All the neighborhood cats (including mine) visit my beds with regularity. A friend suggested making them a better offer: a sand box in another part of the garden.
Have you tried this? Does it work? How to clean it? is it covered or open?
Apologies if this is not the appropriate forum; and thanks
This year after after celebrating 35 years at one place gardening we joined the Wildlife Habitat Program. This means wildlife is accepted in our gardens, and of course lessons have been learned through the years. Did you know there really are "Dancing Field Mice"; really! and until you've seen it you wouldn't believe it. And here I thought Disney made things up! Truly the books list them as dancing field mice, and the reaction of one of my neighbors being a first time visitior with his dog by his side along with me of course was !!! So with a little prayer, and believe me us gardeners prayed- along comes a cat, and adventually cats-7 in a row. And we now have three local community cats should we say left behind and taken in by various neighbors who adopted them working with the human society. Mind you they still have instints to hunt both mice, birds, etc.. but appear to adjust to the fact once they come into the gardens no birding. One of my favorite local cat whom has various alliases our being "Birdee" was nearly starved to death=abandoned and even though I attempted to make friends with him--gave him my coat when it was -30 below; he ran. I did'nt see "Birdee" afterwards for nearly 5 months and then there he was--believe me he recognized me, thank God one of my neighbors took him in after he collapsed right in front of her door. He now routinely sits, gardens, and hunts for us. An amazing critter. Yes cats may leave a mess but a good point is to change the area yourself--they often like it dry--simply sprinkle it-give your lawn and shrubs and plants a little water; also be aware they like shrubs--appears most jobs are done under porches--don't like the mess--clean with hose in hand-again moisten the area--spray with a little vinegar (change the smell) and they move on. Yes, vinegar (Heinz vinegar that is--vegetable based vinegar) is also used to rid weeds between sidewalks, and will do the same under porch, etc.. area...Like all first time trys use caution-when experimenting with Home Brews! Example working on a weed HOME BREW--tried it in sunlight on a dew lawn and yes--the lawn is !! oh well back to work. Can spray direct but not the mist, not in light, not on dew--elimates the dandelion and several others types as well--all organic, all safe to bath in from adult, to child, to pets. Nearly done---- Back to the question-you really want the cats to find a place you do not need to maintain--sand-no--let the wild side prevail--you will notice cats are clean as a rule--only when one male cat makes contact with another male cat over an area will they leave pooo on top of the soil-otherwise it is truely invisible. Again watch the cats-learn-and read, read, read, and talk to cat owners. This is our first time with cats, and right now after 35 plus years of seed on the heads of flowers disappearing, fruit, etc..--all is still in place. I would have it no other way! Also a small bowl of water in your yard--will keep them returning. See "Birdee" the cat was stoned by people who simply did not understand cats--and it has taken a great deal of trust on his part to let us in. Two weeks ago after months of trial and error he finally made contact--and now will sit with me in the garden both day and night. His owner whom I spoke with does not mind--as we talked about his fate. Yes "Birdee" the cat will always be welcomed back. As for non cat lovers--simply water you yards, especially under the porch area and shrubs. Last resort spray a little vinegar! (I've tried this when male cats meet each other they will--simply territory thing--it stopped). I also heard it mentioned that ammonia with vinegar-but I've never needed to go that far. If I encounter two cats starting up that famous cat fight call I remind them we will not have any of that and they either get along or--out of the gardens. Yesterday after 10 years another male cat approached-and said hello. He has an owner--is rather shy, hence was named "Huggums" when he saw me the first time in the gardens he ran to, jumped up on, and hugged a tree just like little Smokey The Bear! We later learned of several more individuals in the area stoning cats and birds, and squirrels, and air conditioners, and ... Welcome to Life, and welcome to our gardens one of the official Wildlife Habitat Gardens; and yes it is officially titled: "God's Garden". See when time became tough and we could not garden often we gave it to "God" and look what he did! Neighbors watch, cars slow down, and believe me we all stare! The stories are true, the view is real, and Gardens Grow even in BIG CITIES!
