Cats often dig and urinate in the earth from potted plants. They can also bite the stem or leaves, affecting the health of the plants. Several steps can be taken to keep the cat away from the plants. You can set up an obstacle to keep him away, correct his behavior, or explore some workarounds.
Method 1 of 3: Protecting the Plant with Obstacles
Step 1. Use stones or rocks
If you are not managing to keep your cat away from the plants, building a kind of barrier can be a good solution. Some cat owners like to use stones or rocks for this purpose, as it is a fun solution and also works as a kind of decoration.
- Place the stones around the base of the plant, being careful not to crush the stem or dig up the roots. The stones must be positioned in such a way that, when watering the plant, the water reaches the ground easily. The cat will not be able to dig or urinate in the soil as the stones will block access.
- You can collect large rocks if they are found in the environment where you live. Another option is to order decorative rocks or stones online if you want to decorate the plant with a particular color or type of stone.
Step 2. Block the plant with sea shells
Shells can be used as well as stones. You can line them up in the soil around the plants, creating an attractive barrier. Also, when watering the plants, the water will penetrate the shells easily. You can collect them on the beach or buy them from a physical store or online.
Step 3. Use pine cones to protect the plant
Pine cones are also a good option for protecting your cat's plants - just line them up around the plant. Like rocks or shells, they will block the animal's access to the plants, but will not prevent water from reaching the ground when the plants are watered. You can collect pine cones whenever you find them while walking down the street.
Pine cones are more fragile than shells and rocks. The cat may be able to remove them to get to the plant
Step 4. Cover the base of the plant with aluminum foil
Cats generally don't like to walk on aluminum foil as it is slippery. You can cover the soil around the plant with aluminum foil and remove it whenever you need to water the soil. This method is quite simple, but most people don't like the look of aluminum foil in a potted plant.
Step 5. Use double-sided tape
Your cat will probably not like to get sticky paws when stepping on the tape. If you don't like the look of aluminum foil around your plants, it might be a good idea to cover the ground with double-sided tape. The tape may end up removing some of the soil, but it shouldn't be enough to dig up the plant's roots. As in the case of aluminum foil, the tape can be removed when watering the land.
Some cats tend to chew or eat plastic. If you've ever seen your cat eating or chewing on plastic bags or packaging, using tape may not be a good idea, as he could get sick from ingesting it
Method 2 of 3: Exploring Alternative Solutions
Step 1. Use a citrus scent as a repellent
Some people believe that the cat doesn't like the smell of citrus fruits very much. Dip some cotton balls in lemon or orange juice and place them in the soil around the plant. It might drive the cat away. Replace the cotton balls whenever you notice that the smell is fading or the cat is approaching the plants again.
Always use the fruit juice itself instead of sprays with citrus oil extract, which is also known as limonene or linalool. The extract is found in many perfumes, insecticides and shampoos and can be toxic to the cat when ingested, so it's best to be careful
Step 2. Use substances with an unpleasant taste
If the cat tends to chew the plants, spray them with an unpleasant-tasting substance. Cats generally don't like hot sauces, aloe vera gel, cayenne pepper and bitter apple. Add one of these substances to a spray bottle and spray the liquid over the plant. Repeat the process a few times during the week. Eventually the cat will start to associate the plant with the unpleasant taste and will give up chewing it.
It might be a good idea to test just a small sheet. Observe the effect of the substance on the plant to verify that its health will not be compromised
Step 3. Scare the cat when he approaches the plant
When you notice that the cat is approaching the plant, startle it with an unpleasant noise like a bell or whistle. Another option is to put some coins in an empty jar and shake it when you see the cat approaching the plant. This method is a little more work as you'll have to keep an eye on the cat, but it can be effective if used regularly.
- You can also use a trap that is safe for the cat. Install a motion-sensing device that makes noises or blinks whenever the cat approaches, or build a tower of soda cans that will collapse if the cat approaches.
- If the cat is very scared, avoid using this method. The intention is to frighten you, but not to scare you. When overly stressed, the cat may manifest other types of unwanted behavior.
