Indoor plants

Deterring cats with houseplants: Protecting houseplants from cats

Houseplants and cats: sometimes the two don’t mix! Felines are inherently curious, which means that protecting houseplants from cats can be a big challenge. Below are some useful tips for protecting cat houseplants, as well as a list of houseplants that cats (probably!) leave alone.

Protecting indoor plants from cats

Protecting houseplants from cats is largely a matter of trial and error, and the following tips may or may not work for you and your kitten. However, it’s worth a try, and you might just succeed!

Pieces of citrus peel on the soil surface are often effective in deterring cats from attacking houseplants. Most cats are not crazy about the smell of citrus.

Place a few large stones in pots with the rough edges facing up. Rocks add interest and help keep moisture in the soil, but kittens don’t like the rough feeling in their paws. If you don’t have rocks in your garden, look for a hobby shop or aquarium store. Other ideas include oyster shells or pieces of broken clay pots.

Cut a piece of wire mesh or hardware fabric slightly smaller than the diameter of the container. Cover the wire with a thin layer of potting soil covered with coloured stones or pea gravel.

Houseplants are a deterrent, especially pine cones nestled in the upper soil. Cats generally don’t like the feel or smell.

Give your kitten her own pot of catnip or mint. The cat may be so delighted that she’ll leave her other plants alone. Cats also like barley, oats or wheatgrass (the downside is that this may simply signal to your kitten that eating plants is acceptable).

Play with your kitten every day. Provide scratching posts and a variety of toys to stimulate your kitten and avoid boredom, which is one of the reasons houseplants are so attractive.

Purchase a cat house plant deterrent spray at your local pet store. Bitter apple tends to be very effective.

Indoor plants Cats will go away on their own

In most cases, cats tend to avoid the following plants:

Rosemary – Most cats hate it, but cats are unpredictable. Some may like it.

Coleus canina – This attractive plant, also known as a scary cat plant, can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Lemon balm – Cats don’t like the citrus aroma and rough texture of the foliage.

Curry plant ( Helichrysum italicum ) – Do not confuse this herb with real curry ( Murraya koenigii ).

Geraniums – The aroma and coarse texture of the leaves can keep cats away.

Cacti, miniature roses and other thorny plants also seem to deter cats.

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