26 answers

How Do I Stop Cats from Using My Planters as Litter Boxes?

I have 2 cats that continue to use my large flower pots as litter boxes. At first we weren't not really bothered by it, but of course the flys have now come. I had cleaned out the messes they have left but I just know they will continue to do so. Does anyone know what I could mix with the soil to deter them? Thanks

2 moms found this helpful

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My mom fills her large pots and planters with 2-3" decorative rocks. You can buy them at craft stores.

I know that there is also a deterrant spray you can buy at pet stores that may help, but I have never used it or had a close friend who has either. Good luck!

Someone recently told me that they'd wrapped the pots and around the base of the plants with saran wrap and found it worked like a charm and was fairly inconspicuous.

You could try sprinkling some black pepper or Cinnamon into the soil. When they scratch at the dirt they will stir this up and most cats don't like the smell.

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I don't have any pets ... for a reason. I don't want them and I don't want to have to deal with the poop issue. So when I was having issues with the neighbors who let their cats roam at will crapping in my yard what worked best for me was going to the local hardware store and getting deer repellant spray. What it is is wolf or bear urine (don't remember which one now) that once it's dry only the animals can smell it. spray the perimeter and no more pesky animals in your yard/planter box/etc.

Be warned though ... while applying it, it stinks like crazy. fortunately it dries pretty quickly. But it works just like those animals marking their territory ... other animals won't go near it.

Another thing that worked to keep them off the top of my fence was orange juice and/or lemon juice. Cats don't seem to like citrus very much. I always used the real lemon lemon juice that's fresh and straight ... no sugar added.

I found that moth balls mixed into the soil work well.
Good luck to you.


Cayenne pepper. Just buy some cheap cayenne powder, and sprinkle on the dirt in the flower pots. You will have to reapply after rain or when you water, but it won't hurt the cats or the plants, and will deter the cats from using the pots.

I don't know about mixing anything into the soil, but you could try placing a lightweight screen material over the dirt. I think the cats would not like the texture, see that it's different than before and stay away. And it would still be easy to water the plants.

I've heard of some people using chili powder with mixed success. But friends used the old fashioned mousetraps to train their dogs to leave the plants alone. Set them without bait and after the animals experience them going off a couple times, just leave them unset for a while. Eventually you won't need them as a reminder.

Someone recently told me that they'd wrapped the pots and around the base of the plants with saran wrap and found it worked like a charm and was fairly inconspicuous.

Go to the pet store & ask. They have things you can put in the dirt that makes the cats look elsewhere. Good luck, I know that's annoying. C.

Hi T.,
I have used Cayenne pepper in the soil and It works well for small spaces. If that doesn't keep them away try a layer of Pea gravel, they will not dig in rocks to go potty. Good Luck!

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