Cat Using Flower Bed as Litter Box

Updated on November 18, 2011
C.B. asks from Martinez, CA
19 answers

I am hoping one of you wonderful ladies can help me out here. The neighborhood cat has decided to use the flower bed outside my front door as his litter box. Now there is a constant smell of cat droppings (to put it nicely) when you approach my front door. Does anyone know of anything I could possibly mix into the soil or put in/near the flower bed to keep the cat away? I don't want anything that would harm him, but I need to get him out. The flower bed is in a shaded spot that runs along the front of my house and only has two roses in it. I would love to hear any ideas. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks, everyone, for the great suggestions. I think I am going to try the wire mesh, since it's a rather large flower bed and I would need a huge amount of whatever I decided to sprinkle out there, if I went that route. I am also going to check Petco to see if they have something not too expensive I can throw out there along with the mesh, just as an extra precaution. I will keep you posted.

Featured Answers


answers from Fresno on

Pet stores sell products for just that problem. I've seen stuff at Petco and PetSmart. I can't remember the names, though, as I've never had to use them. Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Does the flower bed have mulch over the soil? Cats like easy digging to bury their waste. Large wood chips would probably work and I know rocks as mulch would definitely work (we have to use them in our indoor planters to keep one of our cats out).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

A neighbor's cat... used to do that... but in my vegetable garden.
SO irritating.
So what I did was.... I put bamboo poles/stakes (the kind you use for beans or vines to crawl up on)... all over my garden, in equal spacing... so that the darn cat... could not even fit his arse... or himself, in the garden, to poop and pee.
Worked like a charm.
And it protected my plants, too.

Put garlic cloves in the pot.
Or top your pot off with cinders. It is pokey and harsh to step on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Pine cones work wonders, and they can look nice too

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Try a little (or a lot of) cayenne pepper. It can't hurt. Cats and dogs often don't like it and stay away from the place. On the other hand, it might give kitty a taste for cayenne pepper. You never know with cats.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Cayenne pepper.
Or, just go to a Costco type store and get a big container of crushed black pepper.
Sprinkle liberally.
It won't hurt your plants and it won't really hurt the cats. If they get a whiff...they won't be back.
I got rid of gophers with cayenne pepper too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sprinkle coffee grounds on the dirt in your flower garden. Cats don't like the smell, if you have faded tan-bark it will make it appear "new" again, it's a good amendment for growing plants, and who doesn't like the smell of coffee (except cats)? If you don't have coffee grounds, some coffee places will have them in bags for gardeners FREE. I had the problem with the neighbor's cat, and since I've been sprinkling my coffee grounds out there, no more cat activity. AND it won't hurt the kids if they get into it (but they might develop a craving for coffee).



answers from Portland on

I've read that cats don't like the feel and sound of aluminum foil. You could try spreading aluminum foil over the soil as if it were a mulch.

I have rocks in my flower beds and the cats don't poop in them.


answers from San Diego on

Sharp rocks, kind of big, not pebbles. I've heard they don't like foil. But that would look ugly.


answers from Fresno on

Pet stores sell products for just that problem. I've seen stuff at Petco and PetSmart. I can't remember the names, though, as I've never had to use them. Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

Spray ammonia daily. They HATE that smell! Same goes for your trash. Spray some inside your garbage bag and they will stay out.



answers from Detroit on

C.---You might try going to a lawn and garden store. You should be able to find a repellant spray to use on your flower bed. You should also be able to find several sources of sprays online. Try Gardeners Supply Co.

You might also have to resort to some landscaping changes. The cat will not be able to use your beds as a litter box if it is covered with rocks. I've had to do that with my houseplants to keep my kitty out of them. It's just in their nature and if left to go outside, they will dig to pee and poop.

Good luck! D.



answers from San Francisco on

We put wire (like 3" x 3" squares) just below the soil - our plants could still grow up thru the wire but there wasn't room for the cats to squat & scrap. Cheap and easy solution, no need to reapply like repellants and cayenne!


answers from Milwaukee on

Oh I feel for you... we have exactly the same problem here.. I think I may have even asked a question about it.. ugh, there is nothing we can do to keep them aways, have tried so many thing.. I do hear that you can bury a chicken wire just under the dirt or mulch and they wont be able to dig in it.. thinking I may try this next year.. so sick of stepping outside and smelling cat poop the first thing.. not a great way of enjoying your outdoors..



answers from San Francisco on

We have neighborhood dogs peeing on and killing our small bushes. I went to our local garden center and found an all-natural animal repellent. (Sorry, can't remember the name.) It's little pellets that you sprinkle on the area you want protected. It's not supposed to hurt them, just keep them away because of the smell. But I don't actually smell anything, which is nice. I think it's kind-of working. The bushes seem to be growing back. But I need to do a better job of sprinkling it out there more often, particularly after it rains. Good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

this worked on my cat. Black Pepper and Cayenne wont do the job... believe me when i tell you. GO to an Asian store, Indian preferably. Get a big back of dried WHOLE Ghost or red Chilis. Then crush em and wear a mask when doing so. Sprinkle that around and MAN everything stays away. You will have to re apply after a few waterings or rain...


answers from Sacramento on

I've also heard, but not yet tried, that spraying white vinegar around the area they like to use will keep them away. I believe you need to re-spray that once a month in nice weather and of course after a rain as well. The vinegar is really inexpensive if you buy the gallons at Sam's or Costco, so it's worth a try.


answers from Los Angeles on

Absolutely nothing has worked with our cats who use our neighbor's flower beds by their front door, short of us keeping them in the house which didn't work very long, one of them clawed a hole through a window screen and out they went. They tried garlic, ammonia, the cats love to go on the rocks we both have, they play with the pine cones and make a mess, they are some nutty cats.

Animal Control was called and he were told that cats are wild by nature and will go where they want, that they're attracted to the flower bed, and the only thing he could do was trap them and they would come out and take them and we would have to pay to get them back. Well, one of our sweeties got trapped while they were away this summer, we didn't know, and he died, we assume from the heat and no water. They found him when they returned from their trip, had to call an exterminator to get rid of the maggots and now welcome the cats.

I'll be watching to see if someone has another idea, we'd love for our cats to stop using and digging up their flowers.



answers from San Francisco on

Use cayene pepper. They will scratch and sniff and leave. I would buy a large container at costco or a bunch from dollar store. Once they get used to not going potty there they tend not to come back. Sprinkle heavily on top.

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