The Q&A Archives: Flowers Offensive To Cats And Dogs

Question: I have two round flower beds. Our dogs get in them and dig spots to lay in and the cat does his business in them. I'd like something to plant in them that both animals would not want to mess with. Both beds are mostly in full sun maybe evening shade. Would roses work? Or are the thorns too little?

Answer: Roses might work, although I would expect the animals to make their own little path through the planting, they are clever! You might try strewing thorny branches on the ground throughout the bed or at least on the perimeter, you might try covering the soil surface between the plants with a wire mesh such as chicken wire, or you might try using a larger mulch such as nuggets that would be less attractive to the cat. Dogs can often be trained to stay out of a bed and are more likely to cooperate if they have an area in the yard where they are encouraged to dig, perhaps in a spot with afternoon shade. Cats, too, can be redirected to a handy sandpile. There are also commercial repellents you can try as well as home made ones based on egg, garlic and red pepper.

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