I love cats. I really do. I have two of my own rescue fuzzits to prove it.
But I do NOT love them in the garden. And as much as I take good care to give my own furry friends their yard time safely away from the veggies, other neighborhood cats (and even skunks) will find their way in. When they started digging this spring, and leaving their little “presents”, I started thinking hard for a safe, friendly, EASY solution.
After a good bit of brainstorming, I think I managed to come up with a safe way to deter the feline diggers that would not impact my food crops ability to grow, or my ability to easily work in the garden.
Like most gardeners, I’m sure you have tried every method you can think of. So have I.
I’ve tried laying pieces of old garden hose to look like snakes. I’ve tried hot cayenne pepper powder around the edges. I’ve tried basil plants around the edges. I’ve even tried those “cat scat” mats from Lee Valley which are preformed small plastic mats with tiny soft plastic spikes intended to deter the felines. Trouble is, none of them worked, or the plants could not grow, or I could not work in the gardens easily through the season.
So I started to think hard about an easy, inexpensive, no maintenance, safe way to keep the cats out, not impact the plants’ ability to grow, and not change how easily I can work in the garden. What I found was as inexpensive as buying 10 or more packs of 100 bamboo kebab sticks from the dollar store.
I spent some time setting them into the gardens, about 9/sq foot, which left plenty of room for the plants. Instant results. Anywhere the sticks existed, the cats and animals left alone. WIN!
I left the sticks in all season, and did not find any issue with working in and maintaining the garden. This was important, because I wanted to deter animals, not cause anything dangerous. If me with my bigger hands could work and dig easily, no worries. PLus, the sticks are long enough that they are not easily knocked over by me or the visiting fuzzy felines.
The plants grow up around them as easily as they would any other stick or post in the garden. I did find that after a full season many of the sticks need to be replaced, so it will be an inexpensive thing for me to replace in the spring.
What fun have you had with cats in your gardens? Do you have other safe, easy methods that work? I’d LOVE to hear them!