My neighbor’s cats use my large garden as their litter box. Of course I have asked them to keep their (6) cats inside, but that lasts about 2 days. I don’t want to do anything to hurt the cats (I have 2 INSIDE kitties) nor do I want to get too aggressive with my neighbors, as they are good neighbors.
So, I have tried: ShakeAway, orange peels, rosemary cuttings,pinwheels. I have put netting around the vegetable gardens and they leave those alone, but I can’t net everything;too big.
The system using a high pitched screech on a motion detector(bought this online) seemed to keep them away, but I live on the coast and the wind keeps the motion detector going continuously and runs down the 9 volt battery pretty fast.
I know someone has overcome this. Please, clue me in before I ruin more gloves and the stench drives me away from my garden! Thanks.
This is a really challenging problem — though you’d think it wouldn’t be. It’s not like they are wild animals…but then again, they are, sort of. If the commercial repellents (some of which have some pretty nasty stuff in them) and citrus smell and so on didn’t work, the only other thing I know about to try is behavior modification.
This takes consistent work on your part, but can be effective in deterring domestic animals, and it’s non-toxic. All it requires is a water-pistol (bigger the better) or hose, and that you spray them with water every time they approach the yard. Eventually they will relocate their toilet.
I have read that they can be deterred by “marking” the area with human urine…specifically fro an adult male…I know, crazy,right? I have used coyote urine (available commercially at hunting suppliers and some garden centers/suppliers) to deter other animals with mixed results; who knows what cats think of coyotes. My cat never seemed bothered by it in areas where I used it against fox and so on.
I think you need to change their behavior and the water spray is going to drive them nuts.
I’ve had to deal with this, too.
Do you know if there is a particular direction or ‘pathway’ they use to get into your yard? Or do they wander in from all directions? The one thing I found that worked well depended on the first. Don’t know if it would do any good on the second.
Rambling first. Sorry for the wordiness.
The water spray concept is good, and I use that often in training indoor cats. But it takes as much consistency as you can manage, and works best if they mostly don’t connect the water with your presence. Can be hard to do outdoors, unless you have a lot of time to spend watching for cats, and are good at being sneaky (grin).
We have (blush) used human urine against groundhogs. Worked really well for about half of a growing season. Then they smartened up, and ignored it. And Ugq is right. Smells like this depend on the animal knowing the smell. A cat that has not learned to be afraid of a coyote isn’t bothered by the smell. Male cats are very often put off by male human urine, but female cats, especially in heat are actually attracted by it…. Long painful story. Don’t ask….
The one thing I found that made a big difference was that, in my situation, there was a specific part of the yard where the cats were used to coming through. Not any kind of gate-in-a-fence, but just from ‘that direction’. I put out a large, lowish tray with a mix of garden soil and cat litter about 30 ft inside the yard near that direction, and sprinkled catnip for about a ft around it, but not in it. After about a week, they were mostly using that general area. Once a week or so, I would refresh the thing, and slide it a few feet back toward ‘their yard’. It took, overall, a couple of months, but not with a lot of work. Then I planted catnip at the property edge.
Hasn’t eliminated everything. Occasionally, when they are wandering, they get ‘caught short’. But they don’t head here with with ‘litter box’ in mind. This was a few years ago, and they (and their grown kittens) are not any kind of problem.
Those are great ideas; I have a jet stream hose and I am going to put out a ‘catbox’ tonight. THANK YOU!