Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Client's Request: Hello, I live in central county and frequently find scat in different areas of my backyard and cannot identify the source. The scat is always buried under a mound of my garden mulch. It is light to golden brown with a creamy consistency. I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you.
MGCC Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk.
There are many suggestions for keeping cats out of yards, or for preventing cats from using the yard as a litterbox, but I know from personal experience, it is difficult at best. You might have success with a motion-activated sprinkler. Hooked to a hose, it will activate and spray water on any animal walking in the area. (From personal experience, it will spray you too if you forget to turn it off). The cat might think twice about using that area if it gets sprayed a few times. There are also commercial cat repellents available, but there is not good research on how effective they are. And there are many recipes online for homemade repellents, but again, there is no research to back them up.
Good luck with this. Please don't hesitate to contact us again if you have more questions.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SEH)
Note: The UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, although we will be moving sometime soon. We can also be reached via telephone: (925)646-6586, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/)