How to protect indoor plants from cats?
Colorful, fragrant and such diverse indoor plants attract the attention of not only their owners and their guests, but also pets. Cats are always particularly interested in green and blooming pets. The presence of fluffy pets should be considered not only when selecting plant species. Some house plants will have to be protected from cats by special measures, while others should be used wisely.
"Feline problems" plants
Owners of cats often complain that their furry pets are eating houseplants. But there are other “cat problems”: indoor plants attract the attention of cats, they just play with plants or with the earth in pots, digging up, turning containers, crushing greens and picking flowers, and sometimes they just lie on certain plants. Shkodlivost and overeating - the phenomena are different, and you need to deal with them in different ways.
The attention of cats to plants and the eating of their leaves is often explained by a lack of vitamins or a sign that it is worth revising the diet. But in the question of analyzing the reasons that prompted furry pets to pay attention to indoor plants, one should not trust myths and rumors. Cats eat indoor plants for only one reason - they lack coarse plant foods, which speeds up and simplifies the process of regurgitation of wool.
Indoor plants for a cat are actually a substitute for grass. If your pet enjoys walks in the fresh air in the summer, then his love for indoor plants completely disappears, but in the winter time it appears in almost all cats.
It is easy to understand the mechanisms that lead to eating indoor plants if you analyze the assortment of plants that attract pets. Cats love cereals, and often look for a substitute for them among plants with hard leaves, not only among ornamental grasses, but also palm trees with their feathery vayy, and even Kalanchoe.
Cats can cheat with any houseplant. From gorgeous, beautifully flowered indoor roses and saints, cultivated seedlings, large palm trees and lianas to modest indoor succulents of aloe and even onion grown on the windowsill, sometimes cat preferences seem quite bizarre and atypical.
The correct behavior of cats and their owners
The first and most important means of "peaceful coexistence" of cats and houseplants is proper training and behavior correction. Accustoming to the tray, encouraging correct behavior and ignoring houseplants are the best ways to prevent any problems.
Do not confuse rewards and training with punishment: even if the cat broke your best flower pots or ruined your favorite palm, never use abuse, screaming or physical abuse as a way to deal with the problem. Cats react negatively to punishment, it exacerbates the problem. But encouraging good behavior and soft learning work reliably and always.
Teaching a cat that playing or eating houseplants is wrong, do not forget that cats that have nothing to do or that experience stress and anxiety are harmful. Take time for your pets, provide your cat with toys, use special programs, do not block access to windows and observing the outside world - and you will achieve your goal sooner.
Of course, there are immediate means to combat this problem. But they will never replace the correct treatment of a cat.
Add plants specifically for cats to the collection
The easiest way to solve the problem of eating cats around the house is to grow plants that they can feast on freely. If you put a pot with more attractive greens next to a highly decorative plant, your green pet will suffer less from the attention of a furry guest.
Growing grass specifically for cats does not mean that plants will not attract them. But the alternative in the form of a constant source of hard leaves will still reduce the risk of eating indoor crops, help create truly optimal conditions for the pet.
Cats primarily pay attention to cereals - plants that have sedge-like leaves and form dense spikelets of inflorescences. The ideal treat for them is green wheat, barley or oats.
There is also a special mix of cereal grass seeds “For Cats” on sale. Ready-grown green grass stands and potted turfs can even be bought at pet stores. But it’s easy to grow cereals yourself. If you have a garden, then wheat grass or grass sods can be transplanted into pots and transferred to rooms.
Sowing herbs for cats is carried out in any universal substrate quite thickly. Under a film or glass and in a bright place at ordinary room temperatures, the grains germinate in a few days, and the growing green “brush” looks very decorative. Caring for such a "weed" is reduced only to watering. It’s better to start with a few small containers with different grains, according to which you can judge your cat’s preferences.
Cereals are usually sown with an interval of 1 week so that fresh greens are constantly in the house. While the herbs grow, they are protected with a cap, allowing the cat to regale itself with cereals only after the formation of a qualitatively rooted turf with “wax” blades of grass.
Alternative ways to distract a cat from houseplants:
- introduction to the diet of high-quality cold-pressed vegetable oil;
- buying or picking fresh grass (wheat grass or young grasses);
It is better to take fresh grass from your garden, in urban conditions it is better not to collect it for cats, with the exception of park and protected areas with a ban on animal walking.
Proper organization of the plant collection
The correct placement of indoor plants from among the “attracting” cats is the main means of combating eating, and undermining the soil, and other cat wrecking. Coexistence of domestic plants and animals is necessary so that contacts are minimized in a natural way.
The easiest option is to put the plants that the cat loves higher, in hard-to-reach places - at the same time it is the most controversial. Firstly, far from always inaccessible places or high placement are unattainable for cats that can climb to any height and overcome any obstacles. Secondly, the plant itself will not be comfortable anywhere - both in terms of lighting and access to fresh air or temperatures.
