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Cat business

Posted by aachenelf z5 Mpls, MN (My Page) on
Tue, May 21, 13 at 6:00

With all the rain we've had lately, the garden is saturated and at least temporarily the neighborhood cats have stopped using the garden as their litter box. They've found another way to annoy me to death.

All my pathways are covered in a very thick layer of straw. Love that stuff! It keeps the weeds away, you can walk around in the garden after a rain without getting your shoes dirty, it's cheap and easily replaced. However, the layer of straw has now become the cat's litter box. They do their business, cover it up, I can't see it, I step in it, I get really angry. Thank God I am a fanatic about indoor shoes and outdoor shoes.

So, is their any product, any way to treat the straw, to deter the cats? I seem to remember seeing something advertized somewhere, but you never know if these things work or not.

Kevin


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cat business

I have talked about this before but not sure if it was on this forum. I heard about a recipe for "cat deterrent" and used it with great success.

I am not sure how large an area you are talking about but this still could work. Take one part 'Dettol' and mix with ten parts water (you may want to strengthen this by only using nine parts water if the 10 to 1 formula is not doing the job).
Put this in a spray bottle and spray the area.
This worked to stop cats from using the garbage cans for a "pee post" and then also worked on the front cement steps and porch when they decided that was an alternative. :-)
This of course would have to be repeated after a rain, but hopefully by then they would have decided to move on to another yard---perhaps their own! :-)

Now I know this smells like disinfectant (it is), but it is way better than the alternative. (and really isn't that strong especially diluted ten to one.


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RE: Cat business

I would say borrow someone's dog for a couple of weeks. :-) There has been one neighborhood cat who comes into the yard to our bird feeder. The cat is not using the yard as it's litter box, but was after the birds which I was unhappy about. I am babysitting my son's dog while he is at work during the day and when the dog spotted the cat on the top of the fence, she took off like a shot after the cat. Haven't seen that cat since. I think it scared the cat enough she may never come back again...lol. One added bonus, is that now that the dog saw the cat on the top of the fence, she has an eagle eye focused on it when she is in the yard and now takes off after every squirrel she sees. Now that tickles me.

The dog has two cats at home which she loves, so I would bet she actually wants to play, but the cat doesn't know that. She doesn't even bark.


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RE: Cat business

yes, I would be borrowing a dog - a large fierce and angry shouty type of dog.

Now, much as I loathe and despise (other people's) cats, I would be wary of the disinfectant method. I have read that any disinfectants which turn white or cloudy when water is added (and I am not sure whether Dettol is one of those but Jeye's Fluid certainly is) is toxic and dangerous for cats (and maybe other mammals).

I am afraid to say I have employed the (judiciously named) catapult method - a stinging dried pea, at velocity, seems to deter most - although it involves feeling vengeful enough to lie in wait and engage in a lot of target practice.


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RE: Cat business

Get a live trap and take them to an animal shelter.


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RE: Cat business

Have you tried spraying with a heavy hose!!!!! LOL


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RE: Cat business

I appreciate the suggestions, but I am a bit concerned with the possible environmental impact of the 'Dettol' treatment. I had never heard of this product before, so I did some Googling.

Basically, this is a bleach product. At least that's the active ingredient listed on the website. I couldn't find a list of what else it contains.

"No need to scrub, contains active bleach. For use only as home surface biocide. Always read label. Keep away from children & pets. Contains 2.5% w/w sodium hydrchlorite. WARNINGS; Irritant, Harmful to the environment. HSE 7558."

So I'm assuming it's the bleach component that keeps the cats away. Wouldn't that also be harmful to surrounding plants if it somehow came in contact with them through spray drift or runoff during heavy rains? Also, sodium hydrchlorite reacts with a whole lot of organic compounds to form some really, really nasty stuff. I don't know. It sounds really risky.

As far as the dog suggestion. Nope. My entire yard is garden. There simply isn't a place for a dog to run. When friends have brought their unleashed dogs over they immediately start running through the beds, trampling and breaking everything down. Nope. I love dogs, but I don't have a dog friendly yard.

