The Q&A Archives: Mulch or ground covering to distract cats.

Question: I have a beautiful garden, but there are many neighborhood cats that choose to use my yard as their litter box. What do you suggest? I thought of putting mulch over the entire grounding, but before I make this investment will this work and/or do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Apart from building a cage around your garden, you may have to experiment a bit until you find something that works on these particular cats. Some gardeners report success using a variety of deterrents to make the garden less attractive to cats. One is to scatter thorny branches (such as rose trimmings) over the surface, another is to spread a layer of wire mesh such as chicken wire over or just under the mulch to make digging impossible, another is to use a repellent spray applied to the garden (there are commercial varieties intended to repel cats or you can make your own concoction with garlic or pepper or both), yet another is to use the "predator urines" packaged for garden use. I've had success by driving short stakes in and around my flower garden and then stringing fishing line between the stakes, criss-crossing it between the stakes. Keep the line about 6 inches off the ground and cross it every eight inches or so. Cats are afraid they will get their legs caught in the line so they usually go elsewhere to dig. You might also check with the local authorities and/or neighborhood association because in some areas it is illegal to allow pets, including cats, to roam. Hope one of these suggestions works for you!

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