Despite being predominantly carnivores, cats will occasionally nibble on plants in the wild, either for the added nutrients or fiber they provide, or possibly just because they enjoy the flavor. We’re not entirely certain. But they seem to prefer fresh, delicate vegetation.
Cats will occasionally consume houseplants in the home either out of boredom or because they are drawn to the leaves fluttering in the air currents.
How can I prevent my cat from destroying my indoor plants?
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.
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.
What occurs when cats consume indoor plants?
I have a strong desire to inform cat owners about the risks that indoor plants pose to cats. This is due to the fact that a cat I gave to my own sister many years ago passed away from acute kidney failure after ingesting potentially lethal Asiatic lilies from a bouquet.
I’ll admit that I have at least 10 houseplants in my home, but I want you to be aware of which ones. Just be aware of which situations could be harmful to cats because some are quite secure. When consumed by cats, the majority of plants can result in drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea but not death. [Editor’s note: If you think your cat may have consumed something strange, it’s a good idea to call your veterinarian right away. Are you also a dog parent? Look at Poisonous Animals and Plants.]
Why eats my cat plants, you ask? Personally, I think cats are pining for a different texture or the taste of fiber. Remember that cats are true carnivores and that their sole real dietary requirement is meat. (Cats should never be turned vegetarians since the lack of essential amino acids might be fatal.) If your cat enjoys chewing on plants, I suggest planting cat grass specifically for them (it’s frequently available in pet stores); it’s fairly safe, but when ingested, it can cause vomiting.
Which plants pose the greatest risk to my cat? The Lilium or Hemerocallis species of true lilies are extremely poisonous. The following are examples of some of these lilies:
Why do cats enjoy consuming indoor plants?
If so, you might be curious as to why your cat enjoys eating plants. Actually, cats are inclined to chew on plants naturally and frequently.
Being cat owners, it is occasionally really weird to observe our cat’s behavior! One such habit is cat plant chewing! Despite being primarily carnivores, cats occasionally consume plants or grass for a variety of reasons. One explanation for why indoor cats nibble, chew, or consume plants and grass is that they exhibit the same behavior in the wild. These felines are thought to receive the nutrients and fiber they require in this way. Your pet cat may occasionally nibble on houseplants in your home if it is bored or if it notices the plant’s leaves fluttering in the breeze blowing in through the window.
Cat researchers and doctors also strongly believe that cats consume plant materials because they may be suffering from gastrointestinal disorders. Food allergies, nausea, inflammatory bowel illness, and eating grass could all be symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions. Like human newborns, cats, especially young ones, enjoy placing anything they see in their mouths because they are intrigued about it and want to taste it. Among them are plants! Cats frequently consume, lick, nibble, or chew on plants merely for the taste. However, keep in mind that many indoor plants and some outdoor plants aren’t exactly cat-friendly and can be quite harmful or hazardous to their health if consumed.
Pet cats should be taken to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible if you see any signs of pain in them.
Which plants are cat-unfriendly?
Cats digging in your garden can be an annoyance and a major health danger (since some cat feces contain toxoplasmosis, which can spread). It might even be your pet! (Image courtesy of Felicia D’Ascano on Unsplash)
Neighbourhood kitties digging in your garden can be a nuisance. Maybe it’s even your own cat!
- Carnivores include cats. Their feces may carry infections or parasites that aren’t found in the dung of herbivores. The majority of us intend to eat the food we cultivate, therefore this is alarming! (The same holds true for dog waste.)
- Every year, over 140 million (birds and small animals) are killed by stray domestic cats. And if you’re doing it right, your garden and yard are made to draw wild birds as well as pollinators like hummingbirds.
- Neighborhood relationships may be strained by roaming cats.
To prevent cats from entering your beloved vegetable beds and eating the food you raise, use these solutions:
Prickly is best
Cats will steer clear of spiky areas and prefer to walk on soft, loose soil. Create a less appealing or litter-like atmosphere in your garden beds. Try these straightforward, inexpensive remedies for prickly problems:
- Twigs should be used to cover cat-friendly garden soil until your spring plants are well-established. They should be spaced a few inches apart all over the bed. Bear in mind that twig bundles aid wild bees!
- Push thorny yard trimmings, such as pine cones or fall leaves, into the soil around your plants. Other choices include recycled plastic carpet runners with the nub side up, stone mulch, eggshells, holly cuttings, and so forth.
- Use wooden chopsticks to repurpose as garden stakes! Try different spacings. The goal is to space them out so that it will be difficult for the cat to turn around.
- Over the earth, place chicken wire or plastic fencing pieces. (Many plants will increase as a result of this!) Lattice pieces on the ground can also be effective.
