You may have experienced this already, and if you have don’t worry, we understand your frustration… cats rather like empty veg beds that have been recently dug over – they see them as one giant litter tray! We have a few tricks up our sleeve for you…
Once the bed is full of plants, cats are less likely to use it, so the key is in preventing cats whilst the beds are empty or only have young plants leaving a lot of exposed soil.
- If you can, lay horticultural fleece over the bed and secure at the sides with stones. This is the simplest and quickest solution. If you have seedlings already planted, you can lay the fleece loosely over the top of them and they will still get enough sunlight and water to grow, but cats will be kept off the bed.
- If you don’t have fleece, try a net. Make sure it is bird-friendly (see our post on netting below). If it is a bit more of an effort as you need to prop the netting up, but this can be done quite easily with a few bamboo lengths prodded into the ground and topped with upturned jam jars.
- No net? Make an obstacle course with string. Make a criss cross string obstacle course – tie lengths of string between two bamboo canes so that the string is 10cm or so above ground level. Use them to make a criss cross pattern across the beds, this makes it difficult for the cats to access the soil.
- Make the bed spiky! Gather up a bundle of 20cm (approx) twigs or bamboo lengths and prod them into the soil at 15/20cm intervals. It’s not fool proof, but most cats seem to go elsewhere rather than negotiate the spikes.