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How do you keep the cats from shitting in your garden?

Kevin MacBearach


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
    
    2
We have barn cats to catch mice. The cats have been used to going outside too long I think to go back to kitty litter. They love to go in mulch, of course. What to do.....


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Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
I'm wondering why you would want them to stop? Cats pooping in gardens is as old as time and it's great fertilizer. That old saw about not using cat or dog manure in gardens is passe and holds no real danger...if it did we'd all be dead by now. People won't hesitate to place horse, cow, pig, rabbit and chicken manure on their gardens, but think that only cats carry possible parasite or pathogen transmission?
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6738
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
143
I have had cat poo problems in my gardens.
The problem wasn't the poo. It was their digging up all the seedlings, trying to bury the poo.

I just dropped a piece of crumpled chicken wire over it.
They couldn't dig with the chicken wire there. Plus it was hard for them to gracefully walk on it.



Kevin MacBearach


Joined: May 04, 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Beavercreek, Oregon
    
    2
I'm relieved to hear that the cat poo isn't dangerous. I've always heard that it's very toxic.

Thanks for you feedback!

Kevin
Meryt Helmer


Joined: Oct 02, 2012
Posts: 363
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
    
  14
cayenne pepper sprinkle it around where they are going and MOST cat's should stop. I have however heard that once in a while a cat will like it and seek out the pepper.
Rose Pinder


Joined: Nov 18, 2011
Posts: 152
A caution about cayenne - it can be a respiratory hazard for humans (and other animals).


I also think that cats shitting in the garden is normal. However if you have pregnant women in your garden/household also you might want to research toxoplasmosis and observe some simple hygiene practices.
gani et se


Joined: Apr 24, 2011
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
    
    1
There is a risk. Especially for pregnant women or for people with suppressed immunity -- people with HIV, or people receiving chemotherapy, for example -- the potential for getting toxoplasmosis from cat crap is a big deal. For others, the symptoms can be mild, but untreated toxoplasmosis can become serious if you become immune suppressed. Consequences to infected fetuses can range from mild to very severe, including retardation. Vision problems, up to blindness, can affect fetuses and people with immune issues.


Intermountain (Cascades and Coast range) oak savannah, 550 - 600 ft elevation. USDA zone 7a. Arid summers, soggy winters
Kris Minto


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Posts: 130
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
    
    2
While i grew up i had three cats who all pooed outside in my parents urban house garden and no one in my family caught anything related to cats poo. Even while both my parents went through cancer treatment they were fine while still gardening.

IThere are a 1000 of things that can make you sick or even kill you. Just think of H1N1, e coli or any other super bug going around these days. I think catching something from cat poo is the least of your worries.

My 0.02 cents,
Kris
Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
gani et se wrote:There is a risk. Especially for pregnant women or for people with suppressed immunity -- people with HIV, or people receiving chemotherapy, for example -- the potential for getting toxoplasmosis from cat crap is a big deal. For others, the symptoms can be mild, but untreated toxoplasmosis can become serious if you become immune suppressed. Consequences to infected fetuses can range from mild to very severe, including retardation. Vision problems, up to blindness, can affect fetuses and people with immune issues.


And, yet, these individuals have cats all over the world and deal with their fecal matter on a daily basis and do not feel this is a risk...but a cat pooping in a garden is? How many cats do you know that wipe their paws and anus before returning from the litter box and walking and sitting all over the household surfaces? Ordinarily they will walk into the kitchen or living room and sit down their fecal carrying anus on the carpet before licking it all off their body.

The soil has methods of utilizing cat poop and running it all through the filtration system of soil strata. Anyone of normal intelligence is going to wash their produce from their gardens before eating, so the chances of it raining on cat pooped soils, splashing up on the veggies and not getting washed away in the same rains and then not getting rinsed well enough in the house before eating are much more slim than contamination from letting your house cat sit or stand on any surface in the home.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 6308
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
250
Jay Green wrote:

And, yet, these individuals have cats all over the world and deal with their fecal matter on a daily basis and do not feel this is a risk...but a cat pooping in a garden is? ... Anyone of normal intelligence is going to wash their produce from their gardens before eating, so the chances of it raining on cat pooped soils, splashing up on the veggies and not getting washed away in the same rains and then not getting rinsed well enough in the house before eating are much more slim than contamination from letting your house cat sit or stand on any surface in the home.


