The nature of cats is curious, so anything moving inside the house becomes prey for them. Sometimes, placing plants around your home can feel like a sacrificial act (for plants). However, there are ways for you to train your cat to leave the inside plants alone.
Whether your cat is eating the leaves, digging up the dirt, or using your planter as a litter box, you can train or redirect them towards something more enjoyable.
Plants that are toxic are just as appealing to your cat. When they eat too much or consume a large frond, they are likely to experience nausea and even gastrointestinal obstructions.
In the case of any unusual behavior by your cat, you should get in touch with your veterinarian right away. It could mean a change in their eating habits or problems defecating in the litter box.
Cats love digging or, worse yet, defecating in planters if they aren’t teasing them with the leaves or fronds. To help you stop the unwanted behavior or to at least give them something else to do, we’ve put together some tips.
Why Is My Cat Eating My Plants?
There’s nothing personal about it. Your cat isn’t ruining your decor because it dislikes you, despite looking like swiss cheese on your favorite plants. Several factors may be contributing to your cat’s destruction of your greenery. It’s good to know that each cat is different, so although some prove to be destructive, others may never harm your plants. In this article, we have provided some great solutions for the case that they arise. Prior to understanding why your cat may be attacking your plants, you should know the following:
Cats Like the Taste of Plants
It is through their mouths that a cat begins most of its exploration. While it may not sound all that fascinating to you and me, we lived through many firsts the same way when we were newborns. Cats do the same thing we do as babies: they put everything in their mouths. There is a good chance your cat will return again and again if it tastes good. Regardless of whether the plants are toxic or not, you need to watch how much they are eating off. From gobbling down too many leaves or fronds, even a harmless plant can cause an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting.
Cats Like the Texture of Plants
Take your cat outside and you’ll see that they’re attracted to long reeds of grass instantly and begin gnawing them. Perhaps they like the texture of the plant. Your cat may have an upset stomach and is instinctually reaching for fiber in order to ease the gastrointestinal discomfort.
Cats Love the Movement of Leaves
There is probably no better reason for cats to love plants than this. It is in their nature to hunt. Even though they are carnivores, leaf or palm motion can be nearly impossible to resist. Our favorite houseplant is the Spider Plant, because of its incredibly soft leaves. You should dedicate one plant around your house as collateral damage when you are planting plants, and this one might be the one!
Cats Chew Up Plants Out of Boredom
For most cat lovers, it may not be obvious when their feline is unhappy and bored due to being left alone. It has always been believed that cats require less maintenance than their canine counterparts, but that’s not always the case. If a cat is left alone for extended periods of time, unwanted behavior may develop. You may find that certain behaviors are destructive, and that your plant (and other items in the house) will take the brunt of their frustration.
How to Keep Your Cat From Eating Your Plants
In case you don’t want to dedicate a plant to your cat or just can’t stand seeing your plants destroyed, here are some ways to make them less appealing. You can keep plants away from your cat by following these tips:
Make Your Plant Unappealing
Cats dislike anything citrus-flavored. You can spray lemon, lime, or orange juice diluted with water on the leaves of your plants to help ward off any feline invasions. Most of the time, if your cat isn’t bothered with the smell, he’ll go off with the taste. They do not return because of the bitter taste.
Make Your Plant Inaccessible
In order to prevent any damage to your household plants, you can place them in numerous strategic locations. It’s important to understand your cat and their abilities whether you hang them or place them on a shelf high enough that even the best leapers can’t reach. You can use an old fish tank as a planter, a terrarium, or a dome-shaped birdcage. They are a bit pricey, but they are great for keeping your plants safe, as well as adding a touch of style to your room.
Give Your Cat Their Own Plant
You can also attract your cat’s attention by providing them with their own indoor cat garden or cat grass. Typically, these types of grass are seeds made from wheat, barley, or rye. You will still need to monitor how much they consume even though this is an entirely safe alternative. For any concerns you may have about cat grass, we encourage you to discuss it with your veterinarian and ask whether it is a safe alternative.
Train Your Cats to Leave Your Plant Alone
You can train cats just as you can train dogs. Training your cat can be done pretty much any way you want if you have patience and consistency! Others want to leash train their cats to allow them to spend more time outdoors, while some train them to do tricks. Your cat can be trained to leave your plants alone and to behave in an alternative manner by providing them with the right incentive. Finding your cat’s motivation is important when you’re teaching him or her something new, says Marci Koski of Feline Behavior Solutions. In theory, treats are really easy to give, because if you give a small and easily consumable treat, it doesn’t take too much time, so you can keep on repeating what you’ve said. For some cats, it is affection and praise.
