The Q&A Archives: Cats in the Garden

Question: I have neighborhood cats that are using area around my Weeping Japanese Maple tree. It is still small and I am afraid to have it die. What can I do to deter this?

Answer: Cats are creatures of habit so if you can make the place unpleasant, they will find another place to go. I would cover the soil with a temporary barrier to discourage them. Try laying chicken wire on the bare soil so they can't dig, or driving stakes around the perimeter of the bare soil and stringing nylon fishing line between the stakes. Keep the line taut, about 6 inches above the soil surface and criss-cross every 4-6 inches. Any cat stepping into the maze will quickly move out because it will be afraid to get its legs caught. After a few weeks, the cats probably won't return and you can safely remove the barrier.

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