Sunny
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Keeping the cat away from houseplants

How do I keep my cat away from houseplants? A friend suggested mothballs, but those things have unpleasant smell. Do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance. :D

opabinia51
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Don't have any botanical solutions for you. We just keep the plants in places that are either to high or to awkward for the cat (formerly cats) to get at.
Also, everytime I catch a cat near one of my plants.... he gets a little slap and a stern warning. Sorry I can't be of better help.

You could try doing a google search for botanical cat repellents or plants that cats.

The Helpful Gardener
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I don't like the slap thing so much as they begin to resent you directly; I have had great luck with a squirt bottle (I also use for misting); just turn to stream and apply to cat! :shock: They don't associate it with you and it makes a BIG impression every time! :lol:

Scott

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Make him a housecat? LOL

Give him his own bed of catnip and other kitty favorites so maybe he leaves your plants alone?

NZG
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I bet your bottom dollar Cayenne Pepper will do the trick.

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N.Z. has a good solution; no physical harm, but you'd have a hard time convincing the cat of that...

I do raise cat grass (winter wheat) for mine every year and they do chomp that to the exclusion of all else. Remember, they eat to satisfy cravings, so consider this a cry for veggies...

Sunny
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Hi guys! Thanks for your help. My cat is very much a housecat, and the house plants are the ones catching his interest, especially my Gloxinia the leaves of which he loves to nibble on.

You mentioned Cayenne Pepper. How do I use it? Should I sprinkle some on the soil around the plant?

Can we grow cat grass inside the house?

NZG
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Yes, just sprinkle it over the area you don't want your cat digging in.

Has worked for us many times before, both with cats and dogs.

JulieR
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Keeping the Cat away from houseplants

I have seen a TV program where you plant winter wheat,(Thanks Scott for mentioning it because I had forgotten exactly what they had planted!) in a large flat container, such as the bottom of a big clay pot. It grows quickly, and can just be left on the floor for the cat's "gastronomical enjoyment".

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Marge
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I have written about this in the Organic board ... use orange peel or prickly bits of berberis!
Reine de la cocina

Sunny
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Thank you for your advice, everybody!

The cat is not digging, but he is nibbling on the leaves. I'll be sure to try out your suggestions and see which one works best for him. thanks again. :D

wingdesigner
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housecat vs. houseplants

I agree with squirtbottles--longer range and better accuracy than a squirtgun! I wouldn't begrudge a few aloe leaves to kitty; but most everything else is highly toxic, so don't lapse in your discipline. Most cats are like two-year-old-teenagers: "No" means "try later"... Most of the rest of the suggestions also work, depending on the temperament of the cat, and the human(s). Try "bitter apple" spray, also; it's sold to keep animals from picking at bandages and such. Our house has 3 cats/2 dogs; with lifetimes of experience with each. One cat got into the diffenbachia and found out why it's called "dumb cane"! He survived, and after being whisked to the vet, along with the plant, didn't try that again! Rots o' ruck, and Happy Gardening!

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The Bitrex often sold as a deer repellent is a bittering agent and may work just as well (while being a bit cheaper...)

HG

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Boy! am I glad I'm not Sunny's cat! Using cayenne pepper on an unsuspecting animal @#!! Who would even think of such a thing - and I don't care if it works - its cruel.

Be kind and run that pepper thing past your vet ~ or ~ better yet spread a little of that pepper on your kitchen counter, and when you get a bit of it in your eye, mouth or nose, and only then, decide if that is what you want to expose your cat to. I know of no cat owner who doesn't have a few funny cat tails to tell about their cat and houseplant. Well, funny now anyway. Forget the pepper~ pitch the plant~ keep the cat.

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mintylin wrote:Boy! am I glad I'm not Sunny's cat! Using cayenne pepper on an unsuspecting animal @#!! Who would even think of such a thing - and I don't care if it works - its cruel.

Be kind and run that pepper thing past your vet ~ or ~ better yet spread a little of that pepper on your kitchen counter, and when you get a bit of it in your eye, mouth or nose, and only then, decide if that is what you want to expose your cat to. I know of no cat owner who doesn't have a few funny cat tails to tell about their cat and houseplant. Well, funny now anyway. Forget the pepper~ pitch the plant~ keep the cat.
I think you're taking this the wrong way.

There is NO harm to any animal when it is put on the ground (NOT the animal!) that you don't want your cat or dog to dig.

I have used cayenne pepper many times when teaching my cats or dogs not to dig in a specific area and have never had one ill effect of using it. They take one sniff, and never return. Simple easy solution.

