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Beginner Landscaping: fragrant flowers to cover urine smell

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Forum: Beginner LandscapingReplies: 19, Views: 339
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Rochester, MN

May 9, 2007
10:38 AM

Post #3479074

I have a strong cat urine smell in front of my house. I dont know if neighbor cats have urinated in my yard or if the smell is coming from other places. I cant even open windows that face that way because the smell travels into the home. Any suggestions on what I can plant to mask the odor? I live in southeast minnesota.
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2007
1:37 PM

Post #3479706

What kind of sun does that side of your house get?
Rochester, MN

May 9, 2007
2:30 PM

Post #3479848

It's mostly shaded, with very very little sun through the trees.
Naperville, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 9, 2007
2:38 PM

Post #3479885

by chance, was new mulch put down recently in that area? sometimes mulch goes bad and stinks like cat pee. i think it produces ammonia or something like that. there are also some shrubs commonly used in midwest landscapes that bloom in the spring and they flowers really reek like cat pee as well, imo. i don't remember what the name of the shrub is, though.

i know cat urine has a strong smell, but i just can't imagine you would get such a strong smell outdoors from a cat urinating on your lawn. are there a lot of strays in your neighborhood? we have several outdoor cats that like to hang out in our front garden beds and i've never noticed a urine smell.

just throwing some ideas out there in case the cause of the smell could be easily remedied without having to make drastic changes.

good luck.
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 9, 2007
3:39 PM

Post #3480043

Anytime I've smelled that strong cat pee smell, it's always turned out there was a water leak and my carpet padding was rotting. So I agree that it's more likely something decomposing rather than cats. I don't think you're going to cover up an odor that strong with flowers, there's an area in my yard where my dog pees and I planted fragrant flowers all around but it doesn't help the smell, I end up having to hose down that part of the yard to get rid of the smell (yard is crushed gravel). If by some chance it really is cats though I think the better solution is to do something to prevent the cats from going there--I think hot pepper works, or you can buy these little mats with spikes and put those in the part of the garden you don't want them in (Gardeners Supply sells these)
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2007
6:02 PM

Post #3480430

A couple more ideas if it's cats--lots of pine cones around the bed keeps the cats out (dogs too). Also, get as cheap and big a can of black pepper as you can find and sprinkle it around your garden. Cats like to sniff around first and will get a good snootful of it--I've always had real good luck with it.
Rochester, MN

May 9, 2007
8:36 PM

Post #3480906

We did just put down 5 bags of red mulch! I did not know it could smell like that. Now that I know it is most likely that, is there a way to mask that problem. Or does it just go away by itself. Thank You for all of your help.
Carmichael, CA

May 9, 2007
8:51 PM

Post #3480973

Wow...nice to see someone had answers that prove the cats weren't the problem. lol

How about mixing the mulch up with a rake so it can dry out? May have to do this daily..any ideas?
Champaign, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2007
10:10 PM

Post #3481290

Sprinkle baking soda in it to soak up the smell? I think I read in the terrarium forum that you can use charcoal(the stuff for fishtanks) in the dirt to keep it from smelling...maybe that would help with the mulch?
Naperville, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 10, 2007
12:08 PM

Post #3482985

i think the smell just goes away after a while, probably because it dries out so raking it might help.
Stanford, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 10, 2007
7:54 PM

Post #3484342

Try putting Colgate kid's bubblegum flavored toothpaste in small cups and spreading them around the garden or I guess you could just put it on the ground. It's the best odor eliminator I've ever found. I don't know how it would do in the open air because I just use it in enclosed places but it works like magic in bathrooms.
Crosbyton, TX
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2007
8:01 PM

Post #3484371

doss...does the toothpaste end up making the area smell like bubblegum?...i would hate having that smell around...
Hilliard, OH

July 17, 2007
12:42 PM

Post #3745693

I know this reply is a little late, but if your cat urine smell hasn't gone away by now, I'm betting you have boxwoods planted in that area. They are very pretty shrubs, but can have a strong odor that smells like cat urine. There isn't much you can do about it but remove the plants. I have a beautiful hedge of boxwoods under my bay window, and I put up with the smell because they look so nice. But when the windows are open the house does smell like cat urine!
College Station, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 19, 2007
2:47 AM

Post #3753189

My sister in law swears that Lantana smells like cat urine to her.
Mays Landing, NJ
(Zone 7a)

July 28, 2007
8:57 PM

Post #3790089

When I moved into my first house I had the same problem and it really was cats urinating in the dirt along the foundation. Every time it rained my kitchen stunk like cat pee and I'd scrub the floor thinking that my cats (insiders) didn't like their new home. Someone told me to cover the dirt with chicken wire and douse it with beach. It worked great and no more pee smell in my kitchen.
Kalamazoo, MI

August 5, 2008
8:26 PM

Post #5373168

Big Lake, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 5, 2008
9:01 PM

Post #5373302

I'm sure you posted this just to see the reaction you get, but I would be careful if I were you. Up here people have been fined and jailed for such an offense, better hope nobody in your area reads this and is able to track you down or have the police track you down. What a way to pollute a lake. I am no cat lover but reading this made be feel very sorry for you. What an unhappy person you must be to be able to take such an action and revel in it.
Bella Vista, AR
(Zone 6b)

August 5, 2008
10:58 PM

Post #5373710

Sorry, double45, but if that was an attempt at humor, it wasn't very funny.
College Station, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 6, 2008
2:54 AM

Post #5375013

Some people just don't like cats. It's a shame and I don't understand why, but it's the way some folks are. I have three and they come when called (mostly, lol) and protect me from haints at night. It must be true I haven't been attacked by a haint since I've had them. Well not before either but that's irrelevant, lol.
Copper Canyon Daisies have a strong fragrance whether they're blooming or not. I wonder if that would do the trick.

Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

August 6, 2008
3:16 AM

Post #5375116

I agree with the sentiment about trapping the cat and dunking it, etc. I find no humor in it whatsoever. That's just mean and cruel.

Un-fixed male cats have urine and that "spray" they emit which could also be a symptom or cause. It seems like water "re-activates" the smell...maybe not, but it seems like it to me.

One MORE reason people need to have their animals neutered.

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