Are you a plant lover and a cat owner at the same time? You already know that things might not be perfect between the two.

It is no secret that cats can sometimes be a nuisance. They love to play with houseplants, but not in a good way. 

Cats can chew up your plants and might uproot them altogether. No one wants this. Right? 

However, there is no need to give up on your houseplants or yell at your cat every time. There are various ways by which you can safeguard indoor plants.

Before we move on to the ways to accomplish this, let’s know why cats have an affinity for house plants.

Why Do Cats Get Into Houseplants?


Cats come near house plants, most likely because they want to eat the plant or scratch their claws on the leaves. The leaves may look like tasty vegetation, or the plant pot may seem cozy.

Cats like to investigate anything new in their environment – such as potting soil. It stimulates their senses and helps them learn about what is around them. 

Sometimes, a cat wants to hide in the pot and thus starts digging into the soil.

Another reason cats go near house plants is to rub themselves against plant leaves. By doing this, they release pheromones which help them combat anxiety and stress.

Cats being cats, you can not forcefully stop them from going near house plants. But, some easy ways can prevent them from doing so.

Effective Ways to Keep Cats Out Of Indoor House Plants

cat-between-plantsIf you have a cat who has a habit of messing up with your house plants, you need to change a few rules. Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Planting Herbs Around Pots

Planting herbs around pots is an option that can help you keep your cat away from house plants. Herbs emit smells that cats find unpleasant.

Such herbs to grow include Rue, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, Pennyroyal, and Coleus Canina. 

2. Planting Sticky Plants Around Pots

Another option is to plant sticky plants in pots or along the perimeter of your garden, such as rubber trees, staghorn ferns, or ivy that would make it difficult for cats to walk on them.

cat-between-sticky-plantThis way, they will avoid getting around the pots.

3. Using A Cat Deterrent Spray

A cat deterrent spray is one of the most common options that pet owners use to keep cats away from house plants.

You can spray it around plants, furniture, and other places where cats are not welcome.

It can be easily bought at any place providing pet supplies. These sprays contain smells that cats find unpleasant, and hence they avoid them.

4. Covering Up The Pot With Chicken Wire

Chicken wire can also help to keep house plants safe from cats.

You can cover the pot with either chicken wire or mesh, making it difficult for cats to access them.

5. Applying Spikes On Plant Pots

The fifth option in our list of ideas is to install spikes around plant pots. This can be done on plants that are over 18 inches in height.

Install spikes in a way they are not visible from the ground level.

This would discourage cats from climbing inside the pots, preventing them from pouncing on the plants.

cactus-plant-and-cat6. Placing House Plants 

Another option is to place your house plants outside your room— on a balcony or porch. Make sure that this area is out of the reach of your cat.

In the case of indoor house plants, you may place them on a high shelf that is not easily accessible.

7. Cover Soil With Pebbles

pebblesPlacing pebbles in your pot to cover the soil is an excellent idea to keep the cat away. It has been seen that cats avoid soil covered by pebbles.

Another advantage of covering the soil with pebbles is that it looks good and keeps the soil moist for a long time.

However, one thing to note here is that you should not use gravel. Always use medium-sized pebbles. 

8. Use Aluminum Foil

If all the above ideas seem like a lot of work, this one will be your favorite. Cover the soil in your plant pot with aluminum foil.

Cats generally don’t like the feel of it on their claws and will not step on it. Aluminum foil is also an affordable option and won’t cost much.

9. Cats Hate Citrus

Cats don’t like citrus and hate lemons, limes, and oranges.

Try placing lemon peels or orange peels in your pots to keep them away. This works best for a small area.

You can also try some citrus essential oils. Put a few drops on the soil or in your watering can and see what happens!

10. Use Pine Cones

pineconesAnother strategy that can help you keep cats away from house plants is using pine cones.

You have to put pine cones below the soil in your pot. Most cats will go away because they don’t like the feel or smell of the pine cones.

11. Get Cat Grass For Your Cat

Another idea that might work is to get a cat grass kit for your cat. Cats love to eat it, and they will leave your plants alone.

Cat grass is known to be more nutritious than regular grass. It has a smell that cats find irresistible and will get them to leave your plants alone!

12. Install A Motion Sensor Sprinkler

This might sound like something you see on TV, but installing a motion-sensing sprinkler can work too!

You have to install the device around or near your houseplants.

Cats hate getting wet because of how much heat they lose when exposed to cold temperatures.

If they see the water next to them, they probably won’t want anything to do with it.

13. Plant Catnip Along With Other House Plants

catnip-plantCatnip is a plant in the mint family and grows about five feet tall. Cats are known to be attracted to catnip.

You can plant it with other house plants and see if they are attracted to it. Your cat will like to play with it and might even roll around on the ground while they’re at it.

This will prevent your cat from messing with your other house plants.

14. Use Seashells To Cover The Soil

Like pebbles, you can also use seashells to cover the soil in and around your house plants.

This might make it difficult for a cat to dig into your plant’s roots or mess with their leaves.

15. Use An Ultrasonic Device

Another way to keep cats away from house plants is by using an ultrasonic device.

This repellent device sends out sound waves in the 25 kHz range— inaudible to humans but bothersome to animals, especially dogs and cats.

Cats often cannot tolerate this type of noise because their ears aren’t tuned to hearing such high frequencies. So they’ll go away when exposed to the noise.

What Not To Do?

We understand that keeping cats out of house plants is essential, but there are a few things that you should not do.

Don’t Scold Or Yell At Your Cat

cat-between-plantsOne thing that you should never do is scold or yell at your cat every time it acts naughty.

It will only make matters worse by making it feel uneasy and stressed out. It can also culminate into behavioral problems such as eating, scratching, and aggression towards other plants.

Don’t Give Up On Your House Plants

If your cat has been acting crazy and destroying your house plants, it does not mean you should give up on keeping plants around.

Getting your cat out of the house plants is understanding how they see the world. Cats love plants, and are curious to explore the pot and the soil.

If you follow the abovementioned ideas, plants and cats can be friends.

Don’t Feed Your Cat Near The Plants

Please don’t feed your cats near your plants because they will try to get into the pot while eating.

This will ultimately turn into an unchangeable habit.

In A Nutshell

Cats are wonderful pets, and plants are an excellent addition to your house. Both do not need to be on opposite sides.

Follow the above ways to keep cats away from the plants so that you, your cat, and your house plants can all be happy.

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