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GardenRN
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when good pets go bad

So in my cat decided to pee on the carpet right next to my indoor setup. When I smelled it I thought maybe I let the cat box go a day or two longer than normal in my tizzy of planting seeds and up potting. So I changed the box. Then I still smelled it the next day and realized that it wasn't in the box, he got my carpet. He messed up, now he has made himself a garden pest. And may have to be treated as such!!

I noticed though that all of the sudden, some very healthy looking young plants all of the sudden got a few leaves turning brown, seemingly overnight. Is this from the smell of the cat urine? Is the ammonia in the air affecting the plants that seriously that quickly? And now that it has been cleaned up, will they recover?

I am way ticked at the stinkin' cat and although this is not normal for him, he better straighten his act up quick! Or he may be next years fertilizer!!

P.S. I wouldn't actually kill or hurt my cat so don't anyone go getting panties in a bunch about the cat. He just got a swift smack and is for sure going without his normal tuna treats for a while.
Jeff

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applestar
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Could he have sprayed and got the plants?

When my previous cat developed thyroid problems, the med he was on messed up his kidneys (typical!) and he started having accidents. I researched extensively and discovered Natures Miracle. Yeah the name is a turn-off but it does work. Over the years, the product has become fancier and it seems to be available in any pet store now.

One of my current cats occasionally becomes unhousebroken. what I do with her is to stand ready and stuff her in the litterbox first thing in the morning or any time she starts acting suspicious. I stand over her, telling her to "Go potty" until she does. Their litterbox is covered and has a flap door so I turn her around and stuff her back in if she comes out without doing her business. I praise her as soon as she starts to go and sometimes during if I have the time to stand around, and she gets a treat afterwards. She remembers what she's supposed to do within a day or two of this, and is good for a while until the next time. :lol:

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GardenRN
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applestar wrote:Could he have sprayed and got the plants?
No, the plants are up on shelves and he wouldn't even be able to get on the shelves without knocking something off. There's no room. Especially since he is a 20lb maine coon!

Plus I DEFINITELY (yuck) found where he messed up on the carpet. I wouldn't have even thought about it. But the second day when I went down there and realized the smell hadn't gone away with the changing of the litter box it was kinda strong. I guess if it's offensive to me it can be to the plants as well.

The basil was the most affected and the youngest seedlings and flowers were the least.
Jeff

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cynthia_h
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You might also look for a product called "Petastic." The original Nature's Miracle ownership team split up a few years ago. One part of the team kept the name; the other kept the FORMULA but had to use a new name. Petastic is the original NM formula.

As for Mister Cat the Maine Coon: is it possible to use a baby gate to keep him away from the room where the plants are? Does he see them as a new object and possibly frightening?

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applestar
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Cynthia THANK YOU!! That explains it. Last time I bought a new bottle, I felt that Nature's Miracle wasn't working as well as it should be/I remembered. I think you just explained why! I am definitely going to look for Petastic.

GardenRN -- go with cynthia_h's recommendation. I am. :wink:

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Kisal
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White vinegar works quite well, too. It's what we used to clean the cattery at the Humane Society when I worked there. We could easily have afforded something fancier, but the vinegar worked really well.

I used it here in my home, too, when I had my 5 cats. I tried several different enzyme preparations, but none of them worked any better than ordinary vinegar. (Of course, the house did smell rather like a salad right after a vinegar treatment, but the odor only lasted a few hours. :lol: )
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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GardenRN
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hmmmm, straight up vinegar? or diluted? He VERY rarely does this. But the carpet is literally only a few weeks old soI am slightly P-Oed about it.
Jeff

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Kisal
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We used it straight out of the gallon bottle at the Humane Society, and I did the same at home. I guess you should test fabrics beforehand, but I've never had it damage anything, including my carpeting and varnished wood cabinetry.
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DeborahL
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I find that "panties in a bunch" comment offensive. Also, all a cat learns from violence is fear.
God must think highly of animals - He created them before creating us !

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GardenRN
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I apologize if you were offended. I swatted him for scratching my daughter also. I might add he hasn't done it since. But maybe next I'll just give him a stern talking to.

I don't abuse my animals. Please don't be mistaken.
Jeff

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cynthia_h
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GardenRN wrote:I apologize if you were offended. I swatted him for scratching my daughter also. I might add he hasn't done it since. But maybe next I'll just give him a stern talking to.

