13 Simple Options to Keep Cats Out of Plants {for good}

cat eating plant

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Cats and indoor plants.

Interesting combo isn’t it?

How much better would it be if your cat and your plant can both coexist without ever having to worry about either one harming each other?

Your houseplants would get to live and thrive in peace while your cat continues to do their thing while staying cute and lovable.

So, if you’re wondering, how do I stop my cat from destroying my plants?

First, start with cleaning out their litter box more often or change it up. And if that still doesn’t work, your other options include, providing an alternative to your plant, avoiding toxic potted plants, use plant spray to keep cats away, distract the cat with TV, or use a type of cat repellant spray for plants. Now, if you want to stop cats from digging in plants, try using prickly objects, relocating your plants, set up booby traps, use different smells that cats would hate, or provide fake grass.

You wouldn’t want to sacrifice one for the other, would you? I’d hope not! That’s almost like having to choose between having a cake and whether or not you can eat it.

So, let’s go into detail to figure out the different ways on how to stop your cat from destroying your plants so that you can stay sane as well.

an infographic that describes how to stop your cat from destroying your houseplants.

Can I have plants if I have a cat?

Yes, you can have plants and a cat under the same roof!

Cats are magnificent creatures. They are extremely smart and will keep you on your toes. With more and more people, especially plant lovers, opening up their homes to cats, cats have become the center of attention for most homes, like mine.

However, one of the most significant problems that arise with cats are

– how to keep cats away from plants,

– how to stop my cat from eating plants,

– or my all-time favorite, how to stop cats from digging in plants.

The main issue with having cats and houseplants is having them coexist in the same place.

You’ll either need to cat proof your indoor plants or choose indoor plants that cats hate to eat. 

Protecting your cat from having stomach related problems while defending your plants simultaneously sure does sound like a lot of work.

But with a little creativity here and there, they’ll start to avoid each other like the plaque. 

My soul still dies a little every time I see my kitten destroying everything that has leaves or dirt. 

cat knocked over plants

I find it kinda funny that cats will always take or do what they want regardless if you gave them the world or a potted plant. 

Why exactly are cats attracted to plants?

Even though your four legged friend is carnivores in the wild, that doesn’t mean that they won’t treat your houseplant as a snack or destroy it by digging in the dirt. It’s their curiosity by nature that gets them.

Whether it’s based on the texture, the smell, the color, or even the loose potting soil, cats have a way of getting into trouble, with the hopes that you’ll bail them out. Or unless your cat is like mine, who just loves to make a mess to piss you off. 

This is why it’s extremely important to know which houseplants are toxic to cats. You’ll need to know the right type of care to provide if they ingest the plant. 

For most cats, eating plants is kind of a typical thing. 

Related: 21 Brilliant Plants to Gift {just because you can}

Anticipate Boredom

Boredom. The root of all troubles. 

Before we continue, let’s put ourselves into our four legged friends paws. 

Your feline friend is home all day. Sleeps all day when the house is most busy and stays up all night when the house is most quiet.

cat biting on leaves

But maybe a little too quiet. So why not stir up some trouble. There’s no one to yell at you or get in your way. 

Nighttime is when curiosity is at its highest peak.

Here are a few tips to entertain your cat

  • Play with your cat every day
  • Give it various scratching posts and high roosts,
  • Set up tight corner spots (so they can hide)
  • Set up a spot that will provide plenty of indirect lighting
  • Keep a bird feeder supplied outside the window so that it can watch
  • Hide treats in unknown places throughout the house.
  • Experiment with toys to see which is preferred
  • Have cardboard boxes present all the time to offer your feline friend a chance to find new things and exercise her awareness.
  • Rearrange their surroundings every now and then to keep them interested
  • These exercises might help you keep cats out of plants to a certain extent.

Eating houseplants is just a single risk confronting an exhausted feline. Houseplants or not, it’s fundamental that you find a way to keep your feline sufficiently invigorated.

Why do cats eat houseplants?

