Cat Conundrum

I know that many of you out there are cat people (especially Tigger!), so I am hoping that one or two of you may be able to help me.  

Squeamish people should not read any further. 

During the recent spell of very hot weather it became apparent (my nose alerted me) that one or perhaps even more of the local cats are using the garden border right outside our front door as a handy overnight toilet facility.  Quite large deposits, not buried but sitting proudly on top of the soil beneath our shrubs and bushes and quite a ripe and not particularly welcome accompaniment to my morning coffee on the bench.

I have tried the popular suggestions, such as sprinkling coffee grounds and citrus peel etc but that makes no difference.   After removing the offending deposits I have taken to strewing the cuttings from our lavender and holly all over the soil but he (our neighbour thinks the culprit is a local large ginger Tom, unneutered and pretty aggressive by all accounts)  still manages to find a dump site.

P is going to acquire a roll of chicken wire to lay over the soil in the hope that this may deter him, but if anyone has any helpful suggestions I would be very grateful. 



54 comments:

  1. Get a lion. Chain him up near your front door and feed him raw meat. His massive roar should keep dirty little Ginger Pooper away. You could call your lion Philip in memory of Prince Philip. Just a thought.

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    1. From what I have heard about this particular Tom, a lion would probably come off worst in a cat fight. One of the local felines had half its face torn away in an encounter with him, incurring huge vets bills for the owner.

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    2. I see. Okay if a lion won't work, how about an entire pack of Arctic wolves? Available cheaply on Amazon. That should scare the bejesus out of him.

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    3. How many Arctic Wolves to the pack? See Eagleton Notes today, be careful.

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    4. I hope the Arctic Wolves come complete with nappies otherwise we may end up with a bigger problem.

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    5. A couple of polar bears should sort them out.

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    6. It sounds to me as if most of the 'solutions' are rather worse than the problem. A liberal amount of pepper should be fairly effective if it is a small area. The chicken wire laid flat is a good way of keeping rabbits off so it should work with cats.

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    7. Yes, much easier than starting my own Wildlife Park/Zoo.

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  2. I was going to suggest Lion Poo as apparently that works! Gosh, you can do without feral toms like that one. I hope that the mesh works - should do.

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  3. It is unusual for a cat not to bury its poop. Perhaps it is a marker for another cat to keep away. Don't really know any remedies without Google which you can do anyway. If it is a marker then the cats involved will have to sort themselves out and then the unburied poop should stop. Otherwise my only answer is take a trowel when you walk round the border and chuck some soil over the poop and bury it quickly.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. Yes, my friend did mention that she thought it was unusual for a cat not to bury its poop but this one doesn't seem to.
      Every morning I take a trowel to scoop it up and throw it over the fence onto the waste ground beside the tram tracks.

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  4. It is said that when cats don't bury their poo they are making a statement (to other cats) that they are the Alpha male cat in the territory. This doesn't really help your problem though, however it might explain why lion poo works. Good luck Willy Wombat

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    1. If it is that Tom then he certainly seems to want to assert his dominance, according to local reports. A feisty creature indeed.

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    2. I’m following the comments with interest as we have resorted to netting our entire veg garden to stop neighbouring cats dumping. Citronella spray worked over a small area but had to be reapplied after rain. Recipe on Google. Hope something works.

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    3. I think the netting may be our only solution.

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    4. Anon is right about using it to make a stmt to other cats, so you either need the pee/poo of even bigger tougher cats (which becomes like 'the old woman who swallowed a spider') or you could try chili powder (get a really potent one - like cayenne). I have heard that pyrethrum might work as well but that is not the kindest of substitute smells. If your offending cat isn't burying it anyway, netting won't stop him pooping on top.

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    5. Oh, great. Thanks Tigger. I may have to invest in a few kilos of extra hot chilli powder.

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  5. Oh gross, JayCee! I hope you figure out the solution so you can enjoy your coffee on your bench again!

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  6. I have heard of people having success with red pepper flakes. The cats sniff once and leave.

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    1. I shall try that when it is not raining.

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  7. You could buy them a cat litter tray and empty it each morning! Or you can buy cat repellant but it can smell worse than the cats. You can get a device that emits an ultrasonic sound when it detects an animal nearby, which tends to send them somewhere else, although our kids used to complain that they could hear a neighbour's bleeper when they walked past. As Rachel says, cats normally bury their poo, but as the ground is hard at the moment they may not be doing so. You could try digging a small area of loose ground nearby, or even a sand pit. Our cat buries hers in the garden provided she there is a loose area she can dig in.

