The Q&A Archives: Cats Out Of Flower Beds

Question: I was told that mothballs placed in the flower beds would keep the cats from entering then and digging. Does this really work?

Answer: Mothballs won't really work, and they can release harmful chemicals into the soil. The best way to deter cats is to put a barrier between them and the soil. The cats will learn quickly and you can remove the barrier in a few weeks. For flower beds, try crumpled chicken wire over the soil - cats don't like to walk on it. For potted plants, any object that will keep them from digging in the soil will work.Try laying old pantyhose or pieces of nylon netting over the soil. You can string fishing line between stakes around the garden bed, keeping the line 6 inches above the soil surface and criss-crossing the line so there's less than 12 inches between the lines. The cats will eventually learn to visit somewhere else, and you can remove the barriers after a few weeks.

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