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Preemptive strategizing need creative thoughts

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
There's a place that my husband and I would like to buy. It's a town house that's built around a courtyard that has flowerbeds and trees but is totally walled in (inside the townhouse) on all four sides but there's no roof. I think the cats will love the townhouse and getting to go "outside" into the courtyard. There's no possible way they could escape it as it has two story brick walls that go straight up so I want to get a kitty door and allow them free access to the courtyard.

There's only one problem. Hemmy loves to pee in dirt and since the courtyard has two large flowerbeds there will be plenty of places for him to pee. I don't keep large potted plants in my house now because he practically uproots them using them as a box and when we all take supervised trips to the yard he digs a hole and pees. He's such a man! I can live with some urine in the dirt in the courtyard but I'd really rather he never started peeing there as he'll probably just forgo the box entirely knowing him.

So, how do I keep him from peeing in the dirt? I've thought about buying river rocks and covering the beds in rocks. I'll have to see once we get into to it (if we get into it) if there's some way I can keep a box there but it's completely exposed to rain.

This all may be moot as we might not get the house but I'm hopeful and would appreciate any advice you can give.
post #2 of 6
I don't think it is possible to train a cat not to dig in the dirt. It is instinct. I know they will have a great time out there. But be prepared to replace your flowers from time to time!
post #3 of 6
You could redirect his peeing by providing him with a sandbox. It could be a real sandbox with a roof, or a big planter filled with sand and/or soil in a corner where it's not so exposed to rain. A doghouse would also protect a litter box/sandbox from the elements.
post #4 of 6
I agree, give him his own box.

Rock would help in the beds. Remember that you need to put a weed barrier down before you put rock because you want to be able to get them out of there some day. Choose your rock color carefully - no white rock unless you want barren beds.
You could also put down weed barrier and pieces of cut lattice around the plants. It would make for easy to remove sections for later planting.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good stuff guys! Thanks and keep it coming! I don't want our cool kitty courtyard smelling like urine! I do plan on planting lots of cat grass for them. I think if I can keep him away from the dirt I MIGHT have a fighting chance!
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
Good stuff guys! Thanks and keep it coming! I don't want our cool kitty courtyard smelling like urine! I do plan on planting lots of cat grass for them. I think if I can keep him away from the dirt I MIGHT have a fighting chance!
You can also lay pieces of lattice right down on the dirt, for places you want things to grow through. But I'm not sure if your Hemmy would try to pee through it. There's other deterrents - I remember searching for different types of things to keep cats out of gardens years ago, but some of those involve actually using something to scare or keep the cat away from the area. Pretty much useless if you want to grow stuff for them. You could also try putting wire that's 3-4 foot tall around the beds until the grass is tall enough to withstand cat trampling.

Have you two already put your bid in on the home? If not, move fast or you could lose it! As it truly sounds like a very pretty home - and special with that courtyard.
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