Successful Strategies for Protecting Your Plants from Curious Cats: 19 Tried-and-Tested Tips That Really Work


Are you tired of your furry friends wreaking havoc on your beloved plants? Cats can be mischievous creatures and their love for exploring can sometimes lead to unintended consequences for your plants. But worry not, there are plenty of solutions to keep your plants safe and your feline friends happy. In this article, we will share with you 19 proven real-life tips on how to keep cats away from plants.

1. Citrus – Cats have a natural aversion to citrus fruits, so using citrus-scented products or placing citrus peels around your plants can help deter them from approaching.

2. Pepper – Just like citrus, cats dislike the smell and taste of pepper. Sprinkling pepper flakes or using a pepper spray above or near your plants can be an effective deterrent. But be cautious and avoid using too much to avoid irritating their sensitive noses and eyes.

3. Cat-friendly plants – Introduce a couple of cat-friendly plants in your home to divert their attention. Plants like catnip, cat grass, and valerian root can be a great alternative for your feline friends to play with.

4. Finding a dedicated space – Consider creating a dedicated space for your cats where they can play and relax. A cozy corner with their bed, toys, and scratching posts will give them their own territory and make them less inclined to disturb your plants.

5. Scare tactics – Motion-activated sprinklers or noise machines can startle cats and scare them away from your plants. This can be an effective method to keep them at bay without causing them any harm.

6. Unusual surfaces – Cats dislike walking on certain textures. You can cover the soil of your plants with aluminum foil or netting to create an uncomfortable surface for them to walk on.

7. Terrarium or shelves – Elevating your plants by placing them on shelves or inside terrariums can keep them out of your cat’s reach. This is especially useful if you have indoor cats.

8. Cat-proofing your planters – Invest in cat-friendly planters that are sturdy and difficult for your furry friends to knock over. Look for planters with a wide base or heavy materials like ceramic or concrete.

9. Changing their litter box location – If your cat’s litter box is near your plants, they might mistake the soil for their litter box. Moving the litter box or using a covered one can prevent this behavior.

10. Keep them engaged – Engaging your cats in play and providing them with toys can help redirect their attention away from your plants.

11. Weather protection – Some cats might be attracted to plants during cold or rainy weather. Providing them with warm and cozy spaces indoors can help prevent them from venturing out into your garden.

12. Veterinary advice – If your cat’s behavior of digging in plants persists, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinary professional. They can provide guidance on how to address the issue and ensure your cat’s safety.

13. Authoritative presence – Establish yourself as the leader of the household by using authoritative commands and body language. This can help discourage your cat from misbehaving around your plants.

14. Safe plant options – If you’re struggling to keep your cat away from plants altogether, consider opting for plants that are non-toxic and safe for cats. This way, even if they ingest some foliage, it won’t harm them.

15. Playtime with dogs – If you have a dog, engaging them in playtime near your plants can discourage cats from approaching. The movement and presence of dogs can act as a deterrent.

16. Digging alternatives – Provide your cat with a designated digging area filled with loose soil or sand. This can distract them from digging in your plants.

17. Educate yourself – Read up on various opinions and advice from veterinary professionals and fellow cat owners. Every cat is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. So, gather as much information as possible to find what’s best for your feline friend.

18. Protect outdoor plants – If you have outdoor plants in your garden, consider using cat-proofing methods like chicken wire or anti-cat spikes. This can help prevent cats from accessing and damaging your plants.

19. Keep an eye on your pets – Supervise your cats while they are near your plants. This way, you can intervene when necessary and ensure both their safety and the well-being of your plants.

Remember, the key to keeping your plants safe from curious cats is to find a balance between their natural instincts and creating a cat-friendly environment. By following these tips, you can successfully coexist with your feline friends while preserving the beauty of your plants.

31 Cat-Friendly Plants That Are Safe for Your Furry Friend

If you’re a cat lover, you know how important it is to keep your furry friend safe and happy. One way to do this is by providing them with cat-friendly plants that won’t harm them if they decide to take a nibble. Here are 31 cat-friendly plants that are safe for your furry friend:

1. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a great cat-friendly plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Cats are often deterred by the fragrance of lemon scents, so this plant is perfect for keeping them away from other plants in your garden.

2. Catnip

Of course, we can’t talk about cat-friendly plants without mentioning catnip. Catnip is a favorite among cats, and they absolutely love the smell! It’s a great way to keep your cat entertained and happy.

3. Spider Plant

The spider plant is a popular choice for cat owners because it’s non-toxic to cats. Cats love to play with the long, dangling leaves, making it a great choice for indoor greenery.

4. Boston Fern

Boston ferns are another safe option for cats. These plants are attractive and can be placed in hanging baskets or on plant stands. Just be sure to keep them out of your cat’s reach so they don’t chew on the leaves.

