Cat Lovers - HELP

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

My two cats love to nibble on my few indoor plants.

Apparently the female thought the torch lilies that I'm starting from seed are DELICIOUS because I only have one left now. These are seeds that I had shipped from AFRICA. Arghhh.

The aloe vera seems to be more of a scratching post. No teeth marks but I'll find it listing on a regular basis.

Cat lovers - are there any indoor plants that cats are just not interested in?

I have some swedish ivy and they have left those alone but I think that is more of a logistical problem because they just can't access them too easily.

Dawn

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

My indoor cats dont bother aspidistra, shefflera, philodendron, hibiscus, tirucalli, begonias. Anything that resembles grass, fresh or dried is very attractive to them.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

You might try growing a pot of wheat grass just for the cats. Maybe that would act as a diversion to keep them away from other plants. Cant' hurt. Might be worth a try. Also, it's possible that they are messing with your plants because they are craving some greenery in their diets. I've read that this can be an issue for indoor cats. Outdoor cats can chew a bit of lawn grass now and then to fulfill this need. If you grow a pot of wheat grass for the cats, they may nibble on the grass instead of the houseplants when they need some greens.

http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Cat-Wheatgrass-Growing-Kit/dp/B000E7ZJWS

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

I have 10 cats and I use crushed moth balls mixed in the top layer of soil in my pots. Not for seedlings, just 'grown' plants. They won't touch them with the moth balls in the soil.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

I would be a little concerned about inhaling the vapor from the moth balls in a relatively small, enclosed space. If I'm not mistaken, I think the label even mentions something about this. Can you smell the moth balls in your home? I put a bunch in my backyard one summer, and I could smell them even outside, but maybe I used too many.

For some reason I'm a bit leery of the chemicals in mothballs, but it might just be me.

(Zone 1)

You might try filling a clean spray bottle with clear water and spraying your cats when you see them approaching your plants. There are many plants that are toxic to dogs and cats, some more toxic than others so when they like to nibble on plants it's a good idea to try to refocus their attentions elsewhere.

Here is a list of plants that are toxic to felines: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.aspx?plant_toxicity=toxic-to-cats

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I keep two pots going of oat grass. one is outside recovering while the other one is inside for my cat to chew. He loves it. Most times he wipes out the potful before the other one can recover outside. If so I just go pull bermuda grass for him. He does not like St. Augustine, Dallis grass, Johnson grass or two other kinds of grasses that Ive brought in. He is a finicky cat, even when it comes to grasses. I always put "his" grass in the same spot so he knows it belongs to him and it's OK to chew it.
Also Ive found that kittens will tear up an anvil when it comes to plants. They climb on it, chew it and dig in it. Lost a tuna tail palm and a ficus this way. A little growing up cures this. I, too, use a spray bottle of water to train my cats. Works well and no harm. Once Ive squirted him a few times, all I have to do is shake the bottle so he can hear it and I dont even have to squirt him.

(Zone 1)

We are down to only one cat (from 5) and luckily the remaining old gal doesn't attempt to chew on or play with the plants. We had one cat in the past who used to like African Violets and I was able to train her with the water spray. Another one I had to watch like a hawk because she loved to chew on plants ... she was not finicky and thought all of my plants were her private salad bowl! We raised that cat from a 10 day old kitten, having to bottle feed her. As a young kitten when she began taking an interest in my plants I used the water spray to try to deter her. It has worked with every other cat we've had but no, not this one. She seemed to think it was a game and she would go to a plant, turn and look at me and wait for me to spray her. She would squinch up her eyes and wait to be sprayed ... run a few feet away and come right back and do it again! That crazy cat didn't mind getting soaked! So, sometimes the water method will work ... sometimes not, just depends on the kitty I guess.

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Yeah, my little muncher sneaks around to avoid the spray bottle too. She has horrible table manners and I'll hear her smacking away while she is gobbling up a tasty bit of greenery so I usually catch her right in the act but too late to save anything. She isn't so bold as to think it is a game as plantladylin's cat. But she is sneaky.

Rotating wheat grass... I did something like that once. Should give it another try.

OK, I have potentials to research and the toxic ones that I need to avoid.

Thanks!

Dawn

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Figured I'd be a good catmomma and got a nice start of "cat grass" that my sis had grown. Well, well, well.......let me tell you, for MY felines, cat grass is the feline version of ipacec.........not going to do THAT again, for sure. About 30 seconds from ingestion to hork........

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Anna_Z
Yuck. Were they pigging out on it?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

No. Just nibbling. I took it out to the barn cats and they wouldn't have anything to do with it. Probably because they can go graze in the yard. LOL

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Are you sure it was a type of grass that's ok for cats? Does your sis have cats and do they nibble the same grass? I'm thinking it may be that (1) either the grass isn't what you thought it was or (2) maybe the cats just need some time to get adjusted to it since they probably have never had access to grass. Also, is there any chance the grass may have been sprayed with insecticide or anything like that?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

No. She grew it herself.........her cat didn't care for it either, and another sis's cat only "ate" it when it was young. My cats hurl ANYTHING green. LOL We take one of our cats outside on a leash sometimes in the summer; stoopid cat grazes like a cow.......and you know what happens.........:>)

Blytheville, AR(Zone 7a)

I've used a product called bitter apple on my plants and most of the time the cats won't bother it. Just spray the leaves with it and they don't like the taste. You can get it at the pet stores.

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

Hey, that reminds me. The other day I was reading a thread on the uses of vinegar. One tip mentioned drizzling vinegar (any type) on the ground around a vegetable garden to keep cats out. Maybe you could come up with a design for indoors. Whatever you do, don't put vinegar on your plants as it will kill them. Also, I don't think it would be a good idea to put vinegar on the soil in the pot as that would also likely damage or kill the plants.

You might try putting vinegar on some cotton or a strip of fabric and wrapping it around the pot or placing it around on the surface on which the pot rests. Here again, be careful not to put the vinegar soaked fabric in direct contact with either the plant or any surface that might be damaged by it (i.e., if placing on a table top you may need to fashion a liner of some type from foil, waxed paper, etc. to protect the table). You might try experimenting a bit to see what works. Maybe a small, decorative container like a votive holder with a bit of vinegar in it placed among the plants would be sufficient to deter the cats. Apple cider vinegar or other such scented/flavored vinegar may work as well as white while being less offensive to humans.

Admittedly, this doesn't sound all that attractive, but it might be worth knowing/trying if all else fails or for those times when you maybe find yourself out of other products and too busy to run out to the store right away.

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)


2vernes - I will be on the lookout for the bitter apple spray!

Thanks everyone

Dawn

Columbus, OH

My cats don't care about bitter apple/bitter orange. They do tend to prefer smooth, soft, juicy leaves over tough, succulent stringy leaves.

I have tried distraction by growing cat grass (they just eat the grass AND the plants), but I mostly have to elevate the plants beyond the reach of the cats.

Saluda, SC(Zone 8a)

You might try a citrus smelling spray or the peels from oranges ground (or chopped) and placed around the topsoil of the plants. We were told that cats do not like smell of citrus; used it successfully to stop scratching on furniture by misting fabric.

Fredericton N B, Canada(Zone 4a)

There are three cats in our house.They have never bothered my plants and I have many.The only time they go near the plants is when they are thirsty.I put out fresh water and that's what they want.I have had Siamese cats for 50 years and they have never eaten my plants. JOY

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

My cats gnawed on plants just for the sheer joy of it so they can hork up the greenery. Sheesh........... I have no plants in the house now.......they are all up in the g'house.

Columbus, OH

My Siamese used to eat plants like it was her job, and she was blind...she must have smelled them.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

My blind cat was into EVERYTHING! :>)

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

Steadycam, thats funny about the anvil!! I always said "knock a steel ball out of round" and when I was talking about the kids, I would add "with a rubber hammer"!!! Now we have a rough grand -daughter we say that about. Kids are the funniest things, also cats. (:^) Luciee

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