How to Keep Cats Away from Houseplants: A Comprehensive Guide

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Houseplants are a great way to beautify your home and purify the air, but they can also be a source of frustration for cat owners. Cats love to nibble on leaves and dig in the dirt, which can be harmful to both the plant and the feline. So, how can you keep your furry friend from destroying your precious greenery?

In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to keep your cats away from houseplants. From understanding why cats are drawn to plants to implementing effective deterrents, we’ve got you covered.

Why Do Cats Like Houseplants?

Cats are natural hunters and curious creatures, and houseplants are enticing to them for several reasons. Some cats are attracted to the texture of leaves, while others are drawn to the smell of the soil. In addition, plants provide a source of entertainment and stimulation, especially for indoor cats.

However, not all plants are safe for cats. Some common houseplants such as lilies and pothos are toxic to cats and can cause serious health issues. Therefore, it’s important to keep cats away from plants both for the safety of the plant and the health of the cat.

Effective Ways to Keep Cats Away from Houseplants

Here are some practical and effective ways to keep your cats away from houseplants:

1. Restrict Access to Houseplants

One of the easiest ways to keep your cats away from houseplants is to limit their access. You can place plants on high shelves or use hanging baskets so that they are out of reach. Another option is to place the plants in a separate room with a door that can be closed.

2. Use Repellents

There are several natural repellents that you can use to keep cats away from houseplants. Citrus peels, such as orange or lemon, can be placed around the base of the plant to deter cats. You can also use diluted vinegar or essential oils (such as peppermint or eucalyptus) to create a spray. However, be sure to test the spray on a small area of the plant first to ensure it doesn’t harm the plant.

3. Cover the Soil

Cats are notorious for digging in soil, which can damage the plant and cause a mess. One way to keep cats away from the soil is to cover it with rocks or pinecones. Alternatively, you can use aluminum foil or double-sided tape to cover the soil surface.

4. Provide Alternative Entertainment

Cats are more likely to leave houseplants alone if they have other sources of entertainment. You can provide your cat with toys, scratching posts, or a cat-friendly garden outside. These distractions will not only keep your cat entertained but also improve their overall well-being.

Concluding Thoughts

As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for your furry friend. By implementing the above-mentioned strategies, you can keep cats away from houseplants and promote a healthy coexistence between them. Remember, cats are intelligent creatures, and it may take some trial and error to find the most effective solution for your pet.


1. Are there any plants that are safe for cats?

Yes, there are several cat-friendly plants that you can keep in your home. These include spider plants, Boston ferns, and African violets. However, be sure to research a plant’s toxicity before bringing it into your home.

2. Can I use mothballs to deter cats?

No, mothballs are toxic to cats and should never be used as a deterrent.

3. Will a spray bottle of water keep cats away from houseplants?

While a spray bottle of water can deter cats temporarily, it is not a long-term solution. Cats are smart and will quickly realize that the spray bottle only works when you are present.

4. Are there commercial products that can keep cats away from houseplants?

Yes, there are several commercial products such as motion-activated sprays and citronella plant collars that can be effective in keeping cats away from houseplants. However, it’s always important to read product labels carefully and research any potential side effects or harm to the plant.


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