How to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants. Follow these simple methods to protect your plants from your furry friend and how to deal with when they do gross things in the potted plants. Best ways to stop cats from using indoor potted plants as litter.

How to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants

This can be a classic incident. You have just bought a beautiful houseplant and a few hours later, horror. Your pet has chewed more than half of the leaves of the precious orchid. They have bitten the leaves, used them as a litter box, and have also scratched the soil.

For some people, it might not be a big deal to see your furry friend messing around with the indoor plants, but for most this behavior is not tolerated. After all, a green plant adds life and character to the overall decor.

Your kitty not only will chew and destroy your indoor plants but will use their pot as litter which can give you a serious task to deal with. Read on further to find out how you can keep plants alive after all the gross things your kitty likes to do to them.

How to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants

Apart from being concerned about the fact that your plant can be toxic for your pet, you also want to keep the cat away from your indoor plants. But you need not worry as we found some efficient solutions that will prevent the cat from damaging your indoor plants.

There are many sprays and solutions on the market, but they can be toxic not only to the plant and your cat but to yourself also. Besides, there is no certainty that will work, instead, try natural methods to keep cats away from indoor plants.

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Why do cats eat indoor plants?

how to keep cats away from indoor plants
image credit Rana Sawalha unsplash

The instinctive habit of cats messing with plants can be traced back to their wild roots. Cats are naturally curious and love to explore, so they are always on the lookout for new things to investigate. They also like hunting prey that is small enough for them to catch, which is why they often like playing with plants – especially ones that have leaves or flowers on them.

There are many reasons why cats eat indoor plants and to know about it, you can go through the points mentioned below:

  • Perhaps your cat might like the smell or the taste of the plant.
  • They might like the texture of your plants.
  • The cat might be bored and is looking for some ways to entertain itself.
  • Your cat is punishing you because you have not yet refilled its food dish or because they want a new litter box.
  • If your cat is missing out on vital nutrients. The cats often eat plant soils to make up for the lack of nutrients in their body. You should therefore take it to a vet for a check-up.

Follow the tips below to keep the cats away from the indoor plants without compromising your love for the live greenery.

Make your plants unappealing

Citrus juice mix 
for keeping the cats away from 
indoor plants

Cats do not like citrus. So, you can make a juice of lemon, lime, or orange and spray it on your plant leaves to ensure that your plant is not invaded by your cat. If you want, you can get these sprays at the market and it is not necessary to prepare them at home. In case, the smell of this spray is not enough to prevent your cat from going near your indoor plant, the taste will surely do.

Make your plants inaccessible

Buy macrame plant hanging to attach on the ceiling for keeping the cats away from destroying your plants

To avoid any kind of abuse, you can put your indoor plants strategically in some place of your house. You can hang them or put them on a high shelf so that even the best leaper cannot reach them. Is necessary to understand your cat and its abilities. Be prepared to think outside the box.

Consider using a terrarium, an old fish tank for a planter, or a dome birdcage. They might be a little pricey, however, this is a great way to keep the indoor plants safe and also add some style to the room. Be careful though as lilies are toxic to the cat. So even if you keep lilies on a shelf away from your pet, they can still be unsafe.

Cover the top layer of the plant pot with a piece of jute

This option works when your cat is only using the plant pot as litter and not for chewing the plant itself. Depending on what shape is your plant pot, you can cut two pieces of jute material and place them on top of the pot covering the whole area so your cat doesn’t have access to the compost of the plant. Buy here cheap natural jute fabric.

Jute fabric is great for allowing the plant to breathe properly and for pouring water directly into the pot. This fabric works because the material has tiny holes that allow the water to drip into the plant pot.

Place plastic/fake cucumbers next to plant pots

Cats are terrified of cucumbers and no one knows exactly why

Kitties are terrified by cucumbers for some reason. This might be a bit ruthless, but if none of the options listed in this article are working this is the last resort.

Do you remember seeing that viral video of cats jumping like they were electrocuted when they saw a cucumber next to them? That’s right, they are afraid of cucumbers and some say it because cucumber looks like snakes, at least this is the answer from the ScienceFocus.

Give your cat her own plant

Give your cat her own plant
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

If you want to keep your cat’s attention away from your indoor plants, it will be good to provide them with their cat grass. Most of the time these types of grass contain barley or wheat or rye. Though this is a safe alternative, however, it will be a good idea to monitor how much are they consuming.

Talk to your cat’s veterinarian so that you get an idea about cat grass and whether they are safe for your cat or not.

Switch from traditional plant pot to botanical glass vase

Switching from traditional plant pots to botanical glass vases it might discourage your cat from destroying your plants, or at least you won’t have to clean the mess they are making by digging in the plant pot. On top of that, is a bliss seeing the roots of your plants growing in water.

Use a motion light or an ultrasonic device to discourage cats from coming near plants

If you’re a plant lover and have pesky cats that won’t seem to stay away from your potted plants, you may want to invest in an ultrasonic device. These devices give off high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear but can be heard by cats. The device gives off a noise that only the cat’s sensitive ears can hear, and they’ll soon learn not to come close to the plants.

Train your cat to leave your plants alone

Train your cat to leave your plants alone. A simple method for preventing your cat from destroying your indoor plants.
image credit Milada Vigerova unsplash

One of the best methods to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants is prevention. Try taking some time to train your cat every day to follow the orders. Using small and consumable cat treats, it will not take much longer to teach your cat some good manners. Training your cat should be consistent and perhaps a lifetime job.

