The Q&A Archives: Keep the cats out!

Question: Our cranky neighbor emptied her litter box right next to our garden, and now every cat in town thinks we're a public toilet. How can I clean this up and keep them out? : (

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. As for the dumped cat litter, I'd shovel it out to remove both the litter and the feces. Best wishes with your garden!

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