Houseplant Girl

Learn How to Keep Cats Out Of House Plants

how to keep cats out of houseplants

 Keep Your Cats Out Of Houseplants FOREVER

Are you a plant lover, but also own a cat who’s sole purpose is to kill and maim every green thing in your house? Are you excited by the potential of growing an oasis indoors only to be disappointed by their demise only weeks after bringing them home?

Owning a cat and being a plant lover is HARD. They love to chew and gnaw on your precious plants, batting them as if they were toys. No respect for the greenery, cats use them for their own sadistic fun, all the while we have to watch as onlookers, not having enough time to whack the cats away each time they’re caught in the act.

Keep cats out of house plants

Not only this, but cats love to use our precious house plants as their new litter box, peeing and defecating in the shrubs as if their shit is gold. It’s not. It’s gross and ruining my plants.

Many think you have to choose one or the other, But why can’t you can’t have both?

I recently caught my cat gnawing on my new baby parlor palm tree and nothing made me scream more than the thought of not seeing my baby plant grow up. I couldn’t believe my luck and all I wanted to know was how to keep my cat out of my house plants.

Don’t Give Up On Your Plants

Keep cats out of house plants

Here’s the thing, I am not willing to give up my love for plants just because my cat (who will probably outlive all of us) has no respect for the botanic garden I’m trying to create in my home. I also live in a climate that gets cold and blustery in the winter, where the only sign of life and hope resides in my plants. I’m not willing to give them up.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my cat. I’m obviously not willing to get rid of the little stinker just so I can have some extra oxygen in the household. So, what’s a gal to do?

Here’s Some Helpful Hacks to Keep Your Cat AWAY from your beloved indoor garden

    • Pebble Beach:

      For the felines that love to defecate and urinate in your potted plants, place some stones and pebbleson top of the soil. It’s no more fun for the cats, and it also adds a unique style element. Very zen. You can get rocks from your backyard (and they’re free!), clay pot pieces or even lava rocks from the fish store. All good options!

    • Make the Pots Inconvenient for Digging: 

      Experiment by placing different sticks, forks, chopsticks or popsicle sticks in the pot so it becomes a hassle for your cat to dig around. This obviously won’t look great, but if it works then I’d say it’s a keeper. Or try and place strips of lint roller tape face up inside your pots. When your cats try and use the soil, they’ll find unpleasant lint tape stuck to them and will think twice about coming back for more!

    • Citrus to the Rescue: 

      Cats hate citrus. Oranges, lemons, limes, they hate them all! Try and place lemon and lime peels throughout your potted plants to keep them away. Experiment and see what works, how much you need and how often you need it. Or, go and get some citrus essential oils and place a few drops around the potting soil. You can also place essential oils into the watering can for added citrus magic.

    • Grow Special Plants Just for the Cats: 

      Okay, so nothing seems to be working. It’s time to play by their rules. This tactic uses a couple plants as “offerings” to your cats in order to save the rest of the flock. This idea is fun because you get to plant even more while saving the others. Totally a victim-bait strategy and it works great. Grow some cat- nip, barley or other grasses which will be used as bait. These plants will be fair game—allow your cats to go crazy with them. As long as they have something to munch on, they’ll leave alone the less interesting foilage. This is a win-win situation. And you get more plants!

    • Pine Cones: 

      If you have access to pine cones, this is another good strategy. Place these just underneath the soil, so the rounded edges come curving out. Most cats won’t like the feel or smell of the pine cones and will stay away. Would you like to walk on pinecones? I didn’t think so. Amazingly, you can buy pinecones on amazon, just click the link here.

    • Cayenne Pepper: 

      Try sprinkling Cayenne pepper on the leaves of your most beloved houseplants. Most cats will have a complete distaste for such a move on your part, and stay away. I don’t think that many cats have food dreams about cayenne pepper, and the total surprise of a hot and spicy flavor coming from their favorite leaf will make them think twice about eating your plants. 

    • Fruit and Vegetable Bags:

      Another idea is to use the net fruit and vegetable bags to cover your soil. Cut the bag into a circle the same size diameter as your pot. Cut a hole in the middle, and place the net all along the top of the dirt. You can tape the sides and make sure that everything is covered. What’s great about this solution is you’re still able to fertilize and water the plant through the netted bag.

    • Fake it Till You Make It: 

      Another solution is to give into the idea that you won’t be able to enjoy living and breathing plants as long as your feline friends are still around for the party. That’s okay! Thank the plant gods that we have fake plants. And nowadays we have fake plants that actually LOOK GOOD! Take Nearly Naturals, for example. I’m impressed by this company and their approach to making fake plants look real. Gone are the days for hokey looking, embarrassing silk trees. Now is the time when you can be proud of your fake Fig trees. Plus your cat won’t kill it!

    • Grow Your Plants In Water

      For those of you who are sick and tired of coming home after a long day at work only to find your potted plants spewed on the floor and dirt everywhere, why not just transfer some of them into a water? You heard that right, some indoor plants grow in water, and you can switch over a few of your favorites into a vase or mason jar. The process is not that difficult, and hopefully, your cat will stay far away from this boring new presentation, except of course to use it as a water bowl. I’ve done this with a couple of my plants and have found that my cat has little to no interest in them.


    Keep cats out of house plants

    I can’t believe it’s not real! The Fig Tree Edition


    Cats are wonderful pets and plants are wonderful additions to your home, but you shouldn’t have to pick one over the other, all you have to do to is get creative and learn to hack the world of simultaneous cat and plant living! Once your cats learn that plants are sacred territory, you can have a household of green, oxygen-rich living. Cats will stay out of your house plants, and you are able to have both.

    Keeping cats out of houseplants is easy, not to mention the added benefit of having your air clean and filtered by your green friends. Litter boxes smell the worst.

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    After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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      • Artificial Plants Melbourne December 9, 2015, 12:15 pm

        Hi Admin,

        I have been just watching that blog, It is really Impressive. Just loved that information content of that blog. Keep writing the stuff like that.
        Thanks, Amy

      • Carlee April 18, 2017, 3:50 pm

        Thank you so much for the tips on how to keep my cat out of my plant it has truly helped save my plant!

        • Jade April 19, 2017, 6:14 pm

          So glad it helped! I know all too well what it’s like to have my plants attacked by my cat 🙂

      • Cindy July 29, 2017, 11:00 pm

        I am cat sitting for my son and his wife and their cat is normally a sweetheart. The last couple days I have come home to him sitting in my Dragon Tree plant batting at the leaves. My plant is about 2 1/2 feet tall. Today when I got home he had pulled one of the ‘heads’ off. It wasn’t too chewed up but I wonder which method would be best to keep him from playing with that plant. As far as I can tell he hasn’t used the pot as his litter box and cayenne pepper will be hard to get on the leaves. Thanks for any insight! I only have 2 ‘heads’ left!