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20/04/2013 at 17:56

Hi,

I am new to this so please bare with me.

I have built up a huge amount of compost over a few years. Grass cuttings etc. were dumped at the top of my garden and ignored while we decorated the house. We are now starting on the Garden and I thought the compost would be ideal. Problem now is I find the cats have been using it as a toilet. Can I still use the compost ? If not what do I do with it ?  

Thanks in advance 

 

 

 

20/04/2013 at 19:50
Hi SV, my cat drops some mighty stink bombs in my flower beds and I've found it can scorch young plants and older plants certainly don't gain anything from it. I remove it all every couple of weeks. It also honks! Especially when I've missed a bit and only discover it when I'm on my hands and knees digging over the soil! If I were you I'd try and pick it out rather than dig it in.
20/04/2013 at 20:37

If you are going to dig it into the soil, then I wouldn't be too concerned, particularly if you are growing ornamentals. I would be less inclined to use it as a mulch with the mess in it, generally due to the smell and unpleasantness of it all. ( you could clear the mess out)

I would not want to use it around edibles unless it had been rotted for at least a year without any more additions from the cat.

You say that the compost heap is large and has accumulated over time. I suspect that it hasn't rotted down too well and so I think that I would pull the whole lot out, and then rebuild the heap in as compact a shape as possible, if the matter is dry it can be watered as you rebuild. This would aerate the heap and should encourage a good compost. You could cover the heap to keep the cats out while it was composting (old carpet, polythene, cardboard etc).

 

21/04/2013 at 09:06

Yeah, everything is well rotted. Thats the shame as it would have been perfect to use. I have made a start digging it over and sorting out the " bits I don't want " but the smell is not good ! Also worried that if I transfer it to other parts of the garden it will encourage the cats to use new areas

Thanks for your help

21/04/2013 at 09:42
One sure way to stop a cat from pooing in a spot in the garden is to have another cat's poo there. Even if its their own, they won't keep going back to the same spot if its been used several times before. Cats are very particular about where they drop and won't use an area that has been used by another cat. My cat poos in MY garden (too fat, old and lazy to jump fences) and I feed her dry food which means she actually poos less (frequency and volume), they break down a lot quicker, and there is no smell. Wet cat feeds are notoriously bad in smell and volume when it comes out the other end. It's sometimes smells just as bad going in. I don't have to worry about my cat pooing in my garden, I have to worry about foxes dropping presents on the lawn. Now they do stink!
21/04/2013 at 13:40

don't forget that the poo of these verminous animals are a health risk.if silly lazy owners don't use litter trays then these animals will act wild.

my advice is get rid of the contaminated area by digging it in deep down,then get a gun for these free roaming animals.a pet is contained,one that isn't is wild.

21/04/2013 at 15:02

Thanks for your reply Tim. A big help.

 

21/04/2013 at 17:02
Actually Cotty100, it's not really the cats fault. They do the decent thing by burying their dung, whereas we go around and dig it up again. Who's the more intelligent? Cats must think we're disgusting creatures. How many other animals bury their dung. We don't. And up until 30 years ago, we thought it was perfectly normal to flush ours into the rivers and seas. Most places East of Dover still do!

As for your comment about shooting them. We're in England, not the wilds of Africa, and even there it's illegal to shoot animals without just cause, including wild ones.
21/04/2013 at 18:37
Cotty1000, please don't post silly comments like that.
21/04/2013 at 20:57

sorry.i do get over emotional sometimes

21/04/2013 at 23:21

Hello!  I don't post often - but have been around since the demise of the old Beeb board.  It seems that there are now two of us (Shrinking Violets, that is).  A bit confusing?

21/04/2013 at 23:46
No, you're just rampant!
22/04/2013 at 08:34

Quote from my new book on composting;Toxocara is a dangerous disease that can be found in dog and cat poo and can be passed on to humans if handled. They do not recommend composting either.

22/04/2013 at 08:42

Hi Shrinking Violet 1, Sorry for the confusion I will regenerate asap. As soon as I can work out how to do it I will be back as Criss.

artjak, I think you are right with regards to the disease. Looks like I have a lot of digging to do. 

 

22/04/2013 at 12:25

Tim Burr:    (As I typed it, I just realised how clever your board name is!)

Criss:  No probs.  Thanks for sorting it.

btw a way to deter the critturs is to soak used, dried teabags with muscle spray - the deep heat sort of thing.  Buried just below the surface, they (the cats) are repelled by the smell, which lasts a couple of weeks, and doesn't get washed away by rain etc.

The actual poo will break down eventually, but because cats are meat-eaters, the stuff is more toxic and less beneficial than, say, horse manure.

22/04/2013 at 18:57

Brilliant deterrant for cats! T-bags with deep heat! I love it

22/04/2013 at 19:28

Actually it's only the submissive animals in an area that bury their poo.  The dominant cat will poo wherever he or she wants.

I don't really like cats, I'm definitely a dog person.  There is a local cat that thought it was funny to sit at the back of the garage, just out of reach of the dog, who was going ballistic.  He didn't think it was so funny when I got my telescopic pole out and prodded his backside.  He doesn't do it anymore.  Next door used to have a lurcher (no longer with us) that was so fit, it has literally run up a 6ft wall and taken cats off the back, at least twice I know of, breaking the cat's back, meaning the neighbour has had to despatch them, then contact the owner, to let them know what had happened.  We didn't get many cats in our garden when the lurcher was next door.  Unfortunately my dog knows cats are for chasing, he's so old and fat he can't really be bothered.

During the summer when they're pests, I keep a supersoaker loaded with beer by the back door.  They're often not back for a couple of weeks whilst they sleep it off, apart from one black and white one I think I've turned into an alcoholic!!

22/04/2013 at 19:58

M M Paws, what is a super soaker?

22/04/2013 at 20:10

My tiny garden is gravelled with various shrubs and plants in containers. The gravel is used by my neighbours'cats (three of them) as their loo. I am very  disabled and can't stand without a walker so clearing up is very difficult. Some of the poo is clearly visible but one cat 'buries' it so it's necessary to carefully remove the little mound of misplaced gravel to get to what's underneath. I've spent just under £90 since last year on deterrents of one kind or another most of which don't work.

However I've just had installed a cat scarer that has flashing lights and an alarm. So far so good. I also have on standby two bottles of Olbas oil which I'm assured cats hate. Any other suggestions will be gratefully received. This summer I should love to sit out in my garden which I was unable to do last year because of the stink. .

22/04/2013 at 22:14

Patricia - that's a lot of money to spend on trying to keep your garden cat-free.  I think the Olbas oil is similar to the muscle stuff - but dearer.  It may be that the teabag solution would work for you.  I believe that the odour lingers and deters cats long after our own sense of smell detects it.  So it could be that it would be of some help for you.  Here's hoping!  (Well, we're all hoping for a proper summer this year, and you'll be hoping to be able to get out there and enjoy it!)

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