How To Keep Cats Off Houseplants

Houseplants can also be made cat-proof by giving off an unpleasant odor. Houseplant leaves with cayenne pepper sprinkled on them will cause your cat to swiftly retreat. Citrus smells are also repulsive to cats. To help keep pests away, mix orange and lemon peels with your plants in the pots. Another choice is to directly mist the foliage with orange or lemon oil that has been diluted. IMPORTANT: Citrus oil extracts, such as those used in insecticide sprays, dips, shampoos, insect repellents, food additives, and scents, are poisonous to cats and should be avoided.

Many cat owners who have issues with their cats using plants as litter boxes may buy plants with unpleasant textures so that cats will reconsider their potty habits.

To avoid digging, you can also cover the soil near the bases of the plants with some large pebbles or stones. Cat deterrents could be used around the planter, such as pinecones or aluminum foil. Another choice is to use mesh, chicken wire, or any other permeable material to cover the plant’s base.

Don’t give up if you’re still having trouble keeping your cats away from your plants. There are still some other choices.

  • To keep cats out, create a plant room and seal the door. For this, sunrooms are ideal, but sunny bedrooms or baths will do.
  • Use wire shelving units to enclose the plants. Although this will help safeguard the plants, very daring cats might still find a way to get their paws inside.
  • Why not offer the cat some safe plants as a sort of sacrifice in addition to concentrating on indoor plants cats avoid? Cats adore lemon balm and catnip. Place a few in sturdy plastic pots and scatter the sacrifice plants around the home, keeping them away from your other plants. This will keep your annoying cat busy and could prevent damage to some of your other plants.

How can indoor potted plants be protected from cats?

There are various ways to make your plants less interesting to your cat if you’re not ready to dedicate one to your feline friend or are simply sick of attempting to save the dead plants.

Top Tips to Keep Your Cat Away from Plants

Make your plant unattractive in #1. Anything citrus-flavored is strongly disliked by cats. To deter any cat invasion, you can spray the leaves of your plant with lemon, lime, or orange juice diluted with water.

Bodhi Dog produces a Bitter Lemon Spray if you don’t feel like making your own concoction. You don’t have to bother about using and cleaning out a regular plastic spray bottle, which is something I’ve found to work extremely well. If your cat determines the fragrance is insufficient to deter them, the taste usually works. They don’t want to go back because of that terrible taste.

2. Make Your Plant Impossible to Reach. You can strategically place your houseplants in a number of locations to prevent any maltreatment. It’s crucial to comprehend your cat and their capabilities whether you hang them or place them on a shelf high enough that even the best leaper can’t reach them.

Think beyond the box and use a huge dome birdcage, a terrarium, or an old fish tank as a planter. Although they are a bit pricy, they are a terrific way to protect your plants and give the space some elegance.

Safety Reminder: Lilies are poisonous to cats, therefore keeping one on a shelf far from your cat does not guarantee their safety. Even small exposures, like when flying pollen gets on their fur and they groom it off, might have lethal consequences.

3. Give your cat a plant of their own. Providing your cat with its own cat grass or indoor cat garden is another technique to divert their focus away from your plants. Usually, the seeds for these kinds of grass are made of wheat, barley, or rye.

Even if this is a safe alternative, you should still keep an eye on how much they are consuming. We urge you to discuss any dietary questions you may have with your vet to see if they endorse cat grass as a secure substitute for your cat.

4. Teach your cats to stay away from your plant. As with dogs, cats can be trained. You can educate your cat to do almost anything you desire, but it does require time, patience, and consistency. Others may leash train their cat so they can spend more time outside, while other people train their cats to perform tricks. With the correct reward, you may teach your cat to stay away from your plants and reroute them to behave differently.

When teaching your cat something new, Feline Behavior Solutions’ Dr. Marci Koski advises looking for their motivation. “Treats are very simple because they don’t require much time to administer if they are little and easily consumed. This allows you to continue the training process and repeat steps repeatedly. It’s love and admiration for some kitties.”

Pet Greens Cat Craves is one choice that I’ve discovered my cats adore. Additionally, these snacks contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids, have meat as the first ingredient, and have recognized ingredients.

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Pro tip: You might want to think about using adhesive putty for the bottom of your planter if your cat’s mischievous behavior only results in your plants ending up on the floor. It’s under the majority of our ceramics, I’m sure (kids included)! The fact that sticky putty may be used again, is non-toxic, and doesn’t dry out is its best feature.

How can houseplants be protected against cats’ nibbling?

Spring has here, and for many homeowners, this is the season when they decorate their houses with blooming flowers and lush green plants.

Sadly, if you have a cat, they may be especially tempted to eat these plants when you’re not home. While some may be safe for your pet, others could put him or her at risk of poisoning or a variety of other feline health issues. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can employ to stop your cat from eating your houseplants and incorporate these design suggestions for a cat-friendly home.

Utilize chili powder.

Sprinkle some chili powder on the leaves of a non-toxic plant in your home if your cat won’t leave it alone and you want to deter this behavior. You’ll soon discover that your cat will completely shun the plant if you just lightly coat it with the spice. In the weeks after applying the chili powder, be sure to water your plants from the bottom to avoid the spice from washing off. Last but not least, you may also wrap aluminum foil around your potted plants to discourage cats from stepping on them in the future.


