amout of cat crap in the dirt and if my children get into it. So about two years ago I handled the situation a little more extreme than Pam. But needless to say I have no more crap in my yard and my children can play in a clean crap free yard!!!! Anyone who actually enjoys cleaning up cat poop has and especially when its not their cat obveously likes living in nasty environments!!! one or two cats is fine, but five or more and they start to poop in neighbors yards, In my opinion you gave me permission to take matters into my own hands!!!!! Thanks for listening and I am not sorry if this offends anyone!!!!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 29-Apr-04 01:51 PM EST

I have 3 felines of my own, and a big vegetable garden. I prefer a mechanical means of keeping them away rather than anything hurtful. My solution: chicken wire. Carrot seed takes a long time to sprout - after sowing I cover the bed with chicken wire and hold it in place with a few rocks or bricks. Then, when the plants are several inches tall, I carefully remove the chicken wire and voilĂ ! For other stuff like a lettuce bed, a bunch of twigs amongst the seedlings works very well.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Catherine
Zone: 3a
Date: 02-May-04 05:17 AM EST

So many interesting takes on the cat situation I had to add my own. I have two cats both are "fixed" (1 male, 1 female) and yes they do roam. I understand people who get annoyed with cats coming into their yard and disturbing their gardens etc. I don't care for it myself, from my neighbors cats or my cats either. My solution to keep cats out of my garden areas is thought by some to be mean but it is not harmful to the cat and usually only takes one encounter and the cats stay away for the rest of the season. I mix two tablespoons of cayenne pepper with a half cup of flour and sprinkle it around the areas that I want the cats to stay out of. (The flour is so I can see where I have applied the mix.) I re-apply when I see cats back in my yard. When the cats walk in it their feet will get very warm and they will lick them, and then their mouth will get very warm. Cats are smart they will not go back to that area. When ever anyone complains to me about cats using their flower beds or garden as a litter box I tell them about this and have had people thank me later because it does work. If you feel guilty about this method and only have a small area that you want to keep cats out of use orange peels (lemons work well too). This is very effective but you have to eat alot of oranges to keep the area guarded from cats. I personnaly find that dogs are more damaging to my yard than cats are. They dig things up and use my yard as a bathroom too. My garbage cans have been knocked over and contents scattered, cats can't knock them out of the box they are in and lids are always on so I know it isn't a cat. My cats are in and out all day, I have bird feeders and berry trees in my yard and have lots of birds visit my yard every day. Yes my cats have killed the odd bird, but that's what their suppose to do, they are predators. It hasn't stopped the birds from visiting. Pets are a personnal preferance and everyone should be responsible pet owners. People who don't want pets and want to enjoy a beautiful yard have that right. However, it is foolish for you to think that you will not have to deal with one "pest" or another, wherever you live. Some people have to deal with deer or racoons, snakes, mice and some people have to deal with cats. For every "pest" out there, there is a remedy that is not distructive to the animal, and that is the responsibility of the homeowner who does not want to deal with critters in their yard. Unless you build a dome over your yard you will have to deal with some form of "pest" or another. So deal!


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Dave
Zone: 5a
Date: 02-May-04 05:49 PM EST

All these answers and nobody seems to have talked about Rue. It is a herb, latin name Ruta Graveolens. Perenial, zone 5-8, sunny well drained soil. Discourages cats. I have one plant in the front and one in the back, no cats.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Catherine
Zone: 3a
Date: 04-May-04 04:36 AM EST

Hi Dave, I was wondering will Rue grow in zone 3. I live in Alberta, half an hour east of Red Deer which puts me pretty much in central Alberta. I would be interested in planting anything that discourages cats, (mine included) from my garden area's.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Dave
Zone:
Date: 04-May-04 01:39 PM EST

I'm not sure, but ask at your local garden centre, they may say if you protect a bit in the winter it will last. You could always take a cutting off in the fall and grow it indoors, it is a herb so you could use it over the winter and plant it out in the spring.


Subject: RE: Cats in the garden?
From: Catherine
Zone: 3a
Date: 05-May-04 04:30 AM EST

Thanks Dave, I'll give it a try.


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