How to keep those uninvited cats out of your garden? It’s easy!

We’ve been asked literally thousands of times for ways to humanely keep the neighbor’s cats or ferals out of flower and vegetable beds. And as you know from reading our website the number one trigger for cats peeing outside the box is the presence of cats in your yard.

We tried all kinds of battery operated gizmos to keep cats out of our rose garden and vegetable beds including the ones which shoot water when the cat comes within range. Some worked pretty well, and others failed. Some worked for awhile then they malfunctioned. We would never use toxic “pet repellents” And we certainly wouldn’t use cayenne pepper because if it gets into the cat’s eyes they could gauge their eyes out trying to rub at the burning pain.

A very astute Biodynamic gardener told us about something which has worked beautifully for us. We are avid organic gardeners and obviously we are devoted to cats, but frankly we were getting fed up with finding cat poop among the lettuces. Her suggestion sounded good, so we tried it.

It’s an old country Italian trick where you fill glass bottles with water then place them around your garden. Why does it work? The water filled bottles shimmer in the sunlight. This shimmer is something which does not exist in nature and the cat doesn’t understand it or like it, so the cat leaves right away.

We experimented with several different bottles until we decided that the pale green color of white wine bottles give the most shimmer in sunlight. Soak off the label. Fill the bottle with water and replace the cap. We think turning them upside down with the neck in the dirt looks sort of arty and whimsical!

For added shimmer and cosmic fun we’ve put a big crystal in the dimple of the bottom of some of the bottles.

We know that this remedy may sound crazy, but really, it works. It’s been 5 years now and we’ve not found a single "feline calling card" in with the roses or the vegetables. Other than the wine, it’s practically a free solution! This is the most economical, humane, and non toxic feline garden abatement we know of.

Shortly after we posted this tip we heard from a long time friend of Cat Faeries who is an Italian countess. She wrote to tell us that you see water filled wine bottles in gardens all over Italy. Many are near or under key plants. If the plants are particularly precious you might see several bottles grouped together. Thank you Contessa dearest for adding this for us!

“My cat goes outside and has started spraying in my house!”

We hear this complaint quite a lot. Allow us to explain why a cat who goes outside, even for short periods can spray inside the house:

When cats go outside they often detect the urine smells of other cats, and other animals. Therefore, to retaliate and claim the yard or garden as theirs they are likely to spray bushes, trees . . .etc. in an attempt to cover up other cat’s urine smells with their own. Once they do that the potential for this to happen inside the house goes way up. Cats do not make a distinction between in a tree or a Chippendale, it’s all the same to them. It’s all about their territory which from the cat’s viewpoint needs defending (and spraying or peeing on!)

You may never see other cats in your garden. The feral cats and some neighbor’s cats come around at nighttime when we are asleep. One telltale sign is if Kitty sprays at night. Bingo! You’ve definitely got outside cats coming at night and they are probably spraying on or around your front door or other doors, even under the windows as well as everything in the garden.

The fix for this problem:

And lastly, keep Kitty inside! Really, they don’t miss it. They’ll be healthier and ultimately happier (and so will you!)

4 oz. size now available for Kidney Kitty and Elder Support Cat Faeries Flower Essences for Cats

It took a long time to find American made 4 oz. bottles and when we found them we offered them again for Multi Cat Household, Territorial Rescue, Calm and Serene, and Love My Litter Box. We got requests for 4 oz. bottles of Kidney Kitty and Elder Support, and because we want you to be happy – we’ve got them for you!

Comfort Zone with Feliway to the rescue for urinating by the door!

Here’s an email from a customer whose cat is urinating by the door. And our response that tells how to use Cat Faeries products and other techniques to deal with it.


Dear Cat Faeries,

We have male & female cats. The male is 3 years old and neutered. He is accustomed to going out doors to urinate, however the weather is preventing him from doing that. He is urinating by the door. We have sprayed with a deterrent and he now moved to another area on the rug.

K.P.


Dear K.P.

Thank you for your order and your note to us in the Comments area of the order form. We thought we’d answer you in our newsletter as we suspect that you are not the only one this winter having this problem.

With regard to your order:

  1. You’ll use Comfort Zone with Feliway spray according to our instructions.
  2. Put the Comfort Zone with Feliway diffusers in the rooms in the house where he’s started to pee on the floor.
  3. Use Anti Icky Poo to remove the deterrent and urine off the walls and floors near that door. Then place a litter box there for his use until he can resume going outside. Anti Icky Poo literally eats the urine proteins and gases!
  4. Put a few drops of the flower essence formula in the communal water bowl each time you change it, or once or twice a day.

