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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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cat is making a mess of my husband's plant

Does anyone have a good solution for keeping a cat from digging in our plant? Actually she is using it as her bathroom. Gross! She uses her litter box, but if there is 1 single poo in there, she will go right in front of it. Not really a big deal, because it is located in shower that we don't use on the 1st floor. BUT, I have to find it before the dogs do. They love to eat it. Double gross!!

Kitty also pees in the toilet! Never trained her to do it, she just started on her own, and pees there at least 5 times a day. It's hysterical.

But she also likes to use the plant. It probably started one time when we accidentally had the door closed that she couldn't get to her box. This morning she also pooped in there. The door was open, the box was clean (I do it twice a day), so there was no reason to use the plant. I noticed it because I saw the dog over by the plant looking for a morning snack. Thank God I got there 1st! LOL I have tried laying tin foil over the dirt. She only moves it..I even tried pepper on the dirt..I guess cats don't sniff before they go? It didn't work. My husband dislikes the cat anyway (we have 3 dogs), and this isn't helping matters. Does anyone have a good solution for keeping her out of there?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 11:56 AM
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Is her litter box in a high-traffic area? Outside cats will eliminate where it's sheltered - perhaps she sees the plant as a shelter, and prefers that over having to eliminate in her box in a wide-open space. You could try moving her litter box to a more low-key area, or getting a hooded litter box.

Perhaps she doesn't like the litter in her litter box, and prefers how pliable and soft dirt is?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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nope. her box is a hooded one. In an unused bathroom in the shower. But thanks. She does use her box, but decides to use the plant and toilet too when she feels like it. I'm sure she likes digging in the dirt, unfortunately
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 02:28 PM
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what about buying a special spray for animals to keep them off furnature and just spraying it on the floor around the plant maybe it would distract her from going to the plant

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 10:38 PM
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Why not put the litter box near the plant? Maybe it ssomething with the room? Not sure but it's a thought

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:25 PM
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I've heard about people using potting soil in litter boxes to train an outdoor cat to become an indoor cat. Would that be within your budget?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 01:37 AM
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oh now thats a thought! Since it likes the potting soil for the plant why not try it in teh litter box?

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Mommy to:
2 cats: Suess and Jezebel
2 horses: Winter and Junior
3 dogs: Panda, Maggie, Snoopy

And the rest:
5 cows, a bull and one mean buffalo

Gone but not forgotten:
Jester, cat
Waffles, dog
Gunny, ferret

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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not sure I want black dirt in a litter box, sounds kind of messy. and she's a hairless cat. She gets awfully dirty as it is from the "low dust" litter I use.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:37 PM
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What about covering the dirt with something she doesn't like to dig? I've heard of people using marbles or river rocks. Just cover the exposed dirt with them. It should be harder for her to move than the tin foil was. I'd try putting maybe a good inch of marbles or rocks over the dirt so if she does try to move them she'll hopefully get discouraged and stop. I think the rocks/marbles look pretty in with potted plants. Just make sure not to over water the plant, because when you cover up the soil it can hold in more moisture. You can just move a small area of the coverings once in awhile to check how moist the soil is so you can keep track of when the plant needs water.

Or what about getting some hardware cloth and making a wire covering to go over the dirt? You could anchor it to the pot so she can't move the wire aside, and have a hole in the middle for the plant of course. That would allow you to still be able to see and water the soil but hopefully would keep the cat from digging in it.


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Last edited by Dragonrain; 01-25-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 01:09 PM
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oh i like the river stones!!! They're so pretty too!

Christine
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2 cats: Suess and Jezebel
2 horses: Winter and Junior
3 dogs: Panda, Maggie, Snoopy

And the rest:
5 cows, a bull and one mean buffalo

Gone but not forgotten:
Jester, cat
Waffles, dog
Gunny, ferret

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Love the ideas. I have a stone driveway, so it wont cost me a dime! Today I heard her peeing on the tinfoil, and yelled at her. Scared her to death. Good. Hope she got the point, but still plan on covering the dirt with rocks. thanks.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:57 PM
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..The only point that's going to get across to her is that you don't want her peeing. She will not associate your yelling at her with her peeing on the tin foil. In fact, really the only way to communicate with a cat is to let them do it, or speak to them in their own language. Yelling means nothing to them. If you must, hiss at her. And you still may want to consider using potting soil in her litter box, and the rocks in the potted plant are an awesome idea.

Just remember..cats are smart. They often have very good reasons for doing what they do, even if it bypasses our logical reasoning. If you want her to listen to you, you need to speak her language. I've told my parents over a thousand times that yelling at a cat to stop a behavior means nothing to them. All it means is that their human is making loud noises. I'm still technically new to cats myself, and I've learned this. Well, cats seem to respond to hissing(psssst! or tssss!) and stepping towards them threateningly. 'Course....even that's not always enough and some cats I've done that to just hold my gaze. Some cats you need to hiss at and literally chase them away from the object. It's kinda like how dogs will respond to short, firm commands, because to them, it's like a bark, or pronouncing their name slowly in a low, warning voice - because it sounds like a growl.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 06:18 PM
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Haha. Cute.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spitehog View Post
Love the ideas. I have a stone driveway, so it wont cost me a dime! Today I heard her peeing on the tinfoil, and yelled at her. Scared her to death. Good. Hope she got the point, but still plan on covering the dirt with rocks. thanks.
I realize this is an old thread but since it was revived I will comment on this in case anyone else is thinking of trying it. Taking the stones out of the drive way for a plant is a very bad idea. The stones in the driveway may be covered with all sorts of things, oils, gas, anything that drips out of a car, which are not friendly to delicate house plants.

How do I know? Because I tried it myself and killed an African violet, which was over 20 years old, a geranium and an aloe, both over 10 years old.

The best way to keep cats out of plants, it to put the plants out of the cats' reach, but if you are going to use stones, don't get them off the driveway.
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