Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Housplants VS Cat!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Seb_the_Siamese, Jul 28, 2020.


  1. Seb_the_Siamese

    Seb_the_Siamese PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2020
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    47
    Hi all!

    Following a recent renovation in the house my mum is looking to populate the living room with some large houseplants (cat safe ones of course). We have so far bought one, but we are struggling somewhat with how to keep Seb off the plants. So far I've been leaving half a lime down near the plants which seems to act as a semi effective deterrent, but is there anything any of you could recommend to train seb off the plants/discourage him from playing with them? Leaving a lime down every day isn't really a long term solution...

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!
     
  2. Seb_the_Siamese

    Seb_the_Siamese PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2020
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    47
    IMG_5033.jpeg IMG_5063.jpeg

    Photos for your troubles!
     
    Beautiful Storm and chillminx like this.
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    13,248
    Likes Received:
    15,745
    Nope. In my opinion house pants and cats don't mix. Not worth the trouble, or the risk. I know you said only cat safe ones, but mistakes can be made.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese and buffie like this.
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    29,789
    Likes Received:
    26,497
    @Seb_the_Siamese - I got rid of my houseplants years ago when one of my cats began nibbling on them and vomiting. The plants were all meant to be non-toxic to cats but even so I did not like the fact the cat kept eating them and throwing up.

    My plants were all kept on high shelves but the cat managed to get up there. If your mum's large plants stand on the floor I can't think of any sure way of preventing Seb from getting to them, other than banning him from the room where the plants are kept.

    One safe alternative is imitation house plants - some of them look so realistic nowadays it is hard to tell they are fakes, at least until you touch them. :) The best ones are pretty expensive though...
     
  5. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    35,131
    Likes Received:
    33,005
    All of my plants live in my bathrooms where the cats are not allowed. Coco has a pot of grass kept in the porch but would chew other plants if she could.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese, buffie and chillminx like this.
  6. Redpanda

    Redpanda PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    10
    I’ve managed to ease two safe plants into the same space with Vuokko. At first she was wrestling all of them, so I just gave up, chopped all but one to pieces, and lived a month with ficus lyrae hidden in the kitchen. She had access to it during the day, and I basically went and lifted her off the plant every time she got too near. Usually with one ”no” beforehand.

    When things began to calm down I started to move the plant to its normal place in the bookshelf during the day, again lifting the cat away if she was actually touching the leaves. Otherwise I ignored her being near the plant so it wouldn’t become a thing to do for attention. What eventually (and suprisingly) made her leave the plant alone, was moving her other water cup on the same shelf. I don’t know why, but since then she’s been just sleeping next to it or passing by. Go figure!

    Around here I got another plant, and repeated the routine of ”no”, lift cat down without talking to her, ignore if she’s only smelling the plant or passing it. The plants (mainly the new one) now only interest her as an extreme way of getting attention fast, and this doesn’t happen too often. The plants are in place day and night. She’s never actually eaten the leaves, only made small tooth holes on them. I’ve never seen any signs of her touching plants when I’m away, so it seems to be only about being able to get a reaction.

    What I also noticed is that big sturdy ones (ficus lyrae) work better than the ones looking like cat activation toys (pilea).

    Disclaimer: I know cats who never learned to live with plants or learned to leave them be only as adults. And I know Vuokko is a bit like a dog when it comes to training.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese likes this.
  7. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    25,012
    Likes Received:
    22,084
    I'm in the " better without " camp .Any plants I have are artificial and kept out of munching reach.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese and lorilu like this.
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    29,789
    Likes Received:
    26,497
    @Redpanda - if Ficus Lyrae is, as I think, the same house plant as Ficus Lyrata, the leaves can cause irritation to the eyes and skin (of humans and pets) and the sap is very toxic. :(
     
    Seb_the_Siamese likes this.
  9. Redpanda

    Redpanda PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2020
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    10
    Oops, I did indeed spell that one wrong. Our local healtcare system has classified it as safe on their website, so I’ve kept it. They also have separate classes for ”irritating” and ”toxic”, and this was classified as non-toxic. Hmmm, I’ll look into that then.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese and chillminx like this.
  10. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    4,582
    I. can’t have houseplants due to Kito the plant eater. The only thing I’ve managed is an orchid in the bathroom. He’s tried to nibble that but clearly not to his taste and the leaves are thick. I do have a few herbs but he eats those too. Flat leaf parsley is his favourite.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese likes this.
  11. Seb_the_Siamese

    Seb_the_Siamese PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2020
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    47
    Thank you everyone for the input. Since my mum is working from home at the moment she has been keeping very close eye on seb and like @Redpanda we've been trying to reinforce to Seb that he shouldn't touch the plant. Surprisingly - Seb has been doing quite well in this department. We set up a camera whilst we were out for a bit and he didn't actually go near the plant. Obviously this will be an ongoing regime of training but seb seems to be fairly receptive to training (e.g. on a leash, and we've started to try out some commands too). Another thing we have found that helps seb is moving the plant around the room but reinforcing the same 'no' when he goes near the plant. Imo this has also helped him a fair bit as the plant is very clearly the common factor.
     
  12. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    29,789
    Likes Received:
    26,497
    @Seb_the_Siamese - I imagine the particular plant your mum has wouldn't actually be toxic to Seb if he ate any? i.e. it might cause vomiting or diarrhoea but nothing more deadly such as kidney failure?
     
    Seb_the_Siamese likes this.
  13. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    4,582
    Bear in mind that cats are very good at pretending they are doing what told when we are there, but when we are not there they do whatever they like! Best to make sure that he can’t access the plant at all when you are out (ie keep it in a room where he is not allowed, if there is one). Also bear in mind that when working from home, it’s not possible to be always watching cats as some work does have to be done! So best to make sure it isn’t anything that would do more than cause a minor stomach upset if eaten
     
    Seb_the_Siamese, lorilu and buffie like this.
  14. Cully

    Cully PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Messages:
    6,588
    Likes Received:
    18,460
    I got rid of all my real plants when I got my cat and replaced them with artificial ones. They wont grow any bigger or smell lovely, but at least I don't have to worry about making my cat ill, possibly seriously, nor do I have to water them or keep an eye on the soil in the pots to see if I've been left any messages.
     
    Seb_the_Siamese and lorilu like this.
  15. Seb_the_Siamese

    Seb_the_Siamese PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2020
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    47
    Yes they're classified as non toxic - we've got an Areca Palm and a Calathea
     
    chillminx likes this.
  16. Bigsize9foot

    Bigsize9foot PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    106
    We have had trouble with house plants too as my cats and now my new kittens love to eat them. I *think* spider plants, Xmas cactus and money trees are ok. These are what we have. All my cats have had a go at them (spider plant now looks like just stubs as the leaves were all torn off) and they haven't had any vomiting. Of course I try and keep them out of the way though as my adult cat likes to pull at them for attention if she doesn't get her own way!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice