Ask a Question forum: Keeping Cats Out of Raised Beds

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Name: Karen
Fremont, CA (Zone 8b)
Purpleperennials
Feb 5, 2018 10:58 AM CST
I have raised bed vegetable gardens and my cat (and probably other community cats) likes to use them as a potty pan.

What can I do to keep him from going there? He pulls out my seeds and scratches next to the vegetables.

A friend suggested chicken manure. Tried it and as soon as the smell dissipated (rather quickly), he was back.

A nursery said chicken wire but I don't understand how you would do it so vegetables can grow through it and you could have access to them. If you use this method, a picture would help me.

I love my cat but don't want him going potty in my beds.

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Feb 5, 2018 11:11 AM CST
had a smaller garden that seemed to be enjoyed by some cats, took small sticks and placed them in the soil so that they would stick up approx 4 -5in, just enough to make it inconvenient for them to walk around and find their special spot
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Feb 5, 2018 12:15 PM CST
I had 4 cats but they stayed inside the house. Since cats cannot be contained out of doors, I figured it was better to keep them inside so they would not bother my garden or the gardens/yards of my neighbors. Unless you want to put a 7-foot fence around your entire garden space I cannot see any way to keep a cat from using your beds as a toilet.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Feb 5, 2018 12:17 PM CST
Yes, someone here uses plastic picnic forks that way.
Porkpal
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Feb 5, 2018 12:24 PM CST
People also use those wooden bbq skewers you can find at the grocery or the import store. Sticking them in upright discourages cats too. I also wonder about scattering cayenne pepper around the plants.
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Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4b)
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mnmat
Feb 5, 2018 3:42 PM CST
I have 4 cats that love my raised beds! Before seeds sprout I lay 4' plastic fencing over the beds. Cant scratch over the plastic. When the plants are a few inches tall I cover the beds with about 4-6 inches of straw mulch. I've watched the cats scratch in the mulch but when they couldn't get a cleared spot of dirt they stopped and left the beds. The long strands of straw ended up getting in the way when they scratched it . I haven't had any trouble since I started using straw. Its been several years now.
Meri
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Feb 5, 2018 5:05 PM CST
Meri - nice to meet you. What a great post ! Thank you !
I have a 100' x 100' annual garden, this tip will work for me.
In my trumpet lily bed I laid chicken wire over the mulched, dormant bulbs to discourage cats (my own included). That will stay in place all season. No one has bothered it since.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 6, 2018 9:04 AM CST
Sprinkle used coffee grounds on top of soil.
Or, get some cocoa bean bark mulch and put a layer on top.

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 6, 2018 1:05 PM CST
mnmat said:I have 4 cats that love my raised beds! Before seeds sprout I lay 4' plastic fencing over the beds. Cant scratch over the plastic. When the plants are a few inches tall I cover the beds with about 4-6 inches of straw mulch. I've watched the cats scratch in the mulch but when they couldn't get a cleared spot of dirt they stopped and left the beds. The long strands of straw ended up getting in the way when they scratched it . I haven't had any trouble since I started using straw. Its been several years now.


I used bird netting for a while... Worked for the cats and birds... But... Snakes kept getting caught... How many snakes do you want to cut free?
And... What about the ones that you don't see in time to save?

Thumb of 2018-02-06/stone/023285

Chicken wire and rabbit wire is better, if you remove it soon enough.... Trying to get it off after everything has grown through it is painstaking.

Personally, I want the cats in the beds... Rodent probs... Google voles some time.