Also, the cats seem to do their work at night. Often when I can't sleep and look out the windows at 3 am or so, there they are. Wandering all over the place. I rarely see one during the day.

Kevin


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RE: Cat business

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, May 21, 13 at 11:00

Kevin, there are several products available at garden and box stores that can help - you may have to try one or two because not all cats will react the same way to every repellent.

I've had great success with Boundary cat repellent spray for lawn furniture, porches, large container plantings - I don't know if they make a granular form for gardens though.

Critter Ridder granules by Havahart worked well in my beds. Get Off My Garden is another one I'd buy again.

I don't have cats in my garden of 6 months, I've seen just one cat, one time, cross through my yard. But repelling deer has certainly been a learning experience, still working on that :)

I do have a scarecrow motion activated water sprayer (Contech) for deer and may buy second - it works for cats too. Problem is they are expensive and don't spray around corners so one seldom covers the landscape.


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RE: Cat business

I had problems with cats killing the birds at my feeder. I got a Tru Catch trap. I haven't had a problem since.


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RE: Cat business

Try layering pine needles or something sharp on top. Cats won't use the area as a kitten litter if it hurts their butt.

Paul


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RE: Cat business

mmmmm yes, I forgot the bamboo spike method. Many packets of bamboo barbecue skewers inserted, sharp end up, in ALL my pots, less than 2inches apart - at least until foliage covers the soil. They (cats) certainly were not keen on having their fluffy little bottoms jabbed - although the blackbirds had much fun ripping the spikes out and tossing them to the ground - had to leave them at least 12inches long and have half of that in the soil.

As you may have guessed, I also fight a relentless and endless war on revolting neighbourhood cats.

Nature - red in tooth and claw.


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RE: Cat business

I have been fighting this problem so much lately. There need to be laws against letting cats run wild. They have dog leash laws already. Those aren't being enforced around here though. I called city hall and the police station here. They told me I have a right to remove any animal from my property that isn't mine.


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RE: Cat business

I know - imagine if it were dogs haring around in everyone's gardens, chomping on birds and pooing willy-nilly - there would be general outrage, the dogs would be muzzled......or pounced on by dog wardens - but cats - feh, complete tyrants free to terrorise the entire neighbourhood with their own especial nightly serenades (fighting and screwing) and their toxic bum emissions.


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RE: Cat business

Critter Ridder (pepper pellets), mothballs or bitter apple spray usually work. There's also motion sensitive sprinklers & ultrasonic alarms.

Once you've gotten rid of the cats, you'll be back to ask how to get rid of squirrels. :-)


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RE: Cat business

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Wed, May 22, 13 at 9:18

Do you know whose cats they are? If you do, call your local authority and report them.

Or, like mentioned above, get a Havahart trap and take to the animal shelter -- this should be done if they're strays anyway to reduce the population, and if the beasts do have an owner perhaps having to retrieve it from the pound will be enough to make the owner consider keeping the cat inside.


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RE: Cat business

Thanks for the product suggestions. I'm going to look for some of these at HD the next time I'm there. I was also doing some Googling for homemade cat repellants and might try some of these too. Citrus is mentioned a lot as being very effective.

I really don't want to mess around with trapping and all that and no, I have no idea who these beasts belong to. I would assume a lot of them are strays since this is a huge issue in the city.

I guess I should be thankful the problem is better than it was a few years ago. There was an elderly lady down the block from me who felt sorry for all the strays and set up a feeding station in her front yard. Cats were EVERYWHERE back then. She passed away a few years ago, so that isn't an issue any longer.

Of course we still have the nice, suburban woman who feels it is her mission in life to come into the city and feed all the cats. She sets up feeding stations in alleys and around vacant houses and all that. I wish she would just take them all home with her if she loves them that much. Unfortunately by setting up these feeding stations, the raccoons are also getting a free meal. Hate those things too.

Kevin


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RE: Cat business

Those products don't work though and cost a lot of money. I tried them all.


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RE: Cat business

I'd try the citrus first. I know my cats don't like to be petted if I've eaten an orange.


