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Hi there wondered if anyone can help. I have two cats both go toilet outdoors and one also uses a littertray which is outdoors. Issue is they and possibly other cats are using my flowerbeds as a littertray. Keep finding bulbs dug up too. V frustrating. I remove everything and have used orange peel. And used coffee grounds and the stay off powder which iscitrus based. But no success. Any ideas?

Unless you are perfectly happy to carry on with sprays and water pistols which just encourage your pets to do their business in someone else's garden making the likes of non cat owning me the one having to suffer from your cats digging up our bulbs and getting cat poo on our hands putting those of us who wish to get pregnant at risk of passing Toxoplasmosis to our unborn child (very nasty) because we wanted to innocently grab something from our vegetable plot...

Your only alternative is to train your cats to only use the litter tray you already provide them. There are plenty of sites on the internet about how to train your cat.

Take responsibility for the fact that like all animals your cat has to toilet somewhere.


wise words, well spoken Clarington.


Totally agree with Clarington, going by the amount of cat poo I find in our garden and allotment it would appear that a significant percentage of cat owners think its fine for their pets to defecate anywhere they like.

Personally if I could identify the individual cats to their owners I would post it back to them! Like Clarington says train your cat to use the litter tray.

Dog owners are expected to pick up after their animals, and if they dont then they are subject to fines. I know this is'nt always easy to enforce but at least there is an expectation that they take responsibility for their animals.




I agree Clari - we should never under-estimate the damage caused by toxoplasmosis infection - as someone whose career involved the assessment and support of severely physically and learning disabled children, I can confirm that infection by toxoplasmosis results in some of the most severely disabled children in the UK.

Erm.ok. I understand its an issue for a lot of people. But should we make cats extinct because of it or find solutions? As far as I am aware. Having owned cats for many years is you cant make them go in a specific place. As stated in my original post. They DO have a litter tray. Which is more then most cat owners do when their cats go outside. !!

How about keeping them indoors? A lot of people have house cats with litter trays indoors,at least you will be able to train them and keep an eye on them.


Don't think anyone's advocating extinction FB, but it is a big issue for gardeners, parents and potential parents as I'm sure you understand. 

I've owned cats in the past, and they've had dry sand trays in sheltered places (eg. the log store) which they've used.  Of course I couldn't monitor them 24/7 but I did speak to gardening neighbours who said they were not aware of my cats using their gardens.

We are surrounded by cats here, and we don't have any ourselves, and we do get 'loo visits' the neighbours' cats - I've bought rolls of chicken wire to make wire cloches to protect seedlings in the veg patch, and I will clap, shout, chase and fire a water pistol at them when they peek their noses through the Hedgehog Gate in the fence.  Our neighbours know that we would never hurt them, but we are not averse to giving them a good scaring!  It doesn't seem to put them off us, as when we go out of our front door the neighbours' cats come and greet us for a bit of a fuss 

Our immediate neighbours keep their cats in overnight, which does help a bit.  It would be good if everyone did the same, for the sake of gardeners, the wildlife and the cats themselves - it is usually in the early hours of the morning that cats become traffic victims. 

Cotty. That would be cruel to keep cats indoors. I assume you have never owned cats then.
Yes I appreciate it is a big problem. As I am also experiencing it myself. I know how frustrating it is. As a responsible cat owner. I go out of my way to ensure that I do all I can so that they are not being a nuisance. And come on forums like this for advice. Not to be lectured on responsible animal ownership.

If as you have said you cannot make a cat do its business in a specific place, is it then reasonable to keep cats in residential areas where they will be a menace to other people. I dont see why its my responsibility to protect my garden from a "domesticated" animal, its your responsibility to limit the chances of your cat being a nuisance. If there was a cheap effective way of detering cats we would all be using it!



It is not cruel to keep cats indoors if they are properly looked after.  Members of my family have house cats who are fit, healthy and emotionally well-balanced - verified by vets.  Far better for them than cats who are expected to amuse themselves outside and get into fights, get bitten by rats resulting in infections, or get run over - all of which have happened to my cats in the past when they have been allowed outside.  

