Dogs and Cats

Dogs and Cats

Pets can be a real nuisance in the garden. Cats like to dig in soft soil; undisciplined dogs romping through plants are even more destructive.


Garden soil.


Plants are trampled, soil is dug up and urine and droppings are deposited in flower beds and on lawns (dogs); newly planted areas are used as a litter box (cats).


Fences will keep out neighborhood dogs, but you’ll still need to control your own pet. Training is the key; accustom your dog to other play areas, or use raised beds for flowers and vegetables and create paths for Fido to run along. Vinyl ground covers and thorny plants deter many dogs.

To discourage cats, place wire mesh screens over newly planted beds or poke stakes into the bare patches between plants; you can remove the barriers as soon as foliage covers the ground. Some cats are partial to catnip, so you might try growing a patch well away from the plants you want to protect. Cats can clamber over most fences—but if you have one they can't squeeze under or through, you can make it fully cat-proof by attaching a chicken wire addition cut side up, to the top. When a cat tries to climb over, it will fall back down again, since the wire won’t support its weight.

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