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Cat digging in plant pots

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, my kitten if 7 months has just been allowed into the living room where I have a yucca plant in a large pot. He decided to dig up the soil and spread it around the room.

Any advice on how to deter him from doing this? I'm using newspaper to cover the soil at the moment, will see if that works but it's a bit unsightly!
post #2 of 12
Cats are often fascinated with pots of soil - to them, it's like another litterbox! Covering the soil with tinfoil (especially if you scrunch it up a bit) might work better than newspaper - cats generally don't like working on scrunched up foil, both from the feel of it and the sound it makes.

You could try scattering orange/citrus peel in the pot too - most cats can't stand the smell of citrus, so that might be enough to keep him away.

If all else fails, there's always the option of a motion activated air spray, such as PetSafe Ssscat spray. It will give out a harmless but annoying burst of air when your boy goes near the plant pot. I would definitely try the other options first though.

Whilst this training is going on, it might be worth spreading newspaper or something around the base of the pot - just to make cleanup easier if he doesn't get the message straightaway.
Hope some of these help cross.gifvibes.gif
Solving Cat Behavior Problems: The Key Ingredient
By Anne Posted 528 views 2 comments
post #3 of 12

To keep my cat off my plants, I had to use multiple methods.  Tin foil on soil, but also I had to put my plants on mats that deter her ( I use the rolls of soft plastic that have the little spikes on one side. they're intended to protect carpets from rolling chairs, but upside down, they are unpleasant for cats and can be used to deter them from going places.)


It isn't instant, but every time my cat messes with the plant she gives up within 30 seconds, because it isn't enjoyable any more.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great... thanks for the advice!
post #5 of 12

I use fist sized rocks to cover the dirt, decorative and cat has no dirt to dig in. They can be smaller, but not small enough to be pushed aside by the cat. It still provides drainage for the water and allows the dirt to breathe. I have not had dirt scattered across my floor since I started doing this. Hope it helps!

post #6 of 12

We used wire mesh (has 1/2" square holes).  I think it came from Tractor Supply or Lowes?  They had galvanized, or coated.  The coated was green. We just used galvanized and had plans to paint the wire to match room décor.  But, never did.
Cut out circles 2" larger than the pots and bent the edges down so that it looked like a wire lid. 
Works great, looks good, and doesn't effect watering.
Something like this photo of chicken wire.  But, the wire we used has smaller, square holes, and is much more rigid than chicken wire.

post #7 of 12

Small rocks worked for us as well. Also make sure the litter box is always clean!

post #8 of 12

Also, I just re-read your post.   You should be aware that Yucca is considered toxic to cats. you can go tot he aspca site to see a complete list. it probably wont' kill your cat, but you may want to switch over to non toxic plants like most palms ( but *NOT* sago palm, which shouldn't be sold outside of specialty garden stores IMO) and most succulents.

post #9 of 12

I second (or third) the rocks/pebbles. You can get some really pretty ones out there. A yucca I would probably do some pale brown gravel with red lava stones mixed in for contrast. We have rocks everywhere in my yard and the cats don't mess with them. Well Rocket does like to sit/climb on rocks but they are the larger ones either her size or the fake ones used as benches and planters around the yard. 

post #10 of 12
I noticed you have to watch out for citrus peels because they can go moldy in the pot. If you can find a citrus oil that might be a good addition to the rocks. I doused a Himalayan salt lamp with grapefruit essential oil and my guy has stayed away from it ever since. Bonus is that it makes the room smell nice!

I've also heard that filling the pot with extra large pine cones can be a decorative deterrent, but haven't tried it myself.
post #11 of 12
The thing that worked best for me is old-fashioned mothballs. Put several in the soil & cats won't go near the smell of them.
post #12 of 12
Pebbles worked for us. We also got some plastic pot protectors (will try and add a pic)
They eventually grew out of it!

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