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Cat Scratch - Gives Me a Fever!

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

She's a beauty but she will dig in my gardens and it's *so* annoying. I have some hardware cloth and am thinking of enclosing the bed, it's long and narrow, probably 15' x 2.5'. I would need to factor in a couple of gates so *I* can get in but that's adding complexity to the project. I've also thought of laying chicken wire in the bed. Anyone have opinions on what works as a cat deterrant? She has two - count 'em - two litter boxes but prefers the garden.

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Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

This link might give you some ideas! I always remember reading something about citrus peelings and it is listed below as well:

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I guess keeping her inside full-time isn't an option?

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

I think it's mean. She loves to bask in a sunny spot. We often see her up on the roof, facing east and greeting the morning sun.

gardadore, thanks for that link, there are some interesting ideas there. I can't see any of the 'deterrant by fragrance' lasting more than a day or so in our sun. I'll forget to refresh and all will have been for naught. Fencing or chicken wire in the bed is probably the only way. Sometimes folks have an idea that never would have entered my brain cells, so hoping for some of that enlighenment. :-)))

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

My son lives in Scottsdale and when I see the amount of lemons, oranges, and grapefruit his trees produce you would have a year's supply of citrus peelings and they could dry out every day just to be replaced the next! If you have any citrus trees in your back yard they might be useful for part of the year. Just throw the peels into the garden and enjoy the delicious fruit! It is always a treat when we go out at the time they are producing!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Mary ~ I have five girlies that are indoor/outdoor cats.
Yours is very pretty ~ tortoise shell marked?

When I first till or plant the raised beds, I cover the beds with cattle panels laid flat, I feel chicken wire would work also. I just happened to have the cattle panels from a dismantled plant shelter.

I've noticed when the plants get larger, the cats avoid the beds unless there is a bug they want to chase.

I also use short pieces of bamboo that I poke into the open areas of soil to discourage them.

If I plant a smaller new plant, I have some of those wire hanging baskets that are lined with coir. I long since composted the coir and turn the basket upside down over the newly planted items. That keeps the pets away from a specific plant. I also have a couple of those old wire egg baskets that I use in this manner.

Hope you are able to find a solution for your kitty and your garden. Kristi

I also have a small area (removed from the vegetable beds) that I plant catnip, oat grass, etc. This is their area and they guard it jealously. It is like they know that is an acceptable spot for them.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

gardadore, I have no citrus trees in my yard. Thank you for taking the time to reply, it's appreciated. The area I need to keep her out of is too large for a 'scented solution' but in another area that may work.

Kristi, She's not a tortoise shell, just a grey tabby. Covering with cattle panel type stuff is probably the best idea, augmented with bamboo poles, milk crates, etc. And I'll plant som catnip and oat grass for her. Do your cats lie in it? Do they use a litter box? Thanks for the note.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

The neighborhood cats used my flower bed as a giant litter box. I used black pepper as a deterrent. Just went to the dollar store and bought a bunch. It worked great until it rained.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Black pepper might be a cheap and easy solution. I'll keep that in mind here too if needed.

Five cats, three litter boxes should be no waiting...

They will lay around in the oat grass but also will graze it. I find all cats like to eat grass like we eat salads but if mine eat outdoor grass they barf. Seems easy for them to digest the oat grass which is marketed as cat grass. We have a boy cat at work too and I plant him a pot of oats occasionally. He wants his catnip dry. The catnip is an great attractant and the cats will chew on it and roll in it, sometimes so avidly they will kill the patch so I also keep some in a pot. Hopefully you won't make it so inviting, the neighborhood cats will come over...

On using the cattle panel overlays, I also use that as a planting grid. As the plants get larger, it is easy to remove.

The first photo is a bed that I had planted potatoes with winter arugula still in this end.
The next one is one of those wire baskets turned upside down on a new dill planting.
The third is a recently planted bed so you can see how a planting grid would be easy.
The fourth is a grown and mulched bed but if you look to the bottom right, edited to change to bottom left or as DH says ' your other right' lol . you will see a basket that I set in there to protect a newly planted herb.
The last one shows some of the bamboo stakes.
Hope that isn't overload but it works for me...

This message was edited May 13, 2012 8:37 AM

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Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

That's great, not overload at all. Great ideas. I love the third picture, not what I though a cattle panel was. I have two more of these white trellis thingies....the former owner placed these 'gates' across the arches that surround the patio. We do not understand why he would want to block passage - we took them out and opened up the patio nicely. I'll dig out the other two and place them in the beds. It will work for now, just to keep the cat out. It's 104 today so I probably won't get much planting done.

And I'll hit the dollar store today for a good supply of black pepper. Thanks jomoncon.....doesn't rain much here. :-

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Pod, I should've known that you'd come up with the idea to use the cattle panel as a planting grid! Brilliant!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Mary ~ it is most practical to use what you got. That's all I was doing with my junqueyard of stuff. lol How old is your kitty?

