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Author Topic: Cat outhouse  (Read 3573 times)

lotusblos

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Cat outhouse
« on: April 26, 2014, 05:02:56 PM »
Hi, I live in an area free of rodents but infested with semi-feral cats. I have five that have chosen my backyard to call home. They're usually not a problem but I've noticed that they really like to do their business under my citrus trees. I haven't noticed any problem with the trees, but I wonder how much the trees can take before they do show an adverse reaction. Any comments, are they hurting my trees?

karpes

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 06:44:28 PM »
I believe it contains some kind of toxin.

BarbJ

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 01:11:36 AM »
The urine could be quite strong. It could eventually build up to level that could harm your trees. I'd be flushing it out periodically. You may want to discourage them from using that area. 

Some things others have tried;  Laying down chicken wire flat over the ground. Cats like to dig a shallow hole first and this makes it difficult so that they may go elsewhere.   Or:  If you have or know anyone who has a Liquid Amber tree, the kind who's seed pods are spiky balls, you can collect them and spread them as a mulch. Does the same thing, makes it difficult to dig around the tree and also unpleasant for the cat to walk on. 
Repellents:  Most good nurserys or garden centers have cat repellents. For the most part they are scent based; various herb oils, garlic, rosemary, etc and egg based, slight rotten egg smell, stronger for a cat's nose than human, but they do smell a bit to us as well.

I believe the toxic aspect is Toxoplasmosis which cat feces may be infected with.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis

It's mostly a problem for pregnant women. No one who is pregnant should ever touch or deal with cat feces, especially feral cats.  It won't be absorbed by your fruit, but the soil could have levels in it that would not be wise to have around. That right there is a good reason to discourage the cats from using your trees as cat box. 
After trying the above methods to get them to leave your tree area, if you still want them around to take care of rodents you could try to lure them away from that area to another less problematic area by putting down sand or fine gravel in a better spot, so they hopefully use that area instead of your trees soil.

swimmingfree

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 10:54:35 AM »
the thing i question about  chicken wire is the galvanized  on the wire ????  is it bad for the tree ????   i seen some thin that was put on a garden hose and wood come on when when some thin got close to it .... dont no if it works but its my input....
swimmingfree

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BarbJ

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 12:01:18 PM »
Galvanized wire is coated with zinc.  It does eventually corrode off, but not sure if it's enough to really be a problem.  It would depend on how much zinc his soil currently has. If it's a lot, could be a problem, if  it's low, it could be beneficial.

lotusblos

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 12:07:43 AM »
Barb. it's not that I want them around, but I can't see killing them over it. And taking them to the SPCA out here is a death sentence. I caught a pregnant female who was just about to deliver, took her to the SPCA and asked if they would allow her to deliver and nurse her kittens. They said no, so I brought her home. She had two more litters before I figured out that I was going to have to fix her and all her kittens. My only problem with them is they're using the mulch under the trees as their litter box. When I lived in Campbell I had a liquid amber tree in my front yard. I made the mistake of riding it across my lawn one day and had to put new tubes in both tires because of all the fresh holes.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

hoosierquilt

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 10:35:56 AM »
One thing you can try is to lay down hardware cloth or chicken wire down on the surface of the mulch, to discourage digging and pottying. 

BarbJ

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 12:35:18 PM »
Lotusblos, I never suggested killing them ( :o ) or even sending them to the pound. I just was giving you suggestions that may keep them from digging under your trees. 

lotusblos

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 09:17:57 PM »
Barb, I know that. I'm just saying that what would be a logical response to these feral cats, is not workable for me because there's no middle ground when dealing with the SPCA. I'll have to try putting some type of screening over the mulch.

Tropheus76

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 09:28:06 AM »
We use .22 rifles where we are. I dont have an issue with them with my trees, but do with them spraying mine and my neighbors houses and garages. We always call each other first to make sure its not one of ours.

On a similar note thanks to a new gun I just picked up, shotgun with riot control rounds. Shoots a bunch of marble sized rubber balls, so now if you have some range, you don't have to worry about killing them. Also if you are in the SCA(you would know if you were) or know someone who is, use a crossbow with combat legal bolts. I had some cats in my old yard at about twenty yards and shot one. Bolt hit it in the ribs and I never saw either cat again. Caught the cat by surprise, thing jumped four feet in the air too. Pain is a wonderful motivator and lesson teacher.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 07:54:53 AM by Tropheus76 »

BarbJ

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 01:18:51 PM »
My husband used to use a pellet gun to deter them from the yard. We had a gravel mulched area they loved to go in.  Same thing, it doesn't penetrate but hurts like heck. 

We know they weren't hurt cause it took two times for them to stay away, and sometimes a few months later, some would need a reminder.  They did jump about 3 feet though!  Most were not strays, just neighbor's cats that were let to roam.

Doglips

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 11:41:23 AM »
As general rule of thumb, predators don't make good fertilizer (especially un-cured).

Cats like soft soil to bury their business in.  Create an environment where the don't want to do their business.  This includes treating them well so they think of your place as home (not a short term solution).  Cats can absolutely be good to have around for all of the other critters they keep at bay and they don't eat fruit (usually).  Make their outhouse inhospitable, hard to dig in by whatever method, or a smell they don't like.

Northbay12

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2014, 11:50:19 PM »
I lay himalayan blackberry canes down where I have cat troubles. I do it in the summer, so they have no chance to root.

Yorgos

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Re: Cat outhouse
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2014, 09:48:46 AM »
Besides being free of rodents, you are probably free of birds, frogs and any other small animal cats will eat.
Near NRG Stadium, Houston Texas. USDA zone 9a

 

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