From nudging things off the shelves to tearing toilet paper, cats can be truly mischievous sometimes. One annoying habit that cats might have is of eating houseplants. And, of course, they don’t eat any shriveled, gross leaves on their last legs. Nope.
Did you shell out some major bucks for a gorgeous Fiddle Leaf Fig plant in America? Well, that’s the one they will choose to nibble on. Some naughty pets might even dig around in the soil and leave a little stinky nugget behind.
Cat lovers would be even more worried to learn that some houseplants can also be harmful to the cat. Letting the cats eat the houseplants isn’t advisable since it might have some toxins that are bad for your kitty. Plus, houseplants in America are expensive!
So, you should implement some measures to stop them from chewing up your indoor greenery. This article will cover why cats eat plants, how to keep cats from eating houseplants, and some cat-friendly houseplants.
Why Do Cats Eat Houseplants?
It’s critical to comprehend why the cat is munching on plants before moving on to how you might stop their activity. Your cat may be eating houseplants due to the primary causes listed below, or possibly a mixture of many.
1. Cats Enjoy Plants’ Taste
Cats begin most of their exploration using their jaws. Even if it doesn’t seem that appealing to you now, we all had similar first-time experiences with numerous things when we were infants.
As newborns, we all put every item in our mouths, and cats are no different. Your cat will likely want more food if it tastes delicious.
It can help to keep an eye on how much they’re chewing off, even with the non-toxic plant kinds. Even harmless plants might make you feel queasy or sick if you consume too many leaves or fronds.
Cats are inquisitive animals, as was said in the introduction. They are quickly bored. A cat searches for entertainment whenever it’s boring. The cat has chosen your houseplants as its source of new fun in this instance.
Your cat, of course, sees nothing wrong with all this. Then again, the house’s feline ruler is the rightful owner of everything inside. Each plant it encounters is meant to be a toy.
3. The Texture Appeals to Cats
When you take the cat outdoors, you may have seen that they are immediately drawn to the long stalks of grass and start nibbling on them. It’s possible that they like the texture of the plant.
It’s also possible that the cat seems to have an upset tummy and is attempting to ingest some fiber out of instinct to enable its digestive system to function more smoothly.
4. Cats Enjoy the Sound of Moving Leaves
This is most likely the main factor for cats’ fondness for plants. Cats are hunters by nature. Even if they are carnivores, it may be quite difficult to resist the motion of a palm or leaf.
The Spider Plant is considered one of the favorite houseplants because of its alluring long, velvety leaves. For us, designating a plant as collateral is a fantastic idea!
How to Keep Cats from Eating Houseplants?
Here are some surefire ways to stop your cat from eating houseplants in the United States.
1. Make The Plant Smell Bad to The Cat
Cats have very keen senses of smell. Making the plants smell unpleasant is one of the simplest methods to stop them from digging, eating, and otherwise messing with them.
There are several organic methods to do this. Try adding a few lemon peels to the plant’s soil since cats dislike citrus scents (but avoid using strong citrus oils as they may be harmful).
Another option is to put cayenne pepper around the plant; after just one whiff, the cat will stop bothering it.
2. Make Your Plant Difficult to Reach
You may carefully arrange your houseplants in several locations to prevent any maltreatment. It’s crucial to comprehend your cat and its capabilities if you hang the plants or place them on a tall shelf so that even the finest leaper can’t reach them.
Think beyond the norm and use a terrarium, huge dome birdcage, or a fish tank as a planter. While they can be a little expensive, they are a terrific way to protect the plants and give the space some elegance.
3. Use Plants That Your Cats Hate
Fair enough, you probably won’t want to substitute all the plants you’ve devoted so much effort to maintain with new ones you’ve picked because your cat despises them.
However, if your cat dislikes the houseplants in your house, it won’t eat or destroy them. Therefore, when choosing new plants, choose ones that cats won’t be drawn to, such as plants with spines or thorns. Roses and cacti are excellent options.
4. Peels of Citrus Added to Plants
Citrus is abhorrent to cats. Additionally, it poisons them. Citrus oils or sprays are not a good alternative. If some peels touch the cat, it can respond negatively.
Instead, consider adding a few lemon or orange peels to the soil beside your plant. Your cat will be turned off by their stench, which should stop it from eating plants.
5. Purchase Cat Grass
Even though cats are obligate carnivores, there is a motive for why they are invested in indoor plants. Cats consume grass in the wild to help digestion; you can get a comparable product at your neighborhood pet shop.
Cat grass is a fantastic source of fiber, B vitamins, and niacin; you can often get it at a nearby pet shop.
This has various special health advantages in satisfying your cat’s desire to chow down on some greens and stay away from your plants.
6. Make Use of Chili Powder
Sprinkle some chili powder on the foliage of a non-toxic plant in your house if your cat won’t leave it alone and you want to deter this behavior. You’ll quickly discover that the cat will completely shun the plant if you lightly coat it with the spice.
