If you’re a plant lover and cat owner, chances are you’ve encountered this problem before: your feline can’t stop chewing or scratching your precious houseplants. But do not worry, there are solutions to protect your plants while preserving your pet’s natural curiosity. In this article, we offer some strategies to prevent your cat from eating your houseplants.
Reasons why cats are attracted to plants
To better understand how to keep our feline friends away from plants, it is important to know the reasons behind their behavior. Cats may be attracted to plants for several reasons:
- Fibers : Cats like to chew fiber to help remove ingested hair during grooming.
- The smells : Some plants give off odors that attract cats, such as mint or rosemary.
- Curiosity : Cats are curious animals by nature and can be intrigued by the movement of leaves or the textures of plants.
Choose non-toxic plants for cats
First and foremost, make sure any houseplants you have aren’t harmful to your cat. Some plants can be toxic to cats and cause health problems if they ingest them. Some common houseplants considered non-toxic to cats include:
- Chlorophytum (spider plant)
- Maranta (prayer plant)
- Bromeliaceae (pineapple or tillandsia)
- Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant)
Set up a space dedicated to your cat
An effective solution to prevent your cat from eating your plants is to provide an attractive alternative. Create a special corner for your cat with herbs and plants that he can safely chew on. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an obvious option that appeals to most felines. You can also add sprouted barley, wheat or rye, which are also popular with cats.
Put plants out of reach
Sometimes the best solution is to simply put your plants out of your cat’s reach. Place the plants on wall shelves, hang them from the ceiling, or put them in rooms where your cat can’t reach. If you choose this strategy, make sure the plants are well anchored and stable to prevent them from falling on your pet.
Use natural repellents to protect your plants
There are several natural products you can use to deter your cat from chewing on your plants. Here are some options:
- Citrus: Cats generally don’t like the smell of citrus fruits. Place orange, lemon or grapefruit peels around your plants to keep them away.
- Vinegar : Lightly mist the soil around your plants with a mixture of water and white vinegar. This smell is unpleasant for cats and will encourage them to stay away.
- Mustard: Mix one tablespoon of mustard powder with one liter of water and spray the mixture around the base of your plants. The pungent smell will discourage your cat from approaching.
Change the soil texture around your plants
Cats are tricky when it comes to textures, and you can use this to your advantage to protect your plants. Surround your houseplants with materials that your cat finds uncomfortable to walk on or scratch, such as:
- Decorative stones or pebbles
- Crumpled aluminum foil
- A plastic mat with spikes
By making access to plants less pleasant, your cat will be less likely to be interested in them.
Stay patient and persistent
As with any behavior modification in animals, patience and perseverance are essential. Try different methods to protect your plants and see what works best with your cat. Don’t forget to praise and reward your companion when he stays away from the plants, this will reinforce his good behavior.
By following these adviceyou can find a balance between your love of plants interior and the well-being of your cat. Thus, you preserve the beauty of your living space while ensuring the safety of your beloved animal.