Keeping cats out of houseplants doesn’t have to be a constant battle. In this post, I will show you several methods you can use to stop cats from eating, digging, knocking over, or pooping in plants.
Let’s face it, sometimes cats and houseplants are not a good mix. I don’t know about you, but my kitties love my indoor plants. They think they have their own private jungle over here.
Keeping kitty out of your houseplants can be very frustrating. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve had cats almost as long as I’ve had indoor plants.
So I’ve had to deal with everything from my cats eating my plants, to digging in the soil, knocking them over, or occasionally pooping in houseplants.
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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 kitties over the years, and only a couple of them actually ate my plants.
Heck, my latest kitten even thought it was fun to pull plants right out of their pots, ugh!
How To Keep Cats Out Of Houseplants
Over the years, I’ve learned many tricks to keep cats out of houseplants. These methods are easy to use, and they are all very effective.
So 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 houseplants.
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 spray bottle with water, and set it to the strongest stream. The next time your cat tries to get into your plants, give kitty a quick spray in the butt with water.
After the first few times, you probably won’t need to spray them anymore. Just the sound of me shaking the water in the spray bottle is enough to make my cats run away as fast as possible.
2. Cover The Pot To Keep Your Kitty Out
Creating a barrier over the pot is another effective way to keep cats out of houseplants. I use aluminum foil to cover the pots because my cats don’t like it. It’s ugly, but it works like a charm to deter them.
3. Cover The Soil To Stop Cats From Digging In Plants
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 to your indoor plants.
When my kitten was brand new, I used discarded wine corks to cover the soil on one of my larger plants. Not only did it stop her from digging in the soil, but she’s lost interest in the plant all together.
Other options for soil covers include decorative rock, marbles, vase filler pebbles, pine cones, or faux moss rocks. All of these work great to stop cats from digging in plants soil (and pooping in them).
Be careful what you choose to use here though. My kitten loved using the corks as toys, and I used to find them scattered around the house.
So be sure to use something that is safe, just in case your cat decides to make it a toy too.
4. Use Repellent Spray To Keep Cats Out Of Houseplants
Cat repellent spray is another option to try, and it works great to keep cats out of houseplants (it also prevents them from chewing on your shoes, but that’s a story for another day).
I use bitter apple spray, which is non-toxic, and has a pleasant odor. Cats hate the taste and smell of it though. So not only will they stay away, it will stop cats from eating plants as well.
I have used this spray on plants to keep cats away, and have never had any problems.
But, like any other type of spray, it’s best to test it on a few leaves before dousing the whole plant, to make sure there’s no damage.
5. Protect Indoor Plants From Your Fur Baby
Another method for keeping cats out of houseplants is to create a barrier around the entire plant. This option is perfect for protecting smaller plants from curious kitties.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about wrapping your plants in aluminum foil or poultry netting here.
Not only will it look nice, but it will keep cats from knocking over plants, chewing on them, and digging (or pooping!) in the dirt.
6. Put Your Plants Out Of Reach
Perhaps the most effective way to keep cats out of houseplants is to put plants somewhere that kitty can’t get to them.
If there are plants your cat loves best, then grow those in a room your fur babies aren’t allow in.
Another good place is up high where your cat can’t jump, like hanging from the ceiling, or set on top of your kitchen cabinets. The only problem with this is that it makes it harder for you to reach them too.
Keeping cats out of houseplants can be challenging, and it may take some time to get the hang of. But try out a few of your favorite options, and see which one works the best. Soon you’ll find the perfect combination for cat-proofing houseplants.
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.