SvetSad
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This is not a kitty box!!! it's my yard!!!

There's 2 ft wide mulched "landscaping" area in the front yard, right in front of the house, where the neighborhood cats, and my cat, like to go to the bathroom! Not only does it smell like cat pee on the front porch, but also when it rain, one room in the basement where it's not all the way finished, starts to smell like a dirty litter box! I don't know what to do to stop them from going THERE!!!

Are there plants I can plant? or maybe just use double sided sticky tape instead of mulch, so the second they step on it, they don't like it!!!! :twisted:

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applestar
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Remember, cats understand territory, and can be discouraged/"trained" to stay away. Now that spring is here, I have to reassert my claim to the winter-neglected garden. :twisted:

Do you have anything planted there right now?
Since they like to scratch around, one solution might be to use chunky bark mulch if all you have are shrubs.

For areas where I want to grow flowers, or even edibles, I have taken to using extreme measures. One is to put rose and thorny bramble trimmings around the bed. (These are temporary and the intent is to discourage and break them of the habit of making this a regular stop.) Another is to sprinkle ground black peppers. When the offender continues, I move on to ground hot peppers. They always sniff the area before using it.

You need to scrub down any part of the porch or house that may have been sprayed by male cats. It's a good idea to use organic enzyme cleaner sold for the purpose, but avoid ones that have fragrance in them unless you want your front porch to smell like perfume. :roll:

In my case, my own cats are indoors only with supervised outside play time in the fenced yard. So they are all neighbors' or stray cats. I've already warned my neighbors that I will be taking these measures to protect my garden beds.
(when I complained, some of their responses we're "well, they're cats. We can't control where they go" but my feeling is that if dog owners are required by law to pick up after them, cat owners should have the same responsibility.) I don't enjoy encountering cat poop in my garden. :x

If you have a cat yourself, the smell in the basement maybe because your cat is peeing/has peed there somewhere. One of my cats started peeing in the garage and it took me a long time to track down the smell.

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rainbowgardener
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Here's a thread on keeping cats away from your garden plants, that also has links to other such threads

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=231949#231949

SvetSad
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Thank you both!
I'm definetly going to try and stop them!

Applestar, I do have trees and boxwood bushes/shrubs growing there. Also the reason I know that it's the outside "litter box" I smell in the basement when it rains, is because there is an area in the where water does come in, and that area is right at the front of the house. There is a drainage hole in the floor, where all that water goes, but either way it only smells during rain.

Anyways hopefully I'll be able to get the cats to stop going there, cuz the front porch is really nice, and the weather is getting nicer. So I need to get rid of my smelly situation :)

pickupguy07
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As you know cats HATE water. Might think of investing in on of those activated systems that jiggles around and sprays water everywhere when it senses a pest. After a while IMO they'll stay away (also it is "on guard" 24 hours a day) Keeps you from having to stay on a constant lookout, and even works when no one is home.

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Francis Barnswallow
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Yet another reason why I hate cats.

CandyAndCyanide
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Has coffee grounds worked for anyone? Thats something I keep seeing people suggest, so Ive been saving mine up and I'm planning on putting them in the raised flower bed that the cats have decided is their litter box now. I thought about putting double sided sticky tape down on my porch, but not sure how that would go over with having a dog.

Ive also heard they don't like Rosemary and Lavender, anyone know if this is true?

Applestar- Have you had any problems with the pepper? Ive heard that that can be harmful to them if they get it in their eye, but after finding some "presents" in my flower bed two days in a row, and them spraying on the porch I'm at the point where Ill do anything! I feel bad about trying to chase them away because I love cats, but not when they cause damage to my house and garden!

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applestar
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I've built up to the hot pepper. I would suggest starting with physical barriers and other means to communicate that this place is no longer available to them. If they persist, then step up the severity. Before some point when actual injuries become possible/likely I would make sure that nearby neighbors know you are having trouble with their cats bathroom behavior and will need to the stronger steps if they continue.

If any cats had problems from the hot peppers, I have not been told.

CandyAndCyanide
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applestar- The reason why they hang out around here is my neighbor feeds them. She claims that shes trying to get them to come to her so she can take them in or find them a home. However Ive seen her sitting on her porch petting them, and Ive had quite a few conversations with her about how theyre becoming destructive to our house, and using our yard and flower beds as a litter box, and have asked her not to feed them, or at least feed away from our house. I never thought Id say this, but I'm starting to really hate these cats! We cant put up fences, so I visited my mom today and got some clippings from her rose bush that I'm going to lay down with the coffee grounds.

Marlingardener - Thanks! Ive had a few people say that those plants will keep them away, but I'm glad you said something or else I would have planted some! And I understand about them breeding like crazy! I'm thinking of going to the Humane Society and trying to convince them to start the Catch and Release program again, because ever since they stopped it about a year ago Ive noticed and definite increase in the population.

cynthia_h
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Agreed. Catch & Release (usually known as Trap, Neuter and Return, or TNR) has been shown to *reduce* the number of feral cats in an area. The S.F. Bay Area has seen an over 50% reduction in the number of feral cats in the past several years, ever since four leading agencies (S.F. SPCA, Marin Humane Society, East Bay SPCA, and Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society) instituted TNR.