- By laying out onion or potato mesh produce bags in the garden and securing them with twigs or posts, you can recycle them. If required, widen the opening around your developing plants. Keep a watch on any plastic items you put to the garden to prevent wind from carrying them away and making them litter.
Use scent to keep the cats away
- Rue, lavender, pennyroyal, Coleus canina, and lemon thyme are all pungent to cats. These should be scattered around the garden. (Planting new plants can draw pollinators and other helpful insects.)
Do cats consume plants to vomit?
A cat frequently throws up shortly after eating some grass or another plant. So, it does seem like a reasonable inference to make that my cat needed to vomit due to nausea.
Indoor, outdoor, and transitional cats will all occasionally eat plants. Although cats often prefer grass, they will eat any plant, even indoor plants, as cat owners will attest to.
According to conventional knowledge, cats consume plants because they are ill. They might even assert that cats eat grass because they’re ill because many cats appear to love it.
It’s true that a lot of cats will munch on grass when they can. Wild or feral cats will typically eat grass every day. It’s possible that cats only have this option when they consume other plants.
Why would a sick cat consume plants or grass? Is your cat a novice herbalist who is knowledgeable about the plants that will heal her ailments? The theory is frequently that when cats have stomach upset, they feel the desire to vomit and know that plants would induce vomiting, making them feel better, thus they look for the nearest vegetation.
Emetic Effect: Causing Vomiting
Even non-toxic plants can produce emesis (causing vomiting). Your knowledge of cats’ “hairball coughing” is extensive. Additionally, you are aware that they are being vomited up rather than being coughed up. It’s possible that cats are drawn to roughage by nature in order to help their stomachs get rid of fur balls. The fiber might also aid in the hairballs’ gastrointestinal transit. Only a portion of the hair your cat consumes when grooming remains in stomach balls. Some of it enters the digestive tract and exits as feces. Plants with green fibers could aid in this procedure.
Plants for Vitamins and Minerals
It’s also possible that cats are drawn to plants because they contain vitamins and minerals that they wouldn’t ordinarily find in meat. Cats do ingest creatures that only consume plants, and on occasion they will also consume some of the plant-based animal’s stomach or stool contents. This may cause cats to acquire a taste for plant matter or get nutrients from it, leading to an instinctual attraction to this sporadic food source. However, this would indicate that cats have food cravings based on nutritional requirements, which doesn’t even occur in humans (I.E. this is a myth). Furthermore, veggies are not truly necessary for a cat’s fundamental nutritional requirements.
Cats might simply enjoy the flavor and texture of occasionally eating green food. Simply put, we are unsure.
Whatever the reason, you should keep your cat away from indoor plants due to their propensity for chomping on plants. You might be curious in which houseplants are harmful to cats. Poinsettias are frequently brought up. Although there are so many popular houseplants that can hurt your cat, you are best off thinking that all houseplants are off-limits. You will also find short lists of prohibited plants, such as pilodendrons, diefenbachia, ivy, etc. Check out the ASPCA’s list of poisonous and non-toxic plants for cats if you need a full list.
Of course, you can provide your cat some non-toxic vegetation to snack on. She’ll likely appreciate it, I’m sure. Cat grass seeds and small pots of the plant are typically available for purchase at pet stores.
What is Cat Grass?
Cat grass is not a particular variety of grass. Any indoor grass that is planted for cats to consume is simply referred to by this name. Since most of the time these are young grasses and cats enjoy nibbling on fragile, new grass shoots, you can purchase a pot, let your cat nibble on it, and then get another.
Alternately, you can plant your own pot and give it to your cat when the grass sprouts up but is still young. As another post grows, the first one will be ready when your pet is finished with it. It might seem a bit excessive to grow your own grass for your cat, but these grasses develop from seed within a week, and with very little work, you’ll have a pot full of sensitive grass.
Several grass starter kits are available for growing your own cat grass. These kits include a range of seeds, including wheat, oats, barley, and rye. One example is the SmartCat Kitty’s Garden Edible Grass Planter (affiliate link). When the grass is finished, you can buy a refill to start a new batch. To get going, you might want to get two kits so that you’ll have one available after your cat is done with the first one. Expecting an eternal pot of grass to grow is unrealistic. Replanting will be necessary, although growth only takes 4 to 6 days. A pest infestation with the seeds was mentioned by one reviewer. This frequently occurs with organic materials, including seeds and soil. Although this issue is rare, you can freeze the seed for a time before planting to get rid of any bugs.
Oat grass, barley, wheatgrass, Japanese millet, and bluegrass are common grass types used to make commercial cat grass. And cats adore ryegrass. Fescue is an additional choice.
Keep in mind that some grasses are toxic to cats! Make sure the grass you are providing your cat is safe and that you know exactly what kind it is. For instance, sorghum is toxic to cats.