In the event that your cat ends up knocking over your planters, you may want to consider using sticky putty on the bottom of the planter. In fact, I have it under most of the pottery! Sticky putty has the benefit of being reusable, non-toxic, and won’t dry out.
Why is My Cat Digging in My Planter?
It’s not just you who has a digger causing havoc around your plant! Digging is part of a cat’s natural instinct. A cat burying potty deposits eliminates their scent from predators and prey. They do this because it protects them from predators. You don’t have to worry about either of those things with your inside cat, but you are not going to change thousands of years of instinct! You can change this unwanted behavior if your cat is merely digging.
Make the Soil Unappealing to Your Cat
Cats are not big fans of citrus, as previously mentioned. As a result, if you spritz the soil with diluted citrus solution (lemon, lime, or orange mixed with water), the soil will benefit from the same treatment. You can use landscape fabric or burlap sprayed with citrus to prevent digging. In addition to keeping your cat away from your favorite greenery, your house also smells great! A second option is to cut slices of rind and place them around the pot.
Cover Your Soil From Your Cat
If you do not want to grow citrus, you can also cover the soil with aluminum foil. As aluminum foil feels and sounds unpleasant on a cat’s paw, it is a good deterrent. The foil can also be used to prevent your cat from eating your Christmas tree during the holidays. Although I do not find aluminum foil very attractive, I like to decorate with small decorative rocks instead. In case they are batting small pebbles around, try switching to a larger pebble with more weight. A few stones at the base will make your plant look much more appealing from an esthetic standpoint.
Why is My Cat Using a Planter as a Litter Box?
You don’t have to dig too deeply into the reasons why a planter is used as a litter box by your cat. Generally, there are two reasons – and one is probably related to the litter box your cat is using.
It’s Natural for Cats to Dig & Do Their Doody
I previously explained that cats love to dig in the dirt, especially in cold and soft soil. It is possible that your cats (if they are outdoor cats) or feral cats in your neighborhood will leave surprises in your planters. There’s nowhere better than your lovely flower garden for them to go! In the same way that we described above, you can also make your planters undesirable. Your cat may be litter box-ing in your inside planters due to common litter box setup and maintenance mistakes.
Set Your Cat Up for Litter Box Success
When trying to understand why your cat keeps pooping in unwanted areas, there are a couple things to keep in mind. You must make sure that your feline does not suffer from an underlying medical condition that is causing him to make messes around the house. It is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if your cat’s litter box habits change. Even if your cat doesn’t have any medical issues, you can be sure they are not content with their litter box situation.
- Cats Like a Clean Litter Box. Even though it should go without saying, how often do we forget to clean the litter box? Have our kids forgotten to do their daily scoop because we asked them to? Sometimes it happens, but if you don’t clean your cat’s litter box regularly, they may choose to do their business somewhere else. Every day, you should clean the litter boxes. You’ll probably notice that I wrote boxes inside your home, in plural.
- You Need One More Box Than Your Number of Cats. If you have more cats than litter boxes, you should have two litter boxes. As a result, one cat requires two litter boxes. If there are two cats, there are three boxes, etc. It is also a good idea to provide a litter box on each level if you have multiple levels. There is no one I know who enjoys having just one bathroom in their house, so imagine trying to share one small box! No, thank you.
- Size Matters When You’re Buying a Litter Box. Many cat lovers are guilty of making this mistake since cats are nimble. Cats need a lot of space for their doody, however. Cats can be very particular about such factors as the dimensions, shape, and depth of their litter boxes. In order for your cat to be free to move around their litter box, it need to be as big as possible. The size of the litter box should be at least as long as your cat, from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail (when extended). If the width of the carrier is at least as wide as the length of your cat (without its tail), that is the correct size.
You now have some options when it comes to trying to maintain a healthy home and a happy cat! Consider your cat’s personality and your situation when choosing a cat carrier. If your cat exhibits any abnormal behavior after being around your non-toxic plants, you should pay close attention. Regardless of how safe your plants are from a toxic standpoint, your cat may consume enough leaves to upset his stomach. As a result of the leaf’s shape and how much they eat, there is a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction or even foreign bodies in their noses.