Cannot stop your pet cat from pooping in your potted house plants? Unfortunately, you are not alone.
This is a problem nearly every other cat owner begins to face once they get hooked on buying potted house plants.
People across the United States keep cats as pets. However, it was not until a few decades ago that the trend of keeping indoor plants in beautiful vases and pots became globally popular.
Now, recent statistics suggest that nearly 63% to 66% of American citizens have at least one potted houseplant; a massive majority of this percentage are millennials.
These people are willing to go the extra mile by creating the ideal environment for their house plants and are more than willing to hire expensive moving companies to transport their precious plants when planning a move.
Hence, if you are a houseplant enthusiast and your cat uses your beloved house plants as its everyday toilet, we feel your pain.
This is why we have compiled a set of solutions to help you deal with this nasty situation. Continue reading the article below to learn all about keeping your cat from pooping in your house plants.
How to Keep Cats from Pooping in Your House Plants
To prevent your cats from pooping in your potted house plants, you can try the following different tips and tricks:
Cover the House Plant’s Soil with Stones
Cats love the smell of different potted house plants even when they do not plan on pooping in them.
If your cat gets to touch the soft soil of the house plants while smelling them, this is where the problem begins. Many cats prefer raw and soft soil texture compared to manufactured cat litter.
In order to prevent your cat from getting a chance to step into your potted house plants, you need to start covering up its soil.
There are many ways to do that. One common and highly successful way is to add small stones or pebbles on top of the potted plant’s soil.
Since the cat cannot get to the soil, it will not want to mess up your plants.
Another trick can be to cover the soil with a cardboard cutout. You can measure the diameter or size of the plant pots and use the measurements to cut out some cardboard.
Then, place the cardboard cutouts on the soil, and voila! Problem solved!
Spray Cat Repellent Around Your Potted House Plants
You will be surprised to find out just how effective cat repellents can be. Many cat owners refrain from using this trick as they assume the repellant will be bad for their little furry housemates; however, this is not the case.
Cat repellents are not made up of substances that can harm your cat; instead, they are merely a blend or solution of oils and scents that cats generally despise.
Cat repellants commonly contain peppermint oil, lavender oil, apple cider vinegar, or lemon grass.
Spraying a solution of these ingredients around or on your potted house plants will not affect your plants but will surely keep your cats away from them, stopping your plants from becoming your cat’s toilet.
Clean Out Your Cat’s Litter Box on Time
One of the most common reasons cats use potted house plants as their toilet is because their owners do not clean out their litter boxes on time.
Cat owners in the United States tend to put off cleaning their cats’ litter boxes. This could be due to laziness, or perhaps the sight and smell of the poop keep them away from this task.
However, if a cat’s litter is dirty and smelly, the cat will not use it. Instead, it will begin to find other places to relieve itself.
On the other hand, if you remove the dry pieces of poop from the litter box every other day and replace the litter after four to five days (at least), your cat will have no reason to turn to the house plants to go to the bathroom when nature calls.
Another golden tip is to buy fragrant cat litter that can contain and controls the different odors of cat pee and poop.
Add Some Soil to Cat Litter Box
If your cat continues to poop in the potted house plants even after you have responsibly been changing your cat litter on time, we may have another trick up our sleeves for you.
Your cat is probably acting this way because it prefers the texture or smell of natural soil to the cat litter you use.
To encourage your cat to use its litter box, add some soil from the potted house plants into the cat’s litter box. Only a thin layer of soil covering the litter will do the trick.
Add a Fence or Chicken Wire Around the Potted House Plants
Using chicken wire to create a fence or barrier around the potted house plants is a tip people use when they have tried almost everything else.
Although some people may complain that using chicken wire will ruin the visual aesthetics of their potted plants and overall home, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
You can always remove the chicken wire fences when you have guests over at your house and place the fence back when you are home alone or when you have to leave the cat on its own.
The chicken wire fence will prevent your cat from getting to the potted house plants, solving this problem.
Spend Some Time Training Your Cat
Cats who usually use the potted house plants as their toilet do this when they are introduced into a new or unfamiliar setting or are too young.
To avoid this, you must spend some time training your cat, especially if it is a little kitten.