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RE: Cat business

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Wed, May 22, 13 at 16:30

Oh man Kevin -- get thee on the phone and report that woman !! IME municipalities DO NOT want people feeding strays, they want the strays off the streets.


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RE: Cat business

It wouldn't be petting I'd be doing....unless attached to a long yard broom.


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RE: Cat business

Use hot pepper powder, generously sprinkled on the soil. A master gardener told me that once. I think that would work, never tried it.

Don't trap other people's pets and take them to the shelter, that is cruel, and they don't deserve to die because they did what animals do, walk around, hunt, etc. Get a squirt bottle and spray them with water (or a squirt gun) if you see them in your garden. Cats hate water.


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RE: Cat business

I heard a talk on feral cats on the radio last week. Our city used to collect and euthanize them. When the cats were gone, the rodents were proliferating. One of our no-kill cat organizations is trapping, neutering, and spaying them and putting them back where they got them. They handled 17,000 cats in a short period. The population of the cats has gone down a lot since they aren't reproducing, and the rodents are still being held in check.

We have three cats, two were born in our basement. From the time he could walk, one of the males has fought to get outside, even in heavy rains and snows. There is no way we can keep him in the house without him scratching through the woodwork to get out.

Our cats don't stray far from the house. Yes, they are looking for a soft place to dig. I put plastic silverware, sticks, or whatever where I don't want them contaminating my vegetable garden or anything else that I value. It works.

Every year in late fall in the past, we used to have to set traps for mice looking for a warm place to spend the winter. They don't come near the house anymore since they smell the cats.

Our cats killed two birds last year and we felt bad about that. The lady from the above organization said that scientists studying cat populations have refuted the belief that feral cats kill millions of birds. She says that the cats much prefer to catch something on the ground rather than expending their energy jumping into the air.


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RE: Cat business

I don't think it's cruel to trap animals on your property. The traps don't harm them at all. If the people are letting their pets run wild, that is more cruel to me. They could be hit by a car or killed by a dog. It's also cruel to the dove that I found ripped to shreds at my feeder last week. I feel an obligation to protect the birds since I am feeding them. Cats are the number one killer of birds. I actually asked a neighbor to keep her cat off my property and she said I should spray it with water. I am not going to stand outside waiting on that stupid cat. It also comes when I leave. You have a right to your property. You don't have to put up with animals in your yard.


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RE: Cat business

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Thu, May 23, 13 at 8:57

Ditto Ech. Also, if an animal is taken to a shelter and has a tag on or is microchipped, the shelter will contact the owner, the animal isn't automatically euthanized.


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RE: Cat business

From what I understand, bleach is toxic to the environment and soil. I would not use a bleach product.

Anyone who would trap a neighbor's pet, and either harm them or take them to a shelter where they will most likely be killed, is whacked-out, IMO. To harm someone's beloved pet is like harming their child! However, feral animals are another story.

I have NEVER seen a stray in my neighborhood. The few cats I see are associated with a neighbor here and there. People in this affluent and educated community are relatively informed and conscientious because they spay and neuter their animals so there are few strays. There are also dogs, coyotes, and fisher cats that will prey on cats so that would keep a stray (and sometimes domestic) population in check.

I would welcome a few more cats in the neighborhood. My one cat doesn't quite keep up with the onslaught of rodents an rabbits. If you've ever had significant portions of your garden wiped out by voles you might appreciate the presence of cats a little more.


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RE: Cat business

Cats stink and are not welcome in my yard. I don't own a cat. The neighbors have been informed. It is their responsibility to keep their cats in their house. They call them house cats for a reason. As far as I'm concerned any cat in my yard is a stray. I don't know all of my neighbors. I surely can't be expected to know all of their cats.


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RE: Cat business

Cats stink and are not welcome in my yard. I don't own a cat. The neighbors have been informed. It is their responsibility to keep their cats in their house. They call them house cats for a reason. As far as I'm concerned any cat in my yard is a stray. I don't know all of my neighbors. I surely can't be expected to know all of their cats.


