Mulch is the best way to stop weeds. I like to lay down 4-6 sheets of newspaper overlapping the edges. Then wet it to hold it down temporarily and then cover it with pine needles, leaves or some other mulching material. This gives several months of good weed control. The cats are another matter. There are product for discouraging them which are unpleasant to their sense of smell. A motion sensor sprinkler such as the one called the Scarecrow also is very good at giving them the message that your landscape beds are not area to even walk through!
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