baileysup
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Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

Hey, everyone! I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season! I know I haven't been around in a long time, but I started a new job, and just don't have the time anymore.

Anyways, I recently discovered that "our" cat has been relieving himself on my dragon tree. The soil has a very strong urine smell to it. The plant was recently repotted earlier this year, but I'm guessing an emergency repot should be done. I mean it's a tough plant, and I'm worried that if I leave it as is, it may perish. I will put something on top of the soil, after the repot, to discourage kitty from any further dragon tree attention. Does anyone have any opinions about this? It is winter time, but the plant is indoors. I will try to visit the site now and again, but very busy working 86 hours a week. I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

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baileysup
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

My other idea is to just water it really well, to help flush out the urine, and just keep the cat from peeing on it again. I'm not sure if I have enough soil for a repot, and don't know if I could find any this time of year. It's a large pot.

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applestar
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

I know it's tough to repot big container plants in the middle of winter -- it's easier when you can do it outside....

I was thinking put it in a shower or bathtub and flush it out, too, but the remaining odor *may* entice your cat to go back.

Maybe surround the floor around the plat with foil or hardware cloth or something not pleasant to walk on? Would you consider putting some gravel all around the pot? (A couple of boot trays might hold them) Do you have a motion activated goofy toy like Christmas tree, etc to scare him? A box or two of open baking soda near by....

You may want to put a layer of activated charcoal -- aquarium store is a more likely source this time of year -- on the soil surface and into the soil to help absorb the odor.

Putting a(nother) litter box near the plant in the same room may help to persuade him to go where more desirable, and you can slowly move the litterbox away.
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imafan26
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

I have cats and no plants indoors because they will dig them out. I suggest a couple of things. First after you have flushed the plant put a wire cage around it so the cat can't get to it. Not pretty, but it should keep him out. Second, I would put a litter box nearby as an alternative. I have used soil in litter boxes, if he likes the soil it may work better. Also have a scratching post or thick cardboard box nearby too. Most of the time, the cats were not so much looking for a place to pee as they were looking to stake a claim on the plant as a scratching post. Use vinegar on the outside of the pot to remove any other odors that may be present. Put fresh lemon peels on the soil and keep replenishing as they dry out. Cats don;t like the scent of citrus. Otherwise, the only sure solution is to make sure the plant and cat are never in the same room together. Either restrict the cat's access to the room. (Ha! I haven't been too successful with that one, or put the plant in a room that the cat can be restricted from like a spare bedroom or garage if it can handle it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

baileysup
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

Thank you both for the very informative replies! He does have a litterbox, and a cardboard scratch post in the same room. He could be claiming the plant, but to me, he's just being a male kitty. Anyways, I went to walmart, and they had one bag of potting soil left in the entire store ( lucky they had any ). This was Scotts Moisture Control, and I know not the top pick for potting soils, but I plan to remove the moisture agents in the soil. I also have a good amount of bonsai soil mixed up from my junipers, and was thinking of mixing in 50% of that. The bonsai soil I have is 50% pumice, 50% high fired clay, and some pine bark floating around in there. Does that sound ok, or should I stick with straight potting soil for this plant ( kinda want to try it with the 50% bonsai soil mixed in). It is a large pot, and I think it will retain plenty of moisture with the bonsai soil mixed in.

You both have many wonderful ideas to keep kitty away, and I really like the chicken wire/wire fence suggestion. I'll probably try that along with some other suggestions that were posted. The repot will have been for nothing, if I can't keep kitty out of there!

The soil is a block of ice at the moment, but will hopefully be thawed by tomorrow, and will then attempt the repot. I just don't feel comfortable leaving the contaminated soil in there.

I hope everyone here had a great Christmas, and have a SUPER 2015 NEW YEAR!!!

THANKS AGAIN!

imafan26
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

The bonsai mix is free draining. The problem with the moisture control are the water beads. As long as you are careful with watering it should be o.k. Dracena's are pretty forgiving.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

baileysup
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Re: Cat's been peeing on my dragon tree

Ah, all better now. I got rid of the contaminated soil in the woods, and rinsed the roots out in the shower to get all the pee soil out. Of course I also rinsed the pot out. The mix ended up being 2/3 potting soil, and 1/3 bonsai soil ( half and half would be better suited for a succulent). I'm very happy with the mix, as it will retain plenty of moisture, yet have better air flow to the roots than straight potting soil. The plant was then moved to a separate room that kitty is not allowed in, and is actually getting some good light through a window. I'm glad I did a thorough repot, as I noticed the top leaves of the plant were wavy, and had spotty marks. I'm convinced this was caused from ingesting the urine, and there's no telling what other damage that would have been done, if left in the contaminated soil.

Thanks again, and have a great 2015.



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