Can cats and houseplants co-exist?
It's possible for cats and houseplants to co-exist in (relative) harmony,
you take some simple steps to promote it.
Remove poisonous plants from areas your cat can access.
New owners are often unaware of the potential hazard common
houseplants can pose to their cat. A large number of houseplants
are poisonous and a select few
can be fatal. To check your plants, visit our page of
plants poisonous to cats
. You should also check that fertilisers and insecticides used will
not poison your cat.
Introduce cat friendly plants.
Now that the poisonous plants are safely out the door you may wish to fill in
Cat grass is highly recommended and can be purchased from most pet stores. Cats
are often scolded for chewing on houseplants but they may simply be craving
vitamins or minerals that plants provide. By offering cat
grass you're not only providing an excellent source of minerals you're also
plants from being chewed as kitty looks to satisfy a craving. It's worth noting
that any plant that looks like grass can, and probably will, be treated as grass
We've compiled a page of
cat friendly plants
that are non hazardous to cats.
Protect the plants from kitty.
At times it may seem that kitty is hell bent on destroying every plant and
spreading dirt throughout the house. But with a little understanding and a lot
of patience it's possible to minimise the damage to your plants.
The simple solution is to move your plants out of harms way and hang them up.
For those that can't be hanged choose heavy pots with a wide base that are
harder to tip over.
Cover the soil.
A common problem can be digging in the soil. If kitty is then
urinating you should first check that the litter tray meets your cats high
standard of hygiene. Some cats seem to just prefer dirt to litter, so the next
step is to cover or mulch the soil. The most natural and effective soil
cover are large stones, big enough
that your cat can't easily move them. You can also
use aluminium foil or strips of sticky tape over the top of the plant pot to deter your cat.
Scents can be used but results are ropey. Citrus peel and tabasco sauce are
common deterrents however they need to be re-applied often and your cat will
probably become accustomed to them over time.
Cats will often play with houseplants out of boredom. If you see kitty eyeing
up your plants, try playing with them to distract them. If they start
scratching your larger plants, ensure you have adequate scratching posts in the
room and that they're closer to the door than the plant is. A curious thing
about cats is they like to scratch when entering a room, placing a
scratching post near the door can help save both plants and furniture. Bugs are
also of immense interest to cats, a quick check on the plant will tell you if
it's the bugs rather than the plant they're after. As a last resort, squirting
kitty with a water pistol when they're misbehaving will teach your cat to
associate the plant (and not you) with an unpleasant experience.
If you can accept that you're going to loose the occasional plant and may have
to vacuum a little more often than normal, then house plants can play an
excellent role in creating a better environment for both you and your cat.