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Cats in your garden?

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Post  littlesapphire 4/30/2013, 10:42 am

UGH. Speaking of cats, I just went out to check my garden today and found one had used it. I have a fence around most of my garden, but keep a small 2x4 garden on the side of my house where it's very sunny. Usually nothing ever bothers it. But this stupid cat decided to dig up my carefully planted baby onions (started from seed!) and poop right there. And not just a normal poop. Oh no. This was a HUGE POOP. iiiigardener, I seem to remember you saying the poo you found in your garden was really big. I can guarantee we don't have any bobcats in the city where I live, but we do have a lot of feral cats. This poo was like a medium sized dog's poo. Sigh. Well, at least I planted lots of onion sets, too.
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Cats in your garden? - Page 4 Empty BIG cats in yard...

Post  Nonna.PapaVino 4/30/2013, 11:13 am

Some years ago while living in Central Texas, we spotted huge animal marks at the side of the creek very near our house. My husband remarked that he didn't know anyone nearby who had such a large dog. I looked at the prints and said, "Don't think that's from a dog. Look, no toenail marks on the prints!" Conclusion: bigger than bobcat tracks, so probably from a cougar or even from a jaguar that wandered up from Mexico. Yep, keep the pets in at night. Nonna
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/2/2013, 11:14 pm

Well Plantoid was right again! That is sure scary about the bobcat and rattlesnakes! It just goes to show that we can expect the unexpected so be cautious everyone!
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Post  TexasTracy 5/3/2013, 7:34 am

I had to spend my Sunday cutting chicken wire to cover all of my squares that have seedlings or seeds that haven't sprouted yet because my neighbor's cat continues to use my boxes as a litter box. Frankly, I'm tired of her apologies. It's so frustrating!
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Post  brenda g 5/3/2013, 9:43 am

@TexasTracy wrote:I had to spend my Sunday cutting chicken wire to cover all of my squares that have seedlings or seeds that haven't sprouted yet because my neighbor's cat continues to use my boxes as a litter box. Frankly, I'm tired of her apologies. It's so frustrating!

I hear you! Definately frusterating and not a good situation for forming good relationships with your neighbors. I've never understood why dogs must be contained but not cats! It's not personal; I like cats, just not in my gardens! Last time we had this problem we tried several tactics but in the end we used a live trap and then anonomously brought the cat to the animal shelter. Problem solved. Yes, it wasn't very neighborly of us (though neither were our neighbors) but if they have to buy back their cat maybe they will think harder about letting it roam when they know it's a problem for other people.
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/3/2013, 10:15 am

ooo...this is disturbing. I sure hope my cat isn't bothering others. Embarassed My neighbors know her and no one has said anything negative about her. Mostly they are happy that she chases the rabbits away. And since she doesn't go in my boxes, I'm assuming she's just as courteous to others gardens. I sure hope they'll say something if there's a problem...

Gadz...
CC
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Post  H_TX_2 5/3/2013, 10:58 am

Earlier this year I planted lettuce and carrot seeds and a cat used my box for their business. My neighbor has a cat that runs loose but there are others in the neighborhood also. I would chase off the neighbors cat whenever I saw him. I cleaned out the 4x4 bed and replanted and this time put down some animal netting over the bed and that kept out the cat. It seems the cats in my area only use the raised beds after the soil has been worked and it is nice and fluffy. after a week or two the leave it alone.

The squirrels on the other hand continue to dig in my garden. A couple days ago I pull into my drive way and the neighbors cat is sort of going crazy running around and doing these flips and turns. Then he finally stops and I realized he was chasing something. The neighbors cat actually caught a small squirrel and killed it.
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Post  brenda g 5/3/2013, 11:36 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:ooo...this is disturbing. I sure hope my cat isn't bothering others. Embarassed My neighbors know her and no one has said anything negative about her. Mostly they are happy that she chases the rabbits away. And since she doesn't go in my boxes, I'm assuming she's just as courteous to others gardens. I sure hope they'll say something if there's a problem...

Gadz...
CC

I understand; I sure didn't mean to upset you! I had my reservations in taking such extreme action, but we tried talking to the owner several times and tried coffee grounds, forks, etc. I would think any reasonable person would not physically remove someone else's animal without exhausting every other effort first. No
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/3/2013, 11:41 am

@brenda g wrote:I sure didn't mean to upset you!

Oh Brenda, I wasn't upset by your method. Actually, I thought it was brilliant and may use it on some loose dogs someday.

The disturbing part was that she may be using others gardens for a litter box and maybe they aren't telling me that they are upset about it. oiy...

No worries about your post. Very Happy
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Post  donnainzone5 5/3/2013, 12:12 pm

The problem with taking animals to a shelter (unless it's a "no-kill" facility) is that shelters typically euthanize animals that can't be re-homed promptly.
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Post  brenda g 5/3/2013, 12:24 pm

Cape Coddess: Phew! Sometimes people have strong feelings about this delicate situation, so I never know if my 2 cents will be helpful or cause upset, which is definately never my intention! Wink

Donna: I am not sure if it is a no kill shelter, but we live in a small town (it is the only shelter) and I see animals from this shelter listed as found and then adoptable for many weeks. If the owner cares about the animal at all, it is the first place they will look! But you are absolutely right: if possible, a no kill shelter is the way to go!

