Ways to protect your houseplants from cats

Some kitties are simply obsessed with houseplants, no matter how much time they spend outdoors. Whether they’re using the soil as a litter box, chewing on the leaves or knocking them over just for fun, here are a few tips to keep your plants out of their furry clutches.

There are certain types of plants that cats are more likely to leave alone, such as rosemary, lemon thyme, pennyroyal, peppermint, spider plant, bamboo palm, geraniums, lavender, and rue. These plants aren’t toxic to cats but they dislike the smell of them, so are more likely to give them a wide berth.

When it comes to having other types of houseplants that your kitty just finds too irresistible not to destroy, you may have to try other methods of deterrent.

Cats seriously dislike the smell of citrus, so one option to keep them away from your houseplants is to leave orange, lemon or lime peels on the surface of the soil. You could also burn citrus candles nearby which will have the added bonus of keeping mosquitoes at bay.

If your cats are digging in the soil or using the soil as a litter box, you can place objects on the top layer of soil, such as small stones and shells to make it less appealing. They won’t like the feel of the objects on their paws. You can also use pine cones – not only do cats dislike the texture of them, but they are also not fond of their scent. If these options don’t work, you can try covering the soil completely with a layer of chicken wire.

If your cats are constantly chewing on the foliage of your beloved houseplants, you may want to consider sprinkling some cayenne pepper or lemon juice on the leaves as the smell will stop them in their tracks.

Some pet stores may sell cat deterrent sprays for your houseplants. They are specifically formulated and are safe for both your cats and your plants. You can also create your own cat-safe deterrent spray by mixing lemon, lavender or eucalyptus oil with three parts water in a spray bottle and spritzing this on your plants’ leaves and around the pot on a regular basis.

If your cats do tend to spend a lot of time indoors, they may be bored, so be sure to provide them with a good scratching post to keep them busy. You can also distract them with toys such as wine corks, paper balls, rope, toilet paper rolls, or a good old fashioned cardboard box.

Some plants will attract cats like a siren call, no matter what you do to deter them. These include catnip, catmint, sesame, barley, oat grass, rye and wheatgrass.

When all else fails, the only surefire way to keep your houseplants away from cats is to put them in areas that they can’t access, even if that means hanging them from the ceiling. And by that, we mean the plants, not the cats! ^^


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Written by Taryn Hill

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