BTW ~ that cattle panel is just a piece of it. We cut them up to build a winter plant shelter years ago. When I got the greenhouse, I took the shelter apart and am using the pieces for trellises, etc.

Stephanie ~ maybe not so brilliant. The seeds got rather rearranged when we had one of those 'toad strangler' rains that we prayed for last summer. They are sprouting but in clumps. I need to uproot and replant them. Grrrr ~ Kristi

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Dollar store only had small containers of black pepper, I hit the regular grocery store and got a large container. She also like to pee around one of the mesquite trees - and it smells like it. I'll use the pepper there and once beds are planted maybe I can use it in small spots that will be hard to cover.

Kristi, she's 8 or 9. We brought her with us when we moved from Hawaii back to Phx. Lily The Cat. Here's a good pic of her in a sun spot - that's just a tiny little spot amongst a bunch of yard junque - to coin a phrase. Saw her trying to get up on the roof this morning but the lady banks has grown too thick to let her walk the wall.

Thanks to *everyone* for the suggestions. DH helped me dislodge the trellis thingies from the hedge of thevetia trees that was eating them.

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Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

For large containers of things like powdered garlic which I use in the garden, check places like Sam's or Costco.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

I agree, unfortunately there is not one convenient. I'll stock up though next time I'm there.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have to use cattle panels to keep the pea fowl out of pots, for some reason they will only go in the garden if the gate is open. Lol. I can't imagine keeping my cats in the house but I live very rural one, named Tank follows me everywhere. He even watchs me from the window if he's not with me. So far he has peed in a hole that had water and a tomato plant in it but hadn't been back filled yet, then he sat in a hole that had a tomato plant in it but hadn't been back filled. If I won't let him in the garden he jumps the fence. He was a barn cat for a couple of years but he has really adjusted to being a pet, but I'm not sure if he's meant to be a gardener. Lol

Fairfield County, CT(Zone 6b)

I put my cat nip plants in cages in the garden so greedy kitties can't eat the WHOLE plant - just nibble on what sticks out of the wire.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I do that too. I've had them turn a pot of it upside down and dump the plant out, roots and all.
I will never know what catnip tea tastes like... lol Kristi

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'll have to try cat nip. Just what Tank needs another reason to get in the garden. Think I'll grow it on the deck....

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Yeah, I'll try it too. Thanks for the tip Kristi.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Lisa... give him his own garden spot. It may help keep him occupied and out of yours. Love the name 'Tank'.

I had a new pot of catnip seedlings sprouting that were tucked back in a corner and I noticed the girlies managed to find it. They are fun to watch when they schmooze around on the pot and the plants.

An old thread but I still have the cat and four more, three of which have joined the obsession.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

That was a fun thread Kristi. I'll have to find some catnip for LilyThe Cat.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have catnip growing everywhere,that is why when kitty wakes up (yes my cat sleeps all day during hot weather) he's up by the house first thing. Jokes from cat haters about the catnip growing beside the driveway?

MY own is probably the only animal in five blocks that doesn't want to go potty in my garden .For that I am thankful.

Just waving on my way back to sleep

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Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I used chicken wire and it worked fine. I "tented it up" a little. By the time the seedlings were tall enoguh to poke in to the chicken wire, they were big enough that the cats respected them and stayed away.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Bought some catnip seed today!

Rick, do you leave the chicken wire in place all season or take it up once you have sprouts?

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

I have the perfect solution for you. If you kitty is spayed and declawed in front send her to me via air freight and I'll pay the shipping cost. :)

My house cat has free range indoors so I don't worry about where my four garden cats rest room in the garden. It's not like every time they go it is in the garden. We have 30 acres neighbored on two sides by 100 + acre ranches.

I can remember only one or two instances where they damaged seedlings. I always plant enough that thinning is required so losing a couple seedlings to cat accidents is no biggie for me.

My cats are real good about catching critters in the garden so they always have the key to the Secret Garden.

Let me know when you are ready to ship her so I can PayPal you the funds. :)

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Much of this because many of us are people packed.We are mostly right on top of each other as the saying goes.Without as as much room as you have t'rock the animals can get a little destructive.
Truthfully, I enjoy the animals ,including my adopted feral, even if I don't attach them anymore.
One would imagine yours must really enjoy all that space to roam and run, cats being what cats are.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Kristy-Tank can go anywhere he wants. But the choices he makes, make me laugh. Ive never seen a cat like him. As I type he is laying in the computer chair and Im standing up typing... crazy I know. He was named "harry" but after he knocked over a few hundred things we changed it. He just jumps with no idea about where he is going to land. Hes knocked full glasses off tables because they were in the way when he landed. THen he just looks over the side of the table like "hummm, how did that happen?" I have yet to have cats use my garden as a litter box, The 5' fence deters them I guess, but if Im in there hes going to be too.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks t-rock but Lily's a keeper. Just gotta be creative so she quits digging where she's not supposed to. It's not a once-in-a-while kind of's over the top.

