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Outdoor Cats Pooping the the Garden

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I hope someone here can help with this problem; its getting to be untolerable.

How can I keep my outdoor cats from pooping in my garden? We have about 7 outdoor "working" cats. Because we live in what we call "cat-heaven," none of our cats are spayed or neutered. Our house sits on about 100 acres - we have a large forest surrounding our house and lawn, along with a stream and pond. The cats have a VERY large area to play. I mention this, merely to illustrate HOW MANY PLACES the cats have to go to the bathroom - and to diffuse anyone upset with us not "fixing" our cats.

Unfortunatly, the kitties have started to use the garden next to our house and patio to go to the bathroom. The garden is covered with river rocks instead of mulch - meaning that they do not have a soft place to dig. They don't even cover up the turds. All of our plants (hostea) have been ruined by the cats sleeping in them and the smell has become untolerable.

This all started with our last batch of kittens. Our kitties were born on our patio. We didn't move them because of racoons, possums, and other wild animals living in the woods. Their safety prompted the move. Because they lived on the patio, the babies started pooping on the cement. We'd clean it up and then hose the area off (and use anti bacterial soap) to keep the area sanitary. The run off went straight into the garden. Unforunatly, they kittens smelled their waste in the runoff water and started poop wherever the runoff went. Eventually, the adult cats started mimicking the babies. Now, ALL the cats poop in the garden on top of the rocks.

We've tried EVERYTHING we could think of to keep the cats out of this garden. Due to the layout of the garden (it borders a stone wall, a house, and our patio) we can not use a fence large enough to keep the cats out. We've tried commerical cat repellant on the stones. This stuff doesn't even phase these cats. We've tried sprinkling cayenne pepper around the plants - this ALSO doesn't keep the cats out -- all it does is torture them by sticking to their fur, which they lick and get into their mouths. They're not correlating the pain of the pepper to being in the garden.

Can anyone think of ANYTHING we can do to stop the cats? We like our pets and do not want to have to find new homes for them. One of the cats, we've had for over 18 years now. She's never pooped in the garden until this latest batch of kittens; we were planning on keeping all the babies.

This is a huge problem; we can't use our backdoor without a strong stench surrounding us. We can't open our kitchen's windows, even while cooking, because they open into the stinky garden.

Thanks in advance!!!!!
post #2 of 5
There is this product, but I personally have never used it. These do seem sort of harsh.


It sounds like you have a recipe for disaster by not spaying or neutering. Obviosuly even with 100+ acres, you are having issues. With a female cat able to have multiple litters, I can't begin to imagine how many cats you will soon have in your yard no matter how big it is. Even if you give these cats away to friends, that's another cat in the shelter that does not get a home. Spaying or neutering could also help with some of the behavioral problems you are having.
post #3 of 5
Try setting out litterboxes with JonnyCat UNSCENTED litter, or another quality clay litter (some cats make the switch from dirt to clay, and vice versa, easier than they do with clumping litter or crystals). The inconvenience will assist you in cleaning out the area. you could use discouragements, such as Outdoor NO, but you need to offer an easy alternative for the cats. You can gradually move the boxes away to where you'd rather the cats "go". But also, you will need to provide enough boxes, since the cats
And I agree that neutering will be a great help in reducing the territorial marking. Also, don't discount the fact that raccoons also "mark territory" - a coon managed to break into the screens & enter the house, and peed on the walls & carpet - it's a strong smell (in fact, when Joey sniffs the spot, which has resisted Nature's Miracle/ vinegar & baking soda/ Citrus Mr. Clean/ Oxyclean, he goes over & slaps the nearest kitten that he can find, looking for someone, anyone to blame).
AND, all your outdoor cats need RABIES VACCINATIONS! Raccoons are common carriers, and if they eat out of the food bowls, they expose your cats (they also enjoy killing and eating cats) and you wouldn't want to have to undergo the rabies series, if you are bitten and cant catch the cat to have it quarantined.
post #4 of 5
Sorry, I'm typoing with feline assistance, and I meant to say that cats tend to prefer clean boxes, and if they have 2, they will poop in one, and pee in the other, so if there are enough boxes to keep the litter fresh, the cats will go outside the boz (again).
post #5 of 5
While I understand that your property is large and wonderful for cats, having that many unspayed females and intact males is not good. Your cats will be healthier, happier, and will display far fewer behavior problems (like those you described) if spayed/neutered. Think of how many of your cats have to leave your property due to overcrowding and then end up killed by predators or shot by distant neighbors who don't like cats. Not to mention the fact that racoon and fox leg-hold traps routinely trap cats instead who then die horrific and painful deaths.

Please please please start working on spaying and neutering your cats, and most of all, the thought of a 18 year old cat having babies makes me want to cry. That poor cat!

p.s. you can get water hose heads that are triggered by movement. The cat walks by and gets squirted by water. This will keep them out of your garden.
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