5. Areca Palm

The areca palm is a pet-friendly plant that adds a touch of tropical beauty to your home. It’s non-toxic to cats, so you can enjoy its lush foliage without worrying about your furry friend.

6. Money Tree

The money tree, also known as Pachira aquatica, is a popular choice for cat owners. It’s a relatively low-maintenance plant that’s safe for cats, making it a great addition to your home decor.

7. Calathea

Calathea plants are not only safe for cats, but they also add a touch of elegance to any room. These plants have beautiful and unique patterns on their leaves, making them a great statement piece.

8. Wheat Grass

Cats often eat grass to help with digestion, so having some wheat grass around can be beneficial for them. It’s a safe and nutritious option that your cat will love.

9. Mint

Mint is a great cat-friendly plant that has a strong scent that cats dislike. It can be grown in a small pot or as part of a larger herb garden. Cats tend to avoid areas with the scent of mint, so it can help keep them away from your other plants.

These are just a few examples of cat-friendly plants, but there are many more out there. It’s important to do your research and learn about the different types of plants that are safe for cats. By providing them with safe and appealing options, you can keep your furry friend happy and prevent them from getting into plants that could potentially be harmful.

How to Keep Cats Away From Plants 19 Proven Real Life Tips

Cats can be curious creatures, and sometimes their curiosity leads them to our beloved plants. However, this can be a problem because some plants are toxic to cats, and their presence around plants can also lead to damaged foliage. If you’re tired of finding your plants nibbled on or knocked over, here are 19 proven real-life tips to keep cats away from your plants.

1. Create a separate space for your plants: Dedicate a specific area or room in your home where you can keep your plants away from cats. This can be an excellent solution to avoid any interaction between your furry friend and the plants you care for.

2. Use deterrents: There are various cat deterrents available on the market that can help keep cats away from your plants. These deterrents often emit scents that cats find unpleasant, such as citrus or mint.

3. Employ motion-activated deterrents: Cats are most likely to approach plants when they’re alone. Installing motion-activated deterrents that emit a warning sound or spray of water can startle and discourage them from getting near your plants.

4. Make use of natural scents: Cats are sensitive to certain scents, including lavender, citrus, and eucalyptus. Placing cotton balls soaked in essential oils with these scents around the plant can help deter cats from approaching.

5. Remove tempting objects: Cats are naturally curious and drawn to dangling objects or anything that moves. Ensure that you remove any toys, strings, or other objects from the plant vicinity that may attract their attention.

6. Provide an alternative space: Cats love cozy and warm spots. Creating a cat-friendly area with a warm bed, blankets, and toys in a separate part of your home can divert their attention away from your plants.

7. Try using aluminum foil or double-sided tape: Cats dislike the texture and sound of aluminum foil or sticky surfaces. Placing strips of foil or double-sided tape around your plants can deter them from getting too close.

8. Opt for plants that are safe for cats: Choose cat-friendly plants that are non-toxic or have low toxicity levels. Some examples include spider plants, Boston ferns, and catnip.

9. Keep plants out of reach: Cats love to climb and explore high places. Placing your plants on high shelves or using hanging baskets can make it difficult for cats to access them.

10. Use cat-friendly barriers: Create barriers using meshes, chicken wire, or plastic grids around your plants. Cats will find it harder to reach the plants through these barriers.

11. Create noise distractions: Cats are not fans of loud noises. Using devices that emit sudden loud noises near your plants whenever cats approach can startle them and keep them away.

12. Avoid using fertilizers with scents cats are drawn to: Some fertilizers have a strong smell, which may attract cats. Choose fertilizers that are odorless or have scents that cats find unappealing.

13. Clean up any cat droppings regularly: Cats mark their territory by leaving feces, and the scent may attract them back to the same spot. Make sure to clean up any cat droppings promptly so that they don’t see your plants as their toilet.

14. Try using a sprinkle of pepper flakes: Sprinkling a small amount of pepper flakes around your plants can deter cats due to their sensitivity to the strong scent of spices.

15. Place orange peels or coffee grounds around plants: Cats are known to dislike the smell of citrus and coffee. Placing orange peels or coffee grounds around your plants can help keep cats away.

16. Use citrus-scented sprays: Cats are not fond of citrus scents. Dilute citrus juice in water and spray it on and around your plants to deter them.

17. Invest in cat repellant devices: There are specific cat repellent devices available that use ultrasonic sounds or sprays to keep cats away from your plants. These can be an effective way to discourage cat activity.

18. Train your cat to stay away: It’s possible to train your cat to stay away from your plants using positive reinforcement techniques. Reward your cat when they avoid the plants, and redirect their attention to acceptable alternatives.

19. Consult with a veterinarian: If you’ve tried various methods and are still struggling to keep your cat away from plants, consider consulting with a veterinarian. They may provide additional advice or suggest alternative solutions based on your cat’s specific behaviors.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.