Cats Use Beds As Litter Box – Should I Replace Soil?

Q: I have several raised beds where I grow vegetables. Stray cats like to use my beds as their litter box. Do you think I should replace the soil before I plant in spring. 

A: I am not a veterinarian or a doctor but it seems your decision should be based on how much “usage“ your garden gets. Cat feces and urine can carry dangerous diseases and parasites. If your bed has only been visited only once or twice, I would feel comfortable planting vegetables there if you till the area a couple of times in winter to expose everything to sunshine, oxygen and cold. If you’re not sure, remove at least four inches of soil and add new soil to your beds. Prevent future feline visitation by installing a short chicken wire fence or laying pieces of chicken wire on the ground around your vegetables so cats can’t dig there. A motion-activated water sprinkler, from companies like Contech, Orbit, and Havahart, could be an option as well.