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#121273 - Tue Jul 23 2002 08:22 AM Cats in the flowerbed
Linda1 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
I could have sworn we had a thread on this before, but I'm not seeing it. So, forgive me if I'm repeating something here.

I have a coworker who does not have cats. Doesn't really like them, I don't think, but that's beside the point.

Seems, though, that all the neighborhood cats LOVE his flowerbeds. They all come to dig in his flowers and ruin his hard work.

His opinion is that the cats should be kept indoors by the owners. That's my opinion, too. But, again, beside the point, as that's not what's happening!

Because the problem is just getting worse, he's had to start trapping the animals and taking them to the County Shelter. That tears me up to hear that, because I'm scared he's going to catch someone's lost cat (that might not ordinarily be outside), take it to the animal shelter, and they'll kill it.

So, I'm determined to help him find a solution to the problem that doesn't involve trapping the cats.

He's tried mothballs (they're good, but they melt in the sun, he says), pepper (doesn't work), dousing them with water when he sees them in his beds (only works if he's there to catch them doing it), commercial products (none work), and several other solutions.

Does anyone here have any surefire ways of preventing them from digging WITHOUT harming the animals? It must be a completely safe method of just making them go elsewhere to dig.

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#121274 - Tue Jul 23 2002 09:55 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BritishColumbia Canada
What about that "garden carpet" stuff. It's like a plastic(?) liner type thing you put OVER the bed when planting in spring and you make little holes to poke the bedding plants in. Or a cedar chip cover? I don't really know if that helps, either. Has he tried filling a pop can with small, noisy pebbles and throwing it near them when they arrive? All of these take effort, and I don't even know if they would work!

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#121275 - Tue Jul 23 2002 12:39 PM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 17675
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Has he tried a dog?

lefois, the plastic around the plants is apparently not a good idea, something to do with retaining too much heat in the soil and not allowing the soil to 'breathe'.
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#121276 - Wed Jul 24 2002 09:36 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Leau Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Sun Jun 16 2002
Posts: 5337
Loc: Nijmegen/Brisbane
I have been told that spreading coffee grounds (is this English?) around the area you want to protect keeps cats away. Don't know for sure if it works, but it's worth a try...
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#121277 - Wed Jul 24 2002 10:51 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BritishColumbia Canada
But ozzybaby! I'm (again) in the frozen north! Although it was 35c yesterday it mostly rains and is cool here! I wasn't thinking! (Geez, I say that an awful lot!) How about a toss of a firecracker, or a string of those little ones....not too close, mind you...but that would get just about any furry little critter moving and thinking twice???? I love cats, I do!

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#121278 - Wed Jul 24 2002 11:43 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Linda1 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
The problem with noisemakers and things like that is that he has to be there at the time that the cats are there.

Throwing water on them is the same as making noise. And, it does work. But, he can't be out there 24/7 to do it.

What he's having problems with is the fact that the cats are getting in there when he's not around to run them off. He needs ideas on what to do, so they don't come at 2:00 in the morning to dig.

He's not fond of any animals, so a dog (while a good idea) wouldn't work for him.

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Cats know what we feel. They don't care, but they know.

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#121279 - Wed Jul 24 2002 12:41 PM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Leau Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Sun Jun 16 2002
Posts: 5337
Loc: Nijmegen/Brisbane
In addition to the coffee grounds, I heard that you are supposed to bury the mothballs, so they won't melt. Maybe that works...?
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#121280 - Wed Jul 24 2002 01:28 PM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 17675
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
Perhaps checking with the local plant nursery may yield results- maybe there are plants a cat would be sensitive to.

lefois- I did not realise it got that warm at the top of Canada! Doesn't your igloo melt?
_________________________
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.

Editor, Hobbies and Sports, and Forum Moderator

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#121281 - Wed Jul 24 2002 02:10 PM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18445
Loc: California USA
The Hawaiians had some contraption in their lawns to discourage dogs from doing their business, it was a jar with something in it. Can't remember but they swore by it. Could have been a kahuna's curse.
I'll check into it. There were jars embedded into the lawns as you walked around.
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#121282 - Wed Jul 24 2002 03:17 PM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
sue943 Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36023
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
The very best way of keeping cats out of your garden is to have your own cat! Unfortunately you have said that isn't an option.

What about something uncomfortable to walk on? I can't think what you could get which would be unpleasant for them.
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#121283 - Thu Jul 25 2002 12:01 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Vanyar Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Feb 21 2002
Posts: 117
Loc: Canada
Linda,

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but cats absolutely hate the smell of citrus (such as oranges or lemons). My cat always used to chew on my telephone cords, so we got a citrus spray to put on the cords. He never touched the cords again.

See if your friends can find such a product. It should be real citrus I think, it can't be some fake scented stuff. Or maybe plant a citrus plant in his garden, see if that will work.
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#121284 - Thu Jul 25 2002 09:45 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18445
Loc: California USA
The products that I saw in my search all used citrus too. Now it makes sense why Sylvester was acting weird with lemons.

The State of Hawaii apparently has strict legislation on letting your cats or dogs go on your neighbors' lawns...they do pop up quite frequently on Google.
Can't find the jar thing though...almost every Japanese American or Hawaiian neighborhood had little jars embedded in their lawns for this purpose.
But don't know what was in the jar!

They also used this to catch cockroaches, they put bait in the bottom of the jar and then the roach can't exit. (they check in but they don't check out.)

I found this a natural non chemical method to deal with the problem.
Guess what they put as bait? Peanut butter!

The cats didn't like what was in the jar though...someone know what it was?


back again! I'm NOT crazy. Just found it with the UH Manoa site. It is apparently a myth but they cite it.
It may be an Asian thing as they say the dog sees his reflection!
Try this Acrobat doc.http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/TM-11.pdf

No cats though.

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I was born under a wandering star.

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#121285 - Thu Jul 25 2002 09:50 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18445
Loc: California USA
Here's another tip I found...interesting. Guess cats and dogs are teetotallers.

"Dogs and cats will be repelled by a mix of two (2) cups of isopropyl rubbing alcohol (70%) and one (1) teaspoon of lemon grass oil. Brush or spray the liquid mix on an area you want dogs and cats to avoid. "


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I was born under a wandering star.

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#121286 - Thu Jul 25 2002 10:13 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
lefois Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Feb 01 2002
Posts: 6246
Loc: Kitimat BritishColumbia Canada
Found a few very good suggestions here.....

http://www.maskedflowerimages.com/pestcontrol.html

I like the plastic spikes one!

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#121287 - Thu Jul 25 2002 10:32 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Linda1 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Thanks, everyone! I'm passing these hints along to him as I get them.

Keep 'em coming! You may be the ones to stop these little kitties from going to the pound.

_________________________
Cats know what we feel. They don't care, but they know.

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#121288 - Sun Jul 28 2002 04:51 AM Re: Cats in the flowerbed
Paradis Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Mon Apr 29 2002
Posts: 229
Loc: Somewhere out there
I too have this problem in my lovely garden, having to clear plenty of unmentionables. I have tried many 'cures' from commercial products to tips from friends, nothing has ever worked. Unless you are preparred to sit in the garden 24/7 you will not keep them away.

Maybe a 20 foot fence, topped with barbed wire?

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