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11 Tips for Keeping Cats Away from Houseplants

There are many ways to keep cats away from houseplants, some of which you can find in your own pantry. Whether your cat is interested in digging out your houseplants or perhaps taking a bite from a leaf, these proven ways will keep your cats out of your indoor plants without having to pay for a special solution.

11 Proven Ways to Keep Your Cats Out of Your Indoor Plants

1. Plastic Forks

Plastic forks are an easy deterrent to keep your cats out of your houseplants, especially if they are the digging type. Simply grab a box of plastic forks and place them in the soil every few inches. 

For more shallow pots, break the forks in half before placing them in the soil. It might seem silly, but your cat will no longer be able to sit in the pot or dig up your plants.

2. Spray Your Cat With Water

Pull out an extra spray bottle (ensure it is clean) and fill it with water. Whenever you see your cat around one of your houseplants, give them a quick spray of water

While this method may take a little while (and require a bit of dedication), eventually, your cat will associate your plant with a spray of water and stop visiting it.

3. Lemon Water

Cats hate the scent of citrus. Mix a small amount of lemon with water and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the leaves of your plant lightly with the citrus water. 

If you happen to have citrus essential oil on hand, this can also be mixed with the water and sprayed on your plants. Ensure you respray every week or so as the smell will fade with time.

4. Vinegar Water

Like citrus, cats hate the smell of vinegar. Mix a small amount of vinegar with water and spray the leaves of your plants. Repeat as necessary every two or three days.  

5. Arrange Plants Strategically

Those that have a snake plant, cactus, or other spiny plant, can keep their cats at bay by rearranging their plants. Place your sharpest plant on a mid-tier shelf or the edge of the windowsill where your cat would usually jump to access the plants. 

The plant arrangement method is only effective for those who have their plants on a raised surface. If your plants are sitting on the floor, you’ll need to consider a different method.

6. Aluminum Foil

Pull out a few sheets of aluminum foil and place them around the base of your plant (or under the pot but ensure aluminum foil extends in all directions) to deter your cats from getting into your indoor plants. Your cats won’t like the sound the aluminum foil makes when they step on it, and as long as they can’t jump into the pot from outside of the aluminum foil, your plants will be safe.

7. Plastic Plate

A plastic plate can be used in your plant as a barrier to prevent your cat from digging or using the plant as a litter box. Cut a hole in the center of the plastic plate with a slit that extends to the exterior edge so that you can easily place it around your plant and protect it from your cat.

8. Scotch Tape

Potted plants can be protected from feline fiends with a few well-placed pieces of scotch tape. Start by placing the end of the tape on one edge of the pot then extending the piece of tape to the other edge before cutting it from the roll. 

Repeat this process a few times until tape is crisscrossing your plant pot. This will keep your cats from jumping into the soil or sleeping in your plant pots.

9. Make a Terrarium

Smaller plants can be relocated to large glass jars with lids, protecting them from your cat. Additionally, those who have an old empty aquarium on hand can use it to make a large terrarium for several plants—just ensure you have the aquarium lid to keep the terrarium protected.

10. Plastic Wrap

The plastic wrap method doesn’t work for all plant parents (as sometimes the cat isn’t deterred) but it’s always worth a try. Similar to the plastic plate method, you’ll keep your cats away from houseplants by covering the pot opening with plastic wrap and leaving room for the plant stem. Make sure you pull the plastic wrap taught so your cat will see it as a barrier. 

On watering day, the plastic can be peeled back to water the plants. Replace the plastic wrap with a new piece when you can no longer pull it taught.

11. Use Old Bird Cages

If you happen to have bird cages on hand, place your plants in the birdcages to keep the cats from being able to access them. Bird cages come in all shapes and sizes to suit a variety of plants, and you can place multiple smaller plants in a single bird cage.