Just because people feel there is no risk doesn't mean that there is none. The wikki entry on toxoplamosis is pretty enlightening.


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Jay Green


Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
    
    8
There is an inherent risk in many activities and events in life. When you get in your car and drive it on the public road, you are in danger. When you eat any produce from the store, you are in serious danger.

Listing the dangers for every activity or event may seem responsible but it also inhibits and limits the reader to only those activities that have no risk. There are few. Of all the risk the OP may take in life, having cats crap in the garden is low on the scale. Yes, everyone knows about the risks of transmission of possible pathogens from cat poop....and lizard poop, turtle poop, frog poop...and try keeping those out of your garden also.

When someone is inexperienced in life and gardens in general, they read these warnings and worry needlessly about every little danger out there instead of actually living their natural lives. When you weigh the fact that ever since gardens were grown and cats existed there have been a joining of the two and we humans are still alive today to write about it, the dangers of it all seem negligible at best.

Yes, it's real...they have germs in their poop. What creature doesn't? Use common sense and wash your veggies, leave the cats to their own devises and.... worry less, live more.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 6308
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
250
Jay Green wrote:

Yes, it's real...they have germs in their poop. What creature doesn't? Use common sense and wash your veggies, leave the cats to their own devises and.... worry less, live more.


Parasites, not just germs, and ones that can have serious health issues. Pretending they don't exist is not really sensible, especially for pregnant women. There's no need to worry, there is reason to educate yourself and choose appropriate precautions.
Cris Bessette
volunteer

Joined: May 20, 2011
Posts: 718
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
    
  30
How do you keep the cats from shitting in your garden?



Dogs.


chrissy bauman


Joined: Sep 11, 2012
Posts: 123
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
i just let them do it, and if i find it then i throw it at them?

just kidding.

my cats usually stick to the easy to dig in sand near the garden rather than the thickly mulched area that is the garden. so get busy building them a sandbox.

tentance

oldescrubland.blogspot.com


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Curtis Daily


Joined: Oct 25, 2012
Posts: 1
Go to Chick-fil-a and ask for their waste Lemon rinds. Sprinkle them around and the cats will go somewhere else.
Jessica Windle


Joined: Mar 22, 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Kimberley, BC Canada ZONE 3
I saw (though I haven't yet tried myself since I don't have a cat) an awesome, and free idea on a local garden tour:

The gardeners mulched their garden heavily with pinecones (actual pine cones would probably work better than fir or spruce).

It looked kind of cool and apparently was very effective.


Dreams don't work unless you do
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6738
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
143
...and next year you sell pine seedlings for $1 each.

James Flour


Joined: Nov 16, 2012
Posts: 14
Location: PNW
Sand and silt are things we always need here on this heavy clay. Since mom never had much trouble with cats when I had a sandbox as a little kid ( I think the entire neighborhood cat population used the sandbox), I think I'll get a double load this spring for the cats' convenience.

I don't like the cats using my beds for their latrine, but I can always declare it my neighbors fertilizing my beds for free, and it is waaaaay better than when they take a dump in the middle of the yard and I step in it and track it around.


"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Jane Reed


Joined: Feb 06, 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Los Angeles
Would you consider putting out a litter box and be willing to clean it every day?

Here in my little townhouse, I feed 3 strays on my doorstep. Typically, after eating, they want to pee or poop, so they do it in the small planting beds right in front of my house and my neighbor's. In the summertime it can get pretty stinky. I partly solved this by hiding a litter box in the shrubs. They don't use it exclusively, but they DO use it and I clean it every day, just as I do with my indoor cats. This cuts down on the problem quite a bit.


Jane
Ollie Puddlemaker


Joined: Nov 15, 2012
Posts: 148
Location: Houston, Tesas
    
    5


Look at how many people that are in love with Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world...how bad could it be having a cat in your garden...?

