How To Stop A Cat From Eating Plants | 6 Easy Steps

Having some appealing plants and a cat is an excellent addition to the home.

It adds an air of relaxation to the household and a feeling of excitement to see these lovely creatures.

However, you may realize that your cat has taken a keen interest in your plants, and the leaves are falling, and the plant is drying up. 

Your furry feline friend messes with your plants by chewing on them or playing with them until they are destroyed.

Cats are curious by nature, but you can find solutions to keep them from messing up your plants.

For example, you can redirect your cat from eating the leaves, digging the dirt, and using the planter as its litter box.

How to Stop a Cat from Eating Plants 

1. Make Your Plants Unappealing to Your Cat

Cats are attracted to plants because of how they look and their smell.

So one way to keep your cat away from the plant is to make it unappealing through the smell or how it looks.

You can do this by adding things that the cat despises to the plant.

An example is a citrus, whose smell the cat hates.

You can throw orange or lemon peels into the soil of your plants, but you should avoid using concentrated citrus oils, which could be toxic to the plant.

The smell of cayenne pepper or chili powder will also make your cat leave the plants alone.

Sprinkle a little on the plant and water it from the bottom in the weeks that follow to avoid the dust being washed off.

Another trick you could use to keep the cat away from the plants is placing aluminum foil around the plants.

The cats will avoid the plants in the future since they do not like the feeling of the foil underneath their paws.

Your cat may also confuse the soil on the planter with its kitty litter, and you will always find it digging into the dirt.

Ensure that the texture of its litter box is different from the soil.

You can also place some decorative rocks on the pot, making it hard for the cat to dig in.

2. Spray Your Plants Using a Spritz Deterrent

You can purchase a deterrent spray to spray the plant and keep the cat away.

The only precaution you will take is to ensure that the product is not harmful to your cat or the plant.

A diluted vinegar solution can also act as a homemade deterrent spray. 

You can try using vinegar if the smell of citrus does not help in keeping the cat away.

However, vinegar will harm your plants, therefore soak cotton balls in a vinegar and water solution and place them on top of the soil.

Then, the cat will keep off the plant due to the smell of vinegar.  

3. Provide The Cat With Its Own Plants

Besides the cat’s curiosity, some plants aid in digestion for the cats despite being carnivores in nature.

Invest in cat grass, a great source of fiber, niacin, and B vitamins for your cat.

You can purchase the grass in potted plants or plant it in a garden that the cat can play in.

Some cats also like the smell of mint; thus, you can buy peppermint plants.

Find out what works for your cat and place it strategically in a place they like resting.

This will divert their attention from your house plants but be careful not to purchase toxic plants that could harm your cat.

4. Choose Houseplants That Cats Dislike

Cats are not interested in all plants.

They dislike some because of their pungent odor and prickly nature, although it is pleasant to humans.

You can choose to plant these types of plants that your cat is less interested in.

Some examples include Rosemary, cactus, roses, scaredy-cat plant, and other thorny plants.

The roses and the Rosemary do well when planted indoors, and they smell great.

You can also avoid buying Zinnias, Yucca plants, and marigolds that are irresistible to cats since they will constantly chew on them.

5. Schedule Cat Playtime to Distract It From Houseplants

Your cat may be chewing on your plants because it’s bored and does not have toys to play with.

Engage your cat with enough toys or vigorous playtime of up to 10 minutes that will leave it exhausted daily.

Provide your cat with hiding places, perching and scratching posts, and hide treats in random places that your cat finds interesting.

When you find your cat heading in the direction of the plants, distract it by either clapping or calling it loud.

This will train the cat from accomplishing its mission, and it will soon forget going near the plants.

However, be careful not to punish your cat by throwing things at it and yelling as it will avoid you, which is not your aim.

6. Place The Plants In Strategic Places In The House

Hang your plants from the ceiling.

If you like your plants, you can purchase hanging pots and use hooks to keep them out of reach from the cats.

The vessels are attractive, and most importantly, the cat won’t reach them.

You can also have a separate room that you keep closed or out of reach from your cats.

This will allow you to grow plants that are toxic to cats.

Always consider the position you place your plants in if you do not want your cat chewing on them.

Plants Cats Like The Most

Catnip

The catnip plant is at the top of the list of plants that cats love.

The plant even induces a feeling of euphoria in cats, but this may only last for 15 minutes.

You can purchase this herb specifically for your cat since it will automatically be drawn to it. 

Valerian

The Valerian roots and leaves have an active ingredient known as actinidine that acts as a stimulant to cats, making them happy.

In addition, the plant has a pungent smell that can be equated to a cat’s urine.

Interestingly, rats are also drawn to the scent of the Valerian, which can be used as a rat trap.

Cat Grass

Cat grass is a variety of grasses such as wheat, oat, rye, and orchard that cats like to nibble.

You can plant the seeds of these grasses in a pot or the garden for the cat to nibble.

Consequently, you may need to protect these plants from the reach of your cat if you are growing them for other purposes.

Cat Thyme

Cat thyme is similar to catnip and makes your feline friend mellow, content, and happy.

The plant is not actual thyme and does not grow very fast.

However, it will do well when exposed to plenty of sunlight, fertile soil, and good drainage.

You can shield the plant by hanging it from the ceiling or protecting it in a cage until it’s fully grown.

Silver Vine

The plant is popularly grown in China and Japan, and cats love rolling around the plant.