I don't abuse my animals. Please don't be mistaken.
*IF* you can catch him in the act, you have an excellent opportunity to pick him up and carry him to the litter box, all the while telling him NO--GO BOX! or whatever words you used when you house-trained him way back when.

I can't recommend baby gates highly enough for animal management; I have cats and dogs, and one of the dogs is a very recent (12/24/10) addition to the house. She's used to living outdoors, going potty when/where she wanted, and chasing small animals (like...my cats). I've put a baby gate across the kitchen doorway to give the cats a dog-free area in the house, and there's a second, back-up baby-gate in the front office should the first one be breached.

New Girl also has a crate (she was miraculously crate trained when we adopted her!), and I've used this a few times for the potty reinforcement. But that's not to the point of the cat situation.

The baby gate protecting the plants will make Mister Cat, all 20-some pounds of him, have to exert effort to get near the object of his fear/scorn/whatever. (I tend to think fear.) He may not want to do this; cats generally take the simpler path, the one leading to a warm spot and a food bowl. :) But if you slightly booby-trap the baby gate with something *you* can hear, you'll know when he's making a sortie and will be able (if you're home) to interrupt his actions.

Alternatively, maybe there is a room or two in the house that Mister Cat prefers to all others and he can stay in them while you're away at work, to be released from Durance Vile when you come home each evening?

Cynthia, desperately in love with Maine Coons...

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GardenRN
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I love the maine coons also. I have two, both tuxedos. I tried moving the box, sometimes he gets THAT picky if the box is moved. So it's back in the old spot.

I'll have to keep an eye on the plants now that the mess is cleaned. Which is what I was really trying to find out via this thread. If the plants can be affected by the odor/ammonia in the air.

Actually, I won't be offended if the thread is removed. It got way off topic quickly. I simply wanted to know about the affects of airborne fumes on the plants. I seriously mean no insult to anyone when I say I know how to train my cats, that wasn't the question. :wink:

If things return to normal I will assume it was the cat mess since nothing else has changed. And Maybe I'll post something as an interest in placing of indoor setups as possible reasons for problems others may be experiencing.

Whatever it was, it was rough on basil (sweet and dark opal), squash, sage and tomatoes. Didn't seem to affect the apple mint, stevia, morning glory, calendula, lettuce, cabbage, or lavender.
Jeff

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DoubleDogFarm
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I simply wanted to know about the affects of airborne fumes on the plants.
Jeff, Something has definitely changed, but I don't think it's a little urine in the air. Many people keep live stock in their greenhouses.



Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cynthia_h
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GardenRN wrote:I love the maine coons also. I have two, both tuxedos. I tried moving the box, sometimes he gets THAT picky if the box is moved. So it's back in the old spot.

....

Whatever it was, it was rough on basil (sweet and dark opal), squash, sage and tomatoes. Didn't seem to affect the apple mint, stevia, morning glory, calendula, lettuce, cabbage, or lavender.
Any kind of Maine Coon is gorgeous. I groomed quite a few at the second grooming salon I worked at (2006-2008).

Basil has a reputation for being a...how can I say this?...delicate, swooning plant, esp. if temps aren't to its liking. Tomatoes, too. But squash and sage are generally a little more robust. I don't know about airborne fumes for any of them. Is there a possibility that any of them suffered backsplash, esp. the basil, where the effects were so dramatic?

And the plants that didn't seem affected are generally more robust (although, if you're growing lavendar from seeds, there are many of us who would like to know lots of the specifics....). :D

Sorry I'm so short on the scientific info you most wanted! :?

Cynthia

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applestar
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At this point, my Q is simply out of curiosity. Does anyone know if domestic male cat - Maine coon in this case, presumably neutered - CAN spray (not just pee)? I had an image in mind of a nature show with cheetah scent marking territory -- striking backlit slow-mo video of aerosolated spray that sparkled everywhere like an explosion....

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GardenRN
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apple, neutered cats don't spray. And it's way to hard to describe, but there's no chance at all that there was direct contact with the plants and urine. not even a splash.

