Are you stressing out over the dead patches of grass in your lawn and suspecting that the culprit is your cat, who enjoys her peeing spree each time she’s out in the yard?
Does cat urine kill grass?
Yes, cat urine in concentrated and large amounts can kill grass because of the high concentration of nitrogen in the urine which can burn grass resulting in a dead, brown patch. Unlike feces, a cat’s urine is absorbed instantly in the grass which contributes to the damage. Interestingly, a small amount of cat urine has a fertilizing effect on the grass and urea has long been known as a fertilizer and feed supplement.
Cat urine and its components
Cat urine is known for its strong and pungent smell which, when it becomes soaked on wood floors, carpets, and furniture, becomes a big problem as it could lead to mold growth and a lingering, irritating smell.
These are the main components of cat urine:
- 95% water
- 2% urea
- uric acid
Normal cat urine has a clear appearance with a yellow to amber color while medication can turn it to a bluish or pinkish color. If it has abnormal colors like greenish, or yellow-brown then it could be a sign of a liver problem or other health-related issues and your vet should be consulted at once.
Cat urine has high levels of protein and contains the amino acid felinine that breaks down into sulfur-containing compounds resulting in the strong and pungent smell. Cats use their urine to mark territories and attract mates which also explains why your cat may be fond of sneaking to your lawn or yard to pee.
How to stop your cat from peeing in your lawn?
You don’t have to suffer from having a patchy and smelly lawn forever. Here are some tips on how you can prevent your cat from peeing in your lawn:
Place materials that your cat won’t find appealing
Your cat may not go near your lawn again if you place materials like rocks and pebbles as she will find it uncomfortable and unappealing. You could also place prickly pinecones and scatter them across your lawn or as decorations for your lawn or garden beds.
Use materials that offend your cat’s sense of smell
Another option you can try to stop your cat from peeing in your lawn is to use organic materials with smells that cats dislike. These include garlic, onion, tea leaves, coffee grounds and citrus rinds including lemon, grapefruit and orange peels. You could place or scatter these in your lawn and you may also use anise or eucalyptus oil.
You could also spray the lawn area with a homemade solution consisting of two parts cayenne pepper, three parts dry mustard and five parts flour to keep your cat away.
Use or put plants that cats hate
Aside from certain smells and scents, there are also plants that cats avoid. Plant and cultivate plants like geranium, lavender, absinthe, rue and lemon thyme to stop your cat from going near your lawn. Thorny rose shrubs and prickly bushes are also a good choice, however, this may not be a good option if you have kids around.
Spray the lawn area with a commercial cat deterrent
There are various commercial brands of cat deterrent sprays that you can use in your lawn area to stop your cat from going near it. Some recommended brands include the following: Nature’s Mace Cat Repellent, Pet MasterMind Cat Spray, and PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Pet Deterrent.
Use a barrier fence
If plants and smells don’t work out as effectively as they should and your cat still manages to sneak out and terrorize your lawn why not install a barrier fence? A chain-link fence that’s about six feet in height and with a two by two-inch mesh along with a two-feet overhang is recommended, it is difficult for cats to climb chicken wire.
Install a motion-activated sprinkler
You may also try this option which acts a dual purpose as it will also keep the grass and plants around your lawn and garden healthy and hydrated. Motion-activated sprinklers spray a burst of water when your cat passes by. Cats naturally avoid water and once they realize the area has these sprinklers they’ll avoid the lawn.
Use an ultrasonic device
Cats loathe high-frequency sounds, thus, an ultrasonic device is a good option to keep them away. This type of device emits high-frequency sounds that are inaudible to the human ear. Aside from this device, you could also try installing wind chimes and motion-sensitive bells that startle cats and emit a loud noises that cats hate.
Build a “catio” for your cat.
You can also give your cat the option to spend time outside by making her a catio, a cat enclosure where your cat can still enjoy the outdoors and explore the sights and sounds of the surroundings without having the ability to wander off to your lawn.
Cat urine in large and concentrated amounts can kill the grass because of its nitrogen content. The best thing to do is to keep your cat away from your lawn by following suggested steps like placing items or materials that cats hate like pinecones and citrus peels, putting in a barrier fence, or using motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices.