How To Keep Cats Out Of Houseplant Dirt

You’re not the only one who has a digger making a mess near your plant. Keep in mind that a cat’s natural instinct is to dig.

If you’ve ever noticed your cat burying their waste, it’s because they want to mask the aroma from potential predators and prey. Your indoor cat may not have to worry about either of those things, but you aren’t going to change instincts that have existed for thousands of years!

There are some ways to alter this undesirable behavior if they are merely digging (as opposed to utilizing it as their litter box, which you may learn more about below).

Make the Soil Unappealing to Your Cat

Citrus is not a favorite food of cats, as was already noted. Therefore, you may easily spray the soil with a citrus solution (diluted lemon, lime, or orange in water) just as you would leaves or fronds.

To prevent them from digging, lay down a piece of burlap or landscaping cloth that has been citrus-scented. In addition to keeping your cat away from your favorite plants, your house also smells wonderful! Slices of the rind can be be scattered throughout the pot as another alternative.

Cover Your Soil From Your Cat

If you don’t want to use citrus, you can also cover the soil with aluminum foil. This can be an effective deterrent because cats dislike the sound and feel of aluminum foil on their paws. If you’re having difficulties keeping your cat away from your Christmas tree during the holidays, you can also use foil.

However, I like to use little decorative rocks because I don’t think aluminum foil is particularly beautiful. Change to a slightly larger, heavier stone if you notice they are batting the smaller ones around. And think about how much beautiful your plant will seem aesthetically if there are some stones at the base.

Why is My Cat Using a Planter as a Litter Box?

The reason your cat is utilizing a planter as a litter box is not difficult to find. There are typically two causes, one of which is probably related to the cat litter box you purchased.

It’s Natural for Cats to Dig & Do Their Doody

Cats naturally enjoy digging, as previously said, especially in cold, soft earth. This is why your cats (if they are outdoor cats) or feral cats in the vicinity may leave unexpected surprises in your outside planters.

What better place for them to go than your magnificent flower garden? The methods mentioned above can be used to make your planters unattractive. But if your cat is using your indoor plants as a litter box, it can be because of typical setup and upkeep errors.

Set Your Cat Up for Litter Box Success

For more information on how to get your cat ready for litter box success, check out our fantastic Litter Box 101 article series. When trying to figure out why your cat is urinating in undesirable places, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Again, it’s critical to first confirm that your cat does not have any underlying medical issues that could be causing unwelcome messes throughout the house. If your cat’s litter box habits alter, you should always consult your veterinarian. After checking out any medical conditions, it is likely that your cat is not content with their current litter box situation.

  • Cats enjoy having a tidy litter box. How many times have we all neglected to wipe out the litter box, even though it should go without saying? Or perhaps we asked our children to take the daily scoop but they forgot? It happens, but if you don’t frequently clean your cat’s litter box, they can decide to relieve themselves somewhere else. Every day, you should clean the litter boxes. You may have also noted that I used the plural form of “boxes” to refer to the interior of your home.
  • You require one more box than there are cats. The amount of litter boxes you need should be one greater than the number of cats you have at home. One cat therefore requires two litter boxes. Three boxes are comparable to two cats, and so on.

Put a litter box on each floor of your home if it has numerous levels. Imagine sharing a little box with someone else—I don’t know any people who enjoy having just one bathroom at home! Sorry, no thanks.

Why don’t cats play in the dirt?

Cats favor gardens with sand or soft, dry dirt. Anything sharp or bristly will serve as a deterrent. Pine cones are a few items that people have utilized in or on dirt.

How can you prevent cats from peeing in planters?

Because they are drawn to dirt naturally, cats will first try using your potted plants as a place to poop or pee.

You can use some kind of barrier or deterrent to prevent cats from urinating on your potted plants.

In addition to teaching your cat to relieve itself outside or in a litter box, you can cover it with stones, use chicken wire, cat repellant spray, and a motion detector noise distraction.

What can I use as a plant spray to deter cats?

I recently saw an article in a magazine that suggested using tomato cages behind bird feeders to deter cats. It made me remember how frequently homeowners contact me for advice on how to prevent their cats from destroying their indoor plants. Here are some ideas I have.

1. Place an orange peel on top of the soil because cats detest the scent of citrus.

2. To prevent cats from digging in the soil around your plants, use mulch made of gravel or stones.

3. Use a homemade solution of water, a few drops of Tabasco sauce, and some cayenne pepper to mist plant leaves.

4. Cats dislike being damp. If your cat approaches restricted areas, have a loaded spray bottle close to your plants so you can quickly spritz it.

5. Attach balloons with tape to your plant pots’ sides.

Your cat will be scared away and taught to stay away from your plants by the sound of a balloon popping.

6. Provide your cat with a lot of toys to play with so it won’t become bored while left inside by itself.

7. Plant scent-neutral plants like rosemary, mint, lavender, and citrus that cats find repulsive.

Of course, cats being cats, some of these ideas may work while others will only serve to embolden them in their intimidating and destructive behavior against your prized houseplants. A visit to a pricy cat psychologist might be necessary.

Aloe (Aloe vera), amaryllis (Amaryllis), asparagus fern (Asparagus sprengeri), avocado (Persea americana), dumb cane (Dieffenbachia), elephant ear (Caladium), kalanchoe (Kalanchoe), peace lily (Spathiphyllum), and swiss cheese plant are some common houseplants that are either poisonous or can cause allergic reactions in cats (Monstera deliciosa). Check out the ASPCA website for a comprehensive list.