To prevent your cats from approaching too closely, try wrapping orange or lemon peels around the top of your pots. To deter them, you can also spread orange, apple, or grapefruit rinds inside of your potted plants.

Coffee Grounds, Sawdust, and Pine Needles

Additionally, the fragrance of coffee grounds repulses cats. To deter cats, scatter used coffee grounds at the base of your plants.

Pine needles are another excellent choice because they provide a natural appearance for decoration and frequently stop cats from destroying your plants.

To deter cats from visiting your outside compost, try adding some sawdust at the base of your pots.

Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub, which is composed of eucalyptus and camphor oils, is a fantastic natural insect repellent. In fact, my grandma swore by this old strategy to keep cats away from her potted plants.

Cat Repellent Sprays

There are more traditional methods of keeping cats away if you don’t want to go the natural route.

It’s a two-in-one solution that you can use to clean your home, and cats don’t like the orange-coconut aroma it left behind.

Your cats will keep away if you clean the outside of your plant pots with your preferred household cleaner.

Avoid Cayenne, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes and Cinnamon

Cats are poisoned by cayenne pepper, black pepper, and cinnamon oil. Therefore, if you want to have your cats around for a longer period of time, it is best to avoid these.

If your cat chooses to stroll on top of these spices while being unaffected by them, they risk damaging their eyes if they rub them with their paws.

Does cinnamon prevent cats from visiting plants?

Why should you worry what odors cats dislike? There are useful uses for knowing which odors cats dislike in the real world. For instance, you might want to know which odorous plants could deter cats from entering your garden if you’re trying to do so. Additionally, if your cat is causing trouble with your furniture, decorations, or even your Christmas tree, you might try spritzing the troublesome area with an odor that will make him uncomfortable.

There are, of course, always exceptions. Although many cats loathe these smells, not all cats do. While some of these smells can be used as essential oils, we don’t advise doing so to keep your cat out of particular rooms. Why? since it is well known that many essential oils are hazardous to cats.

Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that cats dislike citrus scents. You can take advantage of this by scattering orange peels across your yard to deter cats or spritzing a citrus-scented fragrance on interior fabric that you don’t want your cat to rip up. Cats can eat citrus fruits, however the majority of them won’t likely be interested. However, the skins and plant matter may make cats throw up, have diarrhea, or develop dermatitis.

Lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus

You can also try this as a deterrent for cats. Some gardeners use lavender plants to prevent deer. Cats don’t appreciate the smell that geranium and eucalyptus plants emit. Remember that cats can be relatively poisonous to lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus; ingesting them might result in excessive salivation, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, sadness, or dermatitis.

Rosemary, thyme, and rue

Certain common plants, such as rosemary, rue, and thyme, are undoubtedly repulsive to cats. Thyme and rosemary are normally safe for cats, while rue can have an adverse effect (as it can in humans, as well).

Banana and mustard

Although cats can eat mustard and banana (seems like a good combo, doesn’t it? ), they definitely won’t want to. Cats don’t like the different smells that these typical kitchen items emit.

Pepper, curry, and cinnamon

Strong spicy scents like cinnamon, curry, and pepper also frequently deter cats. However, as this could potentially damage the cats, we do not advise using cayenne pepper or other pepper flakes to keep cats out of the garden. Cats are not poisoned by cinnamon.

Mint, wintergreen, and menthol

Cats also dislike the smell of strong minty aromas like wintergreen and menthol. This may be the case for good reason since cats who consume mint and its cousins may vomit and have diarrhea.

Is vinegar safe to spray on houseplants?

According to the Alley Cat Allies website, white vinegar has a potent, repulsive smell and taste that can effectively keep cats away from sections of your home that you don’t want them to enter. Despite being harmless to humans and cats, vinegar is deadly to plants due to its 5% acetic acid content. According to the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, spraying vinegar on houseplant leaves will damage their cell membranes. As a result, the leaves are destroyed, and if the vinegar seeps into the plant’s soil, it will kill it by drying up the roots.

Cayenne pepper: Does it harm houseplants?

A form of capsicum used to flavor food is cayenne pepper. The red veggie has an eight-fold higher heat level than red chilies.

Because of its heat, it forms a superb defense against garden enemies who would undo your efforts. To make a repellant, you can use it in liquid, powdered, or crushed form; each is equally effective.

NO is the answer! Cayenne pepper doesn’t have any known adverse effects. The non-toxic cayenne pepper won’t harm your plants or burn them.

It actually functions as a natural insecticide and pesticide to ward off pests like spider mites and lace bugs as well as to prevent animals like squirrels from consuming edible plant sections.

Can I use lemon juice as a plant spray?

Lemon juice serves as a natural deterrent since pets dislike the smell of citrus despite the fact that it is healthy for them to consume. (Plants are completely safe as well.) Instead of spraying your plant, Fulcher advises, “consider putting orange and lemon peels in the container with the plant,” since their aroma may also deter pests. Additionally, Fulcher adds, “using peels has the added bonus of being excellent for your plants by delivering nutrients.”