The Q&A Archives: Cats & Dogs

Question: How can I keep neighbors cats and dogs out of my yard? Critter Ridder and similar products do not work. I have had hundreds of dollars of plants and shrubs destroyed by digging, urine, etc. please help I'm desperate!

Answer: You can't blame cats for wanting to dig in fresh, sweet soil, but it can be bothersome to have them digging in your flower bed. Cats are creatures of habit. The key is to break that habit by making their experience in your flower bed an unpleasant one. You can put up a temporary barrier until they learn not to visit your garden, or you can place decorative stone or large pieces of bark over the soil surface between your plants to keep cats from digging. An inexpensive deterrent consists of stakes placed around your flower bed with nylon fishing line strung from stake to stake. Keep the line about 6" above the soil surface and make sure it criss-crosses every 8". Cats entering the bed will quickly exit because they'll be afraid of getting their legs caught. Once the cats associate fear with being near the flower bed, they'll stop visiting.

Keeping dogs out is a little more difficult. Fencing works.... Or, you can invest in a motion detector that turns on your sprinkler system (or a single rainbird) whenever an animal steps on your property. After a while they'll get the message that they'll get wet if they venture into your yard.

Hope this helps!

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