Although it might appear as your four legged friend picked your preferred plant for dinner to show vengeance toward you, specialists have suggested that felines interacting with an indoor plant might be done on an impulse or a need to fulfill a diet that’s lacking in the cat’s nutrition.

cat nibbling on plants

Felines that routinely go outside will bite and eat grass to get the nutrients and minerals that they are lacking. When they are inside, since the grass is no longer an option, houseplants become the next best thing for them, well at least for the cats they are.

Hence, here lie your two issues: keeping your cat from plants and shielding your plants from your cat. Now, how to keep cats from destroying your plants will require some trial and error. 

Remember that all cats are different. 

The bigger problem that arises may be can cats eat plants ? 

You’ll have to act extremely fast if they do. Promptly call your veterinarian. But when you go to the veterinarian, assuming there is any chance of this happening, remember to bring your plant as well, just in case, for proof.

Keeping cats out of plants is no easy task; however, this issue can be resolved with time and plenty of creativity.

Related: How to Prepare Indoor Tropical Plants for the Cold Weather

Useful Tips and Tricks Regarding How to Keep Cats Out of Plants

There are an endless amount of solutions to keeping pets away from plants. I’ll list a handful of tips and tricks on how to keep cats away from plants indoors. 

Clean out the litter box on a daily basis

A dirty litter box could be the primary reason why felines decide to do their dirty business in your plant’s pot versus in their litter box. However, a few pets will do it just to be troublesome, like my little kitten.

cat messing with plant

To help keep cats out of plants, ensure their litter box is cleaned beforehand.

  • The litter box should also be placed in an area that is easy to get into.
  • Another option you could try is changing the type of litter it has.
    • Your feline friend may be trying to tell you that they don’t like it or that it needs to be cleaned out.

Provide other safe plants for your cat

In some cases, if you want to keep cats out of plants, you can give them their own plants. One that won’t be toxic of course.

  • pot of catnip may be appreciated by your feline friend. It can be helpful to keep a bowl of mint, thyme, or feline grass flavor nearby or on hand to determine which one your cat prefers more.
  • From experience, cats love catnip and can’t get enough of it and they are safe enough to nibble on.
    • It is believed that cats are attracted to catnip because of the smell it produces.
    • The oil in catnip may cause your cat to act like it’s living in paradise.
  • Using two to three different methods for your actual plants, plus the catnip method ought to distract your cat from nibbling on your plants in the long run.

Do watch out for toxic plants

Be mindful of which plants cats cant eat and what plants are safe for cats to eat.

Until you are absolutely sure your felines won’t bite your plants, be mindful of the potential harmfulness of certain plants. A few regular houseplants are extremely risky to pets and knowing the dangers of it will be helpful.

  • What common houseplants are poisonous to cats?
    • Jade plant, dumb canes, devils ivy, bird of paradise, weeping fig, begonia, and pencil cactus.

Related: Do Humidity Trays Really Work?

Use spray bottles as a consequence strategy

This is a commonly used feline training consequence strategy and can be successful as a cat plant deterrent.

cat biting on plant

So if you’re wondering what can you spray on plants to keep cats away? You’re in luck. You have a few options. 

You can either make a homemade spray to keep your cats from eating plants, or get a cat repellant spray for plants. 

For this method to be effective, here’s how the plant spray for cats will work

  • Have your preferred method of solution in a spray bottle nearby
  • Water alone will work just fine 
  • Watch your cat’s every move but try to be subtle about it
  • Spray your cat with the bottle when they get close to your potted plants. This will enable them to consider biting plants as a harmful habit, which results in inevitable consequences. This is considered to be one of the most significant techniques used to keep cats out of potted plants.

Play videos to distract troublesome cats

This strategy typically works well for those who are usually home more often. Remember that cats are mischievous creatures and will do things when you least expect them. This is the reason why I love my kitten so much! As much trouble as he causes on a daily basis, I can’t live without him.

When you’re home, things may seem all well and dandy.

Your plant has barely been touched, your cat barely touches your plants and your plants get to thrive with no distraction.

