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cats in the garden
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Post cats in the garden 
Hi,
I have the neighbors cats (3) using my framed raised beds as a litter box (a big litter box) and then they scratched out my newly planted onions. My problem is the owner of the cats is the owner that is letting me garden on his property. I know...it's a real problem. Is there a simple solution? cayenne pepper? I'm not a cat lover so I won't mention the first thing that came to my mind to control these critters.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Tim


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Post Cats in Garden 
Hi Timbob -

BTW nice garden. How long have you been growing raspberries? Yum - they're my favorite fruit.

Anyway - cats. Yes, what a pain. We used to have the same problem until our resident pooper was called up to cat heaven via an automobile incident. Don't get us wrong. We love cats and have one which has quickly learned from a direct shot with the garden hose set at "JET", that it is not cool to 1. poop in garden, and 2. laze out on top of the carrot plants.

Other than getting them with the garden hose, another possibility is putting bird netting (crumpled up, not laid out neatly, so that it's a tangled mess) on the bed. It's hard to do any scratching when your paws are caught in the netting.

If that option consumes lots of netting, you might want to stretch the bird netting 6in. or higher above the soil so that it forms a "roof" over the plants. Then I'd tack the sides down so that the bed is practically impenetrable.

With that said, it has not deterred our cat from visiting plants but at least he doesn't poop in our beds.

Besides the bird netting, I would also turn the soil over and put fresh, cat-poop-and-pee-free soil on the top 5 inches or so. I would take lots of good compost and work it in the soil as well.

Good luck and let us know what works!

Giselle

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Post Cats in the garden 
I understand about cats!! Our neighbors (on both sides) have LOTS of cats I find that pine cones and pine sticks help when placed near plants. Doesn't work all the time, but helps them decide to find somewhere else to dig. I've even gone as far as sea shells (it helps some,I think it startles them when they start digging) If you can "catch" them and blast them with the water hose, it will help. I've tried the pepper and moth balls and have not been able to stop them with those.

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Last year, I put spent raspberry canes in my bed along with fresh ground pepper. That seemed to help keep the neighborhood pups and kitties at bay. With the fresh ground pepper, you need to reapply after a rain.

I purchased some pepper spray concoction too, and it seemed to make the whole neighborhood smell like pepper. I like the fresh ground pepper and the way it made the local chihuahua sneeze was hillarious.

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Post Cats in Garden 
As a cat owner & cat lover let me share some wisdom with those of you who don't like the critters. When training a cat to stay out of or off of an area the thing they don't like is STICKY PAWS. That's probably part of the reason the pinecones worked for the one person - they're sticky. Now I know double-sided tape works on countertops & furniture, but I'm not exactly sure how you'd use it in a raised or other garden bed. Hope this helps.

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I have heard that cats do not like the smell of citrus. You might try saving orange and lemon peels and scattering them around your plants. I keep my cats in the house. There is nothing worse than digging up a smellypoop! Of course, the racoons and skunks kindof stink too.

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Post Sticky tape 
Cydunne - I had a good chuckle w/ your suggestion. Our cat, the venerable "Starlight", remains nonplussed by anything that brings mild discomfort. He has wrestled his way through bird netting, walks (albeit clumsily) over sticky tape w/ tail bushed up in the air, and is so darned lucky he is adorable in every way that he hasn't ended up in the hot n sour soup. The lemon peel is intriguing, but he's so darned curious and will get into anything that doesn't bite back at him! We'll keep on experimenting ...

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Post Cats in Garden 
Hi Cool I have an "indoor" cat. I don't like any animal running loose. Therefore, take this with a grain of salt. Anything a cat dislikes can "chase" him/her. Red pepper, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, etc. Try each, some in combo, all you can think of. Crushed egg shells. I'd crush the pine cones too. The idea is the stuff that the cat don't like his/her paws on should be small enough to cause discomfort. Some large grained sand also. Maybe large grains of sea salt. Yes, some of these things will need re-application after rain. Fences Do Not Work on cats, they can climb and jump. When younger, my cat could flat jump from the floor to the top of my refrigerator, 6 ft. Not now, but he's older. Hope some of this helps! Very Happy


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Morgan, Texas, organic, square foot gardening.Newly Joined PG.Will need help!
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Post Cats in the Garden 
Placing "chicken wire", wire mesh with circles about 1 inch diameter, just below the soil surface should keep them out. They may visit, but when they are unable to scatch a depression for their "deposit" they should leave to go elsewhere. You may need to work this around existing or new plants and cut holes for the plant stalks

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Post Course ground black pepper 
Being a HUGE animal lover (I have 3 indoor cats, 2 outdoor cats and a dog) I can tell you that I've had real luck with course ground black pepper. Mr. Brownie Boy and KittyWitch use to have a hayday in my flower bed and lettuce patch until I started using Blk Pepper. It has to be course ground, the fine stuff just gets lost in the dirt.

I'll take a can and pour a line between each row or around a plant. It's funny to watch. Mr. Brownie Boy is very particular where he goes to the bathroom...his first meeting with the Black stuff sent him running, sneezing his bushy tail off. Needless to say, neither he nor KittyWitch use those areas any more.

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Living in the country I have had my share of wild cats, racoons, skunk, deer, rabbits and an occasional "I don't know what it was". I have had a lot of luck with my dogs hair that I save when I brush them during their spring shed. I wrap "clumps" of it up in cheesecloth to keep it in one place and put it around the outside of the garden. I replace it after about a week. It seems to keep everything out. I'm thinking that they smell the dogs and know it smells close even though they can't see them.
My dogs think its great becase they get extra long brushings when I start to run out of hair.
Don

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Post RE: dog hair 
I used to use dog hair in my gardens in MN and had great success. I had a wolf/husky and a sheltie and they were always shedding (at one point, we thought about getting a spinning wheel and making our own yarn LOL).

Squirrels, cats and chipmunks stayed away from the gardens. Alas...I have no dogs now but really recommend dog hair!!


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I'll try the dog hair at home. I have two smooth coat terriers and swear I sweep up enough dog hair every couple of days to create a whole new dog! LOL


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I have found that Red pepper FLAKES keeps both cats and squirrels from digging in my yard. I usually buy the cheap large size at Big Lots or the like.

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I really like the dog hair idea.
I'm on 10 acres with deer, wild hogs and other varmints. I haven't fenced my garden yet because I am going to enlarge it this summer.
I have 4 Irish Wolfhounds so there is no shortage of hair!

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