Originally, TNR advocates focused on female cats, but it didn't take long to realize (duh...) that both male and female cats needed to be neutered/spayed. Both are active in defending a territory, and both are active in the creation of new kittens. Toms will roam, looking for a *new* territory :shock:, but if neutered, will stay with their original colony. Then, as the original colony dies out, no more ferals. :)

Dig through the websites of these four agencies for more specifics. I've loaned my trap to some TNR efforts, but ever since the horrible BEBHS fire (May 20, 2010), their TNR efforts have, of necessity, been reduced. :(

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

CandyAndCyanide
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Yes, I'm all for it, I don't see a problem with it, but they don't do it here anymore because some people were saying its "inhumane". Apparently their reasoning was that once you catch a cat its not feral anymore and it shouldnt be released, instead it should be given a good home. :roll: Yeah, anyone who has had experience with feral cats knows how well that is going to work.

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rainbowgardener
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Not that I'm opposed to TNR, but actually it works quite well to give feral cats to a good home. Cats are hard wired to be domestic animals and tame quite easily as witness the neighbor sitting and petting hers. I feed four outdoor cats, all of which were strays or "feral." One came with our house, she lived on our deck when we bought the house [which had been vacant for two years when we bought it, so it's not like she belonged to previous owners]. She had one litter before we could get her spayed. There's just one left of that litter, but we know he was born wild. The other two just appeared. We do get them all spayed, neutered. It doesn't turn in to more and more, because they defend their territory and drive off any new ones that try to come. Four seems to be the carrying capacity, because if one dies or leaves, somehow magically a new one appears and we are back to four, but it has never been five.

They make sure we don't have rats or mice on our property and they do not harm my garden. They are more friendly and affectionate than our one spoiled and pampered indoor cat. They hang out on our deck a lot, but have not bothered the (currently) 16 trays of plants that are also these days living on the deck hardening off.

CandyAndCyanide
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Sorry, I should clarify, to me a feral cat is a cat born in the wild, has grown up in the wild, and wont let people get near them. And your right, in some cases you can domesticate them, and I think if you can you should find them a home. Ive tried using live traps to catch them and take them to the Humane Society or take care of them myself, but some of them just did not like being pets, mostly the adults, theyre just not used to people. There were a few though that did really well and found homes, in fact my mom still has one that I found about 8 years ago. The ones my neighbor pets I actually consider HER cats since shes the one who feeds them, and doesnt want anyone messing with them. The mother had kittens in her shed and the kittens are now almost grown up and those are the ones she pets [Also the ones giving me trouble, they might just find a new home soon, whether she likes it or not!]. To me, thats not a feral cat, thats just a stray or outdoors cat since they are used to people and come up to them.

TCHarris32
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Just put some mothballs down in the areas you don't want them to come into. We do it every year and it really cuts down on the disgusting cats in the mulched areas.

Tonio
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applestar wrote:I've built up to the hot pepper. I would suggest starting with physical barriers and other means to communicate that this place is no longer available to them. If they persist, then step up the severity. Before some point when actual injuries become possible/likely I would make sure that nearby neighbors know you are having trouble with their cats bathroom behavior and will need to the stronger steps if they continue.

If any cats had problems from the hot peppers, I have not been told.
I've been using cayenne powder ,and a pesky half feral cat still wants to poo in the kale patch ( just 2 plants). I even put down some bird netting between the 2 plants, and the cat will go on the other side to poo.

Guess I'll try garlic and onion next?

Running out of ideas ... is eating the kale out of the question?\ :(

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Kisal
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There used to be a little black kitten that wandered around my neighborhood. Since I had 5 cats, people were forever bringing the little thing to my house, asking if it was mine. I finally took it and put a little collar on it which I made out of masking tape. (I stuck two pieces of tape together, so it wouldn't stick to the kitten's fur.) I wrote on the tape "Please keep this sweet kitty at home. If it's brought to me again, I will take it to the pound." I didn't sign it or anything, just wanted to get the message across that the kitty was being a pest. It seemed to work. People stopped bringing him to me, thinking he was mine, and I never saw him in my yard again. I did see him in the alley a couple of times, but he was heading away from my place.

My cats were all old and lethargic and just spent their days laying around the house and yard, and I kept them all indoors at night. My most recently acquired cat, which came with my house, had feline leukemia, so he didn't have much in the way of energy, either. I was friendly enough with my neighbors that they would have felt comfortable telling me if my cats were in their yards. Besides that, the baby raccoons I was rehabbing always thought the cats were their mommas, and when I let them run loose, they would try to nurse off the cats. Irritated the cats no end, but kept them entertained. LMFAO

cynthia_h
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I don't think anyone on this thread has suggested putting down chicken wire to keep the cat(s) from scratching in the dirt between plants. It *has* been recommended in other discussions on how to keep cats out of the garden, though; unfortunately, I'm just about to go to bed for the night and don't have the time to do a search.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9



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