Best cat detterant?

(56 Posts)
Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 15:29:08

Our neighbours cats keep pooing in our garden. It's quite a small garden, high fence round all sides, we've done a lot of work in it last year & are really looking forward to being able to get use out of it this year. We have a toddler so really really can't tolerate it. They poo on the grass & sit in my raised planter (veggies).

We have water guns at the ready, getting lions roar for the front where our toddler doesn't really play. Thought about spikes for fence, do they work? Any other suggestions that work (apart from get a cat-can't stand them, I'm allergic anyway).

No cat sob stories please, I like animals (I don't eat them!), but can't abide other people's attitudes towards unacceptable pet behaviour, including cat poo in my lovely child friendly garden.

many thanks.

DrSeuss Sat 28-Apr-12 17:01:29

1 a chuffing great dog!
2 a cat of your own.
3 my late father, a research chemist by training, got the kind of vials you pee in when preggers, filled them with ammonia and dug them in around the veg. Works!
4 plastic trellis around beds or pots.
5 thorny branches strategically placed
Are you sure the lawn is cats? They usually bury it. Could be foxes, if so try human hair to deter.

bluebump Sat 28-Apr-12 17:05:27

My neighbours cat keeps pooing in my garden too, it doesn't bury it either. I am so sick of it now and like you have been just using scare tactics to get rid of it. I had placed branches etc around over the soil but the wind and rain recently blew them away.

I'm going to watch this thread with interest! My mum had one of those things that makes a noise that only cats can hear and hate so I may go down that route.

ragged Sat 28-Apr-12 17:13:02

Citrus, my cats hate the aroma. Citronella must be similar. Perhaps there are trees or plants that give off similar fragrances that you could plant?
I understand why you don't want the cat visits, but I'm not sure why having a toddler makes cat visits particularly intolerable.
Quick google suggests rosemary, lemon balm, mints, pines & pepper plants all put some cats off.

DrSeuss Sat 28-Apr-12 17:18:27

Toddlers touch everything including piles of shit, that's why! Forgot oil as/eucalyptus. Vials of oblast?

MyDogShitsShoes Sat 28-Apr-12 17:51:25

A dog.

Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 18:03:58

ragged you don't understand why I don't want the cat visits because you are a cat owner & lover, I am neither. I am the parent of a toddler who can no longer open the door & let my toddler run free in the garden. I have to inspect for cat shit first, from a cat which is not my responsibility.

As I said in my OP, I don't like cats. I don't want to harm them but I don't want them in my garden. I didn't want this to be a cat versus no cat discussion, I just want them to stop their delightful visits & deposits.

It is definitely the cats I've seen them do it, I understood they tried to bury it too, not these little shitters.

Dog is out, both DH do like animals, we just don't want to have any of our own.

Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 18:04:48

bluebump does your mums sound thingy work?

VeronicaSpeedwell Sat 28-Apr-12 18:06:25

Lurking for tips, in deep sympathy.

Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 18:09:50

ragged I think I owe you an apology, I just realised you said you do understand why I don't want the visits. Sorry, I'm slightly enraged at the moment. Got back from a 5 day break to find more shit in the garden and two pots that my DD planted that have been upturned much to her distress. I'm just sick of it. We have the perfect garden now which us being spoiled by someone else's pet!

However, yes having cat shit on the grass plus a toddler does not make for a nice play space.

So I'm sorry for ranting blush

RavenVonChaos Sat 28-Apr-12 18:10:36

I totally sympathise. I live in a terraced house surrounded by cats. They all shit in my yard. We bought special high pitched gadgets from eBay that worked a treat - cats couldn't bare the noise.

When my kids were toddlers I would regularly lose the plot whilst de-shitting my yard. I would shout "thank you cat owners I am now picking up their shit so my children can play in their garden". Urban cats should be trained to shit indoors so owners can deal with their waste.

Had to pick up a massive dog turd outside my front door the other day too!

Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 18:16:23

raven stupid question but I assume the cat noise thingy isn't harmful to children? Also do they need an electrical supply or just batteries?

