When a wandering cat decides to play in your child's sandbox, he might leave an unpleasant, wet or smelly surprise behind. This poor potty etiquette increases your child's risk for diseases and can trigger a bug infestation. To avoid this, take effective steps to make the sandbox unappealing to cats.
Place a hard plastic cover over the sandbox to keep wandering cats out. Alternatively, use plywood or tarp to make the sandbox inaccessible. Secure the cover with heavy bricks to keep it in place.
Create your own repelling potion to keep cats away. Mix 1 small onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of water in a blender. Strain the mixture through a piece of cheesecloth and fill the liquid in a spray bottle. Regularly spray the perimeter of the sandbox with the homemade repellent. Wait for the spray to dry before allowing anyone in the sandbox. Alternatively, use a commercial repellent or spread coffee grounds, pipe tobacco or orange or lemon peels around the sandbox -- cats dislike the smell of these.
Place an upside-down carpet runner on the sand in the sandbox. Sprinkle a light covering of sand over the runner. The plastic spikes are uncomfortable to walk on and will keep wandering cats out of the sandbox.
Install a motion-activated sprinkler system near the sandbox. When a cat comes near the sandbox, the sprinkler system detects this and activates. The sudden spray of water will scare the cat away. Turn off the sprinkler system when kids are about to play in the sandbox.
Grow rue in your garden near the sandbox, because cats dislike the smell of this herb. Alternatively, sprinkle dried rue in your garden.
Treat the wandering cat to his own personal sandbox. Fill a litter pan with sand and bury it almost up to the edge in a quiet, private area of the yard away from the sandbox. Grow catnip around the kitty sandbox to attract the cat. Before you know it, he'll be using this litter box instead of the sandbox. Clean the kitty sandbox regularly to keep it appealing.
- Always check the sandbox for feces before allowing children to play in it.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.