If you have some sweet (or not so sweet) feline friends living under your roof, there’s a good chance that you’ve had to deal with them getting into house plants or flowers, or really any kind of greenery that you might have around. This seems to be a pretty common problem among pet owners, especially with so many vets and experts recommending that cats stay indoors these days, but unfortunately there’s no one right answer for fixing these pesky issues. Every cat has its own personality and set of likes and dislikes. Your mission here is to find what your own cat really hates and then subject them to it every time they go near your precious plants. It’s a little cruel, but it’s necessary.
My own kitties don’t really love house plants, but they do really enjoy the culinary delights of various cut flowers. If I have flowers in the house, they will end up dumped all over the table, usually in the middle of the night so I don’t find them until first thing in the morning. Aren’t pets fun? I could put the flowers up high where the cats can’t reach them, but that’s not where I want to enjoy them. And it’s MY house, darn it! Well, it depends who you ask on that one. 🙂 So today I’ll share with you what I found that works for us as well as a whole bunch of other suggestions to try in your quest to really make your own cats uncomfortable.
The Cayenne Pepper Trick
This one worked for me. I mixed up 1 teaspoon of cayenne in 1/2 cup of water and put it in a spray bottle.
I took one look at the light color of the flowers and the dark color of the solution and realized this wasn’t going to be the best idea. Maybe on house plants or dark colored flowers, but I didn’t want to dye my bright green mums orangey red. I just took the sprayer out of the bottle and used the end of it to dab drops of the cayenne juice right into the inside of the flower, where it would be hidden, rather than sitting right on top.
Then I had spicy flowers!
I watched and waited for about 2 seconds. It never takes long for the cats to come around when there’s something new and possibly tasty.
The kitten took one sniff and he knew he was not interested!
It was a good thing. Who would want to be mad at this face?
So cayenne pepper is a great one for keeping cats away. There are a few other common ones that people often use with great success too.
Place tin foil around the bottom of your plants. Cats apparently hate to walk on it and eventually they’ll just learn not to go there and you can remove the tinfoil completely.
Putting something like double-sided tape where a cat will walk to get to your plants or flowers will work the same way as tin foil in that they’ll eventually just learn not to go there and you can remove it altogether.
Orange or Citrus Peels
What a great way to use your leftover Christmas orange peels! Cats hate the smell, so placing them in or around your plants and flowers will keep the kitties away.
Decorative rocks or gravel
If you have trouble with your cats using the dirt in your plants as a litter box, the solution may be as easy as adding in some stones to cover the dirt so that they can’t dig. It looks pretty too!
If your cats are chewing on your plants and flowers, chances are they’re craving something green in their diet. Whether you use any of the other deterrents or not, it’s probably a good idea to plant some cat grass for them that they can feel free to eat any time they like. I know this is one I definitely should do soon.
How about you? Do you have any tried and true methods for living in peace with your mischievous kitties? How do you keep your cats and your house plants happy too?
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.