But little do you know that your cat is using this time to plot their next move.

The minute you leave the house to run a quick errand or even step outside to water your outdoor garden, that’s when your cat will break loose and destroy your plants. Trust me, I know the feeling.

A solution that seems to work when you need to leave the house for a short period of time is to turn on background noise, whether it be the TV or the radio.

This will give your feline friend the impression that you’re home even though they may not see you.

Try a plant repellent spray

Cats learn best through consequences. If you don’t have time to follow your cat around or if you have a busy schedule, this motion-activated pet repellant will be your miracle saver.

It’ll help teach your cat which areas are off-limits for them. And save your plants from being damaged as well. And best of all, you can place this bottle anywhere.

cat biting on leaves

The way this spray deterrent works is that when your cat comes within 3 feet of the spray bottle, the sensor on the bottle will go off and quickly spray your pet.

So you can put this spray bottle anywhere near your plants, or even near your furniture if they tend to use it as a scratching post. and when your four-legged friend comes close to the plant, the spray goes off.  

My kitten loves to scratch my bedroom door until someone comes and opens it. I once left this spray repellant right in front of the door and when she came near it, it sprayed her right in the face. She jumped and ran off. Needless to say, she has yet to step anywhere near my bedroom door.

How to stop cats from digging in plants

This is for the cats who are diggers. Felines like free soil to delve in for their bathroom needs, which your houseplants will have plenty of. Try including a layer of overwhelming stones on top of the soil.

TIP: Don’t overstuff it to the point that water can’t leak through the dirt to the bottom. That will cause harm to your plant’s roots.

By putting a layer of mulch on the soil, walking on it won’t be as nice as walking on your floor.

Another option that’s a double win win is to layer your soil with pebbles. It’ll have a nice touch to it while preventing loose soil to fly everywhere. Just don’t place too many pebbles on top of the soil (the water still has to get to the bottom of the pot)

The skies the limit with what you can put on top of your soil, some common options are pine cones, broken pieces of glass (large ones), skewers, or even plastic forks

Use prickly objects with cats

Felines prefer to stroll on delicate, free soil rather than thorny surfaces. Make your nursery beds or plants less welcoming and less like a litter box by adding these simple thorny arrangements:

  • Use twigs in your nursery soil. Spread them out a few inches apart throughout your pot.
  • Push pinecones or other thorny yard trimmings down into the dirt around your plants.
  • Eggshells, stone mulch, holly cuttings, or repurposed plastic floor covering sprinters with the stub side up are also great alternatives.
  • Repurposing wooden chopsticks as nursery stakes are another option as well. The primary purpose is to put them close enough so that it’s uncomfortable for the cat to walk on
  • Lay chicken wire or bits of plastic fencing over the soil, this will not damage your plants. Pieces of the cross-section on the ground may likewise deter the cat from walking on the soil any further.

Reconsider the placement of your plants 

  • If it really comes down to it, you may need to fall back on merely moving your plants in order to keep cats out of plantsThis may backfire in the event that you have extremely coordinated pets.
  • Hanging plants that are not near some other furniture will be a smart place to use. They won’t be able to climb to get to the plant, thus decreasing their motivation to stay away from that plant.
  • Furthermore, to keep cats out of plants, you can also place holders that mount legitimately to the plant without a rack and on to the wall instead.

Related: How to Quickly Rehydrate a Wilted Houseplant

Create an unpleasant surrounding to make it harder to get to your plants

cat looking at plants
  • Using some sort of alarm can be an incredible consequence of keeping your cat out of plants.
    • Having something uproarious and frightening happen when they hop up by your plants can be sufficient enough to keep them away from your plants.
  • This works best with plants that are placed on a table or rack where there is some additional room around the pots to work with.
    • A couple of inexactly positioned tin-foil plates can make a racket whenever the cat jumps over. You may need to get innovative when deciding where to place your plants.
  • Another comparable solution is to create a sticky surface that your feline friend won’t want to walk on. You can use two-sided tape to place between your plant pots.
    • This can be a great method to hinder your cat from getting to your plant as long as you don’t enough space in between the pots for them to bounce around between the tapes.
  • I’ve once used aluminum foil to get my kitten to stop climbing all over the dining table, and all I can say is, it worked like a charm.
    • He has yet to step another one of his paws on my dining table.