DH is on a mission to make a purchase tonight.

drsuess I didn't know that about human hair, we have foxes in the front who surprisingly don't poo in the garden, I'll be emptying my hairbrush in their favourite bushes tomorrow smile

I sympathise. I hate my own cats going in the garden, so it must be infuriating to have random cats do it.
Ours have litter trays, which they are meant to use, but seem to prefer flowerbeds (including the one that was an indoor only cat until 6 years old...). I've even tried keeping them in until they've just done the business in the tray, but it's not fool proof.
You can buy deterrent sprays from garden centres etc which are basically plant oils that cats dislike the smell of, which I've found quite effective...(I did leave them one bed to use, to stop them going next door - we're not all inconsiderate b******s! smile Although most garden poo-ers are strays in my experience.)
Good luck!

bluebump Sat 28-Apr-12 18:23:46

Yes, she swears by the noise thing, and I think it takes batteries, at least it's not plugged in anywhere.

Heartbeep Sat 28-Apr-12 18:25:50

mummy I know you're not, my neighbours are, they're right next door, the cats are rarely home, as are the neighbours.

DrSeuss Sat 28-Apr-12 18:34:12

The fox hair thing was Hugh Fearnley witting thingy. He got hand fuls of it from the barber. Can't swear it works.

gingercurl Sat 28-Apr-12 18:40:36

I don't think the noise is dangerous to children but i know that they may be able to hear it. My DSS used to hear ours when he was about 7 yo.
The best thing we found to stop the neighbours' cats from pooing in our garden apart for DH shooting plastic pellets at them is having planters with a plant called "scardy cat" (Coleus Canina) Available here. They give off a smell that cats don't like and by having them in planters you can move them out of the way when you want to use the bit of lawn or patio and then move them back when you are finished. They're not hardy though so the cats tend to come back during the winter months when the plants have succumed to frost.

gingercurl Sat 28-Apr-12 18:45:08

The water sprayer things with sensors work quite well too but you have to move them around occasionally as the cats will work out where they can go without setting them off. Our vegetable patch is covered by three of the things pointing at different directions. A bit of a pain when you go to pick some carrots for dinner if you forget to turn them off first. I've been drenched a number of times, but that is still preferrable to finding cat poo among the crops. angry

MrsMagnolia Sat 28-Apr-12 18:48:28

Cocoa shell mulch is a very effective cat deterrent, but poisonous to dogs, which is fine as you don't have any! It is good for the garden and when ds was small he loved helping spread it out as it is very light and smells chocolatey. If you spread it on your borders and top dress any pots with it the cats should stay away. It needs doing every year, but will improve soil so you're not just buying something to deter cats grin

gingercurl Sat 28-Apr-12 18:49:41

Oh, DH also hammered nails so that about 3/4 inch was still sticking up on a gate that the cats tended to jump on top off. That stopped them going that way.

ragged Sat 28-Apr-12 19:08:48

I don't think of myself as a cat lover at all, lol. Am a mere Owner (or owned by, depends who you ask). I couldn't face dog-owning but thought it was good for DC to learn all about cats. I'm horrified to think of my cats shitting in other gardens, I'd love to train them to only poo indoors but they have other ideas, sadly. I'd buy SuperSoakers for any neighbours who asked for help. Luckily neighbours all have at least one messy outdoor pet themselves: dogs, cat, rabbit, chickens.

Toddlers very often live quite peacefully & healthfully with cats, so I just questioned whether they are that incompatible.

Kveta Sat 28-Apr-12 19:14:51

bear traps?

seriously though, this is an issue close to my heart at the moment, as our lawn and veg plot seem to be the toilet of choice for all the local shitting felines angry

we have a sonic cat repeller, which does work for most cats (sadly we have one local deaf twat of a cat who is unrepelled). It does eat batteries, but is worth the expense IMO.

We have netting over all veg plots, and combined with the sonic thing, that has kept them clean - one cat was shitting over the netting for a while, which made steam come out of my ears.

then for the stupid deaf one, we have some cat sticks. see here we have them in the bit of lawn the moron keeps using.