But there are several rules for plant placement that will help minimize potential harm:
- place indoor plants better on the walls or in a suspended state;
- to choose plants you need heavy stable containers that are not easy to turn even for an adult cat;
- It is better to prefer alternative options for placement on the windowsill, and if this is not possible, organize the collection so that there is more free space on the windowsill (some plants can be placed on racks or suspended as ampels);
- any racks and stands must be additionally fixed so that they are not only reliable, but also stable.
If some plants are especially fond of your cat, it is worth, taking into account all the shortcomings of conventional methods, choose more reliable methods. True, options for protecting plants from among feline pets are quite limited:
- Plant protection with decorative fences or walls.
- Placing plants in florariums and flower showcases (only for people from the humid tropics).
- Placing plants in niches or on racks with additional safety strips or gratings.
Remedies for cats
To combat the excessive love of furry pets for indoor plants, you can use both artisanal and special means.
Consultation on repellers can be obtained from any veterinarian or pet store. Today, along with the most diverse means of caring for pets, they also distribute a special spray that repels cats - with the eloquent names “Anti-gryzin” or “Anti-gadin”.
Such a “cat scarer” often contains natural substances, including essential oils, the smell of which cats perceive as unpleasant and repulsive. Means for scaring away animals are intended either for personal plots or for premises. But when choosing the wrong type of funds, you can significantly spoil the atmosphere in the room.
You can cope with the task of scaring cats and other methods
Using plants that cats can't stand
After observing for a while your favorite pet, you can notice which plants the cat does not like (often representatives of the bulb family, indoor citrus or aromatic spicy herbs are ranked as such). By growing unloved cultures in small containers, you can surround them with the best plants from your collection, protecting them from cats.
Use of repellent odors
Cats can not stand the smell of alcohol, ordinary table vinegar and all citrus fruits, sometimes it seems to react to the aroma of black, allspice pink or hot red pepper. Using citrus essential oils or natural essences, alcoholic infusions and even fresh peels, you can create a natural “repeller” from indoor plants.
Impregnation of cotton wool with alcohol, essential oils or vinegar is a temporary measure. As soon as the smell evaporates, the product also ceases to work, therefore such traps must always be renewed.
Using improvised materials
Using sticky, rustling materials or toys with a remote control to scare away young cats. Double-sided tape, rustling foil or cellophane, small cars are placed around houseplants to scare away sounds or unpleasant experiences, these methods are controversial and require an analysis of the preferences and vagaries of a particular cat.
Of course, to scare away plants with a machine, you need either a dedicated assistant, or a lot of time. But both methods are a great alternative if conventional remedies do not help.
Protecting the soil from tearing by cats
Cats are often attracted not so much by the plants themselves as by the soil in pots. Digging in the ground for sanitary purposes or for fun is a great pleasure. But any such tearing turns into a disaster for the plants themselves and everything that surrounds them. Fluffy large pots and tubs are especially attractive. It is believed that most often undermine the land of cats picked up from the street, but this is more of a theory and a matter of the quality of training cats.
There are several ways to deal with the problem of tearing the soil:
- use heavy or dense mulching materials - cones, large shells, heavy stones or coarse gravel;
- combine decorative mulching with repelling odors;
- cover the surface of the soil with a metal or plastic mesh;
- use special protective grilles.
Not only plants need protection
In the process of landscaping a house, it is worth thinking about having a pet first. Indeed, in the modern assortment of indoor crops there are many plants with the status of poisonous that can cause significant harm to a pet. Indoor plants containing toxins in their tissues and aerial parts, irritating or allergenic substances should be used in a minimal amount and only where contact with a cat is excluded.
When choosing any indoor plant or evaluating your collection for safety for pets, pay special attention to whether it belongs to the category of poisonous and whether there are special restrictions on the use in landscaping. Such common indoor plants as spathiphyllum, dieffenbachia, philodendrons, begonias, hippeastrum, hydrangeas and dozens of other cultures are poisonous and dangerous for cats, not to mention the most poisonous cultures of oleander, sweet clover and dope.
Even modest spring crocuses for cats are a serious risk factor. Any poisonous plants are best removed from the collection altogether or exhibited in completely enclosed rooms.
If some plant accidentally remained in the collection, and you did not know its properties, but it attracted the attention of a cat, you should not hesitate and immediately seek help. Symptoms of administration in cats are similar to those of humans. But to the usual disorders, a pronounced inflammation of the oral mucosa is also added.
The most reliable option is to contact your veterinarian right away, but if it is impossible to get professional help quickly, you need to induce vomiting in the animal to reduce damage.