Seriously tho', I would rather they didn't, too... See if you can find a plant called Coleus Canina - Hybrid, it has a pungent odor that deters dogs, cats and rabbits, it will not harm children, other pets and is environmentally safe. Has lavender flowers, and just bring indoors in the winter

I've also heard that some people having had good luck using the following...


Coffee Grounds

Kitty won’t think of your garden as a latrine anymore if you spread a pungent mixture of orange peels and used coffee grounds around your plants. The mix acts as great fertilizer too.

Mothballs

Don’t throw out old mothballs. Scatter them around your gardens and flowerbeds to keep cats, dogs, and rodents away. Animals hate the smell!

Oranges/Citrus Peels

Are the neighbor’s cats still mistaking your lawn/garden for their litter box? Gently point them elsewhere by making a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds and distributing it around the cats’ “old haunts.” If they don’t take the hint, lay down a second batch and try moistening it with a bit of water.

Cayenne Pepper

Sprinkle ground red pepper on a strip of tape and attach it to the areas you don’t want them to scratching into. They hate the smell, and they’ll quickly get the message.

Vinegar

Some animals — including cats, deer, dogs, rabbits, and raccoons — can’t stand the scent of vinegar even after it has dried. You can keep these unauthorized visitors out of your garden by soaking several recycled rags in white vinegar, and placing them on stakes around your veggies. Resoak the rags about every 7-10 days.


Ollie Puddlemaker
Clara Florence


Joined: Apr 01, 2013
Posts: 47
    
    1
Aside from all the debate about whether or not cat shit is dangerous, just create a more attractive place for them to crap. If they like mulch then put aside a little mulch pile in their favourite place and shovel it once a week into a compost bin. Most cats are lazy and will toilet in the most convenient place possible. Or you could just get a fussy cat, I have one that refuses to dirty her paws in actual dirt. Its litter or nothing and she doesn't even bother to cover it over.
Morgan Morrigan


Joined: Oct 16, 2011
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
toxoplasmosis is turning out to be MUCH more dangerous that the docs have told us.

potentially ALL of the schizophrenia may be caused by it, and links to as much as 90% of suicides not caused by the antidepressants. Also a strong link to 3rd degree homicide.
It actually travels to the brain, and starts building structures and influencing dopamine release.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/308873/

http://www.permies.com/t/22967/md/Toxoplasmosis

http://www.permies.com/t/21182/medicinal-herbs/herbs-diet-helps-antidepressant-withdrawal#188754

http://www.permies.com/t/22317/md/Prozac-SSRI-withdrawls-violence#183426

Also, you wont be able to sell to local resturaunts if you cant exclude cats from your beds.

Have seen some talk of using the anti roosting mesh for pigeons on the beds too.... they make some plastic mats with spurs sticking up.


Get involved -Take away the standing of corporations MovetoAmmend.org
Viola Schultz


Joined: Oct 15, 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Zone 6
Morgan Morrigan wrote:toxoplasmosis is turning out to be MUCH more dangerous that the docs have told us.

potentially ALL of the schizophrenia may be caused by it, and links to as much as 90% of suicides not caused by the antidepressants. Also a strong link to 3rd degree homicide.
It actually travels to the brain, and starts building structures and influencing dopamine release.


yeah, Morgan life is dangerous, in most cases it ends in death. That's why dopamine release should be regulated by a good ale not a cat poop, doh...
Betty Lamb


Joined: Feb 17, 2014
Posts: 42
Location: Vancouver Island, Zone??
this was the funniest thread I have ever read


sssstruth!
Landon Sunrich
pollinator

Joined: Jul 09, 2013
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
    
  22
gani et se wrote:There is a risk. For example -- the potential for getting toxoplasmosis from cat crap is a big deal.


Can we please define exotic terms when introducing them for the first time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis

Sounds plausible.


Freakin' hippies and Squares, since 1986
Zenais Buck


Joined: Oct 28, 2014
Posts: 100
Location: PNW
    
    3
My cat loves to scratch up newly planted seeds and seedlings. She also loves to eat wild rodents, so I assume is passing all sorts of parasitic critters eggs in her poo. I know there are lots of tapeworm therapies out there for various ailments, and that I am probably more 'parasite' (or symbiotic organism) than 'human'. No matter- still don't want cat waste in the lettuce beds, thank you!

