We had a massive problem with cats using our freshly dug herb patch to do their business, so we have found a few options that actually work!
The main reason a cat will use your garden as a toilet is because it is freshly dug or generally close to home and part of their daily route. There is nothing personal about it at all. So we need to look at ways to protect freshly dug beds. To stop a cat pooping in one area we you may need to sacrifice another area!
These options are not harmful to the purring, pooping perpetrators as you are not cruel!
The damage from a feline fiend is not just the poopy parcel. They seem to want to cover up their misdemeanour as well. So they inadvertently dig up all of your freshly laid seeds or new sprouting plants.
Preferred pooping preventatives
- egg shells or pine cones or even better – holly branches. These can act as a deterrent to cats as they don’t like walking over these sharp objects. But it won’t damage their paws.
- adult, human, male urine. Gross but helpful – just not when the neighbors are watching. The cats are put off by the hormones in the urine almost as much as the scent.
- Citrus peel is known to prevent cats from visiting to use the toilet in your garden. Although our perimeter is large so we tend to use citrus in pots alone.
- chicken wire to physically act as a barrier to cats who may wish to use the toilet on freshly dug soil.
- Catnip – divert them away! Be tactical and play them at their own game. They will be far less likely to poop in an area with smells they enjoy. Be warned not to fall into the trap of mistaking catmint with catnip!
- high tech water feature!!!! Quite strong water jets are on motion sensors and will spot a potential cat pooper a mile off.
- By planting Lemon Verbena in pots you can move them around the garden to act as a highly aromatic deterrent to visiting cats. This has worked well for us near the children’s play area.
- Cover up sand pits and the like. You may never be able to guarantee that a cat hasn’t mistaken your childs’ play area for a cat little box.
How To Prevent Cats’ Pooping In Freshly Dug Plant Beds
Our favourite method is to lay holly branches over any freshly dug beds. We overwintered some garlic cloves and needed them to stay undisturbed for the winter period.
For this to be ideal drainage I needed to double dig the bed. Happy days when I went back out two days later to plant the garlic and saw lots of little dents with parcels waiting for me.
We love to garden with the kids so this is really worrying. After cleaning the poopy packages away I was then able to plant the cloves and lay holly over the top.
You may not want to leave it like this all year, but you wont need to. Once the bed has garlic growing it is not that attractive as a pooping station.
Simply remove the holly branches once the garlic starts to come on up.
If you are growing in smaller pots, try pine cones , prickly under paw, so I imagine not so welcome for a toilet.
Using Urine To Prevent Cats From Pooping
We have chickens in our garden who like to free range. I worry so much that the cat will attack them that my husband has agreed on one occasion only to do a discrete wee. He will hate me for writing this. But I sort of gave him an ultimatum regarding getting a male dog to do it, or him.
When I told other gardening friends they said they all do it! Apparently it is also good as an accelerator for the compost heap as well!
Tips for getting away with peeing in your garden include – not doing it in daylight! Basically you can ask politely for a bottle of wee from your beloved and then water it down and spritz around the fence.
Not on a breezy day though. Say no more
How To Use Citrus Peel To Deter Cats From Pooping
This has not worked for our cat problem at all. I wanted to include it though as it would be perfect for a smaller garden. Watching the cat from our bedroom window and I can see her sniff the orange peel, walk around it and then go and scratch the garden up!
The cat can control me totally. I have all intentions of going out to the garden and shouting her away but sometimes just end up stroking her. Evil mind games with her cuteness!
With her cuteness in mind we have refused to try chili water as a spray. Only because it could be harmful to her and I would hate to harm her for doing what comes naturally.
Chicken Wire or Netting Can Prevent Cats From Pooping
You are not going to enter any National Garden Schemes with the pleasing appearance of your chicken wired raised beds. But you can keep them protected whilst tender leaves start to appear.
It seems counter intuitive to be locking off part of your own garden to stop the furry fiend from leaving a calling card. But once you realise that you can then open it up again and have healthy plants that are thriving it becomes a winner.
For us it is a no brainer as our lovely free range ladies will dig up anything that isn’t penned off.
This is especially favoured as our nephew painted this tyre! He put his favourite herbs in and has very graciously allowed the girls to eat them all, in exchange for eggs. But he is annoyed if they dig at all. Kid logic dictates that he now hand feeds them from his herb garden!
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) Relax Your Cat
Basically what I am suggesting sounds like rewarding the pest for pooping. But it is a sort of diversion technique. They are too busy getting high to think about digging up your bed.
If you find a spot out of the way of your main crops then this can be the best herb to deter unwanted digging and the results.
There is a great article on petmd around the two main effect of catnip on a cat.
Eating catnip vs smelling catnip
By eating or rubbing against the leaves your feline enemy will be able to release the oils. Much the same way as we would do to get the flavour out. Eating it has the affect of a sedative on the cat. For us catnip will be a tasty treat as well. But we probably wont feel sleepy as it is from the mint family. Not from any other type of herb which may have a reputation for sedative effects.
When the cat smells the catnip, they will become manic and rush around like a kitten. Amazing to watch and they always look a bit embarrassed after it has worn off ten minutes later. The main thing is catnip is king at distraction.
Hopefully your catnip wont bring all the cats to your yard! We set ours well away from the other herbs. Having chosen a spot with good drainage and plenty of sunshine, we used chicken wire to separate it from the digging poop machine.
Growing Catnip from Seed
A little bit of an initial fiddle. Drop a handful of seeds into a sealed bag in the freezer, just for a few hours. Next soak them in water for a day. It kind of splits and harms the seed case allowing for sprouting to occur.
Pop the seeds into a covered container with damp kitchen towel underneath. 10 days and you will see sprouts appear. Then plant them outside in warmer soil, of into biodegradable plant pots until they have their true leaves and can be planted out.
They are perennial so once you have put the hard work in you can relax! But not too much as they can be a bit pushy and try to take over.
Watch out for self seeding as well as the need to pinch them out when they get a bit too wild.
These herbs make for some of the prettiest flowers and the bees will also love you for it!
Using A Motion Sensor Water Pistol To Prevent Cats From Pooping
This has been recommended to me on so many occasions. We have a really large garden so can position this where the cat gain entry.
When the chickens are free ranging we turn it off, but if the kids are outside somehow we seem to forget sometimes.
It is battery powered so no need for electrical connections. With a 10 metre range for motion detection it can be very handy.
Just saying for no particular reason, but when you test it, you will get soaked. It is harmless to cats as it does not take a high pressure of water at all. That is kind of key here.
Be kind to your furry pooping friend
I hope that we have given you some great ideas for gently persuading your furry pest to poop elsewhere. Let us know how you get on as these are low cost solutions you can try a few of them to find what works for you!