How can I stop my cat from digging in my houseplants?
Great question. It’s frustrating when our wonderful cats claim a favorite houseplant as their own.
Digging is natural behavior for cats. Outdoors, they like digging in the soft, cool soil. We just don’t want our cats to dig up indoor plants.
Next, think about getting them a plant of their own by planting kitty grass, which is sold in pet stores. When two of my wonderful kitties were four-month-old kittens, I planted a large area of kitty grass for them. The kitty grass was so inviting that they wanted to snooze on top of it, instead of digging in it or eating it. Either is perfectly fine for a cat to do. I have now planted the kitty grass in smaller pots so the cats can get a good dig in.
It is also easier to try to cat-proof your plants rather than to enforce a “paws-off” approach. Younger, playful cats seem to get into trouble a bit more than our older kitties, so move your houseplants out of harm’s way, perhaps on a high narrow shelf. Try placing objects around the plants to block access. Put smooth stones or pieces of crumpled aluminum foil on top of the soil to discourage digging. You might also place fresh orange peels on the soil — the citrus scent can act as a repellent. Make sure you change the orange peels regularly. Pet stores also sell repellents, but please double check that they are safe for both cats and plants.
As I often say, patience and a little determination can solve nearly any cat co-habitation issue. As always, I welcome your stories and comments.