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RE: Cat business

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 0:58

So...why is it if an unleashed dog roams the neighborhood, everyone is up in arms but it is acceptable that cats can roam? I call bullsh*t. How is it cruel to trap a roaming cat and take it to the shelter so the owners can retrieve the beast? Why should I have to take responsibility for delivering it to its (loosely termed) home? Often they don't have tags anyway, and I don't have a scanner in my possession to check for microchips. Plus, even if there is a tag, I don't want to get scratched or bitten - cat bites can turn n-a-s-t-y really fast.

My neighbor, who is teetering on the precipice of crazy cat lady territory, lets her cats roam and one of them got run over **BY HER OWN HUSBAND**. It was all I could do to keep a straight face when she told me ---> LMAO at the irony of that one!


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RE: Cat business

As a cat lover, this is a really distressing thread. All cats are special.


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RE: Cat business

I am very allergic to cats. They have also killed the last dove at my bird feeder. Why should I give up my bird watching hobby because my neighbor wants to let her cat come over to my yard and kill the birds? They also knock my pots over on the patio when they climb on my tables. Cats are only special to those who have cats and if you have them, you have no idea how your house stinks. We are talking disgusting smelling. My Aunt has cats and the stinch just makes me almost hurl. Sorry, cat lovers!

What gets me is we have all of these people pestering us about native plants while they let their non-native cat run wild all over the place!


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RE: Cat business

OK, OK Ech. You have totally made your point! No need to upset people with it. I'm sorry you have had such bad experiences with cats, and you have done an excellent job in making that very clear.

To Kevin, who probably did not intend to start a thread about how much people hate cats, I hope you can find a workable solution. Every garden has its animal pests. some have bugs, some have rabbits and deer, and some have cats. Around here, several of my garden friends have bears who do unruly things to their plants. We've all got someone who likes to use our gardens for purposes other than what we intended, It's all part of the gardening adventure!


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RE: Cat business

Terrene, a beloved pet is not allowed to roam into all sorts of unsafe areas and vandalize others property.

I'm not sure what I would do in this type of situation- we have two dogs and a plethora of wild animals in the woods around us so cats aren't an issue. I did catch (thankfully!) my 14 year old beagle (who follows the sun during the day) about to lay down in a patch of just about to bloom iris the other week, but otherwise, the garden is quite intact.

However, I think I would catch the cats, contact the owners, even if it meant huge signs on the street corners if I don't know them, and take the cats to the humane shelter- finding out exactly the kill date.
I love animals much more than most people but I always believe in respecting others property. Frankly, if I thought an outside cat of mine (if I had cats) was on someone elses land, I would be terrified for their safety. Lots of people who wouldn't think twice about shooting them.


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RE: Cat business

Actually Bumblebeez, the cat love of my life was a large male who was compelled to go outdoors, even if I had wished to keep him indoors. He prowled his territory for many years, it was his instinct, and he kept the gardens and house free of rodent pests for many years. No doubt he went through his 9 lives, and then died at the age of 19 on the kitchen floor with me by laying down at his side and stroking him. He was very much a beloved cat.

Although he did like to stalk the neighbor's bird feeders, I fortunately I have never lived near anyone who would intentionally trap or kill one of my cats.

Echinaceamaniac, as a property owner if you offer bird feeders, houses, or baths to the birds, you have a responsibility to make them safe from the predators, not just cats. Hawks, raccoons, dogs, squirrels, snakes, chipmunks, non-native birds such as House Sparrows, as well as cats will all prey upon birds, their nests and fledglings. Ironically, collisions with windows that are sited near bird feeders may kill more birds than cats.

I have been feeding the birds for 8 years and have 5 bird baths. Although my cat catches an occasional bird, there are still tons of birds in my yard, nesting, feeding, and enjoying the bird baths, and they can co-exist.


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RE: Cat business

I don't have any problems now. I removed two cats. The birds are all happy now. I even have a white dove that comes here now. Raccoons don't come out much in the day here. They are kind of nocturnal animals. The birds aren't at the feeders at night. I have never seen a raccoon after birds here. It's always cats. I think people know I mean business now.


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