Keeping your cat out of your houseplants can be very frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be a constant battle. You can train them to stay away, and it’s not that difficult.
Trust me, I have decades of experience dealing with this problem. I’ve had cats almost as long as I’ve had indoor plants, so I’ve figured out what works the best by trial and error.
In this post, I will show you several proven methods that you can use to stop your kitty from eating, digging, knocking over, destroying, or pooping in your plants.
These simple methods include training, covering the pot or soil, creating a protective barrier, keeping it out of reach, and using a non-toxic repellent spray.
Why Is My Cat Eating My Plants?
There are lots of reasons why cats eat plants. It could be because they’re board and feeling mischievous, or simply because they like the flavor.
When I asked our veterinarian about it, she told me that sometimes they do it to try to sooth an upset stomach, or to make themselves vomit when they don’t feel well (Ewe!).
It’s funny, because some cats seem to be obsessed with houseplants, while others could care less about them. I’ve had several fur babies in my life, and only a couple of them actually ate my plants.
But my newest kitten loves them way too much. She even thought it was fun to pull plants right out of their pots, ugh!
How To Keep Cats Out Of Houseplants
Rest assured, you don’t need to get rid of your indoor plants or your kitty (gasp!). Below are my best tips to cat-proof your plants. These methods are easy to use, and they are all very effective.
Related Post: 15 Pet Friendly Indoor House Plants
1. Train Your Cat To Stay Away From Plants
Believe it or not, you can train cats to stay away from your indoor plants. All you need is a clean spray bottle and some regular tap water.
Simply fill the bottle with fresh water and set it to the strongest stream. The next time your cat starts messing with your plants, give him or her a quick spray in the butt.
After the first few times, you probably won’t need to spray them anymore. Just the sound of me shaking the water in the bottle is enough to make mine run away as fast as possible.
2. Cover The Pot To Keep Your Kitty Out
Creating a barrier over the pot is another effective solution. I use aluminum foil to cover mine because cats don’t like it. It’s ugly, but it works like a charm to deter them.
3. Cover The Soil To Prevent Digging
If you don’t like the idea of covering the whole pot, then try using a soil cover instead. This is a nice option because you can get creative with it, and use it to add a decorative touch.
When my kitten was brand new, I used discarded wine corks to cover the soil of one of my larger plants. Not only did it stop her from digging in the soil, but she lost interest in the plant all together.
Be careful what you choose to use here though. My kitten loved pulling out the corks to play with, and I used to find them scattered all around the house. So be sure to use something that is safe and non-toxic, just in case yours decides to make it a toy too.
4. Use Non-Toxic Repellent Spray
Repellent spray is another option to try, and it works great to keep cats out of your plants (it also prevents them from chewing on other things, like shoes and electrical cords, but that’s a story for another day).
I use bitter apple spray, which is non-toxic and has a pleasant odor. Animals hate the taste and smell of it though. So not only will they stay away, it will stop them from eating the leaves as well.
I highly recommend testing it on a few leaves before dousing the whole plant, to make sure there’s no damage. I have used it on several different types of indoor plants and have never had any problems, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Create A Protective Barrier
Another method to try is to create some kind of a protective barrier around the entire plant. This option is perfect for protecting smaller houseplants from curious kitties.
6. Keep Your Plants Out Of Reach
Perhaps the most effective way to keep cats out of your potted plants is to put them somewhere that your kitty can’t get to them.
If there are any particular ones that your cat likes the best, then move those to a room your fur babies aren’t allow in. A sunny bathroom or spare bedroom would be perfect.
Another good place is up high, like hanging from the ceiling or set on top of a tall bookshelf or your kitchen cabinets. The only problem with this is that it makes it harder for you to reach them too.
If you want to learn all there is to know about maintaining healthy indoor plants, then you need my Houseplant Care eBook. It will show you everything you need to know about how to keep every plant in your home thriving. Download your copy now!
More About Houseplant Pests
- How To Get Rid Of Houseplant Bugs Naturally
- Where Do Houseplant Pests Come From?
- Natural Pest Control For Houseplants
- Fungus Gnats vs Fruit Flies: What’s The Difference?
Share your tips for keeping cats out of houseplants in the comments section below.