How to Keep Cats out of House Plants

[thrive_drop_caps color=’orange’ style=’2′]A[/thrive_drop_caps]s you may well know, cats actually do like greens, with regular grass and catnip among their favorite “snacks.” Besides eating plants, they also like to hide in them, and if you have big and bushy plants in your house, you might see your cat stalking behind one or just using either the pot or the plant to remain concealed.

The problem is that many types of house plants may be poisonous to ingest, and even non-poisonous types may just be trampled if a cat likes to lay on them. So, here are a few suggestions on how to keep cats out of house plants.

Poisonous Plants

The first thing to do, if you have or are getting a cat, is to know if any of your plants are poisonous to them. Common house plants like aloe vera, dieffenbachia, ceriman, most lilies, grass palms, ivy and even the yucca plant, plus many others, are toxic to cats. Instead of trying to keep them out and away from these plants, it is better to not take chances and give the plants away.

The bottom line here is that, no matter what you do to keep your cat away from plants, nothing is a 100% sure thing. So, getting those poisonous plants out of your house is the only way to keep your cat away from, and potentially getting sick, or worse, from eating them.


Separate the Plant from the Cat

The best way to keep cats out of house plants is to grow them in a permanent enclosure, or have a dedicated sunroom that kitty is not allowed into. If you are a dedicated gardener, this may be a very easy task, especially if you have a built-on greenhouse. Move all of your house plants into the greenhouse, and make sure to keep the door tightly closed so your plants will have a room of their own.

Another way to do this is by building a dedicated planting cage or using wired shelving units. If you, or someone you know is handy, a cage can be constructed to allow your plants to thrive while being easy to tend, yet being completely cat proof. However, if separating the plants from your cat isn't really practical, here is something else to try.


A Little Dash or
A Little Spray

One thing cats despise is cayenne pepper. A little dash of cayenne in the dirt of the plants will keep kitty away. They don't like the smell and they hate the taste. Of course, you'll have to add a dash here and there every so often to keep the scent pungent, but if you are diligent with your cayenne sprinkles, your cat won't want anything to do with any of your plants.

If you don't want to mess with cayenne pepper, try some citrus spray on the leaves and the soil. Cats are not fond of citrus either, so they won't want to come near a citrus smelling plant. Once again, you'll have to re-spray a few times every month to keep the citrus scent fresh, but if you take that time, you won't have to worry about your kitty getting into your plants again. Lemon and orange peels on the soil around plants may also deter your cat from going near the plants too.

No Standing Around

Cats love to stand on smooth surfaces, so try these different ideas. You can place rocks or stones around the plant on the soil, and these rough patches will keep cats from stepping on them. Following that same route, you can try pine cones, seashells, tin foil, nut shells, pieces of screen and other material that won't feel good to stand on for kitty paws.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, line the soil around the plant with two-sided tape. That sticky sensation, every time cat steps on it, will make them back off every time. You may have to change the tape once a week or so to keep it sticky, but once your cat figures out how unpleasant it is to step on, they may never go near your plant again.


Go Artificial

If all is lost and nothing works, you can always go artificial. Granted, they aren't real, but some are so real looking that no one will be able to tell anyway. Plus, you'll never have to water them, transplant them or care for them in any way. If you want plants but your cat refuses to leave them alone no matter what you try, going artificial might be your only hope.

There are a lot of good things you do for your cat, like feeding them high-quality homemade cat food, brushing them and getting timely veterinarian check-ups. But whether or not you have one single plant in your home, your purr buddy is still going to love you, and that's really all that matters.


Mary Nielsen founded and is a passionate cat lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She founded her blog to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable kittens and cats. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.

Guest Post by: Mary Nielsen

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