cats are scratching my tree trunks

heidiho(St. Martinville, La. Zn.8)March 12, 2010

My neighbor has 2 outdoor cats and they are scratching the bark from both of our weeping willow trees. What can we do to stop them without harming the trees or the cats?

We have elm,oak,maple and other assorted trees and they don't scratch these; only the willows.

Thanks for your time and have a nice day.

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A ring of chicken wire round the base of the tree will stop them. You won't need to leave it there too long, they'll soon give up and find some new scratching posts elsewhere. That might be one of your other trees, of course . . .


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 5:09AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

How ironic that they are only scratching on the willows...they must be telling you something.

The above suggestion is the easiest solution...but he brings a up a good point, they may move on to the other trees. Do you really want that?

Looks like you need to put a cat scratching post next to the tree.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:12AM
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heidiho(St. Martinville, La. Zn.8)

Great ideas!! Thanks for the suggestions and quick response. Even the scratching post next to the trees is not a bad idea. Funny, but not bad.
Thanks again and have a very nice weekend. You've been a great help.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:05PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

I've had the same problem. The link takes you to what I use. They have worked well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Trunk Protectors

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:35PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

There are scratching posts made of eastern red cedar...maybe go to the local public works (is that the right division?) and see if they cut down any of these types and put it out for the little'd have to strip it so only the wood is exposed.

Sounds like alot of work but it depends on much damage they are doing and if you don't want them to move on to other trees.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 6:37PM
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Dan Staley

Forestry would have cedar logs or rounds, unless you are in a small town then it would likely be PW. But I wonder if the cats want the salicylic acid in the tree for some reason.

Lastly, on thin-barked trees, I like the material arktrees uses - you can get a plastic mesh at bigbox that is ~30" and a tight weave - we use it to keep the bunnies away and it doesn't damage the plants.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 6:42PM
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If the area is mulched and there are no children running through it, I cut squares of chicken wire (8 inches by 8 inches) and break off some of the inner squares so that the wire protrudes upwards. I then set them around
the base of the vulnerable trees and secure them with landscaping pins.
You can also bend the wire so that it is even less likely to puncture paws
(or your feet in the event you forget to not tread on the area). But it works.
Barring the arrival of new cats, I can remove them after awhile, as the local felines quickly choose to avoid the area.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 9:30PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You probably don't have to make the wire ferocious to turn the kitties away with it.

For kiddies you would have to use a pretty serious deterrent.

At least they are not scratching your legs.

The cats, that is.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 12:05AM
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I used hardware cloth to protect a Winged Elm. Cat then started using the Cedar Elm, which promptly got the same treatment. I've started letting lower limbs grow on other trees in an effort to discourage kitty from turning them into scratching posts. So far that has also been helpful.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:23AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

lol, bboy.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:17PM
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