Ask a Question forum: How to keep cats out of my yard and garden?

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Name: Miss Billie Ancrum
Suffolk, VA (Zone 8a)
bjancrum
Jan 27, 2017 8:27 AM CST
My neighbor's cat is a stray but they have grown attached to it. The wife is allergic so it stays outside. BUT it is ALWAYS on our vehicles scratching them up, in our yard and my garden. What can I plant to deter him/them? Thanks a bunch.
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
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madcratebuilder
Jan 27, 2017 8:44 AM CST
A dog?

A water hose should discourage the cat after a few good encounters.
Spectamur agendo
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Jan 27, 2017 8:51 AM CST
For your yard and garden I'd recommend a product like Critter Ridder. Just spray or sprinkle (stuff like this can come in liquid or granules) it on places you don't want the cat to be. It smells terrible and they definitely avoid the area! You just have to put more out after it rains. You could try spraying your car but then your car will not smell so good, especially in the summer! If they are spraying your car (marking their territory) I'd recommend a cat urine remover so that it no longer smells like someplace they mark. I deal with stray cats also so I know that cats will avoid your yard for another neighbor's if you do this.
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Jan 27, 2017 9:23 AM CST
We have a problem in that a few years ago someone moved from an apartment in a nearby house and released her cats.In the last few years our feral cat population has expanded greatly aided by a couple of well-meaning though misguided people in the neighborhood . Last week, after cleaning up 3 GALLONS of cat waste, I went out and bought hardware cloth to wire cat entry holes in the fencing. After days of patching (wood as well), and covering the gate, I was feeling pretty good that I had not seen any more cats. Then yesterday I saw one. I am oretty sure the wooden boards I placed onto the gate might be just high enough for them to go under. So far, numvers have dropoed and no newclean up. But I will remove the boards and replace to drop them down a bit.

All summer, I tried coffee grounds. They seem to have a temporary deterring effect if you use enough of them. But that too is fleeting. Cheap ground cinnamon is also a temporary fix.

I did see some mention of rue being hated by cats...online I think. But I don't gave any idea of effectiveness.

I love cats as indoor pets but outside they are killing machines, disease vectors, and quite the nuisance. I always wonder why people get them only to release them. These 3 main sources of mortality for cats in my area are feline leukemia, feline AIDS, and vehicle collision. None are a risk I would take with my 4-legged family nembers.
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"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [β€œIf you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
[Last edited by UrbanWild - Jan 27, 2017 6:21 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 27, 2017 11:34 AM CST
bjancrum said:My neighbor's cat is a stray but they have grown attached to it. The wife is allergic so it stays outside. BUT it is ALWAYS on our vehicles scratching them up, in our yard and my garden. What can I plant to deter him/them? Thanks a bunch.


I would start at the source of the problem...your neighbor. They may not know that the cat is causing problems in your yard/garden and with your vehicle. Let them know what the problem is and ask them to decide if they want to keep the cat in their own yard. Since it cannot live in their house with the wife who has allergies, they neighbor would have to build a cattery enclosure. Faced with that, the neighbor may decide it is not worth keeping the cat.

Also, since it is a stray, has your neighbor taken the time to have the cat immunized against rabies and the other cat related diseases. You might mention that cat feces may contain roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and other intestinal parasites. Also Toxoplasmosis which is a danger for pregnant women. Let your neighbor know that the cat is contaminating your food.

Hope this helps.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 27, 2017 11:45 AM CST
Go out and spray the cat with the hose as often as you can. Once it gets the idea, it will avoid your yard in favor of more friendly places. If you can't get to the hose in time, just clapping and yelling (I sometimes growl and bark, to be honest) will also scare it off.

As far as plants deterring a cat, unless you're prepared to plant a whole hedge of something really prickly all around your yard, there's not much else to do.

The granular scent deterrents actually last about a month, even in the rain, and as long as you just go around the perimeter of your yard with them you won't be bothered by the smell.

