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Cats in the containers!

Posted by jajm4 z5 w. mass usa (My Page) on
Mon, May 30, 11 at 16:52

I have strawberries growing in a "kiddie pool" (with soil, not water, obviously. They've been looking great.

This morning when I went to see if they needed water, I noticed that one of the plants was wilted and dead-looking, while the others were fine. That one also had wet soil while the others needed watering.

Hmmmn....

Later this afternoon, I saw a cat climb into the pool and pee.

Okay. Mystery solved.

I tried tossing some window screen over the surface to let cats know they aren't welcome, but then I saw a cat come by and push the screen out of her way so she could still pee in the strawberries.

Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!

I figure I now need to protect my containers with more securely built fencing of cheesecloth? chicken wire? or some other barrier, so cats won't decide my garden looks like a great place to pee.

I scooped out the soil around the obviously-peed on areas, but I'm wondering if I need to trash ALL the soil and plants in the pool?

How dangerous would it be?

I don't have any way of knowing for sure that there haven't been any other incidents of litter box behavior.

I would hate to have to throw out all my plants and the soil mix and start over. I have lots of containers out there, and I can't be sure none of the other ones were visited by cats, either.

Has anyone else had this problem?

What would you do?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cats in the containers!

Pee is gross, but it's sterile, so you don't really need to worry about that. (Just hose down anything you think it touched.) As you clearly know, cat feces are a problem. I have had the same problem with my one inground garden. Using gloves and a trowel, I carefully search for and dispose of that and the soil immediately around it. To prevent additional cat visits, I sprinkled cayenne all around my plants. This appears to work, although I have to do it after every rain.


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RE: Cats in the containers!

The ideal solution? Well, I'll keep that to myself. Anyways, there is absolutely nothing worse then people who let their HOUSE cats wander around outside where they get into other people's stuff, and kill the song birds at people's feeders. If there wasn't a law prohibiting dispatching of ferel cats, I'd have no problem taking care of business. Obviously it's illegal, so I am forced to take care of matters in other ways. Here's how I dealth with a certain orange cat that was hiding in the bushes by my deck, stalking my feeder birds. Note that I have witnessed them eating birds, so I as a bird feeder have a responsibility to keep my birds safe. Here's what I did:

I saw the cat's head sticking out of a mugo pine by the step down from my deck. I installed a nice new, super quiet sliding patio door last spring, so I very softly opened the door, and sneaked up behind the cat. It never saw or heard me. I had a big air horn made for those safety kits on boats. I got the horn right up behind it's head, and let out a huge blast. TOOOOOOT! It was the funniest thing I ever saw. The cat jumped about 6 feet in the air, hit the ground with it's legs moving like scooby-doo. It ran as fast as it could, until I couldn't see it anymore. I NEVER saw the cat again....problem solved. Or, chicken wire works :)

Joe


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RE: Cats in the containers!

Domestic cats are apparently one of the biggest threats to many threated species of birds in the US. Who knew ::shrugs::

Anyway, citronella and citrus oils are supposed to be very good at deterring cats. It's worth a shot :P The herb rue is sometimes named as a cat deterrent as well. Check out the thread linked.

Here is a link that might be useful: rue for cats


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RE: Cats in the containers!

Pine cone "mulch" or rose plant trimmings (or both). I've, also, read that crumpled tin foil works.


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RE: Cats in the containers!

For a kiddie pool, you might need 2 or 3 packs, but get some plastic forks. Stick them in handle-first, so the tines are sticking up. You'll need to do a wide enough area around the edge so that kitty can't take that first step in without getting poked. Works for squirrels, too.

I agree with the scare tactic also. Joe1980 suggested an air horn, which sounds great. But anything you do to scare the @$&^(&^# out of a cat should help teach it to stay away.

Do you know who owns this cat? Talk to the owner? Call animal control?


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RE: Cats in the containers!

  • Posted by jajm4 z5 w. mass usa (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 1, 11 at 1:21

Thanks for all the deterrent ideas. I think I will be able to devise something to keep the kitties out in future. I was more worried about the possible health effects of contamination from previous visits.

I love cats as much as I love plants, I just want to keep everyone safe!


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RE: Cats in the containers!

Start over you dont want peepee plants


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RE: Cats in the containers!

I don't think this would work for a kiddie pool, but I surround the outside of my veggie containers with brush trimmings until the plants inside the containers get large enough to repell the cats.


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RE: Cats in the containers!

I wouldn't worry about cat pee in terms of health. As others have said it should be sterile short of the cat having urinary track infection.If anything I'd be concerned of all that high nitrogen burning your plants. Maybe water heavily (if pool is drained) to flush out that urea/ammonia.


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RE: Cats in the containers!

I have 8 cats. I cover the soil with decorative pebbles - the ones about 1 inch in diameter. a bag costs about $3 for 30 lbs, and I just spread them 1 layer thick. the cats don't try to dig up the rocks, and it won't hurt the soil if the rocks get stirred into the soil if you reuse soil year to year.


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