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Garf
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Dry Cat Food as Fertilizer

I wonder if leftover dry cat food is any good as fertilizer?

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rainbowgardener
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It could certainly be composted, but I'm not sure why you would think of it as fertilizer.
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gixxerific
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I'm with Marlin it would be better used at a shelter than in a garden.

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rainbowgardener
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Mg and I were posting at the exact same time (Hi, Marlingardener! :) ). I would only add that starlings, blue jays and other large/ nuisance type birds (grackles, etc) also love the dry cat food, creating quite a mess...
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Garf
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My feeding procedure for my cat takes a bag of dry food and divides it into 3 pint ziploc bags. I place food in the dish every 4 hours and take the food up that he doesn't finish. Near the bottom of the ziploc, most of whats left is fine particles. At a certain point, I break out a new bag and dump the old one. I'm thinking about mixing the remainder into a container. I guess it may draw stray cats. My main question is will it help the plants.

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applestar
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Hmmm... I think cat food is very high in protein -- more so than dog food, so I suspect we're talking a lot of nitrogen. There are probably some minerals too. Not so sure about levels of phosphorus and potassium, though there are bound to be some.

Are you thinking of scratching the particles into soil at the base of the plants? burying them under mulch? putting them in the bottom of a planting hole? Or maybe "dissolving" them with hot water, then diluting with water as liquid fertilizer?

In Bonsai culture, there is a "fertilizer" made of pressed remains of oily seeds (I guess it's probably rape seeds after all the oil has been squeezed out of them). I'm picturing cat food to be somewhat similar.

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Garf
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I plan to take a pot that I've pulled a plant from, and stir in the cat food. It should be completely buried. After a week, I'll plant another plant there.

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Garf
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2 days ago, I stirred about 2 oz of dry cat food into one of the smaller pots. So far, nothing has disturbed it. After 1 or 2 weeks, I will place a small plant into the pot and see what happens.

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Garf
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To date nothing has bothered the containers that I have mixed the cat food into. I just mixed another batch of cat food into a large tub. We will see.

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Garf
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I just went out to do some planting. The large tub that was intact yesterday has been totally dug up today. Time to do some night hunting. Luckily there was nothing planted there yet.

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applestar
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Whoa. Any clue what it was?
Also, how did the plant do in the last container?

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Garf
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My guess would be a possum or a Raccoon. The last plant in the tub did well, but that was before I added Tomato Tone and the cat food. At the time of the digging, there were no plants in the tub.

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rainbowgardener
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Yup, I'd guess raccoon. They go crazy for catfood. We used to put catfood out for the outdoor cats, but the raccoons got it all. Now we only put it out on the deck when we are sitting there. Even so we have had to scare off raccoons, that would be quite willing to come up on the deck while we re there and grab it.

There may also be some fish meal or other ingredient in the Tomato Tone that they like. I have to be very careful about fertilizer because of the raccoons. Even if the compost isn't quite all the way finished, they will dig up anything planted with it.
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Garf
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I had another container with only Tomato Tone added dug up, so I set up a trap and caught a small possum. Tomorrow I dispose of the remains.

UPDATE: Gone.

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Garf
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The trap has claimed another possum. A big one this time.

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Garf
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This one got lucky. It got shipped out intact. It was released alive a few miles from my place.

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...a few miles from my place.

he'll be back (g)!

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Garf wrote:This one got lucky. It got shipped out intact. It was released alive a few miles from my place.
I'm confused. Why trap it, only to inflict its destruction on some other hapless gardener? :?:

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Garf
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I dumped it in the middle of a park at the construction site of the latest Cuban memorial. A fitting gift. It's far enough that I'm not worried about it coming back. If it manages to find its way back, I won''t be so nice.

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Garf
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Possum #3.

[img]https://www.mastercontrollinelinksite.info/Gardening/possum3.jpg[/img]

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Garf
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The trap was tripped twice without catching anything. The first time, the bait was eaten. I've never known this trap to fail before.

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rainbowgardener
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Maybe you have raccoons also? Possums are pretty much dumber than posts,* but raccoons are extremely clever and sneaky.

*I once had a possum come and drown itself head down in a bucket of water.
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ElizabethB
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Rainbow - that is too funny - I choked on my coffee when I read your post.
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Garf
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Today the bait was gone without tripping the trap. Something out there is smarter than I am.

cynthia_h
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Definitely raccoons. Not that they're "smarter than" people, but very wily, very handy, and very persistent. :x Now that they've solved your trap, you may need to use another model--or change something about the one you have.

Raccoons can open latches just like people can. I don't know if the story is currently findable on Search, but two friends of mine here in the Bay Area lost protected pets to raccoons a few years apart. One, a snail-hunting duck, was wrested from her locksmith-approved nightly shelter by raccoons and killed; the other, a bunny, also in an approved hutch for overnight shelter (owner is asthmatic), was similarly attacked and killed. :evil:

In both cases, the latches were "raccoon-proof," according to local locksmith ratings. There was some local flap about the meaning of "raccoon-proof," and now double-locking, *with* padlock, is the only way around here to protect certain animals who must live outdoors (e.g., chickens, ducks, kids, lambs). That or an outdoor dog 60 lb or greater, and many Bay Area dog-lovers won't keep Fido outdoors: Fido wants to be with The People, and The People want Fido indoors with them. :D So padlocks and double-walled chicken enclosures, etc., it is.

BTW, you do not want to see the results of a smaller dog vs. raccoon fight. The dog must have a significant weight advantage over the raccoon and a strong protective drive for "its" flock to go up against a raccoon. I myself had to drive off raccoons from our yard in Berkeley in the '80s and '90s when we had only cats--it took the JET setting on the hose, with significant water pressure, carefully aimed at either the tip of the raccoon's nose or precisely under its tail to persuade the larger ones, approx. 26 to 30 lb, to LEAVE NOW. Smaller ones left after a water shot to the flank.

Ya got raccoons; sorry. :(

Cynthia H.
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Garf
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I do have another style trap (homemade), but it may not stand up to a racoon, but I may as well try it.

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ElizabethB
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We have raccoons and foxes scurring around the yard at our fishing camp on Toledo Bend. Fortunately there are no gardens for them to destroy and when we go to the camp my cats stay inside. Yes they make the 3 hour trip with us. Spoiled girls. Both the raccoons and foxes are bold. They are out in the yard in the middle of the day. Preening and grooming themselves. Destructive little beast. We have found holes dug under the sewer line. Don't know if it is foxes or raccoons. We filed the holes and poured dry quick crete over the dirt then watered it in. I can see that we will have to do that all along the line.

Good luck with your critter trapping.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Garf
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Got another possum. This makes 4. I have already shipped this one out. This was caught using catnip for bait. It chewed the bait tray up bad. I might as well leave the trap set up for a while.

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