I’ve been getting into gardening quite a lot recently, so much that I’ve started a gardening blog. Since I live in Portugal now, and I currently have plants exclusively outdoors, I stick mostly to succulents & cacti, though I’d love to have at least a few houseplants eventually.
Truth be told, part of the reason I haven’t gotten any houseplants yet is I’m worried about how my indoor cats will treat plants if I place them inside. It’s not a matter of toxicity and poisoning issues I’m worried about, really. I know there are plenty of cat safe house plants out there, and will absolutely be looking to the ASPCA toxicity to cats plant list to double check any and every houseplant I’m thinking of placing inside. That being said there are other things that worry me a little about getting houseplants.
I have two cats that were stray/feral cats and recently took in a kitten who’s got a room to herself for now. My boys are the types to nibble on things like plastic when they’re hungry, or really sometimes just because they like the texture/feel of the plastic on their teeth. If cats eat enough grass, even though it’s not toxic, the sheer volume of grass they consume will induce vomiting. I’m a little bit worried I guess that they’ll nibble on house plants that are non-toxic the same might happen.
Then there’s the other possible trouble and mess issues: a lot of cats like to play with house plants, and even the soil that plants are potted in beneath. If I know my first cat, Avery, he won’t even bother to think of doing this for a second. He’s a lazy fella and rarely plays on his own to begin with, so I doubt a house plant or some soil it’s potted in is going to catch his eye. That being said, my second cat, Bjorn, is a hyper-playful guy and I think he might go after a houseplant & soil if I introduce it. And who knows what the kitten might do!
Basically, if there was a way to protect house plants, to cat-proof the soil, or prevent cats from being able to reach leaves or pots in general, I’d be a lot more likely to give a few of my favourite plants a go inside. But I looked and in terms of cat-proof planters, there isn’t a lot out there, that being said I started getting some ideas.
The following is a list of a number of different ways I can see myself having cat-safe plants inside. I must be missing a slew of good ideas, so if you have one to share, please let me know what it is the comments down below! I’ll definitely be explaining where I think the cat-proofing will excel – like protecting the soil or preventing cats toppling over house plants, or even keeping them out of reach for cats who don’t bother making trouble when things are placed out of reach. That way, if you have a cat who has a particular destruction-style, you can use a particular trick to try to avoid it, saving your houseplants in the process.
If you have any other ideas, advice, tips, or stories to share about cats & house plant destruction, do let me know in the comments. Now onto my ideas.
Cat-Proof Panters, Shelves, Pots, & Other Houseplant Protection Ideas
If you’ve got houseplants on the somewhat small side that you’d like to showcase in a pretty way while also protecting them from the paws (& fangs) of kitties in your household, there’s no more stunning way I can think of to do this than placing those plants in a terrarium. There are plenty of gorgeous terrariums out there, in plenty of shapes and sizes, so if this is a look you’re fond of, do some shopping around before committing to one or another. To be honest, I feel like a tabletop with one of these as a centerpiece, or a set of these on display on a side table would be so stunning. They would look gorgeous together, and you could add one at a time to a collection while you found pretty plants you loved. I definitely think I’d use these to keep succulents in.
If the only issue you really have with houseplants is your cat really loves to topple things like plant pots over (or knock over water bowls, that’s a thing too!), you probably have the easiest fix of them all on your hands: grab a heavy cement pot! Love the pot you’ve got? You can try weighing it down by filling part of it with rocks, or take that particular plant pot and place it somewhere kitty doesn’t have access to until you’re around, like an office you can close the door to at night and open up for your and your cat’s use in the morning when you can be around to monitor any shenanigans.
If your cats like to dig in soil, or you suspect they’d be the type to play around in the planting medium if you finally decided to grab a houseplant, you can easily remedy the problem by top dressing with gravel and rock. I’ve heard cats really hate the sensation of lava rock on their paws, and that if you top dress with it on an outdoor flower bed, cats will stay out of your bed even if they’re used to using that spot to go to the bathroom. If it has that much success outdoors, I’d imagine it’s a great option for indoor cats who like to play around in the soil of larger house plants they have access to on the floor. It’s also good, like heavy planters, for preventing cats from being able to topple or knock over plant pots, which is great if you have a playful fella you’re worried will manage to break a pot or two.
Can you think of a spot ideal for a houseplant, that’s just out of reach of your house cat – high and not near enough to any furniture that can help a sneaky feline leap up and grab a bite of a leaf or two? If you can, a wall-mounted planter might be the perfect bet. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to these, another great option aesthetically in my opinion being these ceramic plant pots. In case you’re renting or not staying around very long, and you’re looking for a solution that won’t need so many holes in the wall, you may want to opt for the next option instead…
Not only are these mini plastic garden greenhouses ideal if you need a solution that doesn’t require any hanging, they also typically fit considerably more plants than any other option. If you have a cat who won’t be tempted to touch and play with the plastic, or try to destroy it by attacking it, these might work out better than any other kind of cat proofing for you if you’re keen to grow quite a large collection.
There are options like this, that are wide and long, and options that are horizontal instead of vertical like this one. They’re very inexpensive, so if this is enough to keep your particular felines away, you’ve got it lucky.
This solution definitely won’t work well if you have a cat who’s fond of jumping places he or she shouldn’t, and you haven’t got very high ceilings. Essentially, it’ll make the plant look like a toy on a string if you’ve got a really playful cat, but for a kitty like my Avery, and to be honest, since my house has particularly high ceilings, these macrame plant hangers would work out quite well.
Added benefit: you get to choose whatever pot you want, and you can switch in and out plants as you wish. A few other hanging planter options, in case you’d rather have a pot attached to the hanger itself: Hanging Planters Flower Plant Pot & Urban Born-Handmade Hanging Greenhouse with Sheet.
Wall shelves that are fitted off and away from furniture, high enough to keep cats from being able to jump onto them, are a viable way to cat proof your house plant collection. I think they’re probably my favourite option for large collections, so long as you get the placement right. Plenty of wall shelves out there, so you can choose from a slew of different styles, and again, this way you can pick whichever pot you’d like. Why not? As long as you have the ceiling height to do pull it off.
Your Thoughts on Cat-Proof Planters?
Do you have cats at home who’ve gotten into houseplants before? What types of trouble do they cause related to house plants?
Have you thought of a way to cat proof a planter or a houseplant that wasn’t included on this list? Did you ever try something that worked out? Is there a type of house plant destruction you’re having trouble protecting from your cats?
Love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!