The Q&A Archives: Using Lime For Cat Urin

Question: I have just applied lime in my flower beds, all around my house and in the back yard, because of neighbor cats spraying and using it for a bathroom. How often will I need to do this ?

Answer: Cats and dogs, like other animals, become unwelcome pests when they damage property. To keep cute little kittens out of your flower beds, you can plant some Fritillaria, ornamental garlic or even onion bulbs. The odor will repel most animals, including rodents. Red, black and Cayenne pepper can be used to repel various animals, including raccoons, rabbits and dogs. Fences are another good way to keep curious animals out of your yard.

While lime has been recommended by some to neutralize cat urine and to make the area less desirable for them to visit, I can find no documentation to support that using it actually works. Additionally, the effectiveness of any repellent will deteriorate with moisture and/or time. Whether you use moth balls or a sophisticated, expensive commercial mixture, you will certainly need to re-apply the solution after each rain, heavy dew, or watering.

For areas where cats want to dig, ornamental pebbles may be an effective deterrent. (Avoid those which are very round or smooth; they make a great cat bed!) Rocks or pebbles should be firmly secured into the dirt or mulched area so that they cannot easily be moved or overturned. Small- gauge chicken wire can also be buried under a light layer of dirt or mulch (and may even restrain some weeds). The sharp pebbles and/or rough wire will be uncomfortable to soft paws.

Of course the real answer to your cat dilema is responsible pet ownership. But, since the cats aren't yours and you don't have the opportunity to train them, you'll just have to try to outwit them!

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