Btw, I don't think a cat's claws will scratch the paint on your car. Our cats used to hang out on the cars all the time with no damage. So if you do mention it to your neighbor, I wouldn't use that argument. The health hazard is a much better line of attack.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 27, 2017 7:06 PM CST
Chasing them away, spraying with hose !!! Ha ha ha ha 😁😁😁😁!!!
It only teaches them to be afraid of you ### I KNOW !!! I've read that coffee grounds with either orange peal or red pepper works Shrug! .
Call S.P.C.A. !!! They have cat traps they will lone you for free. Thats really the only way. Or ! Your domestic and ferrell cat problem is gonna get worse. In-breeding .starvation and de-formed babies is just !!! Inhumane !!! 😞😞😞
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 27, 2017 10:11 PM CST
Hey! Be nice, Phil. It's worked for me with raccoons as well as the odd feral cat that comes around.

Miss Billie is only concerned with one semi-domestic outdoor cat. Not a whole neighborhood full of feral cats.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Jan 28, 2017 5:52 AM CST
I read this with interest..............I have a kitty that I let live in my g'house during the winter; the reason being that one of the barn cats just hates her and fights/chases any chance he gets, which pretty much keeps her out of the barn in cold weather. I have a litter box for her up there, but it remains un-used............why would she want to use a litter box when she can scratch in the big pots of dirt with plants in them??? Would sprinkling some of that Critter Ridder on the top of the soil deter her? I'm not evicting her, so if using that stuff is not an option, I'll just have to keep replacing scratched-out soil and putting on my rubber gloves and picking out the "leavings". Sticking tongue out
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 28, 2017 9:56 AM CST
I don't think you'd like the smell of the Critter Ridder in your greenhouse, and if kitty hates it, she may leave so you'd be inadvertently evicting her.

How about putting some lengths of chicken wire over the pots she's using? I also used plastic cutlery this summer to deter the raccoons from pooping in my big lotus pot. The forks, stuck in handles first with the tines sticking up worked great. I took them out after the plants died back, and the darned 'coons started mucking about in there again. So I taped a row of forks around the edge of the pot, which seems to have worked again. I'm hoping they didn't break up all my lotus tubers.
Thumb of 2017-01-28/dyzzypyxxy/b7c004 Thumb of 2017-01-28/dyzzypyxxy/cfafe1

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jan 28, 2017 3:09 PM CST
Elaine, I use the same method in my iris/daylily nursery bed. It works like a charm. I use the clear forks so they aren't that noticable.
Name: Miss Billie Ancrum
Suffolk, VA (Zone 8a)
bjancrum
Jan 28, 2017 7:08 PM CST
greene said: I have talked to them and they give me the "we don't know what else to do." I have called Animal Control and they gave us a trap for the cat. The husband asked me was I trying to catch their cat and if so, would I release it if caught. REALLY?! I told him I'd give him a call first, then I would call Animal Control. Whoever gets there first. But the second time I'm only calling Animal Control. They seem to think we should deal with it because it's only a cat! I can't let my dog run wild, so why should they let their cat?! I know about the disease but thank you. Just getting tired of coming home to THEIR cat in my yard, on our cars, in my garden.

I would start at the source of the problem...your neighbor. They may not know that the cat is causing problems in your yard/garden and with your vehicle. Let them know what the problem is and ask them to decide if they want to keep the cat in their own yard. Since it cannot live in their house with the wife who has allergies, they neighbor would have to build a cattery enclosure. Faced with that, the neighbor may decide it is not worth keeping the cat.

Also, since it is a stray, has your neighbor taken the time to have the cat immunized against rabies and the other cat related diseases. You might mention that cat feces may contain roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and other intestinal parasites. Also Toxoplasmosis which is a danger for pregnant women. Let your neighbor know that the cat is contaminating your food.

Hope this helps.



