Keep Cats from Using Your Garden as a Litter Box

Feral Cats

Feral Cats Can Be a Health Hazzard

Keeping cats out of your garden is important whether you like them or not. The fact is that cats (especially feral ones) may present a serious health hazard to the people and animals in your household. If your yard has become a nightly gathering spot for your neighborhood cats, it will likely be littered with feces and sprayed with urine that male cats use as a means of marking territory. For gardeners and others who spend a lot of time in their yards, constantly stepping in cat feces can be a nuisance. Cat waste may also be a vector for any parasites a cat may be carrying, which may cause health problems for animals in your household. In order to eliminate those potential problems, it will be necessary to keep the cats from using your garden or lawn as a litter box. That may be easier said than done as cats are agile and able to get over, under or around many of the physical obstacles placed in their way. Below are three widely used strategies for dealing with cat problems.

1. Removing Sources of Food

All Natural Cat RepellentSimply removing any sources of food from your property may do the trick. Like most animals, cats – especially feral cats – may be in your yard looking for food. If you are in the habit of feeding your pets outside, you may want to discontinue that practice or place food bowls indoors after feeding time. Trash cans without secure lids may be another food-related factor attracting them onto your premises. Securing the lid on a refuse container may be enough to remove that temptation. Those methods may be effective when dealing with cats whose sole interest is in food. In some cases, however, a well-fed domesticated tomcat may simply view your yard as his territory.

2. Water

Cats have a well-known dislike of water and therefore manually spraying them with it may discourage them from spending time in your yard. There are several ways in which to accomplish this, including the use of:

* A spray nozzle on a garden hose.
* Long-range “Super Soaker” style water guns.
* Motion-activated sprinkler systems.

Both the garden hose method and the water guns depend on you reacting quickly to the presence of cats in your yard which may not always be possible. There is also the fact that not all cats are afraid of water, which will render all three methods useless.

3. Smell-based Repellents

As most cat owners know, cats are sensitive to smells. Whether it is a new brand of cat food or the scent of a nearby predator, cats can be easily influenced by odors. Placing a product in your yard that gives off the scent of predator urine will trigger the cat’s inborn fear instinct and therefore be effective in keeping them out. Shake-Away Cat Repellent works on that simple principle. It is made with the urine of coyotes and foxes, predators that cats naturally fear. Unlike liquid repellents that require sprayers to apply and which may be messy, Shake Away is applied in a dry form and therefore requires no additional equipment. Because Shake Away is an organic product, it poses no harm to children or pets in your household.

The survival instinct is a basic part of an cat’s makeup. While all of the methods noted above may be effective to some extent for keeping cats from using your garden/flowerbed as a litter box, but only Shake Away uses the cat’s ingrained desire to survive to your advantage.

http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/yard/2000/020500.html
http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/pets/catpoop.html
http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-articles/keeping-cats-out-of-your-yard

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