The Q&A Archives: Cats in the Garden

Question: My neighbors have outdoor cats that like to urinate in my garden - especially the cucumbers. How do I keep them out safely?

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 vegetable garden. Cats are creatures of habit. The key is to break that habit by making their experience in your vegetable garden 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 garden 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 bed, they'll stop visiting. Or, you can crumple hardware cloth, chicken wire or some such material and lay it around your plants. Rose cane clippings will also deter them. Hope this helps!

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