I tired various solutions, and here is what has worked for me: I cut lengths of wire (probably 10 gauge?) and pushed them into the bed on either side, making a hoop over the bed. I did this at 2 foot intervals. Then I purchased bird netting from the local farm store and made a tunnel over the beds, attaching the netting to the base of the wire with wooden clothespins. I can still easily water and observe though the netting, insects move freely, and when I need to pull a weed or transplant something,the netting is quickly and simply shoved aside and reattached (yay clothespins!). I can also quickly throw a sheet of greenhouse plastic over each bed - or even section of a bed- when the night looks frosty. A bonus: if the chooks accidentally get into the garden, I usually notice and chase them out before they can figure out how to destroy the netting system.

This system has been very flexible. When the seedlings get large enough that I can deeply mulch around them I remove the netting, as the cat does not really seem to like the mulch. I leave the wire in place through out the year. I bring the netting inside so I can reuse it next year; since it is plastic I don't want it to degrade in the sun. Plus, my netting was only wide enough that the hoops are only a few feet tall in the center: that means when plants get big the netting would be in the way.

So far so good- beds with netting have NO cat (or chicken!) interaction.
Nicole Alderman


Joined: Feb 24, 2014
Posts: 268
Location: Pacific Northwest
    
  18
I find it interesting that the deeply mulched beds don't attract your cat, Zenais. Mine wasn't attracted to my beds until I mulched it. Last year, I draped old blackberry bramble over my patch to deter the digging. It worked alright, but the blackberries made it a PAIN to weed and harvest. This year I stuck bamboo stakes up all through it (in homage to the idea of sticking plastic forks up all through the bed). That also seems to work. It's a lot less painful, too, and they should make nice trellises for my peas. I also have bamboo growing in abundance, so it doesn't cost anything, either! The cat also doesn't seem to care for the beds that have duck bedding on them. Maybe the the type of mulch matters?

For more ideas on cat deterring, there were some good ones in a similar thread I started last year: http://www.permies.com/t/35612/dogs-cats/Cats-Hugel-Litter-Box. I didn't have any success with the pepper spray. It was horrifically strong, and still did not deter the cat.

The toxoplasmosis thing is rather freaky. I had no idea it did so much. I thought it was just something to worry about while pregnant. (Landon, the original poster who mentioned it might have thought it was common knowledge, since pregnant woman are warned against it). Reading those articles was rather revealing, too. We're pretty sure my husband has it (he kind of likes the smell of cat pee and fits all the stereotypes of an infected male). Knowing what I now know, I want to try to "quarentine" the cat poop to one area, rather than just trying to keep it out of the garden. I would rather not get it, nor have my toddler get it from playing around in dirt the cat has pooped in (it lives in the soil for a year?! Yikes!) I'm going to try to set up a catnip encircles sand pit for my cat to do his business, and see if that lures him away from pooping under my trees and in my yard, which are his current favorite "litter boxes."
Zenais Buck


Joined: Oct 28, 2014
Posts: 100
Location: PNW
    
    3
Maybe my cat is too lazy to move mulch. There is almost always one bed or some bed space uncovered (here in the PNW putting mulch everywhere= slug explosion) and she utilizes the non-mulched areas- probably just because it is easier.

That really lends credence to the idea of making a nice, fluffy, inviting poo area for the cat, Nicole. I might try that as well!
Zach Muller
pollinator

Joined: Dec 07, 2013
Posts: 502
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
    
  21
Cris Bessette wrote:How do you keep the cats from shitting in your garden?



Dogs.




I thought of this one liner too but Cris beat me to it! My dogs love to keep cats out of the yard and garden. It is one of their main past times.
Alex Pine


Joined: Feb 11, 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Adelaide, Australia
I've heard cats don't like strong smelling plants like lavender so I've planted a row of lavender where the cat used to do it's business.
Haven't seen or smelt any poos recently.
 
 
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