cat feces and blueberries

Asked March 23, 2019, 2:17 PM EDT

I know not to grow vegetables is my raised beds since our feral cat has and is using them as a latrine but can I now plant blueberries or raspberries in them?

Jefferson County Washington berries

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The contamination of food, in general, may occur through plants acquiring pathogens (harmful microbes) in the soil, which is a hazard especially for plants whose roots we consume (like carrots, turnips and parsnips), but also through contamination by ongoing exposure to the pathogen, in this case the parasite carried in cat feces. If cats continue to use the soil where edible plants are exposed to the feces, contamination continues to be a risk. This study found such a correlation between berries and cat feces: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405676618300052 So, regardless of where the exposure occurs, there is a risk. Here is how to limit the risks in any garden: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/how-keep-frustrating-felines-out-garden Hope this is helpful. Good luck!