Name: Miss Billie Ancrum
Suffolk, VA (Zone 8a)
bjancrum
Jan 28, 2017 7:12 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said: I don't think I'll be barking LOL but thank you. I do clap at him, he just looks at me like I'm crazy. And yes, the claws do scratch paint. Animal Control vouched for it because when he jumps on our vehicles (our driveway is in a deep decline), he slides which means claws come out to try and catch. I keep my vehicle very clean and polished and NEVER had this problem until this cat showed up. Guess I won't be buying any plants lol.

Go out and spray the cat with the hose as often as you can. Once it gets the idea, it will avoid your yard in favor of more friendly places. If you can't get to the hose in time, just clapping and yelling (I sometimes growl and bark, to be honest) will also scare it off.

As far as plants deterring a cat, unless you're prepared to plant a whole hedge of something really prickly all around your yard, there's not much else to do.

The granular scent deterrents actually last about a month, even in the rain, and as long as you just go around the perimeter of your yard with them you won't be bothered by the smell.

Btw, I don't think a cat's claws will scratch the paint on your car. Our cats used to hang out on the cars all the time with no damage. So if you do mention it to your neighbor, I wouldn't use that argument. The health hazard is a much better line of attack.


Name: Miss Billie Ancrum
Suffolk, VA (Zone 8a)
bjancrum
Jan 28, 2017 7:17 PM CST
Thanks everyone. Called Animal Control and have a trap now. Caught him once and my husband released him! Said, "I'm trying to be nice but next time we are calling Animal Control." I even let my neighbor know he was trapped and released.....not a thank you or anything. So, you know what that means. I've told them both I do not like cats. They are cute.....on TV.....lol. I tried having a cat once because of my daughter (when she was very young). It did not work out. I will keep you posted and keep the ideas coming. I'm feeling the plastic forks LOL Big Grin
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Jan 28, 2017 7:32 PM CST
You will be very lucky if you trap that cat again. They may not be as smart as dogs, but they aren't dumb.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 28, 2017 7:38 PM CST
I agree Unless the neighbors stop feeding her, she'll not go into the trap again.

Next time you go grocery shopping buy a package of plastic forks and start "planting" them.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 28, 2017 7:46 PM CST
I'm joining this conversation late and probably haven't read as carefully as I should have But, have you tried a Scare Crow Rainbird?

They are pricey but awesome! I have used them on deer, peacocks, raccoons... and yes, cats. Its a motion detecting rainbird that sprays a blast of water when it senses motion. I have been the victim more than once but its well worth the drenching and the price.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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madcratebuilder
Jan 29, 2017 7:26 AM CST
DaisyI said:I'm joining this conversation late and probably haven't read as carefully as I should have But, have you tried a Scare Crow Rainbird?

They are pricey but awesome! I have used them on deer, peacocks, raccoons... and yes, cats. Its a motion detecting rainbird that sprays a blast of water when it senses motion. I have been the victim more than once but its well worth the drenching and the price.



I had forgot I used one of these to keep critters out of my koi pond. Didn't stop raccoons but local cats did stay away.
Spectamur agendo
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 29, 2017 8:38 AM CST
Me too! I love my Scare Crow motion detector sprinkler, it's the only thing that keeps the birds and squirrels off my lychee tree when the fruit is ripening.

They have their limitations though, as you can't use them anywhere there is foliage that moves in the wind, or else they are triggered all the time by that motion. Also, as Daisy points out, if you forget to sneak up behind it and turn it off before you walk through, you get sprayed. Can't use it in winter, either of course. Water will freeze in the hose and in the sprinkler which would probably break it.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 29, 2017 4:10 PM CST
Elaine ! Good ideal with plastic fork thing. But if Miss Millie has a big as garden as i have ! It would be impractical.
The ring worm etc. Yes ! But ! there is also the #😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬 !
HEAVY METALS ###. That everybody dosent mention. Its in every cat and dogs poop !😬!
Ring worm ? Can cure that.
Heavy metal !!! Taken up by plant, that goes into vegetables that you eat ?😬? How do you cure that ???
Would you want to eat heavy metals in your food ???
I dont hate animals ! Butt !!!!
THE CAT HAS TO GO ###
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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