Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cat Problem!

Around here, nearly everyone and everything contributes.  We've got several loop systems in place.  For example, let's begin with the goats.  The goats produce milk.  The milk feeds the cats.  The cats hunt mice.  The mice eat the grain in the shed.  The grain in the shed feeds the goats.  So, both the cats and the goats are contributors (I'm not convinced the mice are good for much). 

The darn cats, however, are stepping out of line and causing a real problem in my garden.  They seem to think that the nice, loose soil is there just for them to roll around in, and, worse, poop in.

Here you can see how the poor little bean sprouts are struggling to survive despite recent digging.


My research has turned up several potential solutions.  Lots of them are a lot of work for questionable payoff.  Some of them are not organic.  Some of them are downright toxic.  One organic solution (which I confess I've used in the past when the kitties in question did not belong to us) is to put out black pepper and/or ground mustard.  This burns kitty's paws and will really do a number on her bowels when she licks it off those burning paws.  So, this is out of the question.

Another potential solution is to plant flowers that deter cats.  Marigolds and geraniums, for example, are repulsive to cats.  I've allotted lots of squares in my square-foot-garden for flowers, so I'll plan to use some marigolds and geraniums in those spots.  These flowers also attract beneficial insects to the garden -- an added plus.

Finally, I plan to deploy the big guns and purchase one of these motion-activated sprinklers.  This one from Amazon has great reviews, qualifies for free shipping with Amazon Prime, and is priced at under $50.  That may sound like a lot of money, but if it takes care of the problem, it'll be well worth it.  Those of you who have problems with deer, birds, or other pests, may want to look into the sprinkler as a potential solution, too.  I'll let you know how it works with Scarf and Milkshake.  :)

Does anyone have any other suggestions for solving our little kitty problem?

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