Cats are creative and beautiful creatures. They belong to the Felidae family of animals composed of lions, leopards, and cougars. They are called Felids and are known for their flattened facial structure with large eyes and whiskers. There are feral, farm, and house cats.
House cats are domesticated species of cats, while feral and farm cats are wild cats moving freely. Cats are mainly carnivores with a strong sense of smell and good night vision. They are thirsty predators of rodents and other smaller animals.
Domesticated cats rarely eat plants, but wild cats do—however, some domestic cats rush on both plants and animals. Hence, you have to protect your plant from cats.
How Cats Damage Plants
Whether you are growing your plants, fruits, and vegetables in pots or gardens, they can be attacked by cats. Potted plants kept indoors for ornamental purposes can be a casualty of attacks by domestic cats. Feral and free-ranging cats can equally be menacing to your garden blossoming with varieties of food, medicinal, and ornamental crops. Below are some of the effects of cats on crops;
- Cats can nibble and chew on your plants while trying to play or chew the crops or leaves of the plant.
- Shredded, torn and bent potted announces the presence of your cat. They may scratch the leaves of the plant.
- Like other house pets, cats like shades and can play and doze off in the pot of your indoor plants. A rumpled potted soil is a disruption of the plant’s store of nutrients. If the plant has shallow roots, it may uproot and damage it.
- Cats can uproot your plant if not properly monitored. Domestic plants are curious; they may uproot the plant, leaving it to die as they keep gnawing on it.
- Feral cats do eat some plants. Although rarely, domestic cats eat too. This can kill the plant and undermine your efforts.
- Cat pee is a harmful chemical component. They are composed of concentrated nitrogen. When released into the soil, they can’t dehydrate, limiting your plants’ access to water.
How To Protect Your Plants From Cats
Do you know that your garden’s marigold, catnip, oat grass, cat thyme, Johnny-jump-up, and several other varieties of crops blossoming are felines’ favorites? Even your indoor potted plants can be preyed upon by curious house cats, especially when stressed. Below are steps you can take to protect your plants from cats.
1. Use Cayenne Pepper
Are you tired of keeping an eye on your potted indoor plant and watching it to keep the cats away? Having sleepless nights to monitor your housecat is rather stressful. Cayenne Pepper does the job perfectly. Just crush and sprinkle it on your houseplant’s leaves, stems, and fruits and see your cat run miles away. Cayenne pepper is a good animal repellent and is very effective. It oozes a scent that irritates the animals and scares them away.
2. Orange And Lemon Peels
Sometimes, cats go as far as gnawing impatiently on the soil of your indoor potted plants. They may do this to pee or defecate into the pot, harming the plant. Put lemon juice or peels in the soil in the pot on which you grow the plant. Lemon and Orange Juice and peels serve as natural repellents and can protect your plant from inordinate moves by your cat.
3. Pebbles And Stones
You only want to prevent the cat from accessing the soil or leaves. While cayenne peppermint protects your plant’s shoot stem and leaves, Lemon and Orange peel, stones, and pebbles protect the soil. Covering the ground with pebble air stones makes it impossible for the cat to access the plant or dig it out.
4. Chicken Wire And Mesh
Another way you can protect your potted plant from house cats is using chicken wire and mesh. Both allow you to cover the entire plant while they grow in optimal and ideal breeding conditions. Mesh and chicken wires should be made to cover the plant tightly. Ensure it is some inches dipped into the ground to make it firm. Rat may attempt to gnaw and pull it off.
5. Keep Your Indoor Plants From Cats
Although they may be positioned strategically in your apartments for aesthetic purposes, making each plant inaccessible to cats is vital. Cats can jump and climb lower heights; higher heights may pose a challenge. Keep your indoor plants where they cannot access if you don’t want to use repellents.
You should be careful when positioning your indoor plants from cats. Poorly placed indoor plants may undermine the aesthetic plan, making it look dull and irrelevant. Keeping your potted plant in sunrooms and closing the door to keep the cats away is another good option. Sunrooms will expose your plant to sunlight which is necessary for growth but closes them from unnecessary intrusion.
Protecting Your Garden From Feline Cats
You can control and check house cats regularly from damaging your indoor potted plants. How can you do the same with plants in your garden to protect them from feline cats roaming freely? Below are ways to keep off feline cats from your garden;
- Planting repellents can be your best bet. Both natural and mixed repellents can help protect your plants against attacks by feline cats. Vinegar, garlic, Lemon, and Orange peel can also be used.
- You can also spray the repellents on the farm. Mixed sprays can also be useful. Dilute them by adding a small amount of water and use sprays to sprinkle them on the plants’ leaves, fruits, and stems.
- If you are not planting the repellents as crops in the garden, an alternative is companion planting. Plant the repellents as companions. Effectively space them to prevent competition with other plants for nutrients.
- Coverings can also protect plants from feline cats in your farm or garden. Good mesh and nets dug well into the ground can prevent feline cats from your farm.
Can I Revive Plants Damaged By Cats?
It is possible to revive plants that have suffered bruises from cats’ attacks. Recovery depends on the nature and extent of the damage inflicted. If it is minor damage, essential care routines can help revive the plant. If vital parts such as stems and roots are broken, they may be difficult to revive.
Is Lemon Juice A Poisonous Cat Deterrent?
Using lemon juice on your plant’s soil, leaves, or stems deters cats, and it has been confirmed that it is safe and not poisonous, unlike other plant pest repellents. You can use it to protect edible plants.
Why Do Cats Dig Plants?
All cats like digging plants. It is a natural behavior propelled by instincts. Digging denotes a cat’s distinctive curiosity towards objects, which derives pleasure from the action.