cat in the plants

Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)October 5, 2011

Well, here we go again. Brought the dracena in last night (the one he ate last year & I chunked outside, only to recover beautifully) and I just caught him at it again. We have 4 cats but he is the only one snacking on the greenery. He ate my geranium (my daughter gave it to me 2 years ago for Mother's Day - sentimental value) 3 times during last winter. Now it's beautiful & blooming again - I put it on the kitchen counter behind the dish drainer but he will find it - I am trying to dscourage him from getting on the kitchen counter but that's another story. I know there's probably no answer but if anyone knows a solution please share. I have had no problems with ivy, eugenia, schfelera (sp) or rosemary. Thanks to kitty/plant lovers! Here's a baby pic of him. He's special.(in a LOT of ways)!

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Gypsy, you might try Boundary spray on the outside of the pots, see if that discourages your cat. I've used it on outdoors containers with success after my neighbor began using it to keep her persians off her persian rug in her dining room. They would enter the room, leap the distance needed to access the living room by jumping over the rug when she sprayed with the Boundary. Mildly unpleasant to our noses only briefly.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks so much Morz8! I am out to buy some tomorrow - will let you know how it works.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 7:45PM
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ok- going out on a limb here-- no advice either, BUT!!that is one cute pic! :) My kitten batting at my plant dont seem like a big deal now. (thanks for the smile)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 2:55PM
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You can put some Grannick's Bitter Apple on the leaves. The first time he tastes that he'll never munch on your plant again. That stuff tastes AWFUL!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)

Thank you Lamora - that is one photographed cat. He's always doing something so adorable when he's really eat up with attitude & mean as a snake. Wouldn't take anything for him.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:28PM
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Gypsy...your kitty is adorable..such a cutie-pie, but even the sweetest, furry or feathered friends manages to get in trouble.

If the Bitter Apple doesn't work, sprinkle powdered Cayenne Pepper around the rim of the pot.
Your cat will smell it before he gets close, and walk away. The pepper won't hurt your cat or plant/s. Toni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 12:48AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry, but I've heard not to do the pepper since it can get on their paws & from there into their eyes, pls. re-think that one.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 7:11AM
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Karen, I disagree. Cats dislike/detest hot pepper scent. They have good sniffers. As soon as they detect pepper, they head the opposite direction.

I've used pepper around the edges of certain plant pots. My cats avoided these plants and all lived long lives.
I love cats, dogs and birds, and would never do anything to harm them. Toni

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Did you try to give your Kitties some grass ??
They are available at Petstore(s). I also have cats, and everytime they show interest in my plants, they get grass. My plants are saved, and their craving for greenery, satisfied :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 2:36PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Here are two more solutions:

Orange peels in the pot; squeeze slightly so orange oil is released. Friend pinned some to her chair (which her cats thought were one expensive scratching post) and they left it alone.

Those clear plastic water catchers (can't think of the name) turned upside down on the pot. You can leave a small hole for watering and trim to fit the handles. This works especially well for cats which think pots are greenery-decorated cat boxes.

Toni: I know you're an animal lover from way back, but when I was dog training one of my clients did the pepper thing and her curious cat sniffed and put his paw on the spot out of curiosity's sake ... expensive trip to vet to treat enflamed eyes. "Anamules" can be stubborn and not so smart sometimes. :-D


    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Linda, my God, I just realized who you were..Long time no see..I hope you're well..

My cats never had problems. My last cat, 17-yr-old Halloween, used to kneed certain plants. I sprinkled Cayenne around the rim. One day he started to approach the pot, stopped about halfway, and made a U-Turn. lol.

With tall or cane plants, I'd cut a piece of cardboard in half, make a round hole where canes/branches met to cover soil. This stops cats from urinating in soil, 'which they shouldn't if their liter boxes are clean,' but Halloween didn't walk on the cardboard, so that was that. lol.

Citrus is acidic, yet used..Same with Bittle Apple. Both can be purchased at local pet stores.

Perhaps, it's best to keep an eye on our cats when acidic/hot, or any foreign products are used. If a cat decides to approach despite the smell, carefully lead him/her to the pot, place his/her head near, 'not on,' pepper/citrus/apple. Once the cat smells it, he/she should sense not to go near the plant.

Cats are intelligent.

Well, it was a thought. I don't want anyone's cat to be harmed because of something I used/suggested with my own cats.

Gypsy. This came to mind after reading Linda's post.
Many plants are toxic. Some can make a cat sick, others worse. There are numerous sites that list poisonous plants, or you can Google to check.

