10 Tips for Protecting Your Indoor Plant Shelf from Your Feline Friend | Bloomspace
Indoor Plants

10 Tips for Protecting Your Indoor Plant Shelf from Your Feline Friend

Have you ever come home from a long day of work to find your brand new indoor plant laying on the floor? Not only is your plant chewed to pieces, but it's a real mess--dirt everywhere, pot smashed, and little dirt paw prints leaving the scene of the crime.

This is what your living room used to look like

1. Keep your plants in a Cat-Free Room

Is there a room your cats never enter? Maybe you always keep the bedroom door closed or you have a fancy sunroom that you don't let the cat into.

Placing your indoor plant shelf in these rooms is perhaps the easiest way to keep your cat away. Of course, cats are curious creatures, so make sure they don't see the plant. This can renew their interest in the forbidden room and leave them trying to sneak in whenever you leave the door cracked.

2. Hang Plants High

But what if your cat has access to every room or you want to decorate your entire home with plants? Another easy solution is to hang the shelf high.

Be aware that cats are excellent climbers and can balance on thin surfaces, like the tops of doors. So, make sure the shelf isn't near anything your cat can jump on and use as a stepping stone to the shelf.

3. Opt for Plants Cats Don't Like

If you've tried various different plants, it may seem like there isn't a single plant your cat won't chew on. However, there are several plant varieties that look amazing inside and naturally deter cats. Rosemary, rose, and cactus are all examples. Some of them, like rosemary, emit a strong odor that is wonderful to us but unpleasant to cats. Others, like cactus, are uncomfortable to touch, and your cats will quickly learn to stay away.

4. Save Your Orange Peels

Do you have your heart set on a certain type of plant? There's still a way to deter your cat from even the most tempting plants. Cats hate the smell of citrus fruits. If you regularly eat oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits, this could be a great option. Just save the peels and place in in the pot with your plants. You'll have to replace the peels every few days to keep that citrus smell potent enough to deter your furry friend.

5. Use Lemon Juice

If you don't eat enough citrus fruits to keep fresh peels in your plants, another option is to use lemon juice. Just dilute it with a little water and spray the leaves of your plants every few days. There are also specially-made cat deterrent sprays, like bitter apple, that are safe for plants.

6. Give Your Cat a Plant

Sometimes the best way to protect your plants is to divert your cat's attention. If your cat is determined to play with indoor plants, consider giving them their own catnip plant.Putting a few of these around your house in an easy-to-reach space gives your cat a more favorable plant to chew on, so they likely won't bother with yours.

7. Cover the dirt

For some pet owners, the real problem is their cat's insistence on using plants as a litter box. Not only is this gross, but your cats are likely to get dirt everywhere as they start to dig around.An easy way to avoid this is to cover the dirt with pebbles or pinecones. These natural elements look great and still allow water to seep through into the dirt below. 

 

If your cat is knocking these out, try placing aluminum foil, chicken wire, or tape sheets from lint rollers (with the sticky side up) on top of the dirt. These are all surfaces your cat will find uncomfortable and they'll be more likely to leave it alone. Once your cat stops showing interest in your plant shelf, you can remove these items from the dirt. 

 

8. Get a bird feeder

Many cats get into trouble because they're bored. So, offering them another entertainment option can keep them interested and distracted from your plants. Consider hanging a bird feeder outside the window. If you want to take this to the next level, get a bird feeder that attaches to the window with suction cups. They'll immediately run over to the window whenever a bird comes to visit. If you don't want to keep a bird feeder, you could also try to keep your cat's toys interesting to them. Something as simple as rotating their toys out can draw their attention away from plants and back to cat toys.

9. Set Up Deterrents Around the Plant

Maybe your cat is trying to push the tinfoil or pinecones out of the plant to play in the dirt. Or maybe they're standing next to the plant and chewing on the leaves. If this is the case, try to set up the same deterrents on the shelf around the plant. Loosely placed tin foil sheets and those tape sheets from lint rollers work great. When your cat jumps up, they'll either make a racket with the tin foil or get tape sheets stuck on their paw. This won't hurt them, but it'll make them think twice before jumping on the indoor plant shelf again.

10. Clean Their Litter Box Regularly

Cats are very picky about where to use the bathroom. They may be seeking out alternative places to go if they feel their litter box isn't clean enough. Make sure you have enough litter boxes for your cat. A general rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one extra. Also, make sure it's getting scooped every day, there's a good amount of litter, and it's not in a loud or high-traffic area.


Protecting Your Indoor Plant Shelf

Don't let your curious cat stop you from having the plants you love. From placing orange peels in the dirt to cleaning the litter box regularly, there are many ways you can protect your indoor plant shelf. 

Are you ready to fill your home with luscious plants? Then check our plants today to find the best ones for your home.


Dr Gareth Roberts

Neuroscientist turned plant-lover.