Cats and plants and thuds. Any time I hear a thud, I suspect Harvey and Theodore are somehow involved.
Two handsome, identical gray and white long-haired cats, they were apparently dumped at the local Dollar General store two years ago as kittens. It was their lucky day (and mine, too!) when I was driving by and spotted the thin, hungry, flea-ridden duo sitting in the store parking lot. My friend Sue says that I can spot a needy cat a mile away while driving 70 mph. Along with that, my sister Ruthie claims I’m a cat magnet. So, you see, there really was no danger that I could possibly pass by these two little pitiful guys.
Now about the latest thud. I was working at my computer when I heard it. Investigating, I found my hanging spider plant had come crashing down with the dirt spilled all over the floor. Confirming my suspicions, Harvey and Theodore were calmly licking themselves as though everything was as normal as could be.
If you are a cat owner, you are right now thinking of a few of your own stories you could tell about cats and plants. We can all agree that cats have an infatuation with plants. I have found there are a few things you can do that may convince your cat that he really doesn’t want to mess with your plants after all.
One idea is to spray a repellent on your plants. Or you can sprinkle cayenne pepper on the plant leaves. Ginger also works, since it is very bitter to a cat’s taste buds.
Another idea is to buy a roll of clear plastic carpet mat, the kind that has little pointed plastic thorns that go into the carpet to hold it in place. Cut a piece the size you need and place the underside up. Set your plants in the middle of it. Kitty’s paws won’t like walking on the little thorns, so hopefully she will let the plants alone.
Sometimes cats take to digging in the dirt of potted plants. I found that putting marbles, glass pebbles, or even gravel as a layer on top of the soil deters the digging. You could also crunch up some chicken wire and place it on the soil. If you have garden netting on hand, that would work, too.
My last suggestion is for those of you who don’t like any of these ideas. In that case, just get artificial plants!
Whichever one of the above ideas you use, you still need to provide a plant that is acceptable for your cat to eat. Even when cats are well fed, they still crave something green to chew. It’s like when you’ve just eaten a satisfying comfort-food-kind-of-dinner yet you simply must have some of that chocolate in the candy dish!
Your cat’s form of a candy dish can be pet grass, available in pet departments. It is inexpensive and comes with everything needed: container, seeds, and dirt. All you do is plant the seeds, add water, and the pet grass grows. You can even buy small containers of this grass already planted and growing.
Theodore and Harvey like to pull the pet grass right out of the container to play with and chew. That’s OK with me because it satisfies their plant craving. I’m glad I have something that works for both cats and plants.
By the way, my spider plant is still clinging to life.
Other articles by iSnyder:
Therapy Dogs Help Struggling Readers
Pet Therapy, Giving Unconditionally