If you have a cat, you know how disastrous it can be. They love to chew, bite, and eat almost anything they can get their little paws on, and plants fall right into that category. There are also a number of plants that are toxic to your cat (more on that later). For these reasons, cat owners tend to stray away from keeping any plants indoors, and don’t care to find out how to keep cats out of plants.
That does not need to be the case, however. There are steps you can take to ensure your plants and your cat both remain safe. Whether they are biting off leaves, digging into the dirt, or treating your plant as a litter box, cats can be trained to shift their focus elsewhere. There are a few strategies you can take to discourage this behavior in cats. We’ll also cover some other background to ensure you are making the right decision for your situation.
Plants That Are Toxic To Your Cat
The truth is, there are hundreds of plants that can be toxic to your cat. It’s best you do your research before bringing home any sort of plant to ensure your cat is safe. Below is a list of some of the most common plants that are poisonous to cats:
Why Do Cats Like To Play With & Eat Plants?
They Might Enjoy The Taste
Cats enjoy eating just about anything, from food to insects to toys. It’s no surprise they might enjoy munching on some fresh leaves. Depending on what type of plant you have at your house, the taste could be quite enjoyable to them.
They Like The Texture
Many cats enjoy the texture of plants. They might find it enjoyable to nibble on the leaves of your plant, similar to how they do with toys.
What’s The Big Deal If My Cat Plays With My Plants?
- As mentioned before, some plants can be toxic to your cat. The dangers of your cat eating certain plants can range from slight discomfort all the way to potential fatality. Do Your Research!
- Your plant will get damaged as they bite and rip up the leaves. Cats might also kick around dirt, making you have to clean up a mess every day.
- They may treat the soil as a litter box. If this becomes the case, your pets’ waste can cause your plants to die. The odor will also start to linger around in places that you don’t want it to.
How To Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds & Plants – Top 7 Methods
1. Keep Them Out Of Reach
This first method is pretty straight forward and simple. If you want to know how to keep cats away from plants, keep your plants out of reach so your cat cannot destroy it. This will all depend on the size of the plant you are trying to protect, but if it is a small plant, you can place it on a stand that’s high enough that your cat cannot get to. You can also move them to a room that you know your cat is not allowed into.
2. Spray Your Plants With Lemon Juice or Hot Chili Pepper
One method that we use is to fill a little spray bottle with one part lemon juice and 2 parts water. You can also place lemon peels at the bottom of the pot. Cats do not like the citrusy smell and will associate that smell with plants. Hot chili pepper can also work if you sprinkle some on your plant. Be careful as this can be painful to your feline friend. There are even some oils you can place directly onto the leaves that can act as a deterrent (such as eucalyptus oil). Whichever method you use, make sure you are not ruining your plant in the process, so do your research.
3. Scare Your Cat
Anytime your cat gets nearby your plant, make a loud noise or something you know that can scare your cat. The more they can associate climbing up your plants with this unpleasant experience, the less they will mess with your plants. Others have also mentioned success by placing foil paper around the surfaces where your plants are located, assuming your plants are on a table or higher surface. Once your cat gets close enough, they will get scared by the sounds of stepping on the foil which can be a great deterrent.
4. Get A Plant For Your Cat
If your cat by all means just needs to have their daily dosage of plants, you can get them their own. If they have their own plant to chew and nibble on, they will be far less likely to mess with yours. There are Cat Grass Growing Kits that are safe for cats to eat. You can even create a little garden specifically for them with plants that are safe for cats. It’s best you place it near their feeding and drinking bowls.
5. Place Rocks or Pebbles in The Pot
If your cat is the type to kick up dirt and potentially treat the pot as a litter box, place some rocks or pebbles on top of the soil. This will allow water to still seep through while protecting the soil from your cat. Make sure to place them firmly and tight inside the pot so your cat isn’t kicking around the pebbles too. This can be a good solution because it also looks pretty decorative for your plant.
6. Create a Rough Environment
Another method can be to place some pinecones or prickly holly throughout the plant. If your cat cannot find pleasure in playing with your plant since it’s in discomfort, chances are they will soon stop.
7. Spend Time With Your Cat
Maybe one reason your cat is playing with your plants is that they just want to play and expel some energy. Spend at least 10-15 minutes each day playing with your cat, and see how much of a difference this makes. Cats are pretty mellow individuals for the most part, but they still need to get their daily dose of exercise.