Help the cat locate its litter box and encourage it to sit on it every other hour. Moreover, ensure the cat litter box is easy to find, so the cat has no problem locating it.
For the first few days, try increasing your cat’s water intake so it has to pee a lot. This will allow you to train it to use the litter box multiple times a day.
This initial training phase might take a while, but it’s worth it in the long run because your cat will no longer feel the need to relieve itself in your potted plants.
Discourage Your Cat from Coming Near the Potted House Plants
Lastly, you can always discourage your cat from stepping near the house plants if it has a habit of pooping in them.
You can raise your voice slightly or shush your cat, just as you would stop a toddler from doing something.
Eventually, after being discouraged multiple times, your cat will begin to avoid going near the house plants.
Why Do Cats Poop in Potted House Plants?
Why do cats have the horrible habit of pooping in expensive indoor potted plants? We wish we could get our cats to answer this question themselves.
Plant parents worldwide keep complaining about not being able to stop their cats from doing this.
Eventually, many people have no choice but to either give away their house plants or give up on their cats. It all depends on who (or what) they love a tad bit more.
Some possible reasons that may lead to your cat pooping in your potted house plants are as follows:
- If you have not yet placed a cat litter box in your home, your cat will have no choice but to use your potted house plants as their toilet.
- If you have not cleaned out your cat’s litter box in a while, it can lead to your cat using the house plants instead.
- This usually happens because cats are very few animals who are conscious about personal hygiene and grooming like cats. Hence, they will refuse to step into a dirty and smelly cat litter box that has not been changed in a while.
- If you are using new cat litter that your cat is yet not used to.
- In such circumstances, cats cannot recognize their litter box’s scent and end up pooping in the potted house plants instead.
- If you have a new cat in the house, which is yet not trained to use the cat litter box, it might feel more comfortable using the house plants as they feel more natural.
- If you change the usual place of the cat’s litter box.
- If the cat cannot find its litter box when it needs to poop, it will not hesitate to turn to your house plant.
- If you do not discourage the cat after it has pooped in the potted house plants once, chances are it will do it again.
- If the cat is sick or stressed, it may behave unusually. As a result, it might end up pooping in the potted house plants.
- If the cat is accidentally locked in a room that does not have its litter box but does have a few potted house plants lying around, the cat will have no choice but to use them.
Some cats may do this just once or twice in their lives and never repeat the event. However, this is rarely ever the case.
Why is a Cat Pooping Your House Plant a Problem?
People who usually do not care about their cats peeing around their house also do not care to enhance their aesthetics by investing in potted house plants.
However, people who care about their house’s outlook and are invested in caring for their potted house plants cannot tolerate their cats acting this way.
Not only does this leave a terrible odor around the house, but it can also affect your and your plant’s health in many ways.
Here are a few reasons why you should not let your cat poop in your potted houseplants:
- Cat poop has a very strong and disgusting odor that can linger for multiple days. The repulsive odor can affect a person’s mood and comfort level in their house.
- Having guests over while the odor of cat poop has still not gone away can be very embarrassing.
- The pathogens found in cat poop can kill many species of potted house plants.
- If you are growing consumable vegetables or fruits in your potted house plants, then cat poop can directly enter your body.
- When a cat poops and pees, high amounts of toxic ammonia gas are released, which can negatively affect a person’s health and cause nausea, poor eyesight, allergies, etc.
- When the cat continues to use the potted house plants placed in your living space as their toilet, the toxic fumes can make living in the house very difficult and dangerous.
- Moreover, a parasite that can sometimes be found in cat poop can alter a person’s brain in dangerous ways.
- If a person gets exposed to the parasite while picking out cat poop from the pots, the person’s brain may stop recognizing fear, leading to them making improper and dangerous judgments.
People usually find it hard to choose between their cats and their potted house plants; fortunately, they do not have to.
As mentioned in this article, you can do a few things to stop your cats from using your house plants as their own personal toilets. These range from quick fixes to long-term solutions.
By taking the time out to cover the soil of the potted house plants with stones or chicken wire, or by training the cat, you can enjoy living with your furry little friend and your potted plants.
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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.