GARDENING: Keeping cats out of your beds

My soiled raspberry bed in June.

My soiled raspberry bed in June.

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THESE aren’t the most exciting of photos, but every picture tells a story.

The story is my constant battle with George, my cat, who despite having a perfectly good litter tray, insists on using any available square inch of soil as his personal toilet.

THE CULPRIT: George, my cat.

THE CULPRIT: George, my cat.

These pictures, of my raspberry bed, have been mangled and there’s not even that much bare earth.

What to do? I love my cat, I love my plants. I don’t want to harm him, just make sure he stays away from bare soil.

I’ve been trialling two products - STV’s Defenders Cat & Dog Repellent Crustal Gel (it looks like a bottle of crystallised orange ketchup) and the company’s Cat & Dog Repellent Scatter Granules.

The active ingredients are plant oils (orange and chilli), which animals dislike, in inert gel or clay.

You must clean up the area first - any fouling, scratching or digging holes, so there’s no scent for them to return to.

You simply scatter the contents around the affected area and repeat every 48 hours until they give up.

Despite his monumental persistence, even George gave up after a couple of applications - but I continue to use it on bare soil, as we have a bit of a turf war with a new cat going on at the minute.

For more details and stockists, log on to www.stvpestcontrol.com.