We borrowed my parents dogs for a day,and they pissed all over the lawn, but that made no difference to the cat turd incidence. Garlic powder/gel/spray, all useless. broken pottery, useless, citrus peel, coffee grounds, useless, crumpled up foil, useless.

Good luck.

We have netting over the veggie patches, slate tiles sticking up out of the soil at intervals, spiky plant branches on the soil, the scaredy cat plant (which smells disgustingsad) and the little blighters still find a square inch of soil somewhere to poo!
Keeping areas planted helps, I have got away with "planting" twigs from trees so they can't assume the position comfortably.
I might try the hair thing and report back.
Apparently olbas oil infused tea bags work, or coffee grounds, I haven't got to that point yet (but may soon, my neighbours have 7 cats)

marshmallowpies Sun 29-Apr-12 08:43:45

I've tried the citronella gel stuff & certainly the cats don't like it, but it washes away so fast when it rains. Planting spiky plants & filling in gaps wherever possible also helps, but I lost some plants due to frost so there are new gaps appearing all the time!

Cocoa mulch sounds good, I might try that.

Definitely get foxes in the garden but not sure how their poo is different, is it more like dog poo? The foxes have left chicken bones & bits of chicken skin in my flower beds already <boak>

saggybaps Sun 29-Apr-12 19:26:29

Another cat HATER here with a toddler that loves diggging/ playing in the garden. I never hated cats, was quite happy to co-exist, until we started working on out garden & there was cat-shit everywhere.

Then I had to be tested for toxiplasmosis as there was too much fluid on my unborn baby's brain & I realised my arse-hole neighbours have bought 2 cats... they don't have a garden!! So quite happily bought 2 cats for everyone else to deal with their shit!

I'd merrily take an air-rifle to them, (I don't have one & wouldn't really) as I've just found another fresh pile of shit right next to my blueberry bush.

Why do people buy such an anti-social animal? Will be purchasing cat-sticks and sonic repeller, begrudgingly. Why should I have to pay for them?

saggybaps Sun 29-Apr-12 19:28:01

Sorry that was a mega-rant. Blame preggo hormones at 39+2 wks. Still pisses me off having to clear it up though.

Bienchen Mon 30-Apr-12 08:15:55

You can get the cat scarer things mains powered as well. I have one in the garden but sadly it works only on some cats not others. Having it mains powered means I don't have to check whether the batteries have run out. Cheaper in the long run, too.

Make sure you switch it off if your kids are playing in the garden as the sound is very high pitched, its the ability to hear the high pitch that we lose as we get older but it may irritate toddlers/children even if you barely register it.

Once kids are older buy them water guns!

Yes to cocoa shell mulch but again works not with all cats. Best deterrent is sticks from pruning dotted around the borders. I have resorted to this in front of the local school where cats regularly flatten all plants by sitting on and shitting on.

Bienchen Mon 30-Apr-12 08:17:18

Spikes for fence do not work for all cats, it just makes the cats walk more slowly along them rather than run. Gives me more time to throw a can of water on them though!

Iwantcandy Mon 30-Apr-12 09:26:47

Do your neighbours know about it? I'd be asking them to come round to clean it up and/or returning it to their garden

Please dont get spikes, they dont know what sharp things are and could get hurt. We love our cats so much, I have a litter tray for mine but once they learn about nice soft earth they stop using them.

I would have no objection to anyone supersoaking my cat to deter him as long as he can get away I.E they havent got him backed into a corner and are doing it to be cruel.

They love soft earth, how about a sharp grit sprinkled on the borders?.

Once again please dont be cruel, I know someone whose dad drowned a cat for pooing in his garden, he put it in a full water butt and held the lid down.

RavenVonChaos Mon 30-Apr-12 14:52:06

how about replacing cat litter with soft earth?

VeronicaSpeedwell Mon 30-Apr-12 15:08:06

Quite. Cat owners who understand their cats' poo tastes so well should feel free to build a deluxe poo park in their own gardens. I really don't think anyone on this thread is setting out to be cruel -- if they were there might be some far more effective suggestions being shared. As it is we are all fannying about with citrus and special plants and gadgets which consume zillions of batteries, and still being greeted by a shitstorm.

