How do you keep cats out of your raised garden bed?

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by burritos, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

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    So for christmas, my wife let me build a 3x6x1 raised garden box. Put it in on my lawn. I'm filling it with compost and dirt and leaves. Probably will get some coffee grounds too. When I eventually fill it and plant it with stuff, I'm concerned that neigbors' cats will come and use it as their toilet? Any suggestions? I've heard of pepper spray. Does that really work? My sister has staked hers with multiple shish kaboob sticks, but I don't want to booby trap my box for fear of staking myself one day.
     
  2. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Air rifle and a rocking chair on the porch. They will only visit once, the real dumb ones might come a second time.
     
  3. timberwolf

    timberwolf New Member

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    Mmmm, maybe a garden hose or water gun would be a less harmful way to discourage the neighbors cats.
     
  4. PriuStorm

    PriuStorm Senior Member

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    Hi there... I have raised beds, too, and manage for the most part to keep the cats out with the design that resulted from some errors and accidents, but overall does the job. The boxes are 4' x 8' x 1' high. Each corner and midsection has a 4"x4" post, 2 feet long (I'm sure it doesn't have to be this beefy). This taller post stands above the ground and rises above the bed itself by about a foot. I use small sprayers for my automatic watering in the beds, and to prevent the water from spraying over the side, I wrap saran wrap (about 2-3 times) around the perimeter created by the tall posts. Then I have the whole thing covered with bird netting, nicely held up by the tall posts. Voila, no birds, no cats. Actually, truth be told, the birds sneak under the saran wrap, so I need to tighten down the net a little, but I don't really mind right now since I don't have so much going on.
     
  5. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Go get a small pet electric fence charger. Wire it in with a switch in the kitchen window. When the cat jumps on the fence on the way into the garden, give it a zap.. You could leave it plug in all the time if you wish.

    Icarus

    .22? BBs?
     
  6. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    A motion-detector sprinkler should do the trick, and, unlike a slingshot, works when you're not around. You can adjust the range and sensitivity to cover the yard or only the garden. Just remember to shut off the water and sneak up on it from behind, or it might work on you, too. No need to ask how I know this. :rolleyes:
     
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I have a friend who keeps cats out of his frog ponds with a possum trap baited with meat, a green garbage bag and the exhaust of his car. You do the math.
    I believe the slug gun is a little less permanent.
     
  8. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    My dog is pretty effective.
     
  9. cheeper

    cheeper Member

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    Wire mesh just under the soil; they can't scratch the soil; hopefully they'll give up. Good luck!
     
  10. Freedom

    Freedom Active Member

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    PetCo, PetSmart and others sell coyote urine for this purpose. I've never tried that, heard you have to reapply after a rain.

    You can also plant scallions around the perimeter. Two plants thick. And these are nice in your salads, too! Seems to work well for me. I work TNRM, and know of 3 feral cat colonies in my area. They sometimes enter my back yard, but never go into my vegetable garden where I have the scallions.
     
  11. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Let me guess, somebody collects this in a bottle?

    This is not a pretty picture.
     
  12. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    In the grand tradition of Farley Mowat, honouring his research for Never Cry Wolf, I once or twice tried peeing at the back gate where the cats always enter the yard. They definitely noticed it alright, but didn't take it to be a territorial marker, like the wolves in the story did. That's a cat for you - ever aloof, only interested in their own kind. As in species, and urine.

    Coyote pee smells like snake oil to me. :)
     
  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    When would cats, native to not the place coyotes are native to, encounter a savage coyote in there travels that would make them develop an aversion to Coyote wee?
     
  14. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Actually, cats are fascinated watching humans pee. Not sure why.

    Since my cats are never allowed outside, they never bother the neighbors flowerbeds. Cats allowed to roam consider a flower bed as a very convenient litter box
     
  15. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    We have a cat and he gets into my garden. However, once the plants start establishing themselves he generally gives up the garden and goes elsewhere. We have a burgeoning strawberry patch in the front yard which the neighborhood cats fancy as a dumping ground. Again, they seem to avoid the part where the plants are and focus on the bare ground. I'm not too concerned because at the rate the plants are growing there won't be bare ground but for another season or two.

    If they're a problem, just shoot 'em like pat said. ;)
     
  16. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Sad part is I'm opposed to guns.
    Just shoot them with an air rifle, don't shoot to kill. Could be fun too!
     
  17. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    Now paddy, why are you opposed to guns? guns can be great fun, but they require a healthy does of respect. Target shooting is brilliant, an almost zen experience. Shooting animals for fun or out of malice is for tossers, though proper hunting can be an environmentally sound way of feeding your family. Hunting cats, however, is well...
     
  18. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    That's why you just use an air rifle and aim to stun not kill.
    I'm just an insulated from reality city kid, so guns have never been part of my life although dad had a single shot 22 when I was a kid I never saw it being fired.
     
  19. CarolinaJim

    CarolinaJim New Member

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    Although not my first choice here is a politically correct way to deal with the problem.

    Buy a live trap...have a heart or other...a wire box trap.

    Plant some catnip, buy some sardines etc.

    Use the above for bait.

    Take the kitty to the pound in the trap. Wear thick leather gloves...

    Feral cats are not good...just found a rabid one near here along with two foxes and a racoon....good idea to kindly suggest to the neighbors not to feed the wildlife.

    As for the coyote urine...usually collected from newly deceased contributors...my presumption. But maybe not...maybe there really is a guy chasing coyotes around with a bedpan.

    I kind of like our coyotes since they seem to keep the feral cat population in check.
     
  20. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    +1 for the live trap. Can be difficult, but it works. The pound will take them. I don't think you will be able to trap a cat twice, so if you get it in the trap you might as well do your worst - whatever that is.

    Warn the neighbors about what you're doing because "somebody's" cat is doing what they're doing. We have a leash law that includes cats, so there isn't an excuse.

    Nobody should be forced to put up with somebody else's cat poo in their vegetable garden, flower beds, or any other place.
     
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