My daughter and her husband have a cat that loves to eat many of their house plants. My wife gave my daughter a shamrock for St Patty's day and it didn't make it till the next day.
I suggested she might try some dried, chopped onion or garlic on top of the soil. Does anyone think this might work and would it harm the plants?
You might try hot pepper instead. Onion/garlic shouldn't hurt the plant but I'm not sure if it'll keep the cat away or not but I've heard the pepper will. And if the cat eats the onion you might have problems, I know onions are toxic for dogs, not sure about cats but I wouldn't take a chance. The other thing you might try is putting something around the pots that the cat won't want to walk on--Gardners Supply sells some little spiky mats to put in the garden to keep cats out but I would think they'd work indoors too.
In the meantime, they should also do some research on what plants are toxic to cats--while it's a shame that the cat's eating all their plants, it would be even worse if it ate one that was poisonous.
Meanwhile, the cat is trying to tell them it needs some greens. While we don't normally think of cats and dogs as eating greens, they do like to get some occasionally and, in the wild, they would get greens in the stomachs of food they killed to eat.
Perhaps they can just grow a pot of grass seed for the cat to chew on? Or maybe even a catmint or catnip plant. Chives works, too.
Definintely make sure they don't have Dumb Cane (the kind of plant they sell with Beta fish in the bowl below) or poinsettia or anything from the daktura family in the house. Also, IIRC, Daylily (yes, it's outside, but still...) is deadly to cats.
PetSmart sells a product called Bitter End that has several different formulas, one of which is for training dogs and cats to stay away from where they don't belong. You have to respray every 10 to 14 days outside, but I don't know about inside. It does not have a bad odor.
If your daughter has an enclosed greenhouse then maybe she could put the plants in there and find some way to lock the entrance so the cat can't get in.If she doesn't have a greenhouse then the spiky mats ecrane3 was talking about might help.
I whole heartedly agree with Scottdeerie, the cat is screeming at the owners to do something for it, remember some greens act like a medicine to cats and dogs, I would be inclined to buy at LEAST two plant called Nepeta ( Catmint) perhaps the one named Faassenii, as one gets chewed to bits, the other wll be growing away and then they can swap them around once each plant needs time to recover, please remeber that a lot of indoor and outdoor plants are toxic, can burn the cats mouth or insides even, so they should place the Catmint either in front of the plants they have on display or in a spot well away from the others, teach the cat that this is his/her plant, the Nepete also smells nice when you brush against it so this will also atract the cat, this plant can also be grown in the garden in some areas, it dies down here in Scotland and soon throws up even more stems each spring, it is a bit like Lavender so needs dryish conditions, I put bits of Nepeta inside a small ball (from pet shop) and my cat loves chaseing it around, perhaps the cat is also a bit bored therefor the plants are a thing to play with. hope this helps, maybe a call to the Vet could also get advice, I would be worried about the cat more than the plants.
I have found that growing "cat grass" has completely eliminated my cats desire to eat my houseplants (though i haven't bought any palms to test for sure -since palms were always there favorite).
i just used two old coffee tins - half filled with rocks for drainage - threw in seeds from pet store, plopped it in a window and watered when necessary. believe it or not people actually comment on how healthy my grass looks.. i just wish my lawn looked so nice.
There are soooo many houseplants that are toxic to cats! I have hundreds of houseplants and 4 cats and one of my four tends to chew on my plants! I on occasion will buy the little packet of cat grass seed from Wal-Mart or Pet Smart and whenever I find Catnip (Catmint) in the produce section of the grocery store, I buy a little pot of it for the cats! They of course LOVE the Catmint/Catnip ... I have to put it out of reach and just give them a leaf or two once in awhile, or they will devour the plant in minutes and roll all over it as they do with the dried catnip. I do try to cut some of the stems off and put them up to dry and then crush them up for the cat toys!
The Cat Grass is a mixture of Rye and other types of Grass seeds and something good in their diet. I'm not real sure of what would be good to put on top of the soil. I have so many plants that I'm afraid it would smell awful putting something on the soil of every plant, and I would worry that it might be harmful to cats also! Here's a link to a couple of sites I found regarding cats eating house plants:
I've tried the method mentioned here about spritzing your cat with a water bottle. My cat thinks that's a game now and will stand right in front of me and squint her eyes waiting for me to spray her ... she does run a couple of feet and then goes right back to what she was doing and then squints to be sprayed again ... obviously this is "fun" for her and not a deterrent at all!