In the weeks after applying the chili powder, be careful to water the plants from the bottom to avoid the spice from draining into the soil or washing off.
Lastly, you may also wrap aluminum foil over your potted plants to discourage cats from stepping on them in the future.
7. Teach The Cats to Stay Away from Your Plant
As with dogs, cats can be trained. You can educate the cat to do almost anything you desire, but it does require patience, time, and consistency. Some might leash-train the cat to spend more time outdoors, while others teach their cats to perform tricks.
With the correct reward, you may teach your cat to stay away from your plants and reroute them to behave differently.
When teaching your cat anything new, we advise looking for their motivation. Treats are extremely simple since you can remain in the full training phase and repeat things if you offer a reward that is little and quickly consumed. It’s love and admiration for certain kitties.
8. Separate Your Cats From Your Plants
Keeping the cats out of particular rooms could be simpler than teaching them to stay away from your plants. In fact, many cat owners have areas where they don’t let their cats in.
You can protect your plants from cat claws and fangs by keeping them in areas where you don’t let your cats enter.
9. Encircle Your Plants
Discouraging your cat by surrounding the plants with objects they dislike is simple. Put some empty drink cans on display throughout the facility. The noise it makes when the cat knocks things over will drive it away.
Another option is to place something on the floor next to the plant, such plastic carpet protector or aluminum foil.
Cat-Friendly Houseplants in America
If you aren’t able to keep the cats away from the houseplants, one thing you can do is to get plants that aren’t bad for your kitty. Here are some cat-friendly houseplants that won’t harm the cat.
1. Spider Plant
A lovely hanging houseplant, the spider plant comes in colors white and green striped or pure green. The plant produces several tiny plantlets that may either be let to develop and hang from a swinging pot or are cut off from the mother plant and planted in separate pots.
In its native Africa, the non-toxic plant is primarily farmed as a food source.
2. Porcelain Flower or A Wax Plant (Hoya)
Hoya is a shrub with gorgeous, thick, glossy, waxy leaves almost indestructible. It can survive decades in conditions far from ideal and resistant to poor air quality.
The plant, which has the potential to reach an enormous size, blooms in the spring with lovely, fragrant flowers.
3. Haworthia Plant
Small succulents safe for cats include Haworthia, often called the zebra cactus. Remember that not all succulent plants are suitable for cats, so select wisely.
Haworthia is regarded as being simple to cultivate and grows nicely in a container indoors. Consider placing your haworthia on a window sill if you want it to thrive in direct sunlight as other succulents do.
4. Venus Fly Trap Plant
The Dionaea muscipula, often known as the Venus fly trap, is an invaluable asset to a cat-friendly house since cats cannot harm plants in any way. This plant looks good in any home and thrives in nutrient-poor soil.
5. Ponytail Palm Plants
The vast draping of leaves produced by the ponytail palm resembles a ponytail. This plant needs little maintenance since it can tolerate dry soil and doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer.
6. Canary Date Palm Plants
The canary date palm, which resembles a miniature palm tree, will give your house a tropical vibe. This plant can thrive inside if you keep it in direct sunshine. The palm prefers areas with plenty of sunshine and little to no water.
Put the houseplant in direct sunshine and give it a weekly watering. Use soil with high drainages, such as a peat-based mix.
7. Mexican Snowball Plants
Another well-liked succulent suitable for cats is the Mexican snowball or echeveria elegans, sometimes called chickens or hens.
The leaves of this succulent are bluish-gray and resemble roses. Although considered low-maintenance, this striking houseplant needs a lot of sunshine.
8. The Friendship Plant
Another attractive plant that thrives in terrariums is the friendship plant. Although most pets, particularly cats, are not hazardous to the plant, placing them in a glass terrarium is a method to keep the pet away.
9. Caeroba Plant
Beautiful leaves with a characteristic spotted shape and pattern may be seen on the caeroba, often known as the rattlesnake plant. They will give any area a unique atmosphere while requiring minimal water and light.
10. Mosaic Plant
A beautiful plant that grows nicely in a container is the mosaic plant, often known as the jewel plant or nerve plant. Deeply green, veined leaves are the plant’s defining feature.
It may be best to leave this houseplant to people with a skilled green thumb or those seeking a challenge since it may be difficult to cultivate.
Now that you know how to keep cats from eating houseplants, you should start implementing measures to prevent them from nibbling on your beloved plants. You are also probably better off Googling all your houseplants to see if they are toxic to the cat or not.
If they are, you better keep them in an area where cats can’t reach them or replace them with more cat-friendly plants that will not harm your pet. If they continue eating the plants, a good thing to try out is adding more fiber to your cat’s diet.
You may like the following house plant articles:
- How to Keep a Cat Away from a Potted House Plant?
- Low Light Indoor Plants That Are Safe for Cats
- Best Houseplants for East-Facing Window
- Are Earthworms Good for Houseplants
- House Plant That Looks Like Lily Pads
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.