Although not every kitty will obey commands or cooperate, is worth trying. Take the training as an opportunity to show your affection towards your pet.

There are also cat treats available that have meat and other known ingredients. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids. You can also put sticky putty at the bottom of the planter. The best thing about sticky putty is that they are non-toxic, can be reused, and does not dry out.

You can use mustard or pepper repellents

Mustard is an excellent repellant against cats. You simply need to dilute a few spoons of this oil in water. You can then use this mixture on the plants where your cat is creating havoc. You can then use a spray to sprinkle the repellent on the entire plant. Repeat this every 2 or 3 days.

Pepper also acts as a good repellant that helps in keeping your cats away from your favorite plants. You will first have to use pepper that is freshly ground for maximum efficiency, and then try sprinkling it on your indoor plants.

Have a room only for plants inaccessible to cats

Have a room only for plants inaccessible to cats where you can relax knowing that your plants won't be destroyed

By far the easiest method to stop your cats from destroying your indoor plants. A separate room such as a basement, loft, balcony, garden shed, or office should give you pieces of mind that your cat won’t access it as long as you keep the doors closed.

Essential oils

Essential citrus oils are by far the best solution to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants. This can be orange peel, grapefruit, lemon tangerine, or lemongrass. Is important that you use these essential oils with caution. If you use them beyond a certain limit, they can also become toxic. Dilute them with water before mixing 5 drops of lemon essential oil with 500 ml of water.

Both lavender, as well as eucalyptus oils, can also be very effective but they can also be dangerous. If your cats are eating the plants, do not spray this essential oil directly on the plants. Instead, it would be better, if you place a cotton ball that is soaked in a few drops of essential oil in a jar near the plant pot.

Wiping the plant pot with the mixture can be effective and will keep your cats away from the plants. Besides, it will also not endanger the pets since there is nothing to chew.

Consider a glass display cabinet to keep your indoor plants safe from your cat

indoor cabinet garden idea to keep cats away from destroying your plants
image source goodhousekeeping

A simple method to show some boundaries to your furry friend is to place the plants in a vertical tall cabinet. If possible, make small holes in the back of the cabinet to allow the air to circulate in and out.

A glass cabinet such as the one above will be fabulous decor for any room in the house but also be placed on the balcony, patio, or rooftop terrace. With this solution, you will be 100% sure that your fury will never reach your plants and everyone can live stress-free knowing that there will be no damage. This page is ideal for learning more about displaying indoor plants.

Coffee Grounds

Use coffee grounds to keep cats away and from destroying your indoor plants

This is quite easy to do. Moreover, coffee grounds are also excellent fertilizers for your plants. Collect the coffee grounds in a container and place them at the foot of the plants or flowerpots. Repeat this regularly, to maintain the effectiveness of the device.

Onion and garlic

To protect your indoor plants, you will simply have to rub the edge of the tubs with fresh onion that is cut in halves. But since the smell is powerful, you might avoid using this trick inside your house. It can be good for the flowers and the plants on the balcony. Garlic cloves cut in half and dipped in the plant pots might work, but then the smell spread in the house can be inconvenient for you or the other family members.

Although the garlic scent will keep the cat away from the plant, you don’t want to have your house smelling like a takeaway every single day. If the smell won’t bother you, then you can apply this method, otherwise, look into the other options we listed in this post.

Anti-cat aromatic herbs

Anti-cat aromatic herbs

Lavender, lemon thyme, and rosemary are aromatics that are easy to grow and are very effective as cat repellants. You can simply grow them in the garden beside the plants that you want to preserve.

Add lavender or dried rosemary in a spray bottle after keeping it in warm water for about 3 hours with some cinnamons. Strain the mixture and then add a bit of white vinegar to it. Hake it well. Your homemade repellant is ready to be used.

You also have the option of choosing cat-proof house plants. Several indoor plants give out a very strong odor. This odor may be music to your nose, but cats might hate it and try to avoid it. You can try planting these in between your other plants to keep these pets away.

How you can keep plants alive after all the gross things your kitty likes to do to them

Felines are known for their love of plants. Unfortunately, our furry friends don’t always have the best intentions when it comes to our indoor plants. They might ruin your plants unintentionally and you have to understand that this is their natural animal behavior. As such, you have a few options to deal with when your kitty used the plant pots as litter.

In order to keep your plant alive, you will need a few things:

The following are applying if you still allow your cat to take advantage of the plant pots and keep using them as litter:

A pot that is large enough for your plant and has drainage holes in the bottom

One potting mix with a good amount of organic material such as peat moss or coir.

A water-absorbing product such as perlite or vermiculite

Potting soil made out of a mixture of compost and sand and small stones.

Now if you want to save your plant and get rather of the old compost, you will have to remove it from the pot first. Then use a newspaper or papercraft to place the plant carefully. Grab the plant gently and shake it slowly to remove the potting mix.

Once you removed most part of the compost, place the plant in a bowl filled with water to cover the roots properly. Allow the plant to sit in the water for a few minutes until the compost is starting to melt.

When the plant sits in the water all the debrief and pee smell will be removed naturally. After you can add the plant to a new pot if you like, or depending on which plant is, you can keep it in a botanical glass vase.

how to keep cats away from your indoor plants


The methods for how to stop your cat from destroying your indoor plants listed above might or might not work. Is entirely up to you to decide. However, if you have no success with any technique that we suggested, you might consider buying artificial plants instead. They are obviously not the same as natural plants, but at least you will not have to deal with the cheekiness of your cat.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links which means I might receive a commission if you choose to purchase from my referral link at no extra cost to you.

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