My cat loves to nibble on houseplants, but unlike wild animals that instinctively know which plants are dangerous, domestic cats do not possess this trait. That means its up to me to keep her safe from poisonous plants. Although it does limit the plants I can display on windowsills within her reach, I have discovered ways to grow the plants I prefer without worrying about causing her harm.
Hang plants unsuitable for cats from plant hangers – but make sure all vines are out of reach. Check the area carefully for any objects your cat can climb on to reach the plants. Remember, your cat is likely to leap from object to object to get where she wants to go. Although the bookcase may be too high for her, she may gain access to the bookcase from lower furniture.
Grow your plants in an enclosed terrarium. This keeps kitty safe while allowing you to enjoy the beauty of your plants. There are many sizes and styles available, from small desktop terrariums to larger freestanding versions. An old aquarium will work, as long as you cover it. I find this a great way to grow plants I enjoy without worrying about kitty accidentally trying a bite.
Designate one room as off-limits to your cat, if you can. This works particularly well for seed starting. I place a table in front of my laundry room window where I know they will be safe from my cat. You can, of course, create an entire room of your favorite plants. Think quiet time to reflect or read a good book – that is if you don’t mind being separating from kitty.
An old birdcage makes an attractive container for plants and keeps them safely out of the reach of your cat. Place the entire plant – pot and all – inside the birdcage and display in a sunny window. Be sure to check that the hook is strong enough to support the weight of your plants if you prefer to hang the cage. Monitor the cage often to prevent vines from growing outside the cage where kitty can nibble.
If you have a housecat, your deck or front porch may offer the perfect opportunity to grow plants that may cause her harm. Although you may not be able to grow them all year, lush green plants for the summer is a workable alternative.