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Cats in your garden? - Page 4 Empty black or cayenne peppers to discourage cats/squirrels

Post  Nonna.PapaVino 5/3/2013, 12:43 pm

I've used rough cracked black pepper with success at keeping feral cats out of the beds, but one was so persistent, I tried cayenne. Either the cayenne worked or a coyote got the cat, because there was no more "deposits."
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Post  jazzycat 5/3/2013, 5:38 pm

Just a note about using hot pepper to discourage cats and other animals... I read that sometimes it can cause them serious damage to their eyes, because it gets on their feet, and then they clean their faces with their feet. Apparently it burned some cats eyes so bad they scratched their eyes horribly trying to get it out and ended up blind.
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Post  camprn 5/3/2013, 5:57 pm

@jazzycat wrote:Just a note about using hot pepper to discourage cats and other animals... I read that sometimes it can cause them serious damage to their eyes, because it gets on their feet, and then they clean their faces with their feet. Apparently it burned some cats eyes so bad they scratched their eyes horribly trying to get it out and ended up blind.
This is the type of comment that would really benefit by being backed up with a link to pertinent, factual information.

this is not to say that I disagree with the logic of this post...

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Post  jazzycat 5/3/2013, 6:07 pm

@camprn wrote:
@jazzycat wrote:Just a note about using hot pepper to discourage cats and other animals... I read that sometimes it can cause them serious damage to their eyes, because it gets on their feet, and then they clean their faces with their feet. Apparently it burned some cats eyes so bad they scratched their eyes horribly trying to get it out and ended up blind.
This is the type of comment that would really benefit by being backed up with a link to pertinent, factual information.

this is not to say that I disagree with the logic of this post...

I'll try to find the article. I just don't remember where I saw it. I was going to put pepper flakes in my garden to keep my cat out, when I read that and decided it was a really bad idea.
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Post  jazzycat 5/3/2013, 6:17 pm

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/sqfoot/msg0610450924314.html

2nd reply down mentions it. I don't remember if this is where I saw it or not. I'll keep searching.

Also, the 11th reply down from the above link says the following... (this is where I originally read it camprn, I remember the post)

"...NOT RECOMMENDED:
*** chili powder, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper (NOT recommended), it gets on the cat's paws then they wash themselves and they get it in their eyes, beware cats have literally scratched their eyes out because of this. Even if it's one cat out of 500 infected in this way, that's one too many for me.
*** Don't ever use mothballs or flakes. Those little toxic waste pellets destroy cats' kidney function, could seriously harm people who handle them, and yes, contaminate your own garden soil. Their packaging even warns against using them this way..."




*** edit to add ***

Here is another one. step 3

http://www.gardenguides.com/77616-keep-cats-out-vegetable-garden.html
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/3/2013, 6:30 pm

I agree this is a delicate situation. As some of you know I had ferrel cats up the ying yang making my beds into their potty station. I also had tons of earwigs, but that's another story. The two neighbors who spent the time and money getting them fixed and re-releasing them basically laughed at me when I asked them if they could keep their cats in their yard and said they were not their cats, even though they were feeding and giving them milk twice a day. I spent more than an hour or two every day cleaning and trying to rescue what they destroyed. I tried spraying repellant on the fence, chicken wire on the fence, moth balls on the ground next to the fence on my side (not in the beds), then had to pick them up because I read they could be toxic. I put them in a jar because that was all my exhausted body could think of and put it on the fence. The cats knocked it off the fence. I tried pepper flakes, forks, sticks, one nail in each wood slat of my fence, then added two more in each slat. I tried laying chicken wire over the beds where there were no plants. They still pooped in those beds and layed down in between and against the plants. I did not have the energy, money or knowledge to make wire cages for each bed. The cats kept coming and one neighbor pulled all of the nails out that she could reach and just threw half of them over the fence into my beds. I finally had to borrow a trap from animal control. I would catch a cat within a half hour of setting it. I ended up catching nine. Then the neighbor who pulled out the nails and the man who lives behind her found out I had a trap. He came over and threatened me. I called the police and they came out and also animal control came out. The lady neighbor bought one of those sonic deterrents finally being responsible. It worked for a very short time and then the cats could climb right next to it. I like cats but I am allergic to their fur and I realize now that I was spending so much time with their poo instead of being able to get my other yard work done. I didn't harvest half of what I should have because of the damage and the money wasted because I bought mostly starts but also had planted seeds. I finally gave up in late Summer and left the gate open to the garden and let the dogs chase the cats.