Whether or not coffee grounds deter cats

It makes sense that people adore their pet cats. However, if you adore your garden, you might not be too happy with the neighborhood moggies utilizing your carefully maintained garden as a public cat-comfort.

Cats are naturally inquisitive and like exploring new areas. They go looking for food, looking for places to snuggle up, looking for prey, looking for a partner, or maybe even looking for a new home. They are excellent climbers, and a healthy cat can jump around six times its length in a single leap because to their powerful hind muscles. What practical steps can you take to keep cats out of your garden then? Here are some cat deterrence, repellant, and distraction methods that work well and are affordable.

Scent-Based Cat Deterrents

Cats are exceptionally good at smelling. They have 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses, compared to 5 million in humans. Cats use their sharp noses to detect and recognize signs made by other cats as they mark their territory with pee and feces. They may also pick up pheromones that are emitted nearby when a female cat is in heat and ready to mate.

It is not unexpected that extremely strong odors might distract and even bother cats given their keen sense of smell. Here are a few homemade, low-cost cat repellant methods that have been effective for many individuals.

Vinegar Spray

Vinegar spray is simple to manufacture at home by combining white vinegar and water. It has been proven to be quite helpful in numerous scenarios. Additionally, it works well to deter birds and other animals in addition to cats. Simply combine your vinegar mixture in a spray bottle, fill it with water, and spray it all over the places where cats tend to mark their territory. Make sure to revisit the busiest locations multiple times and reapply every few days or as soon as it rains.

Citronella Spray

Although it is made from grasses, citronella oil has a lemony scent. It is well-known and highly regarded for its efficiency as an animal and insect repellant. Add around 30 drops of citronella to a cup of water, mix well, then use a spray bottle to administer for an efficient citronella spray. The amazing thing about citronella is that it persists long after it rains and has a wonderful scent.

Coffee Grounds

Cats may not venture into your garden if there is a strong coffee odor there. Simply scatter your freshly ground, moist coffee grounds around your flowerbeds, borders, and other areas where you want to deter cat attention. Additionally, because the coffee grounds are completely biodegradable, they will break down and improve your soil.

Garlic, Lavender, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Pepper and Lemon

Due to its potent odor, garlic is well renowned for being an effective animal deterrent. It creates a powerful aroma-based repellant that is completely safe to spray on plants when combined with other potent-smelling, natural substances like lavendar or pepper.

Distract with Alternatives

Cats are creatures of habit, thus you might be suffering as a result of your vegetable garden being repeatedly used by cats as a cat convenience. This might be a result of neighborhood cats or even your own pet cat, who prefers to relieve itself in the same location in your garden each time they visit.

Creating a designated place in your garden that cats prefer to utilize is an efficient strategy. You may make a quiet spot of the garden far more inviting than your food plot by turning the soil there and planting some catnip. Cats enjoy using freshly churned soil as a kittie-litter, so why not give them what they want in a hidden spot away from your prized plants and vegetables? Gardeners are aware of this fact. This is especially relevant to gardeners who own cats as pets.

Part-filled Water Bottles

Many gardeners claim that an inexpensive and simple method with used, transparent plastic, 2-liter water bottles works well. Place each bottle on its side amid the flowers and plants after adding a tiny amount of water to each one (approximately a fourth full).

Cats may flee if they are startled or scared by sunlight reflecting off the water’s surface. While many people who have tried this method have found success, some people claim that their troublesome moggies simply disregard the water bottles and continue to irritate them.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Animal agitation devices use sonic pulses that travel at frequencies exceeding human hearing range. The sound waves are absolutely harmless to humans, however they can irritate animals. There are available ultrasonic cat repellant devices that are activated by nearby movement; these can be installed around the perimeter of the garden or close to neighbors’ properties where cats are kept as pets. If you own pets, avoid using ultrasonic animal repellents because the noise will likely frighten them away.

Cat Repelling Plants

It is not unexpected that there are numerous plants that can be used as efficient cat repellents given that cats react to potent odors. And it makes sense to think of a plant-based remedy as we are thinking about how to prevent cats from being a nuisance in the garden.

Strong-smelling rue, also known as herb of grace, is frequently grown as an attractive plant. It is used in Greece and other Mediterranean nations as a traditional food flavoring.

Eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, and lavender are among plants that have a reputation for repelling our feline companions. A highly successful strategy is to put up a border of cat-repelling plants between your garden and any nearby cats.

Anti Cat Spikes

If you have a problem with moggies invading your garden, you’ve definitely witnessed them expertly navigating the tightest ledges and fence peaks. Cats are daring climbers with exceptional balance. But as was mentioned, they are also creatures of habit. So, if you are aware of the routes taken by the feline trespassers into your garden, you can take some practical precautions to keep them out.

A completely safe technique to prevent these furry intruders from accessing your garden through boundary fencing is to use anti cat fence spikes. The tops of fences, walls, or ledges can be swiftly and simply affixed using pre-formed plastic security spikes. Cats find it extremely uncomfortable and challenging to move over the protected fence top since there isn’t enough space between the spikes for their paws. They consequently make a U-turn and return the way they came.

These fence-top spikes work well to keep your own pet cats within your home, preventing them from bothering your neighbors, in addition to keeping stray cats out of your garden.