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Is Cat Pee Bad for Plants? (How to deter Cats)

If your cat has peed on your plants, the chances are you are wondering what to do now and how to stop it from happening in the future.

Is cat pee bad for plants?

Cat urine is concentrated in urea and nitrogen. These chemical components, when present in high amounts, can lead to burnt plant roots and eventually failure of the plant to thrive. The toxic levels of these chemicals result in a change in the soil pH making it an unfavorable environment for your plants.

What you will need to protect your plants & soil

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So, now you know that cat pee is bad for your plants. But, how to keep your cat off your plants, what you can do with your plants already covered in pee, how can you deal with a neighbors cat that is peeing on your plants? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.

 

What is Urea in cat urine?

Urea plays a role in metabolizing nitrogenous substances and the excretion of their end products through the urine. Urea is an odorless, non-toxic, and water-soluble chemical, and is considered harmless. It’s the nitrogen-carrying products fueled by urea that produce what is called “ammonia”, which cause the bad odor and burn the plant roots in undiluted form.

Like any other urine, cat urine contains the following: urea, creatinine, uric acid, and electrolytes. What makes cat urine distinct from the rest is the higher concentration of these substances, because cats don’t drink as much water as other mammals.

What is the PH balance in soil?

The soil pH plays an integral role in providing an optimal place for plants to grow. The pH determines the acidity or the alkalinity of the soil and is defined as the negative logarithm of hydrogen ions present in the soil.

What is regarded as a good soil PH level?

As long as the acidity of the soil is within the pH range of 6 to 7, your potted plants will be in healthy shape. In most instances, good soil with an acceptable pH will allow maximum absorption of nutrients by the plant.

Many nutrients become more absorbable in an acidic environment than alkaline. Phosphorus is readily available at a pH of 6.5. However, too low of a soil pH (4.0-5.0) may have toxic levels of manganese, iron, and aluminum which can harm your plants.

An acidic soil would mean a PH value of 0 to 7, while an alkaline soil would mean a pH of 7 to 14. Just by determining soil pH, you will have a clue about the properties of the soil.

How can this PH balance be affected by your cat’s urine?

Because soil pH is a determining factor for the survival of your garden plants, as much as possible, you would want to get rid of anything that can drastically change the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Because cat urine is concentrated with urea and nitrogen, it causes an imbalance in the soil making it an unfavorable place for your plants.

Why is your cat peeing on your plants?

There are three main reasons why your cat is being in your plants, their litter tray is not clean enough, the location is uncomfortable, or it’s not the right size for them. Therefore, in their mind, your potted plant is a better option. for them to consider.

Your litter is not clean enough

As discussed, your potted plant is more appealing than your cat’s litter box. That rich, loose, and soft dirt is far more inviting than an ordinary litter box. In other instances, your cat is simply looking for a cleaner place for peeing, which is good ground soil.  This implies that your need to keep the litter box clean at all times.

Your litter box is too small or in a bad location

Lastly, the litter box may be too small for your cat’s liking or placed in locations unsuitable for your pet. For example, putting a litter box right next to a noisy washing machine can trigger your cat to look for a more peaceful litter place like a potted plant. Investing time and effort to get an appealing and clean litterbox can prevent this unwelcoming habit.

You might be wondering why your cat digs up your potted plants to pee on them. For our furry friends, plants are a normal place to relieve themselves. Part of a cat’s instinct is to take comfort in soft, loose soil. The result is a malodorous pitiful plant that can die from contaminated soil.

How to keep your cat out of the plants

For your cats, that pot of healthy, comfy soil is a stress-free litter box where they can leave their urine or feces. To keep them away from the plants, here are a few tips and tricks to help you with:

  1. Cover the soil surface with material less appealing for your cats. For example, You can put decorative rocks, prickly pine cones, or anything that can drive them away from peeing in your potted plant.
  2. At the edge of the pot, you can also put some double-sided sticky tape (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad) to prevent the cat from hopping in.
  3. Keep the plants out of the cat’s reach by hooking them at the ceiling.
    4. Spray some vinegar or Tabasco sauce on the plant to make it less inviting.

How can you help your outdoor plants saturated in cat pee?

Is cat pee bad for plants?

Is cat pee bad for plants?

Because cat pee can saturate the plant soil and cause plant roots to burn, you need to be prepared before this disaster occurs.

Rinse out the urine

One way to salvage your plants is to make sure you rinse out the urine from the pot. Make sure to water the potted plant until you see the water leaking through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. You can repeat this several times.

Use a hose to dilute the cat urine

If you have plans growing on garden beds, you can use a hose to dilute the cat urine. If you think the soil remains malodorous after several tries, don’t hesitate to change the old soil to a new one.

How can you keep your neighbors cat off of your plants?

Your outdoor plants may not be safe from your neighbor’s cats. The soft garden soil is a bed of comfort for your feline neighbors. One good tip is to use scents to keep them away. Cats will dislike any strong smell like citrus scents, rue, lavender, lemon thyme. Sprinkling some brewed coffee grounds over the soil may help deter cats. You can get free bags of those at any local coffee shop.

Are there any benefits of cat pee on your outdoor plants?

For some gardeners, cat pee (Click here to see if this bad for pregnant women) may be beneficial in warding off other garden pests. With the pungent odor of cat urine, it will surely scare all the other animals that can take advantage of your plants too.

Loose and soft garden soil is an appealing space where cats may take a leak. Cat urine, like any other, has minerals and nutrients that can also act as a fertilizer for your plants. However, cat urine is highly concentrated with urea and nitrogen products making it too toxic for your plants to tolerate. Before it burns your plant roots, make sure you find a way to rinse it off the plant soil.

Can tin foil help to protect your plants?

One good tip is placing a tin foil on the surface of the soil. Once you got the soil surface all covered up, you can even add additional barriers and aesthetics like pine cones or mulch. You may want to wrap the edge of the pot with the tin foil as well.

Potted plants are more prone to dying when their soil becomes concentrated in cat urine. Fortunately, this simple strategy will prevent this from happening. This will also help deter your cats from peeing on your potted plants.

Lindsey Browlingdon
 

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