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Keeping cats out of veg bed.


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monkeynic
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: Keeping cats out of veg bed. Reply with quote

I have 2 cats and they seem to love digging and doing their business in my veg bed. Is there anyway to keep them out and are there any health implications of this for us?
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard citrus peel works...cats hate the smell. Also someone once advised putting a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil onto used tea bags and scattering them around the beds you want to protect ( same principle )
Knowing how cats are drawn to soft newly raked soil, I wonder if you set aside a small area and put plenty of fine compost over it, it may just attract the cats away from your vegetables.
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 6 cats. I keep them off the vegitable bed very well by using old, rusty stock fencing spread over the ground. Stock fencing (the type commonly used by sheep and cattle farmers) has to be replaced once it is rusty, and you will often see it left by the roadside in rusty rolls.
The fact that it is discarded (and therefore free) is not the only reason why it is great for using to keep the cats off the garden. If new, smooth and flat the cats may try to scrach inside the wire squairs because they are level with the soil. If it is rusty and old, however, it is also crinkled and curved, with only a few places where it toaches the soil, so the whole area is like an obstical course, and remains protected. Rusty fencing is also much easyer to cut to shape and size than new fencing. There is also the question of appearance. Old and rusty stock fencing is nearly invisible from a few yards away because it blends in with the colour of the soil, so doesn't look so untidy.
Finaly, because of the wider guage of the stock fencing (unlike chicken wire for example) when most vegitables are well established you can lift the wire clear without doing any damage to the roots or pulling off the leaves. This may need to be done in readyness for weeding or harvesting. The exceptions in this regard are spreading or climbing vegitables like runner beans and corgettes. I find, however, that leaving the stock fencing on the ground helps to support these plants anyway and doesn't pose any problems during weeding and harvesting.
You can also use this method to cover raised beds, pots and planters - all of which may otherwise be mistaken for cat litter trays! I hope this solves the problem.
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monkeynic
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice. Def gonna try the citrus peel idea (I eat way too many oranges) might try and find some fence too as back up plan. Smile
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SorchaBC
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that using all the dead twiggy branches we had lying round the garden was a great help. Stick them into the ground, they keep birds, our two cats and big dog off the vegtable patch. We did try mesh but the kitten got himself stuck in it and if we hadn't been here to get him out he would have panicked and injured himself.
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sal
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i put gorse cuttings over my planters as my cats were using them as toilets,crouch on that if you dare i thought
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simonj
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lead delivered by shotgun is a tempting response Laughing

I was pretty badly hurt in an asault last September, and after that I sort of got adopted by a stray cat who would cheer me up and purr me on for want of a better expression while I got working on a veg patch to do something positive while in recovery.

But she turned up with 3 kittens one day.

She died and the three feral little beasts live on, and I feel I am obliged to feed the ungreatful little monsters.

They have decided that my 4 raised beds are their personal loo, and are very cheeky about it.

Anyway - what has failed to date is:
Pepper powder
Getoff pelets

I looked into dessicated lion poo, but that had bad reports

All that has really worked so far is neting, and leaving a patch exposed for their convienience.

Will try the citrus though, at this stage anything is worth a shot - other than a 12 guage
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Sive
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe if you adopted the three kittens ( and neutered them ) they would bring you as much happiness as their mother did. Cats have a strange way of appearing in people's lives........enjoy them !
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I said I had 6, well now I have 7 cats - the latest arrived this week! Shocked Cats are fine in the garden as long as you have them neutered and speyed - we had the new one done today. I know quite a lot about cats - so just in case anyone needs any detailed advise, I hope this helps.
Un-neutered and un-speyed cats comunicate all kinds of terratorial messages through where and how they do their toileting, therefore you do have a much harder job restricting their habits (battling their instincts) if they are un-neutered. Furthermore, a dominant cat within a group will leave it on the surface, or even on the lawn Rolling Eyes whereas a passive, quiet cat will tend to do it somewhere very secrative. Even neutered cats do not like to do it in the same place as other cats, unless they are closely related (eg sisters). If you provide a litter tray or designated area in, or out of doors, it is most effective if there is one area for each cat. Cats that lick and groom one another more readiely use the same area, so cultivating friendships with buttered ears etc. can help in the long run.
Nervous or distressed cats mark territory obsessively, and also dig huge holes for no apparent reason. An unlucky owner may need advise from a vet in such cases. A few days of cat sedatives can be supprisingly effective to break a neurotic habbit. Catnip, or Valarian can also be grown arround a "cat-safe" area - somewhere sunny and sheltered - to help calm a nervous cat. The cat won't use the safe area as a toilet, but it will help establish terretorial security - essential for calming it's behaviour.
Kittens do tend to do it in strange places if they are not trained early, much more so if the mother is not there Sad because they usualy coppy her habbits. Kittens are also too small to be dettered by stock fencing, but fine guage chicken wire will keep them off. Also, tall, narrow planters are far less likely to be used than lower and wider ones - but be carefull they can't be climbed and toppled instead!
One more thing, cats really go for freshly dug soil, far more so than soil that has been dug for a week or two. Try disturbing the soil where you want them to do it at least once a week - but mind you do it with a long stick Embarassed
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monkeynic
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice about the citrus peel, its working brilliantly. My cats have now decided they would rather come in and use their litter tray or they dig in another area which is fine to use. Smile
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi monkeynic, that is great to read that citrus peel works and also very interesting as it was a tip I had read about, but never needed to use ! And what a bonus that it is a safe, organic and free solution.
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SorchaBC
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm gave this a try myself today as the kitten has taken a shine to the newest veg bed. Apparently he didn't get the memo Rolling Eyes He was last seen frolicking in there, playing with the peel.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just browsing on Amazon.co.uk and by chance came across an electronic device for keeping cats out of your garden or beds.
It's called The Big Cheese and has got lots of good reviews.
Just passing it on in case anyone is interested......
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simonj
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, just chopped up and spread out oranges in the beds.
Hope it works as after the nematodes, liquid derris and nets went down my major pests are the three kittens of apocolyptic destruction.

I am also thinking of getting a water pistol and filling it with orange juice, that way if they come in the garden while Im there, I'll hit them with the orange juice, so with any luck it will associate the smell of oranges with discomfort.

Bad and all as I feel about it, its either that or break them up for adoption - which I do not want to do.

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Sive
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't waste your orange juice ! Cats hate being sprayed with plain old water and it's a very good deterrent. And remember it's the smell of citrus PEEL that repels them.....
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