Step 4. Purchase plants for the cat
If the animal likes to chew or eat plants, it will be difficult to keep it away. It might be a good idea to buy edible plants for cats at the pet store or market. The intention is to make him chew them instead of the plants he already has at home.
- Place the cat's plants in the places in the house where he frequents the most. By placing the plants near the cat's bed or food plate, he may understand that they are for him.
- If the cat has this type of plant to chew on, it is possible that it will be less interested in other plants.
Step 5. Hang the plants
If the previous methods have not served to keep the cat away from the plants, another solution is simply to keep them out of the animal's reach. Stop by a building supply store and buy racks to hang the plants on the walls or ceiling. Some people even like the decorative look of hanging plants.
If the cat is skilled in the art of climbing, one option is to purchase a bird cage and use it to protect the animal's plants. This method will not only protect the plants, it will also add a unique decorative touch to your home
Method 3 of 3: Correcting Cat Behavior
Step 1. Encourage the cat to use the litter box
If your pussy tends to use the potted plant as a toilet, start encouraging her to do her needs in the appropriate place. Cats generally avoid using the litter box for several reasons. Try to understand what the problem is.
- Keep the litter box clean. Cats don't like having to urinate and defecate in a dirty litter box. If the box is not clean enough, he will use other objects in the house. Try to clean the litter box at least once a day.
- Make sure the pet's litter box is accessible. If the edges of the litter box are too high for the animal, it may have difficulty getting into it. It may also be that the box is in an often closed place, preventing the cat from finding it when necessary. It is also possible that the box is too open, making the cat uncomfortable using it, which usually occurs when there is too much noise or movement.
- If you have more than one cat at home, it is recommended that you have more than one litter box available. Cats can be territorial and want to monopolize the litter box. One possible solution is to purchase an additional litter box to encourage cats not to use the potted plant.
- Use a different sand. Cats are very sensitive to sand and may not like certain brands. If the pussy is avoiding using the current sand, try replacing it with one that is finer. It is also worth remembering that cats do not like smelly sand and tend to avoid it.
Step 2. Reward the cat for not approaching the plants
Cats generally respond better to positive reinforcement than negative. When you notice that the cat is not approaching the plant, give it a reward.
- Observe its behavior around plants. If you notice that the cat has passed through the plant without digging the earth, praise him. Call the cat by name in a pleasant, soft tone of voice, offering him a treat or his attention as a reward for not messing with the plants.
- Reward the cat whenever he walks through the plant without touching it. Animals live in the present. To make the cat understand what is acceptable, it is important to praise the cat when it behaves properly.
- Try to be as consistent as possible. Although it is impossible to constantly monitor the plants, always reward the animal by noticing that it is not approaching the plants. This will help the cat learn how to behave.
Step 3. Don't punish the cat when he digs or urinates on the plant
Cats do not react well to punishment and do not usually associate screaming, scolding and punishment with specific behaviors. Punishment can make them nervous or scared, but usually it just makes the situation worse, causing the cat to continue to behave inappropriately. When you notice that the cat is approaching the plant, it is best to distract him with a toy or activity instead of yelling at him.
Step 4. Provide more entertainment for the cat
Perhaps the cat's behavior is associated with being bored, which can also cause stress and anxiety. If your pet has no way of entertaining at home, digging potted soil may be his only hobby. Provide more toys to distract the animal and prevent its misbehavior.
- Take time to play with the cat daily. Try to set aside 20 to 30 minutes each day. You can drag a string on the floor for the cat to chase. Another idea is to throw a toy for your cat to fetch. A toy that is also very popular with cats is the stick with feathers hanging from the end.
- Also purchase toys that the cat can play with on its own; that way, he won't be bored when you're not home. Buy mouse or bird-shaped toys for the cat to slap across the floor of the house. Another interesting option is interactive puzzles. A small piece of food or treat is placed inside the puzzle and the cat must solve it to receive the reward.
- Some companies sell DVDs that are meant to stimulate and soothe the cat, which can be played when you're not home. They will keep the cat distracted while he is alone.
- Check if the cat has access to any windows in your house. Cats love to watch the animals and the movement outside.