April 17, 2008,
W.P. asks from Arlington, TX on April 14, 2008
How Do I Stop Cats from Peeing in My Plants?
I need help stopping my cats from peeing in my indoor potted plants. The first time it happened I thought it was because the door to where their litter box is was closed accidentally. I has thankful they went in the plant and not on my carpet. I have been careful not to block access to the litter box, but they keep doing it. Twice today alone. Is there a product I can put in the soil and not hurt the plant. It is a large corn plant (I think that is what it is called anyway) and I am trying to avoid having to repot it. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
I just found this website about a week ago and am totally addicted!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks to all who responded. I got way more than I ever expected. I think we fixed the problem, knock on wood. I could not repot the plant completely, (it is way to big to do by myself and my partner was away on a business trip all that week). So I changed as much dirt out as I could. Then I toped it with the lava rocks so many recommended. I put the rocks in my other pots too, just in case. I did see one of the cats jump into the plant and look down like "What the heck is this stuff?", then jump out. So it looks to be working.
On a funny note: My partner watered the plant last night and then pointed out the wet stones to me. When I started to get upset at the cats, she started laughing and told me it was just water. Maybe I'll get her back by "watering" her pillow tonight.
M.S. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
Cayenne pepper works for outdoors, so I don't know why it wouldn't works with inside plants.
I just saw the responses. :o)
Peace Love Stardove
L.B. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
Oh my! I had this problem with my cat also. I tried everything and nothing worked. Then my mom said she read somewhere that cats hate the smell of Moth Balls (I do too) but I placed them around the pot and it worked. The cat is 15 yrs old and has not used the plants in years.
P. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
Growing up when a cat would do this we would put ammonia all around the top of the pot, cats hate the smell. I have also heard of using the red pepper like others have also mentioned. Hope this helps.
J.B. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
Believe it or not - mothballs are toxic (and they stink).
Here's a few organic and safe things to try:
Go to a local garden center and purchase a small bag of lava rock, or lava gravel (not lava sand). This works indoors and out for deterring cats and even squirrels from entering planted areas when you tops dress the soil with the lava gravel. The animals do not like to walk on the rough texture.
You can also try pecan shell mulch - it is very, very sharp and pokey. In extreme cases, you can put rose bush clippings around the base of the plants - one stick from a rogue thorn and kitty will move on.
I've had success with all 3 of these methods.
1 mom found this helpful
H.L. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
A few years back I adopted a cat that started to do her business in my plants. I knew I had to act quickly or this would be a hard habit to break. Also, we wouldn't have been able to keep her if she continued the undesirable behavior. First I re-potted the plants to get rid of the scent. (It is good to re-pot your plants every once in a while anyway to give your plants fresh nutrients.) After I re-potted the plants, I covered the fresh soil with pretty river rocks. It worked like a charm. Since my cat couldn't scratch the soil (like a cat does after going to the bathroom) she was no longer interested in using the plants as her litter box. We went to a landscaping company and got the larger, different colored, polished rocks. They look great in my plants and have solved the problem.
T.O. answers from Dallas on April 14, 2008
First, re-pot the plants. Otherwise they won't stop, they will still be able smell their scent even if you can't.
Then try red-pepper. It works for me outdoors for dogs that like to poop around my mailbox. It's cheap.
A friend of mine used bars of soap to discourage her cats from crawling in places they shouldn't go....
But I'd try the pepper first. It won't hurt the plant.
D.L. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
I had this same problem several years ago and I still have cats. First I took the plant outside and ran a lot of water through it to make sure the urine was washed out then (after it dried out some) I "mulched" the ficus with smooth river rocks about the size of a ping pong ball. The cats can't dig in the dirt of the plant now and have left it alone for years. Good Luck
M.W. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
Try putting rocks over the top of the soil. That stopped our cats because thay could not dig. You can get the smooth decorative ones at a garden center or even the craft/floral section at Wal-Mart or Target. My plants still get the water they need and have been thriving that way for years now. I did not even have to repot mine. The cats couldn't dig and stopped.
M.B. answers from Wichita Falls on April 15, 2008
Change the soil in the plants and then put mesh screen around the soil. They don't like the feel of it on their paws but you need to get rid of the odor first.
C.R. answers from Shreveport on April 15, 2008
My mom used to put mothballs in her plants and flower beds.
K.C. answers from Dallas on April 15, 2008
My mom used to put orange peels in the plants. They dont like the smell of them. She would put them on the car at night to keep from having kitty paw prints on her freshly washed car too! Good Luck!