The Q&A Archives: Cat Problems

Question: Several neighborhood cats are deficating etc on the deck of my new home. I am planning multiple container gardens. Will any herbs or flowers discourage their visits? HELP!!!

Answer: This can be difficult. You can try using the repellent sprays on your plants, either commercially formulated or home made based on garlic and/or red pepper. You can try using a motion-activated water spray. You can try scattering thorny branches over the area, and you can try using a different type of mulch to see if it is less attractive to them. You can try talking to the owners (or the local animal control authority) about the dangers to roaming cats and the diseases potentially transmitted in cat feces, especially for pregnant women. You could try having a pet dog of your own on patrol to chase them away. Somehow, the problem seems to be reduced later in the season, but if you know there are cats around then you should probably wear gloves.
One last thought, and it is a long shot, but creating a sandy area in a far corner of the yard might be so much more attractive to the cats that they would leave your plants alone.

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