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Cat Peed On Potatoes (What Now?)

If you have potatoes growing, and noticed some cat pee on them, you may be looking for reasons why and the solution to stop it from happening…

Why did my cat pee on my potatoes?

It’s not uncommon for a cat to ‘target’ someone’s garden. After all, you have an area of nature that is carefully cultivated to be both aesthetically pleasing and to have lots of loosened dirt – the type of place a cat would naturally gravitate to for a potty break in nature!

As such, a few careful strategies to keep your kitty out are going to be a must if you want to avoid your cat peeing on potatoes or other plants that you are tending.

What are potatoes?

A pile of potatoes on the floor with a shovel.

A pile of potatoes on the floor with a shovel.

Potatoes are easy-to-grow tuber vegetable plants that are unsafe to eat raw, but perfectly safe and downright delicious when baked, boiled, or fried with a little butter and a bit of care at your stove or oven.

Sadly, cats don’t see their potential and so if you are growing them, a little care must be taken to avoid your cat marking that spot in the garden as their own.  

Do cats pee on other vegetables in the garden?

Yes, cats are equal-opportunity sprayers, although they might be more likely to mark certain parts of the garden as their own if they happen to see a hungry pest nibbled on a veggie nearby. From a cat’s perspective, a garden is a pretty litterbox, and the loose dirt is the proof in the pudding where your cat is concerned.

How can I prevent cats from peeing on my potatoes in my garden?

A little bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way, so if you have a garden and you also have a cat that is spending a bit of time outside, the sensible thing to do is to ward your garden well. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods that you have at your disposal for this.

An ultrasonic device

Broox Solar Animal Repeller, Ultrasonic Repellent, Motion Detection, LED Flashing Light, Dog, Cat Repellent, Squirrel, Raccoon, Skunk, Rabbit, Rodent, Fox, Deer, etc.

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An ultrasonic frequency emitter can serve to keep your cat from straying too close to the garden. These are typically motion-sensitive, so that when your cat or a garden pest gets close to your carefully cultivated flowers and veggies then the sound is produced, at a frequency that is too high for humans to hear.

Cats and many other animals, however, will hear it and find it unpleasant enough to move. After a few moments, the tone stops on its own, only to be reactivated when your cat or another animal moves within its ‘line of sight’.

Sprinklers (Motion Activated)

Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler with Day & Night Detection Modes,Black

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If ultrasonic frequencies seem to be a bit harsh, then you can go with a classic that does not cause your cat ear discomfort, but rather splash them with water when they get too close. Motion-activated sprinklers are available commercially and they work.

These will water your garden at preset times and also double as a water-wielding guard to encourage your cat to hang out anywhere but your garden.

Chicken wire

Land Guard 19 Gauge Hardware Cloth, 1/2 inch Chicken Wire Fence, Galvanized Welded Cage Wire Mesh Roll Supports Poultry Netting Cage Fence

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You’ll have to string it tightly, but chicken wire can also be an effective means of keeping your kitty out. It’s inexpensive, but the caveat is that your kitty can potentially get tangled up in it if another cat comes into the yard and they panic, running right into the wire.

 It’s also not as aesthetically pleasing, so this might not be a solution to everyone’s tastes.

Citrus peelings

While humans love a nice citrus scent, cats seem to dislike it. We assume that it smells as acidic as it is, but whatever the case putting some citrus peelings in your garden can help to keep your cat out of it.

You’ll need to place it carefully, however, as it’s going to affect the pH of the soil, making it more acidic. For some plants, this will improve their growth, though for plants that require less acidity then this might not be an ideal solution.

Plant Marigolds

Marigolds are a beautiful way to keep a cat at bay. Certain plants seem to rub cats the wrong way for one reason or another, and plants such as Marigold, Lavender, and Geraniums are among the top flowering plants that are commonly used to make aesthetically pleasing ‘kitty fences’.

If you have the patience for it, plant a natural barrier with Marigolds or another plant that cats dislike and you have a method for keeping your cat out that will look beautiful doing its job!

Does cat urine ruin edible crops?

Uprooted carrots being held by a person.

Uprooted carrots are being held by a person.

It can, but usually, a thorough cleaning with a food-safe enzymatic cleaner can salvage most of your crops. This will generally work but you have to use an enzymatic cleaner, otherwise, it doesn’t break down the uric content in your cat’s urine.

To avoid this problem in the future, solutions should be implemented to keep your cat out of the garden in the first place. You could install motion-sensitive sprinklers, leave out orange peels, or even plant a wall of flowers that cat’s traditionally disliked – such as Marigold, Rue, Rosemary, or Lavender.

Without a safeguard such as this, your garden is going to naturally attract your cat, as it checks all of the boxes as far as an ideal outdoor litter box. It smells interesting, looks nice, and there is plenty of loose dirt to bury droppings – pretty much the outdoor ‘Holy Grail’ of litter boxes.

As far as the soil, the urine will change the pH, so the effects on emerging plants will be based on their pH requirements.

Why did my cat pee on my food?

If your cat pees somewhere weird, such as close to their food bowl or to some food that you are storing, it’s not always the case that it was intentional. Bring your cat to the vet for a checkup to make sure that they do not have a urinary tract infection.

This can sometimes happen and one of the symptoms is losing control of their urination. Other conditions can affect the urinary tract as well, such as Struvite crystals that occur naturally in the cat’s urine getting ‘blocked up’ ad forming stones, resulting in painful and often uncontrolled urination.

So, when your cat pees somewhere strange, it’s important to resist the urge to instantly scold or try to otherwise discipline them. Usually, it means that something is wrong and they need to see the vet!

Lindsey Browlingdon