How to Keep Cats from Pooping in My Flowerbed???

Updated on October 09, 2009
K.G. asks from Pocatello, ID
11 answers

HI moms, my neighbor's cats have been pooping in our flower beds and I'm not quite sure how to keep them from doing it. I don't want to hurt or trap them, I was hoping there was another way. One is covered with bark and the other is just dirt. I don't want to put rock in them because I have small children who like to throw things. It's just so gross, my son tries to play in the dirt and I have to stop him because I'm afraid he's going to get a disease, and when you walk to our front door you can smell it. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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answers from Boise on

Lemon Peels...grate up some lemon peels and sprinkle them where you don't want the cats to do "their thing." We had a cat urinating on our front door mat, so I looked online and found this to be the best repellent. It's cheap and it doesn't harm the little critters. They just don't like the smell, so they go somewhere else. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

pine cones. The cats won't go near them because they're uncomfortable, and then your son will stay away too.



answers from Denver on

Check with your local garden center. They should have a spray or granules that you put into your flower beds that should repel the cats. It can be pretty smelly to humans, too, but some are better than others.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi K.,
I had the exact same problem. So I got a few ideas from a neightbor and the combination stopped those cats. The first was that I spread pepper around my plants. They don't like the smell but that goes away so retreat the area every couple of days. The other thing I did took a little more effort but it works. I buried plastic forks, prongs up. I left about 1/3 inch of the prongs poking up so I could see them and so could the cats. It didn't hurt them and kept them away. Good luck.



answers from Pueblo on

I feel you. We have no cats or dogs, but our yard (no fence) is full of cat and dog poop. Yuck!

We bought a product at Lowe's. It has black pepper in it. It worked for a few weeks, but you have to keep applying it. I think that's the bottom line - you have to keep up with it, or they go away for awhile and come back.



answers from Great Falls on


I too had the same problem this summer. Things around our front area smelled horrible and our dog could not keep her nose out of it. One suggestion I was give was to spread moth balls throughout the garden. This seemed to work. However, don't know that you would want your darling son playing with the moth balls either. It may be worth a try though! Good luck!



answers from Salt Lake City on

At Lowes you can buy a product called Critter Ridder, not sure of the spelling. It has black pepper in it, among other things. The container says it has to be reapplied every thirty days, but we used it at the beginning of the summer in this one spot that was being visited by a cat, only applied it once- and never had to reapply and never had the spot revisited. Its safe for the animals, but they just don't like the smell. However, please read the warning first to see if it is safe for your child.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I have an answer for you! I hope you like it. Try pushing plastic forks into the ground, with the sharp tines UP. I know this limits your sons' usage of the flower bed as a play place, but it will discourage the cat from getting in there. One step on those tines and they won't be regulars any more. I'm excited to see what everyone else had to say! Hope there is a win-win for you and your son!

Good luck!



answers from Boise on

I feel your pain. My neighbor's cat did that, until it finally moved away with the owners. We tried aluminum foil, but we had too much space to cover. We also tried the pepper, but again, too much area. What we wanted was motion sensor sprinkler, but had just had a baby and couldn't afford it at the time. Chicken wire was also recommended, as the cat would have trouble digging in it. Our neighbor was not one to take responsibility for their pets, as their dog constantly barked, and they left their cat out in freezing temperatures. My husband would scoop the poop and leave it in a bag on their driveway for them. That did help with the smell, but man, did it stink!



answers from Denver on

There are Scarecrow sprinklers and cat repellents available but with kids around I don't feel these will do you much good. A big jar of chili pepper sprinkled throughout the beds????---but you still have to keep tabs on your son touching it. Other than you monitoring 24/7, I think you are limited.

The other issue altogether is having the neighbor take responsibility for it. If the cats need to be outdoors, then your neighbor needs to keep them in his/her yard. I would address it directly with them and let them know you will be either calling animal control or setting live traps (~$75 at Lowes/Home Depot) if the problem isn't resolved within a period of time.

As far as diseases and cat poop, there is a lot of info out there about toxoplasmosis. If you are diligent in removing the cat feces from the area, daily to every other day, the parasite will not reach it's infectious stage. There are also other parasites depending on what's prevalent in your area, the age of the cat and the status of the cat's immune system. I would also encourage regular handwashing after anytime he is outside, but I am sure you knew that. :0)

Best wishes.


answers from Colorado Springs on

This won't help much for winter months, but for summer and spring time, plant marigolds. Lots of them.

Marigolds have a natural ability to keep bugs away and I have found it works in a similar way with cats. They are non-toxic and therefore won't affect your son playing in the dirt.

Some of the other ideas are quite creative and may help you for winter time.

Next question: Stupid Cats Spraying in My Bushes!! Help!