Source: Express (Extract)
Posted: January 21, 2024

Cats are naturally curious creatures that love to explore, and there is an easy and safe way to keep them from destroying your houseplants.

Nothing is worse than spending lots of time taking care of a beloved houseplant only for your cat to knock it over or begin nibbling on it.

Even more concerning, a lot of houseplants can be very toxic to cats so keeping them away from your indoor flowers and plants is also a safety issue.

However, you can keep your mischievous felines from tearing up your houseplants for good according to Albert, a cat trainer and founder of Outdoor Bengal who has come up with a simple remedy to keep misbehaving cats away from plants.

In a blog post, Albert said: “Cats have the annoying habit of chewing houseplants. Oh, and they won’t go for that orchid that hasn’t given you flowers in 4 years, no, if you shelled out big bucks for a Variegated Monstera, I bet they are going to shred that one down into pieces instead.”

One way to keep cats away from your houseplants is using a homemade deterrent spray, which you can spray on plants to naturally repel them.

Albery said: “A very cheap and effective homemade formula can be done with ingredients you probably already have at home right now. Water and vinegar. Cats despise the smell, and it doesn’t hurt your plant!”

Homemade solution to keep cats away from houseplants

You will need:

  • An empty spray bottle
  • Half Water
  • Half Vinegar

Cats have a strong sense of smell and are very sensitive to certain scents, which is why using a homemade spray will keep them away from plants. Simply spray the solution on your plants and it should keep them away from them for good.

Using other natural homemade detergents

For a more expensive solution, Albert has said you can also use a drop of lemongrass, lavender or peppermint essential oil in your homemade spray as cats naturally hate those smells, but Albert has warned to be very cautious of using essential oils around your pets.

Albert said: “Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils.

“Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (i.e. 100%), the greater the risk to the cat. A single Drop diluted in water does the trick with minimal to no risk to the cat, but it’s best to be careful.”

A very popular natural cat detergent online is using cayenne pepper, and most animals will dislike the spicy scent and taste. However, it is highly recommended to never use anything spicy as a pest detergent as it can be cruel and hurt the animal.

Albert explained: “Using spicy cayenne pepper is also a commonly recommended option but it might hurt your cat if it gets in their eyes and they try to clean it, causing self-harm.”

If your cat keeps harassing your houseplants

If cats continue to harass your houseplants, then Albert has suggested there might be a reason behind your cat’s plant-damaging behaviour.

Albert said: “Behind almost any cat misbehaviour there’s either a health issue, hunger, lack of attention, or lack of exercise.”

He added: “If what your cat is looking for is attention or killing boredom, I highly encourage you to spend more time with your cat. 2 or 3 good play sessions a day should suffice.

“Leaving some toys out can also do the trick if we can’t be available for them. If you do this, rotate the toys so that your cat doesn’t grow bored of them. If the toys become too familiar, they will ignore them.”

However, if cats continue to eat away at plants, it could be a sign of a health issue in the cat such as dental problems, digestive issues or stress.

Albert said: “While it is fairly common for cats to nibble on plants, it is important to be aware that this behaviour can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue. If your cat consistently chews on plants, it is a good idea to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up.”