Cats

My neighbours cats seem determined to use my garden as their toilet. Is there anyway I can keep them off? I don't want to use any of the machine type deterents you can buy as they seem expensive and I've been told they don't work very well. Thank you
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On 3 Feb 2004 10:45:54 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Lozzie) wrote:

There are many methods. Cats are particular where they step. I have used thorny branches, sweet gum balls, and hardware cloth. Motion-activated sprinklers are very effective.
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On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 10:45:54 -0800, Lozzie wrote:

I had problems with neighbors' cats at the bird feeders and in the trees above the same. Nothing worked. I finally talked with the neighbors and now no cats.
Assuming you live in town, most towns have animals-at-large ordinances. Check to see if you have such an ordinance. If so, remind the neighbor of the ordinance.
Good neighbors tend to listen.
Water works. Cats don't like water.
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On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 10:45:54 -0800, Lozzie wrote:

Anything stinky enough or noisy enough to annoy cats would annoy you more. If your garden is dryish & the soil loose & sandy, cats are going to love it, period. You could get a big cat of your own whose territoriality might keep the number of visiting cats down to a minimum, & one tends NOT to hate one's own cat's turds quite so much. Some areas might be mulchible with cedar bark (small crushed type which better resembles top soil instead of chunks of wood strewn about, & mixes best into the soil as an organic component) because it is so splintery cats don't like to dig in it. Anything that makes the surface of the soil less like a catbox of Tidy Cat discourages them. They can't dig in areas with solid groundcovers or with unloosened soil, & you can even punish them with stickery groundcovers. If you prune a lot of roses or blackberries or the like, you can cut up the stems into torny sticks to mulch with in cat-favorite spots, or even just use regular tree twigs & small limbs as a decorative mulch laid attractively around any plants you don't want cats digging in; if there's not room for them to dig, they'll dig elsewhere, & bent little snaky limbs can be attractive while making it uncomfy for fastidious beasts to squat down. Cats also tend not to like to dig in well watered gardens, but go for the dry areas under eaves. Sometimes regular watering nearer the most cat-active times (dusk) is enough to discourage them.
I find there are not TOO many cats & with just a little bit of a blase feeling about their endeavors, a little poo can be regarded as potential fertilizer & no big deal really. Now & then the cats do something that makes me peevish, like one scratched off the entire surface of a cyclamen about to burst into bloom, scraped off every leaf & everything, then pooped right on top of the tuber. Now that clump is not going to do anything until next winter gawdamn it. But usually all their scratching about means is that I have to bury their tootsy rolls better than they do.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Lozzie wrote:

Cats are creatures of habit and what you need to do is to break their habit of using your garden as their toilet. Smell is the main item that cats use to choose their toilet and I have found that a good way to stop them is to add a strong "smell" to the area they choose. Some items that I have found that work well are hot sauce (put some in a spray bottle and add some water and spray the area they use), pepper (red pepper works best), and other strong smelling herbs. Also perfume and cologne work well but don't use too much or else the neighbors may think you are running a brothel.
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When the police stop by and ask you where the cathouse is you can just shake your head and point next door.
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Install a sprinkeler or two and watch vindictavely out the window and when you see one hit the switch This may not work but I'm sure it will be greatly gratifying HE HE :- ) Sorry couldn't resist that one Michelle n 3 Feb 2004 10:45:54 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Lozzie) wrote:

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Citrus, citronella, or eucalyptus oil, extended with plain ol' veg oil and sprayed in the area you want to protect may be a deterent. My neighbor uses mothballs -- I must ask her if they work. Cats like fluffy, easy-dig dirt or mulch. If possible, you might set aside a 'cat-box' area with the material they prefer.
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This may not be an option depending on the size of your beds but - chicken wire.
Stake it down over the top of the soil - and just on top of the soil. Cats just don't want to step on things that may bother their feet. Most plants can just grow right through the openings. Some - such as large beets and other root crops - may be too big to get through the holes but above the ground crops - leafy veggies, flowers, should be fine.
JonquilJan
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