It might have stronger effects lasting up to 30 minutes on the cat compared to catnip because it has two cat attractants.

In addition, you can purchase toys infused with the Silver Vine’s brown powder to excite your cat.

Tartarian Honeysuckle Sawdust

This plant works like magic on cats that do not feel the effect of catnip.

However, you have to be careful with this plant since its berries and seeds are toxic to cats.

You are advised only to use the sawdust shavings that you can buy in a pet store.

The Honeysuckle plant is very effective because you can revive its effects by dampening it, unlike the catnip.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are very easy to grow, and because of their blooming nature, the cats love playing with them.

You can grow them near the climbing structures of the cats. They provide shelter and will brighten your home.

Asters

These plants are perfect for adding a cover to the cat’s playground. They require little maintenance.

Cosmos

Your cats will appreciate the wispy growth and vibrant colors of this plant.

It’s a fun plant that your cats will enjoy playing with as it provides excellent screening.

Blue Mist Shrub

Your feline friend will enjoy the serene environment provided by this flowering shrub.

In addition, the plant will provide plenty of shelter and privacy for the cat and attract pollinators for your other plants.

Plants That Are Especially Toxic To Cats

Lilies

Liles are colorful flowers, but all their parts, including the leaves, flowers, and stems, are highly toxic to cats.

Ingestion of any part of the Lilies could cause severe kidney damage and tragic death to your cat.

The risk of keeping Lilies is too high for cat lovers since its toxin can quickly kill your cat.

Aloe Plants

Aloe plants have many medicinal benefits to humans, but they pose a danger to your cat.

They could cause diarrhea, vomiting, staggering, and lack of appetite when ingested by your cat.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

These are species of small trees and flowering shrubs with a toxic component known as grayanotoxins that are toxic to cats.

Cats will exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms, seizures, tremors, transient blindness, coma, and even death when they have ingested parts of this plant.

Therefore, prevent any plant contact with your cat and avoid bringing any clippings to the house.

Monstera Deliciosa

The Monstera deliciosa is a popular tropical houseplant due to its low maintenance and is an attractive addition to any home.

Despite this, it contains insoluble calcium oxalates that are toxic to the cat.

As a result, your cat will experience symptoms such as the burning of lips and mouth, oral swelling, excessive drooling, and vomiting when it comes into contact with the plant.

Jade plants (Crassula)

People associate the Jade plant with good luck and fortune. It is an easy plant to grow and is characterized by thick wooden-like stems and dark green fleshy leaves.

Unfortunately, it is a toxic plant to dogs, cats, and horses and will cause symptoms such as depression, vomiting, and lethargy when consumed.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

The small, pointed leaves of the English Ivy qualify it as a great display and have gained popularity as a houseplant thanks to its gorgeous drapery.

Unfortunately, the cats will be attracted to this display without realizing the risk it poses to their health.

Cats will experience excessive drooling, weakness, dermatitis, throat swelling, rash, and vomiting after consuming this plant.

Snake Plants

The snake plant is beneficial to people due to its ability to improve air quality, and it does well in low light conditions.

However, it has been reported to being toxic to cats and dogs, and they will exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea when they consume it.

Pothos

Pothos are low-maintenance plants suitable for both amateur and experienced plant keepers.

They are easy to take care of and are a great addition to the home due to their attractive drape.

Unfortunately, although they are safe to touch for the cat, they are harmful when consumed by the feline.

Sago Palm

It’s common to find the Sago Palm outdoors in tropical or subtropical areas.

The plant is also kept as a houseplant, but it can be harmful to your cat. All parts of the plant are toxic, with the seeds being the deadliest to the cat.

The cat will suffer severe liver damage when it consumes any part of the plant due to the toxic cycasin compound.

As a result, it will experience increased thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, bruising, liver failure, and death.

Autumn Crocus

The autumn crocus contains the alkaloid colchicine content that is toxic to cats.

It’s an ornamental flowering plant and is also referred to as the naked lady or meadow saffron.

Your cat will experience gastrointestinal signs, liver and kidney damage, and breathing difficulties once it consumes the plant.

Dumb Cane

Dumb canes have low maintenance needs and have stunning tropical foliage that makes them a popular houseplant.

The plant can grow to a couple of feet high when planted in the right conditions.

Unfortunately, the plant is toxic to cats, and its sap can irritate the skin of people.

The cat will find it difficult to swallow and breathe when it consumes any part of this plant. 

Conclusion

Cats are curious animals that are easily attracted to anything that moves, including your potted plants.

You have to be careful with the plants you keep at home since some are toxic to your cat.

Fortunately, there are friendly plants that you can purchase for your feline friend to satisfy its curiosity.

You can take several measures to prevent your cat from nibbling and destroying your treasured plants.

You can make the cat hate the plant by adding non-harmful substances like citrus.

You are also encouraged to engage your cat in playful activities for about 5 to 10 minutes daily to reduce its boredom.

You can train your cat not to go near your plants.

This is a slow and persistent method that requires your patience.

Use various effective strategies to keep your cat away from your plants but avoid punishing it since it will reject you.

Always consult the veterinarian when you notice any sickly symptoms with your cat.

If you have evidence of something it might have ingested, take it with you to the veterinarian.

Do a thorough research when you want to purchase a houseplant if you have a cat at home.

The best thing would be to buy friendly plants that are not harmful to your cat.