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    1. There is a lovely area of nice loose soil further down the drive by the gate but he seems to ignore that. Just wants to let us know he is thinking of us perhaps?

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    2. I'd go for the ultrasonic gadget. £10 to £30. If it was near the front door it would at least send it further away in the garden, possibly even repel it from the garden completely.

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    3. I'll see if P will be willing to give it a try. Thanks Tasker.

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    4. As you know I am usually a very positive try anything person. I had a cat problem at one time and got two ultrasonic cat repellers. Not only did the cats ignore them but I saw one cat going round and round it and eventually going right up to it and obviously finding it absolutely fascinating. I think I have the photographic evidence and may even have blogged about it.

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    5. Ah. P is pretty sceptical at the best of times so I think this is not likely to persuade him then.

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    6. I didn't say anything about hard ground because I thought you had been having different weather to us, i.e. not hot and dry, at least that is what you have been saying on the blog.

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    7. We have, Rachel, but I think some of the commenters across in the UK have probably been experiencing soil as hard as concrete due to your heatwave conditions over there. Here it is a little more friable.

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    8. I only said that you said cats normally bury their poo - didn't mean to imply it was you rather than me that said about hard ground.

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    9. Yes, that is so. "Your" cat should therefore have been able to bury its poop on your island . Hopefully the problem will solve itself soon when territorial marking between cats is sorted. In the mean time have a bucket of sand and a trowel and quickly chuck some sand over it while you drink your coffee untainted by smell and in peace. You can then do whatever you want with it when you have finished the coffee.

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  8. I've noticed our cat going on the grass, and she's normally very good at burying her mess. I'm wondering whether this is because the earth under the shrubs is just too solid to flick easily?

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    1. Could be. The soil in some places is hard as concrete.

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  9. I have read that deer or rabbit repellent works well.

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    1. I don't think we can get that around here.

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  10. We had cats pooping in the bit of earth around our porch and I bought some cat/dog repellent spray that seems to work quite well. There are loads of different ones ..... the one we've got is called No More Fouling ! Now, here is another suggestion { please don't judge ! } At one time, we had a few foxes making a lots of holes and tunnels in the garden. I read somewhere that, if you pee around the area, they don't like it so, whenever my husband wanted to pee, I told him to do it in the garden where the foxes were digging and that seemed to work !!!! I don't know if P is willing ? If your garden is private as ours is, its OK but we don't want P to be done for indecent exposure !!!! XXXX

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    1. Actually P keeps a plastic bottle in the shed to pee in. He adds it to the compost heap. Perhaps I should ask him to pour it onto the soil! xxx

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  11. As a dog owner, we have not had the cat gangs in our plots. But I wonder why you think it acceptable for them to bury their doings for a gardener to find later.

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    1. I would prefer them not to leave any at all, buried or not, but the unburied ones are more noticeable due to the pungent aroma.

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    2. excrement is not forever. It breaks down very quickly.

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  12. There is a plant that you can buy which will deter cats, but sorry, I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. Google, or the garden centre will tell you, I'm sure. You could buy one plant and leave the pot on the ground and hope it will do the trick.

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  13. Try putting out a shallow bowl of vinegar.

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  14. I'm not sure if you got my previous comment. I'm really having a time with that lately.

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  15. Obviously you did not (I thought maybe you'd put on comment verification or something). Lord P seems a handy sort, and this gives him a chance to work on his evil chuckle while assembling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElcviGYMb3U

    You can also buy them premade. Havahart here markets one under the name "Critter Ridder".

    You know your nosy neighbor? Ours has a surveillance camera in front of his house. When I walk down the sidewalk in front of his house, he comes rushing up in his employer's delivery van. I've begun to stop in front of the house, and wait for him so that I can wave.

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  16. Fascinating suggestions! My cat likes to use my mulched beds as his litter box too but thankfully covers it up. I don't like him doing it so put netting, or cayenne pepper, or even rose pruning in places I don't want him digging. Pepper is the least unsightly but has to be repeated after every rain.

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    1. At the moment we have a piece of chicken wire over the biggest area and holly prunings tucked in around the edges. It seems to be keeping him away but is not a very pretty solution.
      Given the amount of rain forecast here this week I may have to put the pepper option on hold!

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Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)