How to Keep Your Cat Out of Planters
Why Do Cats Eat Houseplants?
Ahh. The age-old question, "why do cats eat houseplants?"... Why? WHYYY?! The bane of every plant & cat lover's existence is this eternal dichotomy of a relationship. We love plants. We love cats. But sometimes those two things just don't mix. Cats are curious creatures, we all know this to be glaringly obvious and part of what makes them so freaking adorable. But when it comes to houseplants, a whole new level of interest seems to take over.
There are a few reasons why your cat might be eating your house plants:
Cats like how plants taste & smell.
They explore things with their mouths, just like we did as babies. Seems weird, but it's just another way to sense their surroundings. And if your kitty likes the way a certain plant tastes & smells, they will probably try & come back for more. Even if your plant is non-toxic, watch out for any upset kitty tummies & move the plants your cat seems extra fond of to a place out of reach.
Cats like the texture of plants.
Along the same lines of taste, your cat is just exploring all the different tastes & textures of their little world. You might notice that they gravitate towards plants when you're outside too. This might just be them exploring, but it also might be an instinctual way of them trying to add a little fiber to their diet!
Cats like making the leaves move.
Your kitty's natural hunting instinct comes into play, here. Watching the movement of leaves and branches is pure fun & heightens those natural predatory senses. It's kind of like them chasing around a string of yarn or laser beam - irresistible!
Cats eat plants because they're bored.
Kitties who have little stimulation or are stuck in the same environment for too long can get a little antsy - can you blame them? Your cat might simply be trying to entertain themselves or could be taking out some pent up frustration on your innocent little plant babes. Try mixing things up & take them outside for a daily walk or stroll around your yard to help stave off that cabin fever!
How to Stop Cats From Eating and Messing with Houseplants:
Whether your cat is snacking on your plant's leaves, digging around in the dirt, or using it as their golden throne, there are ways to help them steer clear of your precious plant babies. Let's take a look at some ways you can keep your kitty out of your indoor jungle, before your new gem of a monstera plant is toppled over on the rug.
Remove Poisonous Plants
Any plant within reach is a temptation to your cat, and they can't tell the difference between poisonous plants & non-toxic plants. Figure out if you have any plants that are poisonous to cats, and re-home them to a room/shelf the cat won't have access to, or give to someone without a furry friend.
Grow Cat Grass
Keep your cat from chewing on your house plants by giving them a little garden they can explore & freely chew on their own! Cat grass comes in many different varieties, and is usually a blend of some kind of barley, wheat, or oat grass. If your cat has any dietary needs or restrictions, be sure to speak with your vet before introducing this alternative to make sure it's safe.
Use a Repellent
Using natural sprays or repellent is a great way to stop your cat from eating your plants. If they don't like the way it smells, they will steer clear. Of course, you want to make sure this repellent is non-toxic. Doesn't make sense to spray something harmful to your cat and your plant to keep your cat from eating it! Conveniently enough, cats don't like the smell of citrus. You could soak a few cotton balls in lemon, orange, or lime juice and place at the base of your plants in the soil, or throw some citrus peels on top of the soil of your potted plant.
Repellants tend to work better than sprays, because many sprays can actually cause harm to your plants. Citrus juice and oil acts as a natural weed killer & will damage your precious house plants, so we recommend sticking to the cotton ball or peel method.
Change your cat's litter box
Chances are, your cat is making himself a second pawty in your house plant's soil. Maybe his litter box needs a little freshening up. Try cleaning it out, and try changing the litter if your cat is still not taking to it!
Houseplants that are Poisonous to Cats
Some plants are completely harmless to cats, so these expeditions into your plant jungle could just be more annoying than dangerous. But if there is an unknowingly toxic plant in your collection, there could be more serious problems. The ASPCA has an exhaustive list of plants that are poisonous to cats, but here are a few that you should definitely steer clear of owning, or keep them far out of paw's reach.
- Bird of Paradise
- Day Lillies
- Holiday plants (mistletoe, pine tree varieties, holly)
- Ivy (Some varieties)
- Morning Glory
- Octopus Tree
- Peace Lilly
- Sago Palm
- Silver Dollar
Alter the Placement of Your Plants
Do you have any of these plants and don't want to get rid of them? Try hanging your plants away from furniture that your cat could perch up on, or in a planter that attaches to the wall. Try a few of these planters that keep your houseplants thriving in their current environment, without putting your kitty in harm's way:
Cat Proof Houseplants: Indoor Plants Cats Avoid
- Geraniums - This plant has beautiful blooms, but a strong smell that will keep your cat at a distance.
- Lemon grass - This plant adds a nice burst of green to your home, while keeping your cat away with its citrus scent. Just be sure to pot it in a planter with drainage holes & to keep it watered frequently.
- Rosemary - Not only is this a great plant to keep on hand for when you're feeling inspired in the kitchen, and your cat will want to steer clear from the strong scent.
- Lavender - Another plant that smells great and can be used for cooking, but cats don't love the smell.
The Best House Planters for Pet Owners:
We recommend getting planters that you can hang from the ceiling or wall, or placing your potted plants up on a plant shelf or ledge that your cat can't reach. Be sure to keep your plants away from anything cats can climb up on and knock over, if they just can't resist the temptation.
Here are some of our favorite planters that will help keep your plants safe from any curious kitties:
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