Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Emily24-Mar-03 09:02 PM EST 5a   
Nancy24-Mar-03 09:27 PM EST 5   
PatA25-Mar-03 12:15 PM EST 3a   
JoanneS28-Mar-03 03:58 PM EST 3a   
Nancy28-Mar-03 04:45 PM EST 5   
durte429-Mar-03 07:29 AM EST 3   
PatA30-Mar-03 05:07 PM EST 3a   
JoanneS01-Apr-03 01:51 PM EST 3a   


Subject: Cat Trick
From: Emily
Zone: 5a
Date: 24-Mar-03 09:02 PM EST

Does anyone have a trick to stop a cat from playing in plants? My cat is always in my plants playing with the dirt....and he's killing all my plants. Help please :)


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 24-Mar-03 09:27 PM EST

There are at least 6 neighbourhood cats (two of them mine) that frequent my back yard, so I've learned a few tricks.

Mainly, I only leave freshly dug earth exposed when I have to, like in the vegetable beds at the beginning of the season, and try to keep newly dug flower beds mulched over. Even grass clippings will help. I weed by pulling, not by hoeing, and leave soil amendments (leaves, compost, etc.) in spring on top of the flower beds and don't dig them in.

Every time I trim my stronger scented herbs, I hang onto the clippings and spread them over any freshly dug soil. The cats don't like the smell and stay away. Sage seems to work the best. When I prune my roses, I cut up the stalks into 5-6 inch lengths and lay over areas I want to keep them out of. I've heard of others that use pieces of chicken wire just under to soil, or spread pine cones in vulnerable spots.

Lastly, having a large property and sandy soil, I've also managed to leave them a small patch of loose sand in an unobtrusive spot at the back of my property as an outdoor litterbox. Not only does it divert them away from the garden, at least I know where those landmines'll be!


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 25-Mar-03 12:15 PM EST

Emily, is it house plants that are the problem right now? I have a trick. Cover the top of the pot with tin foil just leaving room for the plants to stick out. If you don't like the look, get some green moss from a florist or garden centre and that will cover it up. For some reason cats don't like the feel of tin foil on their claws(maybe it's like finger nails on a chalk board to them) This also works for my dining room chairs which have a nice detail on the leg that my cat seems to think is for sharpening purposes. The other thing to do is grow some 'CAT GRASS' Oats or rye seeds work great. Use a sturdy low pot so the cat won't knock it over and be prepared to start a second one about a week later. Your cat will love something fresh to gnaw on that he doesn't get in trouble for! Let it grow to about an inch high then put it either by his foods dish or in his favourite window but not next to the plants. He needs a clear definition of what is HIS! Hope this helps. PatA


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Mar-03 03:58 PM EST

Yes, but I have the best way ......

I purchased a motion activated sprinkler last year and it worked like a charm. It took 3 days to train the cats not to go near the bird feeders. Then, we just passed the device around the neighbourhood. It didn't hurt the kitties, cause I do like cats really, it just made them a bit wet. After a month of passing this around, it was hilarious to watch as someone would accidentally set off the device, and hearing the noise, all the kitties would run off, although it wasn't anywhere near them.

I only found one place for this device last year and it was Lee Valley Tools, but I'm betting it won't be long before there are copies floating around. It really worked well.


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 28-Mar-03 04:45 PM EST

Joanne, I've been considering one of those. Not for the cats, as there are far too many places that I'd want one and at the price Lee Valley's asking (fine for one, but not for 10) that's not practical. I would like to get one for my pond area to try to deter the raccoons that eat my goldfish and tear up my plants. Can they be put on a timer, do you know? My pond's right next to our patio so having the sprinkler activated during the day would kinda put a damper on the human activities, so to speak.


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: durte4 (durte4@hotmail.com)
Zone: 3
Date: 29-Mar-03 07:29 AM EST

I've heard that cats can't stand the smell of Rue. I believe it is a perrenial herb.


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: PatA
Zone: 3a
Date: 30-Mar-03 05:07 PM EST

I tried rue having heard the same thing and I thought it would blend well with my herb garden. Unfortunately no luck, a certain cat actually laid right beside it while stalking birds at the feeder. Rue is not perennial in zone 3 and be careful because some people develop a rash from handling the foliage.

If cats are determined not much will stop them. Check out the 'Cats In The Garden' Thread. It has a lot of good recommendations. JoanneS is on to a good thing with the Scarecrow Sprinkler. It is available at some garden centres now too. And if you don't want to use it (when you are in the garden) just turn off your water tap.


Subject: RE: Cat Trick
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 01-Apr-03 01:51 PM EST

Nancy, The Scarecrow is easily moved around the yard. I found that three days in one place was enough to train the cats. I could then move the Scarecrow elsewhere. Actually, between four of us on the block, we passed it around all summer. The advertisements say it will work for racoons as well as numerous other animals. It is not on a timer, but you can easily turn it on and off, either directly on the device, or by turning the water taps on or off. I would turn mine on in the morning, and off at night, although for raccoons, you would probably want to do the opposite.

An added bonus, until the cats were trained, was getting some dry areas watered a bit. You can tell when the cats figured out to stay away, because the dirt went from wet to dry.


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