When you love cats but want to keep an immaculate garden, it can lead to some real and serious choice moments. If you have your own cats it can be infuriating to prevent them from wreaking havoc in your garden and drive you to frustration.
Even if you don’t have moggies of your own, it can be infuriating when you see the damage wrought by your neighbour’s beloved pets. You can’t exactly get angry at them. They’re just behaving in the way nature intended. But try telling that to the square meters of confetti that was once your flower bed, your claw marked trees or your poop-strewn lawn.
Even when cats go easy on your plants, trees and garden furniture, the smelly vestiges of their visits can be a pain. You may have heard that slate chippings can be a useful deterrent in preventing cats from soiling your garden. Let’s investigate…
The Effects of Cat Poop on Your Garden
The good news is that cat faeces won’t damage your soil. In fact, it’s composition is very similar to cattle manure. However, since you don’t know for sure what cat left the deposits in your garden you also don’t know the health of the cat.
Like most mammals, cats can spread diseases through their faeces. That’s why it’s extremely important to wear gloves when cleaning up after them. Not to mention the unholy stink that comes from a freshly deposited cat dropping!
Will Cats Poop on Slate Chippings?
When the neighbourhood cats have taken to using your garden as a litter tray, it’s clear that something needs to be done. Some swear by using slate chippings to deter cats. While this can be effective (they’re large, pointy and uncomfortable to stand, walk and indeed poop on) a particularly determined cat will poop just about anywhere.
Not to mention the fact that…
Slate chippings can be expensive!
If you only have a small area to cover to prevent cats from fouling in your garden slate chippings are a great investment. They’re effective and they look great, lending any garden a touch of class. However, for larger gardens, they may be too expensive to be a viable and cost-effective solution. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, however, it’s important to rule out bark chippings and small pea gravel.
In fact, bark chippings and gravel are an open invitation!
Bark chippings may be large and jagged but they are also soft, pliable and easy to dig making them particularly appealing for cats. Likewise, small 10mm pea gravel is appealing to cats as it looks and feels like cat litter to them.
If you want to use gravel be sure to use larger pieces (20-40mm) and opt for rougher sharper textures. We have written about which size gravel to use previously. Alternatively, a spray made from a combination of water, ground cinnamon, black pepper, mustard powder, crushed garlic and lemon oil can be a harmless but potent way of keeping cats out of your garden.
So, to wrap up: While slate chippings are an effective way to prevent cats from fouling in your garden, you may need to consider more cost-effective alternatives for larger gardens.