I bought some powder cat repellent and sprinkled it in the affected area. It smells disgusting actually worse than cat poo. Weeks later I can still smell it when I'm out there.
This is my cat as well.
What did work was covering up the area he was using with thick cardboard and making a special area for him to use with used cat litter spread on top.
In the past I've found that spiky branches work (pyracantha is good).

Bienchen Mon 30-Apr-12 16:19:26

Fluffy, the spikes are fine. They are made from pointy plastic and are uncomfortable to walk on but will not pierce the skin. The idea was to train the cat to not jump off the fence onto our outside dining table before they run across the raised beds and then over the trellis on the wall on their way home.

I have probably spent more than £100 with the cat scarer, spikes and netting for two raised beds alone and am full of sympathy with others. I am also a prefessional gardener, so come across more cat shit in my professional life, too. Some of my clients are very upset by the damage, stink and extra expense they have to fork out for.

I have also had my tulip bed destroyed by cats, they have completely flattened the foliage and flowers. The owner of these cats that pester us does not have a cat flap. She turfs the three cats out in the morning (whatever the weather) and lets them back in at night. She has cats "because they are less work than a dog" (her words not mine).

I for got to mention Silent Roar (another tenner a box), it helps with some cats, you only need to apply a few bits and lasts about a month. As with all the other suggestions, you need to remove the cat poo first for it to work best.

Hepsibaaah Mon 30-Apr-12 22:29:41

air rifle
A bloody great water gun and a bit of time. That plus my terrier grin

IvanaNap Thu 03-May-12 12:24:54

MyDogShitsShoes grin
I think you may have a bias there (unless your nn is a red herring!)

Do you think borrowing a dog is a good idea? Let it have a good run about in the garden, leave its smell etc?

Was just skimming for quick ideas trawling this for a similar problem.

A cat keeps sitting at the end of the garden, catching birds from next doors bird table (when they land on a small tree in our garden after eating) and the cat has scratched the hell out of the small tree's trunk, too. Little shit.

Which reminds me - DC stood in cat shit a few months ago too - the garden is gravel and paving so one big litter-tray I presume sad

SparkyUK Thu 03-May-12 12:54:39

I have two problems
1. My DH is a cat lover and refuses to think they do any harm or that their poo is toxic. thinks I am getting cross because I am not particularily fond of cats
2. We have cats and foxes so foxes get the blame for everything. We have all seen numerous neighborhood cats milling about and caught them in the act more than a few times, but it is still the foxes who get the blame.
Obviously an air rifle won't work on DH, so how can I convince him that this is a problem we need to deal with? Also, what two pronged approaches for the cats and the foxes? And, DH deals with the poo and just digs it into the dirt - is that good enough?

MyDogShitsShoes Thu 03-May-12 14:03:26

I have to be honest, my advice was flippant and useless blush

My nn certainly isn't a red herring but I also have 2 cats!

4 legs good, 2 legs bad grin

plipplops Thu 03-May-12 22:22:59

Human urine works pretty well. It's a bit gross but at least it's free! My sister used to have a dedicated jug in the toilet that her and her husband would wee in to spread over the garden. I used to do the same, or just send DH out in the dark when he had to go! We also had a noisy repeller thing - you could hear it but it was a small price to pay, I used to switch it on and off periodically. If you can get rid of them for a bit (throw every idea you've got at it), then they do find somewhere else to go and it seems to break the habit. Cat (and dog) poo is THE MOST disgusting thing ever and it's so horrible to feel you can't let your kids out in their own garden. Really good luck smile

gardeninggal Mon 07-May-12 23:46:43

I use, used ground coffee. Ok it smells quite strong to begin with but it seems to keep the felines off the garden. To get lots of grounds I go to my local coffee shop and recycle their used grounds. They are more than happy to get rid of them.smile

cathers Fri 11-May-12 19:45:04

I have found the most effective and economical deterant to be a big bag of hot chilli powder from lido or an Indian supermarket!
I then sprinkle it, especially where the cats seem to enter and exit my garden, and where they poo. They hate it and seems to work a treat.

