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How To Keep Cats Out Of Your Sandbox (5 Proven Methods)

Nicole Cosgrove

SandBox

If you have both children and outdoor cats, you may have discovered that cats like to use your child’s sandbox as a litter box. Not only is it gross to think about your child playing in a box that contains your cat’s urine and feces, but it’s also unsanitary. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to keep your cat out of your child’s sandbox. In this article, we will discuss some proven strategies for keeping your child’s sandbox clean.

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5 Strategies For Keeping Cats Out Of Your Sandbox

1. Keep your cat indoors.

Devon rex cat lying on red blanket
Image Credit: zkittler, Pixabay

Some cats spend time both indoors and outdoors. Depending on how old your cat is and how often it goes outdoors, you may be able to transition your cat to being an indoor-only pet. If you are going to keep your formerly outdoor cat indoors, it’s important to make the transition slowly. Some cats may take the change in stride, but others will have a hard time adjusting and will let you know how unhappy they are by clawing at your doors and windows and escaping as often as possible.

Remember, cats that spend a lot of time outdoors are used to being stimulated a lot of the time, and all cats need exercise and stimulation to stay healthy. Make a point to spend time playing with your cat so that it still gets to exercise its hunting instinct. You should also make sure to provide your cat with a window so that it can still enjoy watching what’s going on outdoors.


2. Cover or fence in your sandbox.

If your biggest issue is neighborhood cats, you may want to consider fencing in your yard so that the cats can’t get to your sandbox. You can also fence in or cover the sandbox itself, which is easier than fencing in your entire yard. Do remember that cats can climb when deciding what type of fence to get. Chicken wire is a good choice, as cats won’t enjoy the feeling of climbing the wire.

If you choose to cover the sandbox, you’ll need to remember to cover it again whenever your child isn’t using it. Many sandboxes come with covers, but if yours didn’t, you can make your own cover out of a common material such as wood or lattice. Just make sure the cover stays secure on the sandbox!


3. Use natural or store-bought repellents.

There are certain smells that cats don’t like. Use that knowledge to your advantage when keeping your cat out of your sandbox! Choose strong odors such as vinegar and citrus or sprinkle old coffee grounds around the box.

If you find that these natural remedies don’t work, you can also choose commercial repellents designed to keep cats away from outdoor gardens.

Keep in mind that both of these solutions are short-term. When it rains, you will need to re-apply both natural remedies and store-bought sprays in order to effectively keep your cat out of the sandbox.


4. Keep a water sprinkler near your sandbox.

If there’s anything we know about cats, it’s that they hate water. If you find that your cat loves to go into your child’s sandbox, you can install motion-sensitive sprinklers that will go off whenever your cat tries to go into the box. Just keep in mind that the sprinklers are likely to go off whenever you and your family go to the sandbox, too!


5. Train or supervise your cat when it goes outdoors.

cat running on grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Finally, if you can’t keep your cat indoors and the other options on this list don’t work for you, you can supervise your cat’s outdoor time to make sure it stays away from the sandbox. If your cat is a quick learner, you could also try training it to use another area of your yard instead of your child’s litter box. Training an animal to learn a new behavior takes time, so you should be prepared to spend some time supervising your cat either way.

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Final Thoughts

Cats are often drawn to litter boxes because it’s a perfect place for them to easily bury their excrement. Luckily, there are several strategies you can try to keep your cat away from your child’s litter box. We hope that at least one of these strategies works for you and your cat so that your child can have a safe and clean place to play.


Featured Image Credit: iniesta44, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.