Used cat litter as deer repellent??

Burns, TN(Zone 6b)

I planted several dozen crocus in pots for a client this past season, along with a few hyacinth bulbs. Today I found the pots and what little greenery was left from the sprouting bulbs ravaged by what appears to be a deer. I was suggesting various repellent methods, but she wondered if used cat litter would be effective, similar to a predator urine. Anybody have any experience or thoughts about this??

Thanks, Mike

Saint Peters, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't know about deer, but it works for rabbits. Many products that repel rabbits also, repel deer.

I have a cat, so I thought it would be worth a try. It works quite well.

One day a rabbit was in my yard after I had dumped used cat litter along 3/4 of my back fence. I chased the stupid animal and it ran along the fence line not crossing the litter. After it got passed the litter, it ran throught the fence.

It's worth a try. : )

Klamath Falls, OR(Zone 6a)


Be very careful when you handle or use dog or cat waste for any purpose. It can contain pathogens that may cause very serious illness to humans.

As far as the critters eating your plants is concerned, the only really effective method I've found is to protect them with some kind of barrier. If they are in pots, perhaps you could enclose them or cover them or put them somewhere where the deer couldn't get at them. Most of the commercial or non-commercial methods seem to work on a temporary basis only, but once the animal becomes accustomed to the taste or smell or surprise, it loses the effectiveness and you are back to square one. The degree to which they will browse your plants is largely dependent upon how hungry they are and what other foodstuff is nearby. Of course, there are certain plants they prefer and some they don't like, but most deer will eat just about anything if they have to to survive. If I sound like a know-it-all it's because I spent 15 years trying to outsmart these wiley guys, and guess what? They won!!!!!

Littleton, CO(Zone 5a)

Do you think the cat litter trick would work for mice. I am getting conflicting info on weather or not mice will eat bulbs/roots/plants in general. But I am sure they are making condos in my mulch. Any advice?
By the by I spent my High Schools years (25 yrs ago) in St. Peters. I was back a couple of years ago and couldn't believe how much it had grown. Odd for me to a name from there it used to be such a "small" town.
Thanks for your help

Saint Peters, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm not sure about the mice. You might try a search on the forums to see what comes up. They might not be a problem once you brush away some of it in the spring. I'm surprised I haven't had a problem with mice. Our house is backed by commons & a creek, so we have some other critters but I've never noticed mice. If you know St. Peters, we live in Brookmount, near one of the trails.

I think it is very strange that deer & rabbits are repelled by the same things. In my thinking, deer & rabbits are quite different. I don't think deer are rodents. : )

If you think St. Peters has grown, you wouldn't believe O'Fallon. We lived in OK for a couple years & I thought I was in the wrong city when we drove up to O'Fallon from 40.

So how'd you get from St. Peters to Colorado?

By the way, I don't handle any cat litter. I just take the litter box & dump it at the back fence. I don't handle it as much dumping it as I would bagging it up to put in the trash.

Lewiston, CA(Zone 7b)

I have found cat litter to work for gophers, but I don't leave it on top of the ground it gets too slimy & the color sticks out like a sore thumb in my garden.
I have been waging a war with the "Bambies" also, They eat everything they can get their lips on, including things that are on the "Deer Proof" list. I have tried many things, the neighbor uses that Deer Fence, spray & says it works, I have a huge yard & find that commercial stuff a bit pricey. I shoot BBs at them if I see them, I have tossed water bombs at them & that really freaks them out! But you gotta be there. My other neighbors put up a 8' electric fence @ $1500. and the deer go right thru it. I guess their hair is hollow so they don't feel the shock like cattle or horses do.
The Egg mix with hot sauce works if you remember to respray it after rain or sprinklers. I now have a new dog that likes to chase them out of the yard, so I think my spraying days may be over. I have fencing around my shrubs that are far out in the yard. They come in at night, they are very sneaky!
Good luck!

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

My neighbor walks around his property
It worked and keeps the deer out of his garden.
To funny,my crazy Mom was the one who
told him to do it,so far so good.

My dogs and cats go where ever they want,
as long as your not putting their manure on
your veggies you'll be just fine.
I do put my horses manure on them though.

New York, NY(Zone 7a)

All the native predators of deer will happily eat rabbits too. (Wolves will eat mice if nothing bigger is available.) Rabbits aren't quite rodents, though there are a lot of similarities; in terms of diet, they do have a lot in common with deer. Rabbits and deer both chew their cud (I don't think any rodents do) and have some nifty beneficial bacteria to crack cellulose into digestible sugars. What's just fiber to us is food for them. They've got very clever digestive systems in general, able to outsmart a lot of the poisons and repellents that plants produce naturally to keep from being eaten. Many plants that are poisonous to us are OK food for them (that's true of rodents too, of course -- squirrels live on acorns, but most acorns are poisonous to people, at least raw and unsoaked.) The deer-resistant plants aren't their favorites, and I wouldn't be surprised if a 100% helleborus diet made them ill, but as Sharvis said, they'll eat anything if they're hungry enough.

Some deer-resistant plants have a texture they don't like, and humans can change the texture of foods by cooking them. But in general I tend to assume that deer-resistant plants are poisonous to people.

Dogs and cats, especially cats, have a minimalist digestive system that's designed for meat, without a lot of the fancy chemistry that lets pigs eat acorns and people eat onions. That's why innocuous stuff like garlic powder and chocolate is dangerous to them.

I sure didn't know deer could get through an 8' electric fence! Maybe a live dog or two to chase them is the only sure method.

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

I have 8 dogs;no deer near my house;maybe 200 ft away they keep their distance.Jody

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Really do be careful about where you leave body wastes/byproducts. Parasites in cat feces can do serious damage to a developing human fetus. I kind of hate to stick this in here but please be careful.

Sand Springs, OK(Zone 7a)

Ever hear of kitty Aids ? it is real and at this point in time a lot of diseases are crossing species ?

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

No human fetus around'm to old and my grandkids are already born.I have 43 acres and i've neard all the hoorors about cat poo on here and nothing like that has ever happened to anyone that i know of out in the country.Yes I've heard of kitty aids not compatable with human just read up on it.Jody

New York, NY(Zone 7a)

I think Badseed was talking about toxoplasmosis, not FIV. Toxoplasmosis is a mild disease in most adults and children (and cats), but pregnant women have to avoid it because it can harm a fetus. (Got me out of changing litterboxes all through my pregnancy.) FIV and FIP and other kitty scourges are unlikely candidates for crossovers, but apparently cats can catch some strains of avian influenza and transmit it to humans -- though probably not through old litterbox waste.

Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

cmdgarden Sounds like deer may have had a hay day on those plants. I have tried using some yucky smelling bottles of cologne watered down slighly to make it go farther. Simply put a few squirts near your plants and that seems to work for a quick fix. Deer have been such a nuisance for me in northwestern Missouri that I fenced in my garden but I know thats not feasible or aesthetic for everyone. You have lots of things people use to try to deter deer from eating there plants but I'm not sure what consistently works every time. I'm new on Dave's and enjoyed everyones ideas they have sent you about this deer problem. Best of luck on this!

Palmyra, IL(Zone 5b)

Wonder do deer eat garlic?

Winnipeg, MB(Zone 4a)

I think I'll tell DH about the man thing to He'll get a kick about that.
:) Donna

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