The deterrent you bought is doing its job – it has deterred your cat from peeing by that door and as you’ve learned the hard way your cat will find other places!

Deterrents are never a good idea and they could contain toxic ingredients. Feliway though is safe and when you follow the instructions that we’ll give you with your order you’ll learn how to use it so the cats don’t pick new naughty locations.

Now this is very important: normally we are very against putting boxes on top of or near all of the places where the cat is peeing. It’s best to create one roomy Kitty Latrine Area where there are a few hoodless litter boxes pushed together to create a large “sand box” with a bag of litter, a scooper, a trash can and a broom handy for your use. A latrine area concentrates the scent of feline urine/feces to one place which is which the cats seek out. If you put litter boxes in other rooms you are telling the cat that it’s ok to pee in all sorts of rooms! And your problem will get worse.

But K.P.’s situation is seasonal. So for the duration of this winter keep a box by the door. When things warm up and he can go outside it’s your choice to keep it there or remove it.

Some of you might take this cold winter as a chance to break your cat’s desire for and habit of going outside. After a few months of being inside cats often forget about going outside. We really feel that cats are healthiest staying indoors.

Are behavior modification drugs right for your cat? Do they really work?

Here’s an article by guest cat-tributor Issac Newton:


I’ve been asked how I feel about behavior modification drugs prescribed for cats. First, I must admit that I do partake in a little ‘nip on occasion. But that’s just for fun and the effect is short term. Shouldn’t we think very carefully before using drugs that could not only affect personality, but also have adverse side effects?

The ASPCA has published a good overview of behavioral medications used in cats. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/behavioral-medications-cats


Typical behavior problems include timidity/aggression, litter box avoidance, urine marking and compulsive behavior (e.g. excessive grooming leading to hair loss).

Before asking for a “magic pill” cat parents should carefully assess the home situation. The following includes some of the questions to answer:

  1. How many cats live in the household?
  2. How many of these cats are exhibiting behavioral problems?
  3. Are litter boxes and private spaces sufficient and strategically placed? Sometimes cats just need a place of their own to chill out.
  4. Have there been significant changes in the environment? (e.g. new pets, children, furniture etc.)

Armed with this assessment the cat parent is better equipped to take Kitty to the vet for a complete physical. Cats generally hide their illnesses well, but if the environment hasn’t been altered a behavioral change may very well be due to some physical cause.

If no physical problems are detected the first course of action should be to try a natural solution such as Feliway, calming music, or flower essences. Your veterinarian might also prescribe a food containing amino acids that reduce anxiety. (Please give any of these methods at least a month before making conclusions regarding their effectiveness.) However, if the problem(s) persist the next step would be a consultation with an expert in animal behavior. The veterinary specialist should visit your home to see Kitty’s behavior in her own environment.

(Cat Faeries’ note – Feliway, calming music, and flower essences are available at CatFaeries.com)

After exhausting all of the options above the veterinary behaviorist may want to try a prescription drug. There are four classes of medications that may be used depending on the problem behavior. As with human medications, positive results are not guaranteed and there are many potential side effects. Be sure you are aware of these and know what to do should they occur. Also ask if any foods are contraindicated while taking the medication.

Oh, did I mention that these medications must be given daily? Is Kitty suffering from anxiety? Imagine how she will feel about taking a pill every day. (I know how I would feel about it!) However, many drugs are now available as flavored “treats” or in transdermal gels. This alleviates the stress for everyone, but consistency is vital.

As a cat I think I can safely say that we would all prefer to “just say no to drugs”. However, if they must be used please keep us safe with regular veterinary checkups and blood tests as required.

“My female housecat isn’t spayed and I don’t see why I should do it.” The Wizard of Veterinary Medicine will tell you why, and with humor.

Good golly, it still amazes us that in 2013 we still need to have this conversation about spaying. Dr. Richard Orzeck, DVM who calls himself Dr. Oz the Wizard of Veterinary Medicine tells us why it’s vital to spay a female cat and he’s funny about it too. We are presenting two of his articles, one which is very funny, and one which is more scientific. Both are well done and informative, you’ll enjoy both and if you have friends who need coaxing about spaying, please forward this newsletter.


The funny version:

http://www.worldsvet.com/unspayed_diseases.html

The scientific version:

http://worldsvet.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/pyometria-ovarian-and-breast-cancer-diseases-of-un-spayed-dogs-and-cats/