Are you a plant lover and a cat owner at the same time? Well, 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 even dig the soil leading to uprooting 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 get into house plants in the very first place.
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 of a plant may look like tasty vegetation, or the plant pot might 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 the soil.
Another reason why cats go near house plants is to rub themselves against plant leaves. By doing this, they release pheromones which help them to experience relief from anxiety and stress.
Cats being cats, you can not forcefully stop them from going near house plants. But, there are some easy ways that you can follow.
Effective Ways to Keep Cats Out Of Indoor House Plants
If 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 these, 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 because many herbs emit smells that cats find unpleasant. Such herbs are 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. This way, they will themselves avoid the pot.
3. Using A Cat Deterrent Spray
One of the most common options that cat parents use to keep cats away from house plants is using a cat deterrent spray. You can spray it on furniture and other places where cats are not welcome and your house plants. This can be easily bought at any place providing pet supplies. Some of these sprays contain smells that cats find unpleasant, and hence cats avoid them.
4. Covering Up The Pot With Chicken Wire
Chicken wire can also help to keep house plants safe from cat attacks. You can cover the pot with either chicken wire or mesh, making it difficult for cats to access them, and thus they will not be a problem anymore.
5. Applying Spikes On Plant Pots
The fifth option in our list of ideas to keep cats out of house plants is to install spikes around plant pots. This can be done on plants that are over 18 inches in height. Spikes can be installed in such a way that they are not visible from the ground level. This would discourage cats from climbing inside them, thereby preventing cats attacks on house plants.
6. 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 to your cat.
7. Cover Soil With Pebbles
Placing pebbles in your pot to cover the soil is an excellent idea to keep the cat away. It has been seen that cats generally don’t want to touch the soil covered by pebbles. Another advantage of covering the soil in your house plant with pebbles is that it looks good and keeps the soil moist for a longer time. However, one thing to note here is that you should not use gravel to cover the soil. It should always be medium-sized pebbles.
8. Use Aluminum Foil
If all the above ideas seem a lot of work to you, 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 them as such. Aluminum foil is also a cheap option that will not cost you much.
9. Cats Hate Citrus
Cats don’t like citrus- Lemons, Limes, Oranges – cats hate them all! Try and place lemon peels or orange peels in your pots around the plants to keep the cats away. This might work best for a small area. You can also try some citrus essential oils. Put a few drops of it in the soil around your plants or into your watering can and see what happens!
10. Use Pine Cones
Another strategy that can help you in keeping cats away from house plants is by 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 also has a catnip smell that cats find irresistible, and it will get them to leave your plants alone!
12. Install A Motion Sensor Sprinkler
This might sound like something you would see on TV, but installing a motion-sensing sprinkler can work too! You just have to install the device in an area where cats are known to walk around or near your houseplants. Cats really hate getting wet because of how much heat they lose when exposed to cold temperatures. If they see the water right next to them, they probably won’t want anything to do with it.
13. Plant Catnip Along With Other House Plants
Cats are known to be attracted to Catnip. You can plant it with your other house plants or put some in a pot next to them and see if they go for the nip instead of your ferns. Catnip is a plant in the mint family, and it can grow to be about five feet tall. Your cat will like to play with it, and they 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
Just 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, so they’ll be less likely to do that.
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, which are inaudible to humans but can bother animals, especially dogs and cats. Cats often cannot tolerate this type of noise because their ears aren’t tuned into 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 important, but there are a few things that you should not do.
Don’t Scold Or Beat Your Cat
One thing that you should never do is to beat up or scold your cat every time they have been mischievous with your plants. This will only make matters worse by making them feel uneasy and stressed out, which will lead to even more behavior 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 has destroyed your house plants, it does not mean that you should give up on your idea to keep house plants. The key to getting your cat out of the house plants is understanding how cats see the world. You need to understand that cats love plants, and they are curious to explore the pot and the soil. Plants and cats can be friends if you follow the ideas mentioned above in this post.
Don’t Feed Your Cat Near The Plants
Don’t feed your cats near your plants because they will try to get into the pot while eating. This will ultimately cause your cat to associate plants with food.
In A Nutshell
You have to understand that all cats are not the same, and they react differently to different things. As said before, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.
Cats and plants do not need to be on opposite sides. Cats are wonderful pets, and plants are an excellent addition to your house. You can have both of them together. Follow the above ways to keep cats away from the plants, and in the end – you, your cat, and your house plants – all will be happy.