Cynthia. Funny you ask about the lavender seeds. I AM growing from seed. They are in a pot with a mix of garden soil and jiffy seed starting mix, 50/50 mix, kept moist, no plastic covers, and kept at about 68 degrees. After about 3 weeks I had given up on them, so I planted a calendula seed. About a week later, all three came up! The calendula and the two lavender seeds I had dropped in. I up potted because the calendula got top heavy and was falling over. he calendula looks like it will be a loss, and one of the two lavender is doing the same. None seem to have responded well to the transplanting. I'll take pictures of the better lavender plant if it is of any help.
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ozark_rocks
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applestar wrote:At this point, my Q is simply out of curiosity. Does anyone know if domestic male cat - Maine coon in this case, presumably neutered - CAN spray (not just pee)? I had an image in mind of a nature show with cheetah scent marking territory -- striking backlit slow-mo video of aerosolated spray that sparkled everywhere like an explosion....
I found out yesterday that a neutered cat CAN spray. I was on my knees in the garden with a tray of onion plants, enjoying the sun and planting away, when my Siamese came over and sprayed the tray and right over the top, my leg :evil: . It was so gross, and unexpected :shock: Bad, Scuba Steve, bad, bad!

This has me thinking that some of the burned looking leaves on my tomato seedlings, are his work as well, and not from me watering them outside. :cry: It is a little suspicious when one tray out of five gets damaged.

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Cats, male and female can spray. If they are fixed early enough and not in an environment where they "learn" it from other cats, they usually never learn how to spray.

White vinegar is wonderful on urine. And the smell isn't to bad.

GardenRN, have you gone to get your cat checked just in case? Male cats have a issue with UTI (Urinary tract Infections) and sometimes will pee in areas they aren't suppose too. Keep an eye out and when you notice he goes into the box, if it has a lid take it off. If it looks like he is straining take him to a vet!

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lorax
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On the subject of normally good kitties gone bad, I'll submit my Russian Blue, Niro, rolling on my dill seedlings. The poor things were all smooshed, but they seem to be bouncing back now that they're in the shade. Kitty got a good talking to about that one - I sent her to her corner to think about what she did (the ultimate punishment - she hates being disapproved of.)

[img]https://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh196/HabloPorArboles/DSCN4828.jpg[/img]

She also likes to sit on my sugar peas, for some daft reason that we haven't figured out yet - it's not like she's chewing them, that's what the chard is for! :() Other than this, she's a paragon of good behaviour and even keeps to her own dirt patch off behind the wash-house for bathroom necessities.

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Isn't that odd, lorax! You'd think the dill's scent, even as seedlings, would be objectionable to Niro. Beautiful kitty, beautiful garden.

I used to save twigs and branches of all sizes as they fell. Small ones would go in some tender veg patch, studding the area to discourage lounging raccoons or berserker turtles.

My kittehs were outdoor by invitation only. I still managed to lose patches of catnip to strays looking for a spa treatment. Made my five very indignant.

I think I love all the critters, but a particular tortie Maine coon is branded on my heart. My 17 lb Tsammikos. 19 years when she passed. I think this link takes you straight to a pic of my girl. I'll edit it out if it doesn't.

[url]https://www.eattheweeds.com/www.EatTheWeeds.Com/EatTheWeeds.com/Entries/2010/9/15_Green_Deane%E2%80%99s_Videos_On_You_Tube.html[/url]

Good to know about Natures Miracle vs Petastic. I was a big fan of NM when I had my own dogs and cats and the occasional foster or rescue.

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alaskagold wrote:Cats, male and female can spray. If they are fixed early enough and not in an environment where they "learn" it from other cats, they usually never learn how to spray.

White vinegar is wonderful on urine. And the smell isn't to bad.

GardenRN, have you gone to get your cat checked just in case? Male cats have a issue with UTI (Urinary tract Infections) and sometimes will pee in areas they aren't suppose too. Keep an eye out and when you notice he goes into the box, if it has a lid take it off. If it looks like he is straining take him to a vet!
I second this. ANY cat can spray. As stated, they are less likely to spray if neutered young. If this is a sudden change, a vet visit would absolutely be in order. Many cats that have urinary tract infections (UTI's) will exhibit a change in litter box habits that can be quite peculiar.

I would NOT expect just the fumes from urine to wilt the seedlings or cause any significant problems. Direct contact, yes, fumes, no.
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lorax
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Than, I have to watch her quite carefully in the herb patch - she's inordinately fond of mint and oregano, but they both seem to make her a bit high so I've got to be careful how much she nibbles.

So I'm not so surprised she was rolling in the dill, although I don't think it's for the smell - she does the same thing in carrots. I think it's a texture thing.

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