Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Turd in My Punchbowl (or Cats in My Garden), Part II

I worked like I was on a chain gang for a few hard hours to dig my Hosta bed. Removing grass, pulling weeds very carefully around the tender young Hosta, and creating space for additional plants. I even put down a layer of Jobe's Recycled Weed Blocker over the newly added Hostas. Then another layer of soil. I thought that I was finished, aside from adding decorative elements and finishing touches. So, I left it at that, overnight.

I woke to find a cruel metaphorical commentary on my gardening efforts right in the middle and along one of the edges of the bed --- cat poop! They had dug and disrupted quite a bit of soil in order to accommodate the release of their feline bowels. I was pissed! All I could do was remove the offending waste, and salvage the bed. I then decided perhaps adding a mulch made of recycled tires to bed might deter the cats, and give my project a more polished look.

The mulch hadn't been down but a few hours when the cats struck again! Just about all of you know what a soiled litter box looks like. So, I'll spare you the incriminating photos. Once again, I cleaned up the mess, this time rearranging the mulch and adding Cayenne Pepper powder.

You guessed it --- the pepper had no effect! At this point I was pretty angry and at my wits end trying to come up with possible deterrents.

I remembered seeing a product on that might be a possible solution. Cat Scat Mats. Prickly plastic mats that can be anchored into the soil of a garden bed or potted plant. These mats don't harm the cats --- just irritate them and keep them from using garden beds or large potted plants as litter boxes. I ordered them straight away only to find them on back order! *Sigh*

I went to local nursery/gardening center to pick up a bottle of dried Coyote urine or Liquid Fence. Anything!

I freshened up the Hosta bed --- again, sprinkling and spraying my deterrants. My fingers crossed. My mouth locked in a snarl with every piece of poop I picked out of the mulch, and every cat I spied.

The very next morning... Failure! Nothing I did had worked. The feral little beasts had bested me once again!

Well, at this point I'm going to have to redo the entire bed, short of uprooting the Hostas. With the Cat Scat Mats on their way, I can only hope that they work.

To be continued...


Joy Katzen-Guthrie said...

Love the post! I have cats, all indoors, but they do quite a lot of digging in my plant containers & eating of the plants inside, and I like to keep a lot of indoor plants. I've never been able to come up with something that keeps them out of the pots, but those cat scat mats sound fascinating. Is it a soft plastic and that's why it doesn't hurt their paws? Anyway, please update to let us know how they worked. - Joy

Alexandria Sewell said...


Thanks for leaving your comment. The Scat Mats aren't made from soft plastic, but they do not harm the cat's paws, they're simply irritating. I'll let you know how well they work in my flower beds!


Anonymous said...

Catpoop fertilizer? Some people pay for poop on their garden. As far as potted plants, I line the dirt with those large round river rocks, they are pretty and keep the cats from digging.


Alexandria Sewell said...


Thanks for your suggestion about lining my beds with river rocks. I was looking for suggestions about what to line my beds with.


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