Lifeissweet Sat 12-May-12 10:09:51

I've just come on here expressly to ask the same question. I've just gone outside to find one of the 3 cats that frequent my garden in the act on a patch of ground where I planted some bulbs about 6 weeks ago. The bulbs have started to come up, but are now all dug up all over the place. I've tried planting them back, but not sure how they'll get on - or how long before they're all clawed up again and pooed on.

Gah! I love cats, but I do wish they'd do the do somewhere else.

I think I'll get DS a supersoaker. He'd enjoy that (until the novelty wears off)

Heartbeep Sun 13-May-12 07:35:27

I've not been on the thread for ages thanks for all the advice. We bought one of the sonar devices (@£15 from eBay) put it in the garden last Saturday & haven't seen signs of any cats all week.

Coincidentally we saw our neighbour on the Sunday who asked if we had seen one of her cats as he'd been missing for a few days! Just glad it had vanished before we installed the device or we'd be thinking it was our fault (DH would've been too triumphant for words had that been the case). So either the device works or the offending animal has gone.

Interesting that she's taking an interest in her cats whereabouts now, shame she didn't give a cats poo before...

SpiffingWeatherForDucks Sun 13-May-12 07:53:57

Heartbeat - I do feel for you but LOLOLOLOLOL at the idea that cat owners should in someway control their cats pooing venues. Cats do what they want when they want unlike the slathering sycophantic idiots that are dogs.
We have a raised bed that our cats always look longingly at but I net it and put sharp sticks in it to keep the cats out.
Ignore the lovely but slightly deluded poster who worried that cats don't understand sharp sticks - they climb trees, kill rats/birds/rabbits a sharp stick is not going spear them in the bum because they don't notice it.
Hopefully your sonic thing still works but other than that a pint of water chucked over them every time you see them should should do the trick (super soakers aren't good enough, you need to drench them).

Cats poo is a giant pain but i'd rather that than have to deal with a loud barky dog next door.

<disclaimer: I actually do like (some) dogs but cats are better. Fact.>

ameliagrey Sun 13-May-12 20:02:50

Toddlers very often live quite peacefully & healthfully with cats, so I just questioned whether they are that incompatible. Ragged yes but the point is that the toddlers' cats will poo in someone else's garden- not their own!

We have a sonic mains powered cat scarer which works but not with one deaf cat.

Last year they ruined a veg plot covered with netting by sitting onthe netting then when it rained the poo leeched into the compost- so I didn't grow any veg.

If any cat owners are reading- why don't you all get cat litters and train your cats?

Would you like your neighbours to poo in your garden?

I don't know what works TBH- I get very cross at having to buy anti-cat paraphanalia just so i can grow veg and garden in a poo free garden.

Heartbeep Sun 13-May-12 23:51:15

spiffing that's quite a hearty laugh, rather condescending actually. I don't give a cats shit whether you like cats more than dogs, the thread isn't about that.

I don't want cat shit in my garden why should I have to clean up after someone else's 'pet'. That's not something I can laugh about when I'm pregnant and have a toddler.

Perhaps if I sent DH round to shit in your garden you might laugh a little less heartily.

All of that said I am hopeful the offending shitter has done a bunk or has been deterred.

Thanks to those who offered useful advice, it is very much appreciated.

ameliagrey Mon 14-May-12 08:54:53

Spiffing so why is it that some cats use litter trays? eg cats who live in flats or who don't have access to the outdoors?

IMO it's lazy, irresponsible cat owners who are to blame because they don't have to suffer cat poo in their own gardens.

sorry but I'm a cat owner (although mine have a litter tray and rarely stray from our garden (please dont burn me for that)!!

We have the same issue though, stray cats are forever coming in to our garden, the old 'get your own cat thing' definately doesnt work!!

Best trick we've found, cus lets face it even if you own a cat you dont want it pooing in your garden, is orange peel straight off an orange just dumped over the top of where the cat is pooing (or weeing) cats hate the smell!!

