Speaking of cats…..

So, those if you who’ve been reading here for a while probably remember that I’ve had issues previously with the folks in the house across the street, mostly due to their habit of letting their dog(s) roam (“but she’s a GOOD DOG, she knows to stay in the yard!”).

A couple years ago those folks moved out (I can’t remember if I ever posted that), and a new family moved in.  I was frustrated when I first spotted their dogs, but it didn’t talk long to realize this was a different breed of dog owner.  They don’t just allow their dogs to roam.  Its awesome.

Then, this past fall, they got two cats.  At first I wasn’t sure that they weren’t just feeding a couple strays.  But rather quickly realized that the cats were indoor/outdoor cats, so regardless of how it started, they are now definitely owned by those folks.

The cats, of course, roam.  And while the help at rodent control is nice, both of my dogs would be delighted to remove those two cats from existence.  Apollo because they trespass in his yard.  Arty because PREY!!!  Needless to say this has complicated taking the dogs outside, much to our frustration.  In addition there are absolutely coyotes here.  Quite a few coyotes, of the North Eastern variety, which are bigger, and wolfier, than the western coyotes that many folks are familiar with.  Few outdoor cats last very long here.  Especially ones who are outside after dark.  And these two are, in fact our confirmation that they were coming across the street came when I got ready to take the dogs out at about 10pm, and glanced out my front door window…..to find two cats peering under my front steps.

About a month ago, while clearing the recorded videos from the cheap security camera I have watching the driveway, I noticed a clip (taken only a couple hours earlier) of one of the cats coming across the front of the house, and down the driveway.  A check out the window confirmed a lovely set of kitty tracks  in the snow where he’d passed.  Following them back around the house I confirmed that the cat in question had been hunting in my garden.

Now, like I said above, the additional rodent control is nice.

But cats have a tendency of using garden beds as litter boxes, it’s a fairly common complaint in fact.  And even if these cats don’t do that, I don’t want them digging up plants in my garden, even if they are going after rodents.

While the deer/rabbit repellent is pretty darn effective against prey animals, my dogs think it smells awesome and want to roll in it when I first apply it.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the cats won’t be much deterred by it.

After looking at a few different options I think I’m going to buy a pair of motion activated sprinklers and (once things thaw enough) set one on either long side of the garden.  In theory one would cover the garden, but once the tomatoes get tall enough one won’t be enough, so I’ll just start with two.  Maybe it’ll help deter the deer too……


  1. Comment by James:

    See if you can get some Lion manure , or any BIG cat manure,and use it as fertilizer
    around the perimeter of the garden. They smell BIG cat and really stay away.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Big cat pee is readily available. Hadn’t thought about manure. But either way, then we’re back to keeping my dogs out of it. Which is bad enough with my current spray deer deterrent, but at least only lasts for a day.

  2. Comment by Wendy from NY:

    You need to have a camera trained on the area reached by the spray! What fun! Even a trail camera set to video would catch the bad kitties getting their due!

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I’ve thought about it! Probly be another month before things are thawed enough to put out the sprinklers though, unless the weather stays really warm.

  3. Comment by Rain Frances:

    I used to watch a show called “My Cat From Hell”…but it was about finding ways to help the troubled cats and the troublesome cats. I saw those sprinklers there and they seemed to work for the couple who used them. I hope you have luck. We have a problem with feral cats here but they stay away no that we have the 5 dogs out.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      The cats stay away when we have our dogs out, but the dogs aren’t out all the time. And the cats are over pretty much the rest of the time.

      • Comment by Rain Frances:

        Actually Alex found some yucky “droppings” from the feral cats…under the car! They pee under there too in the winter, I can’t stand it. To keep them from coming under the porch, I put down mothballs. I then put up lattice to cover the area. They were peeing under there too which made sitting on the porch terribly unpleasant.

        We have three cats, but they are indoor cats. People drive like idiots in this area and we don’t want anything bad to happen to them. I’m not a fan of outdoor cats at all.

      • Comment by Ruth:

        Neither am I to be honest. I’ll admit that they CAN be great rodent control, but between the cars and the coyotes (plus the foxes, birds of prey, and possibly a Fisher Cat or two) most outdoor cats don’t last long here.

        Oh, and I confirmed Tuesday that at least one of their cats is intact, someone’s going to have kittens in a month or two, yay, more coyote bait…..

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