How to Stop a Cat From Eating Plants

Overview

Cats, particularly those that are indoor pets, often nibble at plants located throughout the house. This can be because the cat is interested in the plant (particularly if it is new) or because he is simply bored. Either way, this act can damage or kill the plant and put the cat in danger since many houseplants are toxic to animals. Stopping a cat from eating plants is fairly simple, and there are a couple of different tactics you can try to keep the feline away from your indoor garden.

Step 1

Place your plants in hanging baskets and suspend them from hooks in the ceiling, away from ledges where cats can't reach them. An alternative, particularly if your cat isn't much of a climber, is to place the plants on high surfaces, such as on top of bookcases.

Step 2

Purchase a cat grass or catnip plant and place it within easy reach of the cat. Most cats love these plants so much that they will ignore other plants in favor of them.

Step 3

Scatter citrus peels around the base of the plant, on top of the soil. Cats do not like the smell of citrus and getting the oils on their paws once is usually enough to deter them in the future.

Step 4

Spritz the leaves of the plant with a bitter apple spray. This spray, available in most pet stores, is a safe alternative to the hot sauce or perfume-based sprays that some experts recommend. The taste of the spay is unpleasant but will not make the cat sick.

Step 5

Place shaker cans around the base of large potted plants. Make the shaker cans by dropping about five pennies in a clean, dry soda can and sealing the top with a piece of duct tape. The loud rattling noise startles cats when they knock over the cans.

Things You'll Need

  • Hanging plant baskets
  • Cat grass or catnip plant
  • Citrus peels
  • Bitter apple spray
  • Soda cans
  • Pennies
  • Duct tape

References

  • Cat World: Keeping Cats off Houseplants
  • "Good Cats, Bad Habits;" Alice Rhea; 1995
Keywords: cats eating plants, protecting houseplants, training cats

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.