And I don't think anyone's lecturing you - you asked a question - we've given you some ideas. 

Er no I think if you read back. There is not any ideas on protecting bedding but "advice"on what I should be doing with my cats.
Re cats. I think youl find some cats do prefer to be indoors. I have had one. But most want to be outside and so they should be they are outdoor animals and therefore cruel to keep them in. And cats do some good
If it wasnt for cats going outside we would be overrun with mice in some parts of london.

I said that I use wire 'cloches' to protect seed beds and that I chase visiting cats off. I also said that when I'd had my own cats I'd found that keeping a dry sand box in a covered area had helped but wasn't foolproof.  I also gave a link to a thread with other methods.

The reason why there aren't many suggestions of methods to keep cats off flower beds is because it's long been established that none of them seem to work.  The only thing that seems to work is to keep the cats out of the garden.  

Very frustrating for all concerned I agree.

I think you need to chill fb. Don't you put pets into a protective environment for their benefit and yours? Birds have cages or avairies,rodents have cages,fish tanks,dogs have kennels and live indoors so why should cats not be treated like pets and revert to their natural instincts? Have you ever read how many millions of birds and animals are killed each year by outdoor cats? It is a lot. If micro pigs and rabbits can be house trained I am sure cats can too. I don't know why it is so socially unacceptable to walk cats but people do it. You could become the local eccentric. 

I am not telling you what to do, or lecturing you I am just bringing this information to your attention.

My parents owned cats in the 80s and both went missing,either run over or used for coats,as I am led to believe there was a trend for this back then!?

My personal opinion and I know you didn't ask for it,is to keep them indoors and stimulate them with toys and play with them. Or get some fish as they can be left to their own devices with little or no consequence.


Cotty1000............I agree wholeheartedly...........I said more or less the same thing in one of my posts in Cats in the Garden thread.

I've tried to refrain from getting caught up in the "Cat Issue" again but I just couldn't resist after reading your post. So thanks for putting the point across   It's doubtful whether much will change......cats are such a contentious issue....



What annoys me is the stock answer of many  ( Not all ) cat owners: " it's in their nature, I can't stop them " If a cat wandered into the garden where a large dog lived and was killed by said dog: would the cat owner be happy with the dog owner saying "it's in their nature , I can't stop them " ? 


Wow. Im astounded. I am a responsible cat owner. I love all animals. Hence why my cats have bells on collars to protect wildlife. Both my cats are rescue so its not as if I had an input in earlier years and could "train "them to stay in. All animals are different. Dogs have their issues etc etc. With cats its mainly about where they go to toilet. Some of your answers come from those who are not speaking from any kind of direct experience. Dogs can be trained to leave cats alone
You cant teach a cat im the same way im afraid. To suggest I get a frigging fish is stupid. How bout we shut you humans in a house and lock the doors..hey youl have tv for stimulation hey. That should suffice! !It feels slightly like all your own frustration with the cat issue is being directed at me simply because im a cat owner. When you have no knowledge of my cats personally. My neighbours have no issue with them either. So whatever you are experiencing is not the same everywhere.
My original question was simply. Are their any methods you have tried successfully to deter them from your flowerbeds is all. Not to open up a cat debate. Fact is. They exist and they will roam around your garden.

Hostafan................tongue in cheek.......there will always be a lawyer who will suggest claiming compensation..............that is sadly the world we live in.

Filmbuffy.............look on the various threads about Cats to get some ideas for your own garden and make adaptations where possible...........don't dismiss all the solutions out of hand...........nothing will stop cats from defacating or attacking wildlife but some suggestions offered can at least help to minimise the problem.  At least it is your own cat causing the problem......imagine the frustration of those non cat owners who have to deal with it

I don't think anyone is trying to upset is just an issue which people feel very strongly about....whether For or Against.

Filmbuffy..........please calm one is getting at you personally - you might like to look at the Cats in Garden thread..... .there is a BBC documentary being made which is looking at both sides of the cat issue.......and.make no mistake, there IS an issue whether you are referring to pet cats or the increasing population of feral cats...........put your point of view.......that is what it is all about after all. Think about it .