If you live anywhere near a community whether in the city or the suburbs, chances are good that there are outdoors cats around. I love the precious little furry bundles of love just as much as the next guy, but when it comes to cats in the garden I have to draw the line.
Cats dig, scratch and leave their little kitty gifts in garden beds because they can. Ancient Egyptians worshiped the cat and while the practice died away, the cat never forgot.
Here are five ways to keep the area cats from using your garden as a little box:
1. Keep the soil damp. Cats hate water and don’t like to get wet. Wet soil is far less inviting.
2. Cover bare soil. The less bare, exposed soil that is visible (especially soil that is freshly tilled or recently dug), the less likely you will be to find kitty treats in your carrots.
3. Remove waste immediately. Don’t let feces stay in the garden assuming that it will compost itself. If there’s cat crap there, cats will crap there again.
4. Get a gun. Relax. I’m talking about a water gun. A few directed squirts aimed at an unwelcome cat will help to discourage the unwanted behavior. I hear it works for kids, too.
5. Blood meal. It’s a great fertilizer that cats despise. Get the picture?
You can also use window screening or chicken wire at the base of plants to keep cats out of the garden, but this is a last resort because they’re ugly and you don’t want your garden to be ugly. Another option is to plant catnip in an outlying area away from your precious garden. The cats will appreciate it and may even avoid your other beds altogether!
These simple tips will help you to keep loving area cats without feeling the need to love them to death.