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Keeping Cats From Eating Houseplants

Category Cats
Many cats seem to view houseplants as a side salad, much to the frustration of their owners. Additionally, many plants are toxic when ingested. This is a guide about keeping cats from eating houseplants.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 25, 20121 found this helpful

I love growing houseplants, but my cats love eating them. Are there any houseplants that don't attract or entice cats?

By layla

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September 26, 20121 found this helpful

I have had cats all my life. I have not yet found a plant that does not give a cat tremendous enjoyment. I have even tried a very prickly cactus, only to wake in the morning and find a neat little pile of thorns where the cactus should have been!

I have tried hanging them from the ceiling, and discovered that cats are excellent at high jumps and climbing small macrame ropes. I have tried a terrarium.

Did you know that a 23 pound cat can easily fit through a 6 inch opening? Imagine my surprise to find my cat curled into a little ball, sleeping peacefully in the damp potting soil inside my terrarium...minus plants, thanks to the cat! They even figured out how to open the glass doors in my china cabinet, which I foolishly thought would be a great place for one small unfortunate violet.

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I gave up and planted catnip, which Curious George, Rascally Brat, and Scrappy Cat can eat any time they want! Who needs plants! Cats are more fun!

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February 11, 20170 found this helpful

It depends on the cat. My cat loves my mom's Boston fern but since we've moved, she's only chewed on one leaf of an onion plant. My mom's cat on the other hand will chew on more; Boston fern, dragon tree, etc. It all depends on your cat and we're it's willing to go and a plant that doesn't taste bad. Have you tried a Hoya? They hang and have vines that it may not be able to get too. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2015

I have a cat that won't leave my houseplants alone. She tries to eat anything, including silk flowers. I have tried everything that I've read nothing works.

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August 12, 20150 found this helpful

Perhaps your cat has a nutritional problem and tries to eat the plants to help herself. Please take her to your vet and explain the problem. The vet can check for nutrition problems and anything else that might be causing the plant eating.

Also-your cat can have a serious and possibly deadly reaction to a plant she has eaten, even a little, so remove all plants that she might try to eat until her problem is clarified by her vet.

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August 12, 20150 found this helpful

Perhaps your cat has a nutritional problem and tries to eat the plants to help herself. Please take her to your vet immediately and explain the problem. The vet can check for nutrition problems and anything else that might be causing the plant eating.

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Also-your cat can have a serious and possibly deadly reaction to a plant she has eaten, even a little, so remove all plants that she might try to eat until her problem is clarified by her vet.

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August 12, 20150 found this helpful

She's been to the vet and got a clean bill of health, My plants have been moved.

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August 12, 20150 found this helpful

Well you will have to be careful what plants you have in the house. There are good lists on the net that tell you which plants are safe. Two things I thought of, do you play with your cat so she can burn off some energy. And I keep a pot of "cat grass" (wheat grass seed from the pet store)for my cats. It sprouts in a couple days and they love it. I finally bought a pound of soft white wheat seed off the internet. The stuff at the pet store is pricy.

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August 13, 20150 found this helpful

I agree that the plants should be non-poisonous, such as spider plants. You can find complete lists of toxic houseplants online.

You say you've tried everything you've read, but you don't say what you've tried. So I could just be telling you what you've already tried. However, you may try spraying some plants with white vinegar to make them taste bad. Have cat grass available, too. That she can eat.

How are her poops? Does she get constipated, dry hard poops, or tend to have hairballs? If so, give her a hairball remedy twice a week. It is a laxative. You cat may be eating indigestible fiber to help move her bowels.

Also, what do you feed her? If it is a relatively cheap food like Purina, consider moving up to a food that contains more plant matter, such as peas or cranberry.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2012

My kitty, Karma, has decided that African violet flowers are cat candy. He has eaten all of them and nibbles off the buds when they appear. I know that they are not toxic, so that is not a concern. I also am aware that the obvious option is to find another place for the plants, but unfortunately where they are is the best light source for them and they are too heavy to hang from the ceiling, and that might not stop him.

Does anyone have any experience of successfully using some sort of deterrent, such as bitter apple for this type of situation? or some other successful remedy?

Thanks for your help.

By Barbara

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August 17, 20120 found this helpful

I don't have an answer, but wanted to tell you that your cat is beautiful!

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August 20, 20120 found this helpful

Your cat is so cute! I have cats that eat every flower and plant that comes into my home! Even catus plants! I have decided that I would rather have my purry, furry buddies than a "no personality" plant! I suggest finding a new home for your violets and growing some catnip for your forever friend.

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November 3, 20160 found this helpful

I don't really think it needs to come down to pets or plants. You can have both as long as the plants are safe for the animals, and you use deterrent/training techniques. There are so many creative solutions in the web, one is bound to work for you. It took me a few weeks but I finally found that a simple dawn solution misted on the plants and some large rocks in the potters keep all three of my felines at bay. Keep persisting and always offer alternatives such as cat-friendly grass and scratching trees for them to play on. Good luck :)

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By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2010

I love plants, yet have only one in my home and it is hanging. Any other plant that I keep on the counter or coffee table is always eaten by my cat. Is there something I can do to get my cat to stop eating my plants.
I have just planted my seeds indoors for my garden. I need to find a way to get the cat away from my counter tops before the seeds start to grow. Please help.

By Karyn from Ottawa, Canada

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May 1, 20100 found this helpful

Your cat is eating the plant because it's diet is lacking in something. You can buy a starter kit to grow grass for cats to eat. Your cat is apparently a strickly inside cat. Cats that have the pleasure of going out side will satisfiy this need by eating grass. Catnip growing in a pot will also give them something to eat. As long as this need is not met they will continue to eat inside plants.

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