Five Tips to Keep Your Flower Bed from Being a Feline Lavatory

Spring. The wonderful time of year where trees turn green with new leaves, the animals come out of their deep winter slumber, and the flowers start to shed the last winter frost, and transform yards and gardens all over. Flowerbeds become little signs of hope as they are turned, sowed, and those seedlings poke through the soil and reach up towards the sun. Of course, this also means that if you have cats in the area, they have found a new place to do their dirty work.

Cat in the Garden by parsek76

Around here, we have many stray cats and neighborhood cats that roam the apartment complex. Not to mention the wild animals that come up from the nearby creek area in search of food at night. It seems though, that cats have an instinct that says “Hey, I can haz flower bedz teh poop in”. As we planted our first garden this year, I learned this quickly when turning soil and coming hand to mushy with feline feces. Outside of moth balls or anti-freeze (both of which are cruel, inhumane, and make you a bad person for using against animals) what can be done to keep your flower bed from becoming a feline lavatory? Well, fret no more, for today, I bring you five tips to keep those kittehs at bay, and your flower garden poop free.

Everyone Loves that Lemon Fresh Scent: Except for Cats

Lemons” by André Karwath

 Ever seen a picture of a cat tasting a lemon? If you have, consider yourself lucky because most cats try to avoid lemons or most things citrus. As a natural was of keeping these pesks pets out of your flower bed, you can spray citrus essential oils on the soil around your plants, or even spread citrus peels (lemon and orange work best) around the flower bed. It’s important to note that this does need to be done every couple of days as the oils or citrus juice will wash away after watering or a good rain. The plus side is that the use of peels will add nutrients to your soil as they decay and become absorbed.


Paw Prickers are an Effective Deterrent 


One reason cats love to flower beds for lavatory use is because of the soft nature of the soil. It’s comfortable to walk on and easy to dig up for placing their discarded internal waste. Scattering pine or ponderosa cones in places these cats like to visit is a good way to deter them from wanting to dig, let alone even walk in the area. Breaking up the cones and scattering them along the soil will keep cats from spending more than a second in your flower bed, but can also look a little better than the standard wood chip ground covering a lot of people use in their gardens.


Plant More Flowers

Yellow Marigold - Photo Credit

This seems a bit strange considering you may have already planted flowers and the goal is to keep cats away from said place of planting. Cats are naturally drawn to some plants such as catnip or catmint. But there are others they are not so crazy about and will try to avoid due to the scent. Rue, lemon thyme, and lavender are three such plants that can keep those felines away. Marigolds are also known for the same, and since we planted them, we have had little trouble. Of course, there is a newly bred plant called the “Scaredy Cat” that was created by a German dude, specifically for repelling cats away from flower gardens. All of these plants will look lovely, and have a pleasant scent to humans. Plant them around the borders of your garden to keep the cats away and add a nice range of colorful eye-candy to your efforts.

Get All high Tech on those Neighborhood Roamers

Contech Catstop
Contech Catstop Ultrasonic Cat Deterent


Cats HATE getting wet. I don’t know why, but it’s funny as all get out. You can purchase motion activated sprinklers from a variety of places like Lowes, Home Depot, and more. Though they tend to burn the wallet a bit, for those who have large garden areas, they may be the answer. Not only does it give the cat a dose of “SURPRISE BATH” but hey, it also waters at the same time. There are also motion activated ultrasonic devices that can be purchased at the same places. These emit sounds at frequencies specifically tuned to be picked up by cats, but not bother other wildlife like birds that you may want to hang around. They also don’t affect other pets such as dogs. Most of these devices run on a 9 volt battery and last quite a while before they need replacing.


Throw in the Towel and Admit Defeat (NOT)

Okay, so maybe you have tried many things to keep those sneaky little things away from your garden, but have had no success. You don’t want to just give in and “deal with it” but at the same time, that’s what you are doing. Well, compromise with the thing. Near the garden, or in a discreet corner of it, plant some catnip or catmint. At least this way, the cats are tricked into still believing they are dominant, and you still keep them away from your main source of gardening pride. In some cases, like with catnip, it may eventually keep the cat away depending on how effective it is. But at the least, they will be drawn to those areas alone and hopefully leave the rest of your garden alone.

Do you have any tips you could add to the list? Leave them in the comments below!!


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