Cat, Be Gone

As soon as we in my community sense the danger of frost has passed, we don gloves, grab tools, and take to our yards.

Some plant gardens; others plant shrubs and flowers.

My house falls into the flower camp.

Recently, I labored over the planting of Snapdragons, Periwinkle, Geraniums, Dianthus, Begonia, Petunia, Hibiscus, and Mandevilla.

Mom says I have a “green thumb.” Plants seem to like me — and generally do well once I’ve placed them in soil or pots.

But the morning after my planting spree, I went outside to check on “the babies,” and what did I see but freshly dug holes in the soil! And what did I smell but the distinctive scent stench of cat urine!

Now, my neighbor has cats — several of them — and they roam free, terrorizing baby bunnies and birds, while professing a fondness for my flower pots as their personal toilet.

Totally unacceptable, I’m telling you!

So I took to Twitter to find out how to repel them without hurting them. And one of my friends was kind enough to link me to a site showing that cats don’t like the smell of citrus.

Who knew??

Well, I busted out a fresh orange for lunch, ate the “meat,” chopped up the leftover peeling into small bits, and applied the pieces liberally to the surface of my pots.

Like so:

Be gone, kitties!

Be gone, kitties!

(Okay, I can already hear you making fun of my planting — no, I did NOT use a ruler to put these Vincas equidistant in this square pot!! It’s a Virgo-thing, and honestly, it’s easier going with it than fighting the inclination!)

Thus far, the citrus seems to be working. Despite my intense scrutiny, I’ve not found any more freshly-dug holes in my flowers’ soil, and the odor of cat urine has dissipated.

Still, I’m reserving judgment until I know for sure. Because maybe it’s not cats after all, you know.

Maybe it’s squirrels.

I’ve tried to be kind. Patient, even. But I’m not taking this lying down — I didn’t do all that work so interlopers could come along and make a mess of things.

My next option is to spend the night on the front porch with a water gun, ha!

30 thoughts on “Cat, Be Gone

  1. I’ve been told that if you chop up the citrus peel in a food processor or blender, it increases the amont of oil that’s released, as well as producing smaller bits that can be sprinkled over a larger area.

    Thus endeth my garden tip for the day! Well, except to add that squirrels can’t abide cayenne pepper, so if you catch a squirrel wreaking havoc, a sprinkling of that might help.

    • Really? I’ll have to give that a try. These orange chunks are getting kind of moldy-looking, and, while I don’t want the kitties to become sick over them, I don’t want them to ruin my plants either. Thanks for the tip, Linda!

      And I’ll have to sprinkle some of that cayenne pepper, too — just in case squirrels are the guilty culprits!

  2. Tommy & Tuppence are devastated and plotting revenge! Though they’re pleased you’ve gone for a non-lethal variety of cat deterrent – some of the stuff that’s available these days could find a place in a torture chamber. My cats don’t use the neighbours’ gardens as far as I know, but Tommy does have an endearing little habit of liking to piddle on the fenders of their cars. Shhh! Don’t tell them!

    • I’m sure Tommy & Tuppence would never mess with my flowers, FF! They’re well-behaved kitties, not like the brutes that live next door. Although, now I’m wondering. Do cats kill snakes — for sport, I mean? I found a gutted garter snake on my driveway this morning, and I know I didn’t slay it. Nor did Dallas. Perhaps I should be encouraging kitty presence, in that case, HaHa!!

      • We don’t have snakes here but I’m pretty sure my last pair of cats would have killed them – super-hunters! Unfortunately they’d then have dragged them in the cat-flap and left them somewhere I would stand on them – or put them in my bed! *shudders*

        • Yikes!! Dallas doesn’t even seem to see snakes (perhaps they have no odor??). But he’d be all for joining “the fun” if he heard me shriek at one and reach for the hoe, ha! Good thing you don’t have the beasts. I can’t imagine waking up and finding one — even a dead one — in my bed!!

    • So far, it does seem to be working, Kim. But ^Linda^ suggested I grind those orange (or lemon) pieces up a bit, and I think that might be aesthetically more pleasing (while still stopping the kitties from pausing here to potty!) xoxo

  3. This is good to know! We have several roaming cats in our neighborhood…totally sends my cat (indoor only) in an uproar when cats appear in our yard as she watches from the window. Once one got up on the outside window ledge and my cat tried to attack it through the glass, ha! she seriously does not like their invasion on her territory even though she isn’t allowed outside.

    • Dallas doesn’t like “critters” in his yard either — except for garter snakes, which he doesn’t seem to notice at all! Keeping a cat indoors seems like the kindest solution, both for the kitty’s own safety and for maintaining peace with the neighbors, Suzi!!

  4. ” fresh orange for lunch, ate the “meat,” chopped up the leftover peeling into small bits, and applied the pieces liberally to the surface of my pots.”

    Debbie, what a GREAT tip! I had no idea cats did care for the smell of orange slices. If I’d known that back when I had two cats, I would have applied it to certain areas that I didn’t want them to go (like using my couch for a scratching post) instead of using a water pistol – HA!

    ” no, I did NOT use a ruler to put these Vincas equidistant in this square pot!! It’s a Virgo-thing..”

    OMG, that made me laugh out loud because I’m the same way. My rising is VIRGO so I have a lot of Virgo traits. And btw, those flowers look GORGEOUS!

    Hope you had a super weekend, my friend!


    • Ron, I’m thinking lemons, limes, or tangerines might work just as well as oranges, since they’re all citrus. I was surprised, too, to learn that. I wonder if orange- or lemon-scented furniture polish would do just as well indoors??

      Glad you got a kick out of my equidistant flowers, ha! Isn’t it funny how stuff like that is such a part of you that you never give it a moment’s thought (until you see it through the eyes of others and wonder, What kind of CRAZY am I anyway, ha!!)

      Weekend was pretty much a wash-out here — nothing but rain on the horizon for the coming week, either. Sigh. Hope your week is beautiful!!

    • The lyrics to that song look familiar. I don’t remember singing it, but I’ll bet Domer did, either in preschool or one of those early grades. Thanks for the memories!

      I promise, I did NOT use a ruler — a more finicky Virgo would have!

      Ah, the last meow — great way of expressing it, and I’m hoping you’re right!!

    • Isn’t a coyote just a big doggie of sorts?? Why then won’t my Darling Dallas keep them away? (I know, I know, he’s just a teddy bear in a doggie suit!!) Say, maybe there’s a Rent-A-Coyote company that will loan me one for a few nights! xoxo

  5. 🙂 Good luck trying to outwit those sly kitties, Debbie. Here in Sicily I have a problem with pigeons and I’m always trying new methods to outsmart them. It’s a constant poo-ey battle.

    • Bless your heart, Jann, for empathizing! I do think the citrus is having a positive effect, though. Or maybe they just don’t want to venture far from home these days, ha! Have you tried Googling “pigeon removal”? I understand they don’t like spices, so perhaps a bit of cinnamon or pepper might be a deterrent?!

  6. I love cats, but not destructive ones (mine are indoor only.) Their urine is bio-weapon nasty. Nothing quite like it. I hope the citrus worked… but it is kind of fun squirting them with water when they are naughty. Yes, I have an evil streak!

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