Create an unpleasant smell

  • Did you know that cats hate the smell of anything spicy or citrus-y? A popular method to try is cayenne pepper. It’s not a smell that they will expect when they approached your plant. All you have to do is scatter some around the leaves and your feline will learn its lesson.
  • If it still does not work, try creating a strong smell of citrus. Place citrus peels around the base of the plants. Felines won’t go close to orange peels or anything that is citrus
  • Or use citrus spray as a consequence strategy
  • Another option is to use lemon peels and place them inside the pot on top of the soil to deter them from coming any closer to the plant. (lime peels will work just as well)
  • You can also spray diluted lemon juice on plants to keep cats away

Introduce fake grass

Keep in mind; plant-eating is ordinary feline conduct. Plants furnish felines with dietary fiber, which goes about as a purgative or an emetic to ease hairballs.

  • You can put a pot of non-harmful grasses, such as wheatgrass; close to the plants, you need them to maintain a strategic distance from. 
  • A few plants are conceivably poisonous to felines, and cause responses running from mellow queasiness to death.
  • To fulfill your feline’s need to have to add a few greens to their eating routine, you can purchase grass specifically designed for cats, also known as cat grass.
    • The main drawback of this arrangement is that the grass will typically expire within two or three weeks, so you need to renew it regularly.

Switch from soil to water

How much better would it be if you never had to worry about dirt being splattered everywhere because of your cat?

  • The secret solution to this is to move your plant to water. Instead of keeping your plant in a potting soil where the soil would be appealing to the cat, place your plant in a mason jar or a vase to your liking instead.
    • Your cat will never even notice your plant was even there in the first place.
cat looking at plants

You’ll have to find out which plants can survive without soil before making the switch. 

Conclusion of How to Keep Cats Out of Plants

Plant eating is entirely healthy. On the off chance that you have house plants that are accepting your feline’s undesirable consideration, attempt to deflect your feline’s attention from them by setting them far off and showering them with an aversive splash.

Moreover, the aftereffect is that eating grass is certainly not an indication that a creature is drained, and all the more significant, so you don’t need to get worried. It’s inherent conduct that even the steadiest pet owner won’t have the option to stop.

The arrangement proposed to keep cats out of plants ensures indoor felines have enough sheltered, non-noxious vegetation to chew on, similar to feline grass. What’s more, if they yak it up on the kitchen floor. It is still a small price to pay to have cats by your side as companions. 

Related: Do House Plants Attract Bugs?

Which plants are most toxic to cats?

If you’re unsure whether a certain plant can kill a cat, check out ASPCA for an extensive list of plants that are most toxic to cats. If you happen to have a plant that is harmful to pets, check out petpoisonhelpline.com so that you can make a note of the common symptoms and signs to watch out for.
– Dieffenbachia
– English Ivy
– Azalea
– Sago Palm
– Mistletoe
– Oleander
– Pothos
– Mother in law plant
– Dracaena
– Aloe vera
– Cyclamen
– Lily
– Kalanchoe

What plant can cats eat?

Even though it’s never ok for a cat to eat a plant, there are some houseplants that when consumed, won’t do as much harm (as a plant that is toxic to animals) would do.  
ASPCA.com will provide you with a list of plants that are safe for cats or any other pets you may have. Even if it is considered safe for your pet, it’s still best to keep it out of reach.
– Spider plants
– True palms
– African plants
– Bamboo
– Boston fern
– Cast iron fern
– Bromeliads
– Orchids

Will my cat eat my plants?

There’s no yes or no answer to this because all cats are different. It is best to anticipate that they will eat your plants so that you are well prepared for anything. I find it so much easier to over-prepared than under prepared.