How to wean a cat from eating indoor plants: proven methods
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Cats are by nature hunters who love meat, but plant foods no less important to them. In the absence of the necessary options, they are looking at indoor flowers.
Many cat lovers who, before the appearance of animals in the house, were fond of indoor flowers, are faced with the problem of the coexistence of plants and animals, since the latter very often show interest in green “neighbors”. Pets not only rummage through flowerpots or push them off window sills and coasters, but also chew flowers with pleasure, causing irreparable harm to them and significantly spoiling their appearance. In addition, some flowers can be very dangerous to the health and even life of furry comrades. Focus collected tips on how to minimize cats' interest in indoor flowers in order to save plants, cats and nerves.
Why do cats eat indoor flowers?
The ancestors of the cat are predators who, in addition to meat, also ate plant foods. There are several main reasons why animals eat houseplants.
- Lack of vitamins. Having limited access to grass outside the window, the animal tries to compensate for their deficiency with houseplants.
- Stimulation of the gastrointestinal tract. Having eaten heavy food (for example, raw meat), the cat feels heaviness in the stomach and discomfort. Since some plants cause a gag reflex, the animal looks for them to get rid of “extra” food.
- Wool in the stomach. To bring her out, the cat, again, is looking for plants that stimulate vomiting.
- Game. Bright colors attract cats, especially kittens. Playing with the leaves with a paw, the baby can accidentally or deliberately bite off a piece of the plant.
- Hunting instinct. Hunters by nature, cats satisfy the need, mistaking a flower for game. Kittens are especially guilty of this.
- Worms. Cats are well aware when they have uninvited guests, and they look for plants to provoke a gag reflex and remove helminths.
- Stress, CNS pathologies. A move, a change of ownership, the arrival of a new family member, loud noises – this is not the whole list of causes of stress. Chewing plants calms the animals, as it helps to relieve tension.
When getting a cat, it is worth remembering that some houseplants can be very dangerous for her. Therefore, in the fight against the habit of nibbling on everything green on the windowsills, there is one important point that we will put first.
Remove poisonous plants from home
Among indoor flowers, there are those that, despite their beauty, are very dangerous for cats. Even a small drop of juice can lead to sad consequences. The most dangerous are philodendron, kalanchoe, hydrangea, begonia, ficus, ivy, geranium, sansevieria, anthurium and aloe. The elements contained in these plants can cause burns to the animal's oral cavity, asphyxia, multiple organ failure, poisoning, itching, and other serious consequences.
Buy cats special grass
As we said above, in the wild, cats eat grass to improve digestion. To save the flowerpots and meet the needs of the animal, you can buy cat grass at the nearest pet store. It is an excellent source of fiber, niacin, and B vitamins, and can usually be purchased in pots from your local pet store. You can also grow this herb yourself. The same pet stores sell seed kits consisting of grains of millet, oats, wheat and barley. They can be germinated in the soil to feed the cat later, or you can buy special figurines that also sprout when watered.
In addition to grass, you can plant lettuce, parsley and dill for the cat.
What you definitely shouldn't do is pick up grass on the street and bring it into the house, offering it to the cat. Such grass can be no less harmful than poisonous houseplants. It is very likely to bring helminths on it.
If there is a plant in the house that is not poisonous, and the cat does not want to leave it alone, a good way to keep the animal away is to sprinkle the leaves with chili pepper, but the main thing here is not to overdo it so as not to harm the delicate mucous membranes of the animal. Sprinkle the plant lightly with the spice and you will soon notice that your cat avoids it altogether. Be sure to water the plants from below for a few weeks after applying the chili powder so the spice doesn't wash off. Other options include coffee grounds, pepper, citrus essence, white vinegar. Some even use moth balls, laying them in flowerpots so that the smell scares away the cat, but if there are small children in the house, it is better not to do this, because the child can taste them, which is very dangerous for him.
Foil, cling film and adhesive tape
Plants in pots can be wrapped in foil as a preventive measure against cat urges to eat them. Animals hate the rustling sensation under their feet and will avoid plants in the future. Alternatively, you can use cling film, tape sticky side up and other methods that the animal will not like and eventually discourage him from climbing into flower pots.
Hide plants higher
If an animal with a stubbornness worthy of better use continues to spoil flowers, and if you are not ready to give up the plants, then move them to where the cat will definitely not get them. Move the flowerpots to rooms where the pet is forbidden to go, and if this is not an option, then consider placing the flowers high enough so that your cat cannot reach them, or even hang them in baskets from the ceiling.
Vitamins and water in sufficient quantities
Sometimes a cat nibbles on leaves to quench its thirst, so make sure that it always has clean water, and also buy a vitamin complex for it that will satisfy basic needs the cat's body in essential vitamins and trace elements.