Keeping Your Cats Away From Poisonous Plants

Keep away poisonous plants from cats. The ASPCA provides a good list of plants that are poisonous to cats, and you might be surprised to learn that some of them, like the philodendron, are quite common. Here's how you can keep your cat away from poisonous plants.

Limit Your Cat's Access to Poisonous Plants

First of all, you should know which plants are poisonous to cats. Common plants that might harm cats include:

  • Philodendron
  • Caladium
  • Ivy
  • Narcissus
  • Sago Palm
  • Peace Lily
  • Amaryllis
  • Aloe

Keep your cats indoors so that they can't get at any poisonous plants they might find growing outside. Also, don't keep any poisonous house plants where your cat might reach them. Remember that cats are curious, determined and agile; the best way to keep your cat away from poisonous plants is to not own any poisonous plants. Even hanging baskets can still drop leaves and vines that might pique your cat's curiosity and taste buds.

Choose Plants That Won't Interest Your Cat

Observe what sorts of plants inspire your cat's interest. Some cats like to sit on bushy plants. Others like to play with the dangling vines in hanging baskets. Pay attention to what sorts of plants your cat seems most interested in, and simply avoid buying those plants.

Cats often don't like plants that smell citrusy or minty, so these might be good choices to decorate your home.

Deter Your Cat From House Plants

There are several methods of deterring your cat from house plants. Hanging baskets are a good idea for plants that don't dangle. If you'd like a tree, choose one with high leaves that your cat can't reach. Try not to place plants near furniture, or any fixtures that might provide your cat with a way to get to them.

Try using a deterrent to keep your cats away from plants; there are several on the market, including one called Bitter Yuck! However, you don't need to buy a specially prepared formula. Try sprinkling some coffee grounds or orange peels on the surface of your potting soil. You can also use rosemary or rue oil.

Many people have success using moth balls as a cat deterrent. While moth balls do serve this purpose well, they can be dangerous if your cat eats them. The best thing to do is to put the moth balls into a small container that has holes in it; try a baby food jar with holes punched in the lid.

Remember, don't use mulch or gravel in your house plants. These things could make your cat think the flower pot is a litter box, and that could lead to unpleasant consequences of a different nature.

Offer An Alternative

You can distract your cat's attention from your houseplants, and refocus his plant eating desires, by offering an alternative plant for snacking. You can buy cat grass kits at any pet store, and they are easy to grow. Or, grow your own from wheat grass seed, available at many whole foods outlets. If you're on a very tight budget, bring your cat some grass stalks and clover leaves from the from yard.