Guest

The posts reference cayenne on the soil and that is what I referred to. If one puts anything on the ground and an animal walks on it, to it, over it, whatever, its going to be "on" the animal. Pads get licked, necks get scratched, or it gets inhaled. I am glad for your pets that they were unaffected by this method...

wingdesigner
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cats 'n plants

I agree with NZ Gardener--no you don't put the pepper on the animal but on the plant(s) you wish to protect. Some pepper in the birdseed keeps the squirrels (mostly) away and the birds can't taste it. Furthermore, although I have hard water I seriously doubt that it hurts the cats when I squirt them... :) . Please, don't think I'm cruel to animals. I volunteer with several rescue groups and donate to others. I've seen cruelty firsthand--don't get me started. The question was how to discourage pets from messing in, with, around plants, and the suggestions put forth may or may not work, depending on the animal, but I wouldn't classify them as cruel if used properly or as intended. Enough already--this is getting off topic and could be volatile, agreed? We can agree to disagree?

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opabinia51
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Question, about how much Cayenne do you put around the plant? A teaspoon?


Does anyone know of an organic way to detur a Spring Spaniel (dog) from digging up flower beds and the like? Fencing has been tried but, fencing in every bed is not possible due to the slope on the garden. I think that Cayenne wouldn't work due to the surface area of the garden. Plus, I don't want to mess with the dogs mucus glands.

Anyway, thanks. :)

wingdesigner
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keeping cats and spaniels out

Enough to make it sneeze. Probably enough to see it on the ground. If you've got reddish/iron rich soil, well...maybe a heaping teaspoon or some tbs., if it's a large plant like a peony. Don't think it would do to put it on the leaves, though. Try a "bitter apple" spray. Anything will wash off in the rain, but maybe after a couple of tries doggy will be conditioned to leaf it alone (pun intended). Regular pepper should work, too, and is cheaper than Cayenne. Don't waste the fancy gourmet stuff, go for the store brand.

Happy Gardening.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

opabinia51
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Thanks Wing. That bitter apple spray sounds like something that I might try. I'm guessing that one can pick it up at a local nursery or the like?

wingdesigner
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bitter apple spray

Actually, Opa, hadn't thought of a garden center. I find them at chain-type pet supply stores like PetSmart or Pet Supply Plus; or from your local veteranarian. There are probably recipies out on the "net" for other concoctions--but I'd carefully consider the ingredients they call for before using. One last caveat: my spouse is allergic to the bitter apple, even though it has no scent detectible by humans--it brings on an asthma attack! You may want to test it around family members if they suffer from allergy- or exercise- induced asthma. Keep me posted, if you have time (yeah, right) on the results.

Happy Gardening, and good luck!
Happy Gardening,
Wing

opabinia51
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Thanks for the tips wing. :D

Guest

A good solution to keep a dog from digging in flower beds is to give it a spot of its own where it can dig. This area can be tucked out of sight. Loosen a bit of the ground, take the dog to that spot and let him dig. When the dog digs in a flower bed take it to its digging spot. Hang a sign in his spot, something like: Lassie's Garden, always a work in progress. It helps also to hide a toy or treat on occasion for the dog to find.

Guest

Bitter Apple Oil

Since the aerosols used to release bitter apple particles can induce asthma symptoms, a solution might be to soak one end of a q-tip with oil, and plant the opposite end in the soil. Two or three around the container might do. Bitter apple oil can be found at pharmacies where oils of cloves and wintergreen are displayed.

opabinia51
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Thanks. :D I have relayed all the above information to my father (who is the one with the dog).

He had the idea of using the old .22 solution... one .22 caliber shell right between the eyes. :shock:

Ever the joker :roll:

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Excellent thread guys; Opa, might want to steal this last part as a start for a "Dog in the Garden" thread...

HG

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Cats vs. Houseplants

While at a garden symposium today, one speaker topic was 'Animals and Plants - Inside and Out'. The speaker suggested the following as a safe and effective way to keep an animal out of a houseplant.

Using hardware cloth, cut out a circle the diameter of the houseplant container. Make a cut to the center of the circle. Cut out enough of the center so the cloth can be positioned around the stem. The cut out area should be large enough to avoid touching the stem and allow for stem growth. Twist the circle of hardware cloth and place on soil to encircle the stem. Cover with a decorative moss mulch. Recheck stem growth on occasion.

The theory being, when animals can't reach the soil they lose interest nor do they like the contact between claws and cloth. I would think a paper plate would make a template for 8" and smaller diameter containers.

opabinia51
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This doesn't have anything to do with houseplants but, I just read in the garden web about a person who installed a motion sensor on his sprinkler system and since doing so has not had a cat, dog or any other animal in his raised beds.
Not to sure how much one of those things would cost but, it seems like a novel idea!

Of course, what I have done to keep the deer, my relatives dog and any neighbourhood cats out of my garden is build an 8 foot tall fence around my garden (made from platic mesh). Works like a charm!!!

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Works for me, NZ. I am trying to keep the boys from...depositing... in the herb garden. I will try this...

HG

opabinia51
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I like the idea of that sprinkler system. I would think that a shot of water in the face would be enough to scare just about anything away!! :D :lol:

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I've seen that motion sensor sprinkler marketed before...ahh here 'tis...

[url]https://www.biconet.com/critter/sprinkler.html[/url]

HG

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