Ivy, 'Hedera Helix' is toxic.
If/when you check, Google 'toxic plant to cats.' Some plants can harm a dog, but won't bother a cat, and visa-versa. Toni

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 5:04PM
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may I suggest small pine cones or "gumballs" from the yard, skewers from the kitchen also make the "bed" not so comfortable. You know the short wooden sticks, like over grown tooth picks. Cayenne pepper under the pokey balls may also be an option. Just a thought... My cats just knock my plants off of the shelves.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Gypsy_NC(Zone 7b)

My goodness - what a lot of great suggestions. Couldn't get that anywhere else on the internet. I think I will try the pine cones in my geranium. I also put some pepper on the inside of the rim of the pot - hopefully he will smell it without getting his paws on it. With my dracena, however, he eats the leaves only which drape over an area he sits on. He doesn't get near the pot or the stems. I can't move it - ya'll know that space can be limited when bringing in plants for the winter. I have put something there which kind of blocks him? We will see!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 11:44AM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Here's a suggestion I used with clients' dogs:

Before you put the scent on your pot/plants put it on a cotton ball or swab and let the cat or dog sniff and even take a taste. Then, when they smell it on your plants they'll know exactly what you've done (which, with cats isn't always a good thing LOL).

Drop me a line, Toni. 'Cos I'm baaaack!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I can't help it....

I'd rather have a cat in my plants than a splat on my pants.

I resisted for a few days, but am having a childish moment. Ooops!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Linda, that's a good idea. Simiar to using small cloth pieces on furniture so Spot won't chew, lick or take a nap. lol.


Purple, lolol....Toni

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Hi guys! Great thread. Here's my two cents:
While cayenne or other hot pepper WILL deter a cat, it is not considered safe for your pet. While most cats will smell it and walk away (be thankful if you are lucky and have one of those!), there are always the ones that are somehow going to get it in their eyes. I work in day practice now, but was a nurse at 24-hour emergency/critical care veterinary clinic for several years, and I can't tell you how many people have had to call or come in because of this. If they do get it on their paw and then get it in their mouth or eyes, it is VERY painful and, depending on the individual animal's physiologic response, may require medical attention. Bitter apple works great, is not painful and causes no inflammatory response. There are also other products designed for pets that are safe.
Also, as a lover of spicy food, I have TWICE gotten cayenne in my eye and it is awful! I could totally see myself forgetting I put it in/on a pot, and checking soil or moving pots around and getting it on my hand.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 12:30AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

I'm lucky, my cats don't damage my plants. But outside I have had damage done by squirrels, rabbits and outside cats.

The best deterrent I've found is to place glass rods into the soil poking out a few inches so the critters can't quite reach the soil. just snap the rod to the length you need and lightly sand the edge so it isn't sharp.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Thanks for the info- my Rusty (kitten) is just now starting to eat my plants! I think I have some Bitter Apple around somewhere. Wont hurt the plant? I hope not. the pepper is iffy to me, Rusty is so courious (sp) and tho smart, he is still a kitten. (about 4 mths) Not sure if he would know when to stop. But thanks for the info. Would Lemon peals work as well as Orange? we have some of those.
Think that tomorrow I am going to get some Cat Nip for him. Maybe that would distract him from my plants? :)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 10:20PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

dellis326, I just leaned over and told my Ferdi what a good cat he is. If he comes near my plants he slows down and is extra careful to walk around them so as not to even knock them over. It is so funny to watch, he will move his front paws over or around the plant look back to see where he should place his hind legs so he does not knock the pot over. I have so many plants on every counter and on the floor in front of the windows and have never had one knocked over or eaten.

He never eats any plants. I have them in every room of the house. The only place he wants to sleep is in somebody's bed or lap.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 3:35PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

There is one way to deter a cat from anywhere you don't want it and one that is safe and self-correcting (meaning you can look totally innocent):

Put double-sided tape on the surface. The cat's foot sticks to the tape and he blames himself/herself....not you. You don't have to be there to correct which is the most critical thing.

If an animal connects a correction to a person then he/she thinks it's only wrong to do something when the person is present. Which is why you often hear: "My cat/dog stay off the furniture when I'm in the room. But when I leave...." It's because they don't understand you want them off the furniture *all of the time* since they are only told "off" when you are present.

Double-sided tape works wonders.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Lamora..yep, lemon peel is the same as orange.

Marquest..too funny. Ferdi is well-trained. Ferdi reminds me of my dearest cat, Simon. How I miss him. He looked Siamese, but after getting neutered, weighed 19 lbs. Siamese are usually on the thin side.

Anyway, he'd creep around plants like Ferdi. Look back at me, to see if he was going about it the right

Our last cat, Halloween was the same way. So funny. I wasn't too worried about plants w/Halloween, it was the birds. They'd land on his head! lol. Poor Halloween didn't know what to do. I'd have to say, NO! Halloween..a few times, when one of the birds landed on him, up went his paw, but stopped mid-way..Then he'd look at me. AW, I miss both cats..Halloween passed away 4 days before or after his 17th B-day. 'Didn't get the exact date from the previous owner.' But Halloween was a teeny baby when we brought him home.

I miss having a cat, but not with the birds. Too dangerous.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Naughty, naughty thread! I was just over my urge to have a cat or two and you done me bad!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 8:41PM
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