Also in veggie plots, flower beds etc lots of pokey bamboo sticks (obviously this might not be very child friendly) but it will stop them er squatting!!!

For what its worth, I fully endorse the use of water to scare off cats, even a bucket (of water)if you can get close enough to it!! I wouldnt expect people to tolerate our cats in their gardens, I prefer them in our own!!

If the cats don't have collars, then it would be reasonable to assume their strays (no collars = irrisponsible owners) I'd consider calling the local council, or RSCPA, not sure if there is anything they can do!!

Bienchen Mon 14-May-12 17:42:27

Yay to fuchsia prunings! Luckily one of my clients has a massive fuchsia which I pruned two weeks ago and used at the local primary school. So for the first time ever the daylilies outside the school stand tall and proud because the cats have not flattened them by crouching and excreting. It is not the most attractive feature but over time the foliage hides most the the thick stems. And we may have flowers by June.

SpiffingWeatherForDucks Mon 14-May-12 21:03:56

Oh amelia you sound so bitter! I consider myself neither lazy nor irresponsible. I am a pet owner who knows that my pets have a fuller happier life by being allowed outdoors. I cannot control where they poo as I also can't control the deer who eat our apples, badgers who dig up my bulbs and <gasps> foxes that poo in our garden.

Heart beep - you seem to have ignored the fact that I also offered useful advice. You obviously know that cat owners can't control where their cats poo so yes I was laughing at your comments. As much as you don't want cat poo in your garden I don't think cats should be only kept indoors because of this fact, your garden will be covered in rat, mice, bird, fox and even insect excrement because it is OUTSIDE and therefore never dirt or germ free.

Anyway as I said in my last post I do hope the sonic thingy keeps working as I also agreed it is a pain in the arse having animals poo in your garden. At least it has stopped one variety doing it. Good luck with the rest of your pg smile

Heartbeep Mon 14-May-12 22:24:31

Good advice sparkle & Bienchen thanks. Actually my work colleague who has a cat also suggested orange peel, he said their cat hates it.

I have a sonic thing, and I think it has worked, but has limited range so hasn't covered the whole garden. Don't see how I could mains power it outside confused. I would cheerfully murder the horrible cats who poo on my lawn, it gives me the RAGE. I have some smelly stuff to put down in the front garden, but it says the earth must be dry first hmm.

Cathy65 Wed 03-Jul-13 22:48:46

I found this discussion searching the web for advice on cat repellents, with 52 posts there' some great info here! But it is a bit confusing, lots of opinions.

I have already tried all, or almost all of the natural remedies, but the cats still came in and poo'd on my grass and red chips regular. I am really thinking about trying one of those cat repellents, but they are a little pricey - has anyone any experience of them?

naturesway Wed 07-Aug-13 06:53:56

I Feed the birds and have plenty of shelter for then in my garden. Out neighbours cat soon realised it wasn't welcome when I wrapped mesh round the trunks of trees and shrubs. The 4 dogs helped. But in the last few days a new cat has started visiting. I woke this morning to my rubbish bags torn open. Yes it is s cat as my husband saw it last night. We sprayed the bags but it obviously can back later to finish the job. Yes I have digs and clean up after them everything but cat poo if different. They do it anywhere they want (my dogs poo in the same place). I also have children. I am not spending loads on deterring someone else's pet. Nature's way will do - they can deal with the dogs. They haven't caught a cat yet and I hope they don't but it is their yard (and mine).

naturesway Wed 07-Aug-13 06:55:21

Sorry about predictive text.

Deux Fri 09-Aug-13 23:16:42

What about painting the tops of your fence with anti climb paint? Assuming it's not toxic. Not sure if a non toxic version exists. Would you care if it was?

It's a legitimate thing to do to deter intruders.

This was suggested to me by a policeman.

Also in beds, I cut up bamboo canes with a 45 degree angle and put them in the soil. They can't squat down lest they be impaled. I make sure i push them in quite deep into the soil so they can't dig them out.

If i do find any deposits i flush the area with a water/dettol mix.

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