House Plants

Do you have any advice on keeping plants and cats in the same house?

First, make sure all the plants you bring into the home are safe for cats. Many plants are toxic. You can find a list of safe plants in my book Think Like a Cat. You can also find several lists online. To stop your cats from chewing on the leaves, use bitter apple spray. You can find this in most pet supply stores. Spray the plants outdoors or place newspaper on the floor to avoid causing damage. You'll have to spray the plants a couple of times a week at first, but it shouldn't take long before you cats realize that the bitter taste isn't too appealing. Since cats love to chew on greens, consider growing some cat grass for them. You can find ready-to-grow kits in most pet supply stores. By offering this tasty alternative, your kitties can safely enjoy munching on those much-loved greens. Make sure the plants are potted in sturdy containers to avoid being knocked over. If the plants are close to the windows, make sure your cats have a window shelf or cat tree so they'll be able to have access to the windows without knocking plants over. If your cats are digging in the large planters, you can use Sticky Paws for Plants. This is a double-sided tape that you put across the planter in a crisscross style. Or, you can cover the soil with a layer of rocks. Make sure the rocks are large enough so your kitties can't swallow them. Finally, make sure you're doing enough interactive playtime with your cats so they won't be tempted to play with dangling plant leaves or flowers.

Pam Johnson-Bennett

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