Health and Wellness

Cat-Proof Your Houseplants: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Cat (and Your Plants) Safe

As a cat parent, you probably know that cats love to explore their environment and play. This can sometimes lead to them getting into things they shouldn’t – like your houseplants – which can be dangerous for both your cat and your plants!

keeping your cat out of your houseplants

In this article, we’ll give you ten tips on how to cat-proof your houseplants and keep both your kitty and your plants safe.

1. Choose pet-safe plants:

First and foremost, it’s important to choose houseplants that are safe for cats, at least until you’re 100% confident that your cat is trained to stay away from your plants. Common pet-safe plants include spider plants, Calatheas, and ponytail palms.

Familiarize yourself with the plants that are toxic to our furriest friends. Some popular toxic houseplants include Dieffenbachia, lilies, and Coleus.

2. Place out of reach:

When possible, try to place your houseplants where they can’t be reached by your cat. This could be on top of a counter, bookshelf, or another high surface. Hanging planters are a popular option for keeping plants up and out of the way. Plus, you can hang them right in a sunny window, which your plant will love!

cats and houseplants

3. Use barriers:

If you can’t place the plants out of reach, consider using pet-proof fences or screens to create a barrier between your cat and the plant. These are available online in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your space and décor. Or, keep your plants in a room that your cat can’t access, like a secondary room or sunroom.

4. Bitter sprays:

Bitter-tasting spray deterrents can be a great way to keep cats away from plants. These sprays are designed to have a bitter flavor that cats don’t like, making them less likely to chew on the plants. Be sure to choose one that is safe for use around cats and other pets.

5. Exercise your cat:

Cats who are bored or anxious will often seek out things to do, such as chewing on houseplants. Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and playtime each day to help keep them entertained and help prevent them from seeking out other outlets for their energy.

See our article 10 Ways to Entertain a Bored Cat.

6. Train your cat:

You can train your cat to stay away from certain areas of the house, including your plants. Start by introducing them to the area where you want them to avoid, paired with a sound or noise that signals they should move away. Offer plenty of praise and treats when they follow your command.

cat and houseplants

7. Put smells in the mix:

Cats don’t like certain smells, so you can use that to your advantage! Rub citrus-scented oil on the leaves of your plants and around the pot to deter cats from getting too close. Similarly, you can use cotton balls soaked in essential oils such as lavender and peppermint.

8. Start small:

If you’re just starting out, consider keeping smaller plants that are easier to keep out of reach from your cat. Small succulents, potted herbs, and cacti are all good options that can fit on top of shelves or other surfaces where your cat can’t get them.

9. Check often:

It’s important to regularly check your plants for any signs of damage or distress. If you notice that your cat is chewing on them, take the necessary steps to keep them away and provide plenty of other activities to occupy their time.

10. Add Pine Cones to the Soil

This is for the kitties who like to dig! Pine cones can be a great deterrent for them because they’re prickly, but they shouldn’t affect the soil underneath, so your plant will be fine.

Oftentimes, it’s suggested to put a layer of rocks or a sheet of glass over the soil, but be careful that you don’t put something in your pot that will disrupt the way the soil is able to dry out — or you could give your plant root rot.

So, place a few pine cones in the soil of your houseplants to discourage cats from digging. The sharp texture is unpleasant to cats, so they should keep their paws off. If you’re lucky enough to find some cinnamon-scented ones around the holidays, the scent may serve as a deterrent as well.

By following these tips, you can cat-proof your houseplants and keep both your furry friends and your plants safe and happy. Good luck!

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