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planting in old liter box???

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Av8trx on April 26, 2006 09:10 AM
I have 2 long, thin, 8 inch deep beds on the side of my house - full sun almost all day too. I was getting excited to plant in them, but as I was getting the dirt ready I noticed that distinct kitty smell. I have a feeling the area is being used as the local kitty rest stop - it could be old though (bought the house recently, so it's new to me) - is there something to do to prepare the soil? Would you recommend one plant over another (I was thinking wave petunias - they like sun and they'll spread easily [Wink] )

I have a kitty- and he maybe adding to the problem, but he's my little buddy, so if he wants the area for a bathroom - he can have it [gabby]

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Katie - Zone 6a
by Deborah L. on April 26, 2006 10:05 AM
I love catties too, and would do ANYTHING to help them. ANYTHING.
I think flowers only would be OK, but I would be nervous about planting edibles in there. I'm no expert, but wouldn't that toxio-something in litter boxes be a concern?
Hopefully others in- the -know better than I will post.

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by joclyn on April 26, 2006 11:24 AM
correct, deb! no foodstuffs should be planted in an old cat litter container - even if it's thoroughly cleaned (with bleach as well as urine/feces enzyme cleaner).

i would definitely, at the least, bleach the box before planting anything in it. personally, i always use straight bleach when cleaning my cat's litter boxes. i just make sure to rinse well with water - usually i rinse it twice.

since you've got a fresh ammonia scent on the box, i'd recommend using the enzyme cleaner as well - you don't want whatever you do eventually plant in the boxes to be ruined by the neighborhood kitties continuing to use the box as their toilet! the stuff i use, i get from a janitorial supply house...there are products you can get at regular stores (supermarket, petstore, etc). just make sure you get something that clearly has ENZYMES to break down and remove all feces/urine particles and odors.
by Jiffymouse on April 26, 2006 11:36 AM
ok, first, if you are going to plant anything there, no bleach, no enzymes. but, WEAR GLOVES! also NO FOODSTUFFS. I can't say that strong enough.

to keep the kitties out, after you plant, thorny branches (rose cuttings work well) or chicken wire before your plants sprout. makes the soil unattractive to the kitties as they can't dig. no harm/no foul to the cats.

second, i personally would use a litter scoop and trowel and get rid of anything solid or particularly smelly, then back fill with new soil.
by Av8trx on April 26, 2006 12:19 PM
Good plan - thanks

I am not noticing anything hard in the dirt - just a strong smell. I was only planning on planting flowers for looks since it's along the side of the house that shares my neighbors drive-way. Should I lay the chicken wire under a light layer of dirt or do you lay it right on top of the soil? I am guessing the kitties don't like the feel under their paws, so they find another bathroom?

I will wear gloves - no worries! And I won't plant anything in those beds that I would eat - no worries there either.

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Katie - Zone 6a
by porter57 on April 26, 2006 02:59 PM
just flowers there?
im thinkin no problem.
maybe even beneficial as long as the stuff is aged a bit. i gotta think raw cat crap will burn new growth. but as i recall my dad used lion stuff from the zoo one year to fertilize his garden. thinkin it needs to be aged a bit.
gloves are probably a must as some pathogens could be on the loose in that stuff
by Wrennie on April 27, 2006 02:22 AM
Kitty, and doggy, poo is very bad in a food garden. For jut flowers you still dont want to handle it. All kinds of bacteria in there that can make you sick. I read somewhere Its biological make up is extremely similar to people poo. I use chicken sire, old bread trays, bbq grill trays, to keep kitty from digging up my flower beds to potty. I think you're right, she just doesn't like the feel of the wire, and in some cases cant feel he earth to enjoy a good dig. I found the really BIG chunky pine mulch she doesn't like either.

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by Frisha on April 27, 2006 03:22 AM
OK kinda off subject a bit but be very careful using bleach to clean the litterbox. It can react with the ammoinia in teh kittys urine and creat some pretty toxic fumes.
Two toxoplasmosis isn't carried into plants but could be on the outside of the veggie. Defently wear gloves and wash hands frequently when doing anything in that area.
Three if your still smelling it is isn't an old litterbox it is currently being used [Smile] The biggest worry is the ammoinia in the urine burning the plants. But at least that will break down pretty quickly if you can get them to stop useing that area. Citrus peels work well for that too cats generally don't like citrus smells.
by RosyRuthie on April 27, 2006 06:54 AM
The absolute best way to stop cats from using an area as a litter box is to place small containers of water in the area. Cats will not go to the bathroom where there is clean drinking water. when we inherited our house there were about 10-15 cats that hung around as the privious owner fed them outside and they did go in my flowers. I started putting out small butter containers of water and they stopped going. unfortunately most of them got run over since we live on a busy street. The water trick works-didn't believe it when i heard it- give it a try. Good luck [Smile]

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Please remember to hug your kids everyday! [Smile]
by Jiffymouse on April 28, 2006 01:58 PM
i can believe that ruthie, and for the chicken wire, just lay it on top. they just can't really dig in it, that's all. but the plants will grow up through it just fine!

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