Nov 022011
 
Seemingly innocent cat

This cat looks innocent, but it's not!

I walked out into the garden today to look at my newly dug and seeded beds, only to find that the cats, mine and neighbor’s used it for their very own latrine. Actually disgusting. Because this poop harbors unsafe pathogens and is really stinky we don’t want it in our garden beds. Although I love to put up photographs of what I’m writing about, I will spare you this one.

 

What to do. Physical barriers, like netting, row coversand fencing are helpful in some areas. But it can be a lot of work to put them up.  I found this great mat, called a Cat Scat Mat that you lay down on the bed and it has prickly plastic things sticking up that the cats can’t walk on. Very useful for seed beds and smallish areas.

Cat Scat Mats, Set of 5 by Gardener’s Supply Company
Cats are also fastidious about licking their paws and if you sprinkle the ground with cayenne pepper, it is reputed to be effective. Let me know if this works for you.
When you do have to clean up the poop, be sure to wear gloves and DO NOT put it in your compost.  Ignoring the fact that I have written that everything natural composts, you don’t want to put anything that has pathogens into your pile if you cannot guarantee that you can get the pile hot enough.
I suggest you use biodegradable waste bags that you put in your garbage. You can find them here. Or you can use these in the ground pet waste composters. These are just for animal wastes.
As a matter of fact, I think I better write about what is NOT good to put into your compost.
The great and wonderful lab, also poops

We love our animals, but also have to deal with their poop appropriately

Check back soon, very soon.

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