Cats are the #2 cause of extinction of animals, second only to habitat destruction. You can love all of the living beings that you want to, but you cannot deny the fact that cats kill millions of birds and small mammals in North America every year. If you allow the cat(s) that you love to kill small birds and animals you must "love" the cats more than the NATIVE animals that you allow your cat(s) to kill. Your DOMESTICATED cat belongs indoors, where it cannot kill the birds that I feed and the rabbits that frequent my yard, not to mention all of the other animals that cats kill because of their instinct to kill. Since you know that your cat(s) use other folks flower beds to do their business, I suppose that you don't care about the neighbors any more than you care about wildlife. No cats in my yard, no poo in my gardens. Some cats carry toxoplasmosis, which can cause serious problems for pregnant women coming in contact with cat feces. How do you feel about unborn children?
I live trap every cat that I possibly can. The county animal control officers thank me and pick them up for free. I have eliminated more than 100 from my yard and will continue to do so. Reducing the population of feral and free roaming cats is the best thing that you can do for wildlife in your yard.
Cat lovers, cat haters, dog lovers, dog haters, bird lovers, bird haters, wildlife lovers, wildlife haters----Hush now, hush and listen- come watch with me as the heavens unfold and two by two they come to earth. In the end it is God's hand it is simply God! At my door yesterday morning the chickadee sang above on the branch and comes to me to sing with me the brand new day, underneath on the ground stands three squirrels, two cats, a morning dove, three robins, 14 sparrows, plus---they gather with me to greet the day---they can and do get along; then along comes the red-wing tail hawk to perch on her perch pole--many of the birds don't take flight, a cat climbs to my pants, the squirrels run to the trees, the morning dove freezes on the ground, the robin screams and several more birds now take flight, in the distance the pigeons scatter--another day begins in this small little wildlife habitat in the city. Yes, God's hand is at work hence "God's Garden". We witness no death this day just the music of the chicadee as she continued to sing throughout the arrival of such "!!". Mind you the perch pole stands approximately 10 feet away and approximately 4 feet off the ground.
these stories written here are true--a mystery-yes-unusual perhaps--shall we stone all- who will throw the first stone!
Note-a Blue Jay takes out the egg of the robin; the squirrel chews the head off a Junco, the Red-Tailed hawk devours a morning dove; the chirping sparrow flock chase the Sparrow Hawk for his deed is done; a cat chases a squirrel (actually Birdee walks with them each day to the door & they play together) and on and on it goes. Life! Death! Death! Life! Oh To Life!
Shall we pray for peace! Visit gardens! Find peace, even the critters of the earth gather--mischief makers at times yes, always no! God is here!
Yes, I have tried the sandbox in the far corner of my yard. It works fine. They prefer dry sand to wet dirt. We would scoop it on the rare occasion, but not often. It was about a 4 foot square of sand. I also put chicken wire down on newly turned dirt to deter the cats. Mine used to go in and out, now they are in all the time and out only when I am supervising them due to coyotes eating all God's creatures here. Wetting the beds works but they dry so quickly here that it is temporary. I have never had enough of a problem to try anything else.
Wow. I also have a Certified Wildlife Backyard. I wonder what the NWF would think of you, 2gonefishing, actually encouraging cats in your supposed native habitat? I can't believe if they knew, you'd have your certificate and if you have one, your plague. Why would you go through all that the NWF requires (if you even did) and then allow cats into your supposed "habitat"??
I have a cat INDOORS. I have a native garden and fish pond and neighbors letting their cats reproduce turning feral, crapping in my flower beds. I simply refuse to make a sand box to encourage more. People cause the problems by not fixing their animals and then we have to try and correct it when they become a menace at the cats expense. I have had to resort to trapping them which I hate, so unless you have 50 acres and no neighbors keep them indoors and get them fixed please! It is the kindest for all concerned and it is called being a responsible pet owner.