Lisa, Tank sounds like a wonderful pet!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Rick, do you leave the chicken wire in place all season or take it up once you have sprouts?

As soon as the sprouts apear, I make sure it is propped up or self-supporting "hooped" up a few in ches above the soil. (The first year, I thought squirrels were doing some of the damage, so I weigthed down the edges a lot.)

Then, when the sprouts are just starting to push through the wire, I remove it. Just before that, and for several days after, I make sure there is a good amount of chili pepper flakes and hot chili or cayenne powder sprinkled around the periphery.

For whatever reason, once they decide it is not a litter box, they stay away. I think the plants have to be above a certain size ... and maybe the fresh-turned soil smell must fade. Or, my soil crusts so fast, it looses its appeal quickly.

>> 30 acres neighbored on two sides by 100 + acre ranches.

Hmm, I think my whole manufactured home park might be as much as 15-20 acres. Say around 200 human residents and I would guess 30-60 very bored and lazy outdoor cats. We probably have 3 cats for every squirrel, but the cats are too lazy to chase the tree rats.

When my Toby was much younger, he was a great mouser. When I moved to the new plac e, he was imtimidated by all the strange cats (fat lazy cats!!) and didn't go out much. I started teasing him for no longer being the Mighty Hunter, and he must have understood the mockery with which I was saying "mousey".

Well, an hour later he barely dragged through his cat door the BIGGEST RAT I had ever seen.

He flicked his tail at me and went back to sleep.

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Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Rick, Aren't cat doors the greatest? Mine doesn't kill - just brings them in to play with and to show me she loves me. So far two tiny snakes, one mouse and numerous lizards. She has no front claws so I'm guessing that's all she can catch.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Rick, Toby's a beauty, very similar markings to Lily. She has never been big on bringing in the gifts, fortunately.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Even if it belongs on another thread I love the pets,were all lucky to have any of them!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Toby's a beauty,

Thank you! He's a sweetie, even if he is disapointed in me. I'm hard to train.

>> Aren't cat doors the greatest?

YES! I don't mind the rodent playmates as much as the birds. He has mostly stopped doinng that, however.

In a prior house, some raccoon learned to use the cat door. They are MEAN! And smart enough to avoid traps. Once we tied the cupboard doors shut, it got angry and tore the kitchen up several nights running. We finally resorted to poison. :-( I don't know if it took a fatal dose, but it didn't come back.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

We had a feral cat that found our dog/cat door, he marked all over the laundry room and even came all the way inside to dine at Lily's dish, then sprayed the wall there. I trapped him and took him to the pound. Sad but true. Can't have that behavior. So the convenience of that door is a mixed blessing around here. So far, that took care of the feral cats in the 'hood. It's been a couple of years.

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

My cat's door is a window insert with a plastic night door that is always locked at night. Thankfully, no varmints do far.

Every morning at or a little before daylight Ms Pretty scratches with her no front claws next to my pillow. I know it's time for her to go out.

Here is a couple pics of my canning helper.

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Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

She's a pretty can inspector! The colors remind me of a pound cat we named "Clara" after the "Clairol" line of hair coloring products.

>> always locked at night.

That's smart. But if I did that to Toby, he would probably be jumping up and down on my stomach from 7 am onwards. He has not had a lot of success training me, but he is very persistent.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

And the realization they, all the kitties, have litter boxes,but just think how frustrated all of you would be if you had to train them to take you outside,or you had to stay inside until you could convince them to let you out.,
That would be rather weird, wouldn't it?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

That's why I have a litter box. They don't use it often but they can if they need to. There is no way I would get a good nights sleep leaving a critter door unlocked at night. Im not sure I would be comfortable leaving it open during the day! I was working in the garden this evening and came across 2 scorpions. YUCK!

Last summer I put food out for the cats and turned around after hearing a funny noise, and the cat had turned into a raccoon

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

"The Cat That Turned Into a Racoon!" - sounds like the makings for a Saturday afternoon scary flick!

This is a fun thread, maybe just a little misplaced in the Veggie Gardening forum - oh well. ;-)

It's a long story and has to do with that feral cat noted above but Lily will no longer go through the laundry room doggie door so DH put a cat door in the screen of Lily's bedroom. One morning I went in to Lily's room to fill her food dish and a cat I'd never seen before jumped from her bed out the window. We locked her in for a few nights after that. It's been a few months and there's has not been a recurrance. She is unhappy to be trapped either in or out so we just go with it. She's actually closer to 20 years old, not the 8 or 9 I posted above.....time flies....we've been back from Hawaii for 10 years and she was 6 or 7 then! Jeez.

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