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Cats and Gardening


 
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Ruby
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 37
Location: Kerry

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:53 pm    Post subject: Cats and Gardening Reply with quote

Id appreciate any practical advice from gardeners with pet cats as Im about to get kittens.

The 200 sqM outdoor area is primarily divided into rockery beds for shrubs and perennials along with a 5x9M vegetable patch so Im wondering what kind of damage kittens/cats will do.

Researching online was no help as articles are either written by cat lovers who propose redesigning the garden to suit the cats or by gardeners who want to keep cats away at all costs. Both give the impression that raising a cat and maintaining garden is a major problem, which seems absurd but has made me reconsider whether I should be getting kittens.

Some context:
I have no problem with low level damage such as cats lying on comfy heathers to get some sun. I have a problem with flowers and veg that wont grow because of disturbance by cats.

The cats will eventually live outdoors with their own house, an outdoor litter tray, and climbing and scratching areas in the form of stacked wood piles. I hope training the kittens to use an outdoor little tray will keep them out of the veg patch.

While I wont resign the garden to suit the cats, I will remove highly toxic lilies and put in some cat friendly grasses and catnip (away from veg and near their house).

The cat litter will be binned but I assume bits of cat poo here and there can be left in the soil.

Any advice or experience on this is very much appreciated as I really had not thought cats would be incompatible with gardening but the online articles have made me question whether cats are suitable.
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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2176
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll find polarized views on this, I'm afraid.

Personally I don't let cats into my garden because of their stinky, smelly poos and their callous destruction of wildlife.

Australia is now going the right route with their control of cats.

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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 918
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have four cats. The only problem is, as you say, that they poo in my raised beds. Then they scratch it up. What I've done is made wooden frames covered with chicken wire. This protects new sowings and seedlings until they are big enough to be unattractive as a toilet. I also keep a few spares, in case there is some damage. I always leave an area of free space, and they use that. Cat poo covered in compost is relatively inoffensive (to me) to pick up and throw away. I would ideally build hoops of water pipe over the beds, and then use fleece and netting over them as needed, but the pipe is too expensive for me.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 816
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel bound to ask why on earth are you getting kittens in the first place? For those of us who enjoy pets, cats have definite plus points inasmuch as they don't need walking like dogs. They'll keep mice and rats down if you have them, but will also, as someone else has said, prey on wild birds. Once you've got a cat or cats, they're terrific company and will curl up on your lap on a winter's night - but you're going to turn them out of your house for some obscure reason, which defies logic to me? Have you thought this through?
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Keeks
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 145

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Cats and Gardening Reply with quote

Ruby wrote:
I hope training the kittens to use an outdoor little tray .....


Never going to happens....cats will alway do their own thing.....you may think you have then trained, but they will only do it to suit themselves.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4561
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm waiting for Bobbys girl with baited breath on this one!!!
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

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Sue Deacon
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014
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Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tagwex, I've got it now, bait your breath no longer. Very Happy

Hi Ruby, I have four cats - Bobby's girl is my alter ego (youngest cat is Bobby). I've seen both sides of this fence. When I lived in England (before I had cats) every cat in the neighbourhood used my garden as a giant litter tray and drove my dog nuts by sitting on the fence pulling faces at her.

I won't say it is plain sailing but I am lucky enough to have a large rural garden and a bunch of cats that prefer to use an indoor litter tray than my veg patch.

I have no restrictions on the plants I grow - I love lillies, I grow lillies (I do grow most at the back of the border and strip the rest of pollen as they open - bit of a faff, but something I'm prepared to do.

Chicken wire protects young plants until they are big enough to look after themselves.

I love catmint almost as much as the cats do and have rigged up a cage which the plants grow through. The cats can help themselves to the bits that
stick out without destroying the plant.

I get a lot of stick about the hunting instinct of our cats and yes they do take the odd bird and mouse. But lets put it this way, our lovely neighbours have a dog and no birds. We have 4 cats and this morning we also had a family of chaffinches, two goldfinches, a busy mum and dad starling (with a nest in the roof) a whole gang of sparrows, a young, very cheeky robin, one siskin a young thrush and various blue tits all helping themselves to the food we put out. Meanwhile the cats were comatosed on the sofa.

Yes you can have cats AND a garden and get pleasure from both.

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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cat murdered my one and only resident lizard. Sad Sad
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4561
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is good enough grounds for murdering the cat.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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sal
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree


Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 267
Location: kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love cats,gardens,and wild birds,,,,my kittens now 9 months old have just been let out to wander, I will be buying a collar with a bell on it for each cat and will add a couple more bells to give the birds a head start, the collars with the poppers that open if they get caught on anything, even though they go out now they come back to use their litter tray,,,,,for now, they are cats so who knows what they will decide to do
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Sue Deacon
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014
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Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you sal! Hope the bells work. I gave up with collars Purdy kept coming back in without them. I still find them in the woods from time to time. Rolling Eyes

You'll probably get a lot of stick for saying you love your cats. But, hey, at least we don't lose our veg to wood pigeons.

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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4561
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am still around you know.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sue Deacon
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Joined: 31 Dec 2014
Posts: 1623
Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wondered how long it would take you. Wink

How goes the battle?

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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not very long as I am always watching! !!!
I'm going to get someone to shoot the fookers.

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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lammax
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for good content
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