[Last edited by stone - Feb 6, 2018 1:07 PM (+)]
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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Feb 6, 2018 6:40 PM CST
Stone - I know your pain if you have voles, too. I'm hoping Charcoal, our new feral cat, likes voles. Time will tell.
I use chicken wire over the lily bed to keep the cat from digging, otherwise he has free rein.
Sorry about the snake tangle. I like snakes. But mine are garter snakes, non-poison.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 7, 2018 9:07 AM CST
So cats don't like coffee grounds???? Hmmmm..................I have greenhouse kitties. I had to put plastic "fencing" stuff over some of the large pots because they were crapping all over in them. I have all the client's plants fixed up that way, but ran out before I got all of mine covered that way. Might have to replace some of the grubbed up dirt and put the used grounds in. How much for, say, a 16 inch pot?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Feb 7, 2018 9:26 AM CST
I'll be interested to hear how that works.
Porkpal
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Feb 7, 2018 5:13 PM CST
Fascinating.
Now I do not have raised beds and when we bring plants indoor winters most problems come from them trying to drink out of the pan under the plants to catch excess water. They knock over and the falling plant generally convinces them not to do it again.
I have on occasion found the plants in the basement a kilter which meant some one was tip-toeing through the tulips.

When the big guy Ringo was around, he would on occasion dig a hole where I planted but not often though he was fussy as he would at time dig three holes before he found one he liked and he dug DEEP holes.
He had all his claws and the way he went at it in the cat box, I often wondered if he would dig a hole through the plastic.
The deeper the litter, the more energetic he was.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 8, 2018 10:46 AM CST
Hi Anna 😀
RE : Coffee grounds.
First ! Think like a cat. They like soft soil to do there dirty work in.
I swear, ### !!! They can smell freshly turned soil nodding
When I till my garden. You should see it the next morning. Looks like all the cats in the neighborhood. Had a overnight party, IN, My backyard !###!
So, think, of somewhere close where you can provide them with some soft tilled soil/dirt, that you can turn up with shovel 4 to 6 inches deep. Between shrubs, or some open space. If you see they used it, clean it out, that will encourage them to use same spot again ! 👍
I would put a litter box in greenhouse. 👍
Used coffee grounds. It doesn't take much. I'm just guessing, because articals I've read, didn't give any specific amounts. I'd say 1 tablespoon sprinkled on top for a 16 inch pot. On occasion a cat may disregard the coffee smell. So, you may want to add some Cayenne pepper and chopped orange peals to coffee grinds. I know 🤔??? Orange peals, sounds weird ! Huh ?

Ttfn I tip my hat to you.
😎😎😎










Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Feb 8, 2018 12:42 PM CST
I have had some success with orange peels, but I like your idea of an alternative site.
Porkpal
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 8, 2018 2:07 PM CST
I have 3 litterboxes in the greenhouse. Still like the pots. I clean the boxes daily.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Feb 8, 2018 2:28 PM CST
katesflowers said:Stone - I know your pain if you have voles, too. I'm hoping Charcoal, our new feral cat, likes voles. Time will tell.
I use chicken wire over the lily bed to keep the cat from digging, otherwise he has free rein.
Sorry about the snake tangle. I like snakes. But mine are garter snakes, non-poison.


Not sure any cat "likes" voles... they kill anything that moves... but... they usually leave the voles laying where ever... Must taste bad... The cat will take your arm off if you try to take a rat away....

The above snake is a king snake... non-venomous.

Cats do more than use the garden as facilities...
They eat my veggies...

Thumb of 2018-02-08/stone/3dada6
Turnip eatin cat.....
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 8, 2018 3:07 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Different strokes for different cats!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Feb 8, 2018 3:54 PM CST
Stone, you need to plant your turnips a little deeper.
Porkpal
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 8, 2018 5:01 PM CST
I can hardly believe it Stone. A raw ! Turnip eating cat !😮! Oh my !
Butt ??? They, just like us, need there veges also.👍

That sure beats my cats. Mine like there veges, cooked.

If I have a little leftover, stew, chile beans, etc. I'll give it to my cat's.

Freek ! They love it. Chomp. They chow down. 😋😋😋

NOW ! Don't tell anybody, that I feed my cats and dogs leftover's. They ! say it's not good for em ! Plus ! I don't belive, ANYTHING ! That, Mr or Mrs They ! SAY !

😎😎😎



Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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