How to Keep Your Cats From Eating Your Plants

How to Keep Your Cats From Eating Your Plants

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Why do cats like to eat plants?

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and one of the ways that they like to discover new things is with their mouths. They may be more likely to do this if they're bored or understimulated, or if they have an underlying issue (such as a nutritional deficit or a lack of fiber in their diet - if you're ever unsure then make sure to get a vet check up), but sometimes it just happens! For instance, cats often like the texture of some types of plants, and so they may just enjoy chewing on them every now and then.

If you've eliminated potential health issues as a cause and you think your cat may be doing this because it is bored, you can try spending a bit more time with them, giving them some new toys to play with and / or increasing the amount of time they have to roam around outdoors. If they're an indoor cat, make sure they have plenty of room to explore inside.

Is it safe for your cat to eat plants?

Non-toxic plants aren't usually dangerous for cats to eat they can however still potentially cause stomach upsets if too much is eaten.

Cats are often mistaken for being omnivores (meaning both meat and plant-eating), however, they're actually obligate carnivores. This means that they need meat in order to survive. Their digestive system isn't adapted to be able to handle vegetation, so while a small amount of a non-toxic plant isn't likely to cause too much harm, it's never a good idea to let your cat eat a lot of greenery, for the sake of their health and also the health of your plants!

Cat with Plants 2

Non-Toxic vs Toxic Plants

If you have curious kitties at home then you should always make sure to only keep non-toxic plant varieties around, or keep any toxic plants well out of reach. Toxic plants can cause reactions in cats such as vomiting, coughing, weakness, changes in appetite and energy levels / behavior, racing heart and discoloration of the gums or coat.

Examples of cat-friendly plants include: orchids, rosemary, umbrella plants, spider plants as well as various types of peperomias and calatheas.

If you're ever unsure of whether or not a plant is safe to have around your cat, always check the Toxicity section under the 'Plant Info' tab in the Planta app. You can also filter the 'Find Plant' feature to only show non-toxic varieties. Just tap the search bar, then select where it says 'Filter' and select the appropriate Toxicity level.

Cat with Plants

How to discourage your cat from eating plants

If your cat is still insisting on munching on your plants even after you've ruled out any underlying reasons why there are some measures you can take to try and help prevent this behavior.

The simplest one is just to place it out of reach. However, all cat owners know that these pets can be extremely adventurous and acrobatic! So bear this in mind when deciding where to place your plants - hanging them somewhere too far up to jump to is usually a safe bet, or placing them on a high shelf can also work.

You can also try spraying lemon juice diluted with water onto the leaves of your plants, as cats dislike the smell and taste of citrus fruits and so this can help dissuade them from taking a bite.