I have had 4-6 poops so far this year and may have to do the traps again. I have only turned the soil on three beds and cleaned out the poop, but I have to do it by hand (and a hand shovel) so I don't miss any of them. Nothing is more fun than to be loosening up the soil and you think you got them all and there is a nice juicy one right in your hand!
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Post  llama momma 5/3/2013, 6:46 pm

I don't know what it's like to garden without critter covers. Keeps out deer, bunnies, birds, cats, etc. But is it fun to constantly remove and replace covers? Nope. But my stuff is never eaten, torn up, pooped, or peed on by domestic or wild life. It's a price I'm willing to pay because it works so well.
You could run chicken wire around 4 sides to make the cage, bend it hard to make corners. Then cut a piece to make the top. Zip tie the top, zip tie the bottom to the wood, bam you are done. If you can make a wooden bed, you can make a critter cover. Don't let the critters win! Cats in your garden? - Page 4 3170584802
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Post  plantoid 5/3/2013, 7:03 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@brenda g wrote:I sure didn't mean to upset you!

Oh Brenda, I wasn't upset by your method. Actually, I thought it was brilliant and may use it on some loose dogs someday.

The disturbing part was that she may be using others gardens for a litter box and maybe they aren't telling me that they are upset about it. oiy...

No worries about your post. Very Happy
CC

Cats rarely use their owners gardens to take a dump , though any plant is fair game for a leak if it is an uncut tom .
It's something to do with jungle order and subservient behaviour.

Our old moggy used to go on next doors lawn of longish grass for both barrels .

One day 70 yr old Eileen said to me , "Dave can you come and clean up your cats muck , I'm sick of treading in when I cut the lawn or get it everywhere when I clean the petrol mower " she then repeated that six or seven times just to make sure she got the point over to me..

" Sure " I said to her, " I'll clean it up for you . ........... Though it's not my cat .... he's been dead for seven months " .... her face was a picture to behold.. Laughing


Last edited by plantoid on 5/3/2013, 7:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/3/2013, 7:05 pm

That way sounds a lot more doable. My beds are quite close, do you have any problems with dropping the covers by accident onto your plants, like if it is windy? While you have them lifted, what do you do with them, prop them up while you work or remove them? If you remove them, isn't that cumbersome and where do you move them to? There were plenty of days that I all I could do was drag myself out to my garden because I knew I had to water and then I ended up spending so much time digging out the poop and dealing with earwigs.

This year looks better so far.
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/3/2013, 7:11 pm

Good one Dave! When one litter of grey ferrel kittens were born, my daughter and I caught two of them at the request of our next door neighbor. They became indoor cats. Boy did I ever have a bad asthma attack, but I wanted them to have a good home. I do like cats and we have not had mice in our house for a year or two. I don't mind the cats anywhere else in my yard, but I fenced in my garden area to keep out my dogs, so the cats should stay out also, right!
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Post  llama momma 5/3/2013, 7:15 pm

TriciaG, no, no trouble at all cause you use four little pieces of wood that is only 1 by 2 inches so there's not much weight to that at all. And the little bit of chicken wire is not heavy either. I'm 5 ft. 3 inches so there are no amazon muscles happening here lol. And with two arthritic hands I need things that are simple to handle. I just remove the cage and place it next to the bed, and wind? Well that's no trouble cause wind blows right through it. Smile The only time the cages blew a little off the side was when the wind was about 50-60mph. Fixed that by leaning a brick on its long side against the four sides of the cage to hold it in place.


Last edited by llama momma on 5/3/2013, 7:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add last line)
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Post  jazzycat 5/3/2013, 7:29 pm

Tricia, wow! What an ordeal! I feel for you. That's too bad about your neighbors acting that way.

ftr, I didn't mean to imply that anyone was a bad person for using pepper in their garden. I was just putting the information I read out there so you are all aware of a possible consequence.

For me, personally, I would rather not take the chance of being responsible for causing that kind of suffering on an animal, even if it's a long shot and it never happens. I would rather try to find a different solution. But that is my choice. It doesn't have to be yours. I'm not judging. Smile
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Post  Triciasgarden 5/3/2013, 7:45 pm

I agree with you Jazzycat. I didn't hear about the pepper flakes possibly getting into cats eyes until today and I thought I had read everything there was about deterrents. I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to cause any animal to suffer like that, that would be so cruel. I think the pepper flakes I used were several years old and were still in the pods. I used my bare hands to crush them up and now that I think about it, they probably would have made my hands a bit sore if they were fresher, but they didn't.

LM I am going to see if I can get my son to make me some cages. It's good for him to learn, right! If not, I am going to make some. On the two beds I have planted this year I have trelliss lying on the wood on one of the boxes and tomato cages lying on their sides in my potato bed. The potato bed got pooped in twice before I put in the tomato cages. But that is not a permanent solution for either bed.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 5/4/2013, 1:15 am

Your information about damage to an animal's eyes from contact with cayenne sounds possible. I shall rethink using it as a deterrent. To date all of my raised beds can be "fenced" off with the plastic "chicken wire" from Ace Hardware cut to the diameter of the beds and clipped to a hula hoop frame arched from corner to corner of each 4x4 bed. (Just get cheap hula hoops, cut each one on one side and stretch it from corner to the opposite corner; zip tie the place where the two hoops intersect.) Another deterrent I found comes from used furnace filters. Within the filter is a fine wire screen which I've stripped away from the filter paper and spread over newly planted beds and prevents a cat or other critter from digging in the covered area. Best deterrent, though, is the chicken wire cage a la Mel's directions in the Square Foot Gardening book. Nonna
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