Having houseplants in your living environment can improve not only your quality of life but also the quality of life of your cat.
Plants are known to have a host of beneficial properties for humans. They can help purify the air in your living space by absorbing toxins, improving indoor air quality, and helping reduce the levels of pollutants.
Plants are also known to induce various physical and mental health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety. They can make you feel calm and relaxed. Studies have shown that they can improve your mood and overall well-being.
Having the right plants also provides many advantageous opportunities for your cats. But it is important to know which plants are safe to use.
Why Cats Chew On Plants
One reason why cats often interact with and chew on plants is due to the movement of the plant’s leaves. This is more like mental stimulation and entertainment to them, and it will keep their reflexes sharp and improve their quality of life.
For example, a climbing plant can provide your cat with an opportunity to exercise. This will keep them active and healthy.
Some plants, such as catnip, are known to provide stress relief to cats. These types of plants promote feelings of calmness and relaxation in the cat.
Suppose you decide to obtain a plant with a sturdy trunk. It can prove to be a great natural scratching post for your cat. This will keep your cat’s claws healthy and may mean your cat no longer scratches your furniture.
By keeping plants in your home, you not only expose yourself to the benefits of housing these plants within your indoor space, but you also open up those opportunities to your cat.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A House Plant For Your Cat
When choosing which plant to get for your cat, there are a few crucial factors that you need to consider. These factors include:
Some indoor plants can prove to be extremely toxic to cats. Before buying a plant, it is important to research its toxicity to cats and ensure you do not buy them. Cats are known to often chew on plants, and if they chew and ingest toxic plants, it could lead to negative consequences such as severe illness or even death.
If you already have toxic plants in your home, you should remove them or take steps to ensure your cat cannot access them.
Here are a few common plants that are toxic to cats:
- Spring bulbs
- Autumn Crocus
- Azaleas and Rhododendrons
- Castor Beans
Even though a plant might not be toxic to cats, it could induce allergic reactions in your cat. Before introducing a plant into your home, ensure to visit your vet to have them test your cats for plant allergies.
Here are some common plants that cause cat allergies:
- Peace Lily
- Devil’s Ivy
- Sago Palm
- Spanish Thyme
Symptoms of plant allergies within cats include excessive licking, scratching, grooming, and rubbing the face excessively on objects and itchy skin.
Safe And Cat-Friendly House Plants
Here are a few house plants that are not only safe but also that your cats will absolutely adore.
One of the most popular and well-known plants that cats adore is catnip. This perennial herb belongs to the mint family.
This plant is a cat stimulant and can provide cats with a spike in energy and cause them to feel good.
The spider plant is non-toxic to cats and is very pretty. You can hang them, which is a good way to keep them away from your cat. If your cat takes a few bites out of the plant, it will grow new leaves quickly.
Spider plants grow best in light shade; it is not wise to keep them in direct sunlight as the leaves are easily scorched. These plants prefer loose soil with a neutral pH. Be sure to avoid overwatering.
Most commonly known as ‘baby’s tears’ or ‘Japanese moss,’ this plant is easily recognisable by its numerous tiny green leaves. They do well in terrariums and can even be hanged.
Similar to the spider plant, the paddy’s wig does not do well in direct sunlight. It grows best in warmer temperatures.
If you want to add a succulent to your indoor space, look no further than Haworthia. Also known as the zebra cactus, this is one of the few succulents safe for cats.
The zebra cactus is extremely easy to grow; you can grow it in a pot and does great in bright sunlight. It is perfect to be placed on the window sill.
Venus Fly Trap
Consider adding a venus fly trap to your indoor plant collection if you want something more exotic.
They only pose a threat to insects and are one of the easier carnivorous plants to take care of as they perform well in low-nutrient soil.
By using these plants, you can give your cat a myriad of benefits. These benefits include:
- Giving your cat a safe alternative plant to chew on.
- Preventing your cat from getting plant allergens.
- Providing your cat with mental and physical stimulation.
You can ensure your cats remain safe and sound while your indoor space looks aesthetically pleasing.
How much care do cat-friendly plants require?
Various cat-friendly plants require varying levels of care. Some cat-friendly plants, like the zebra cactus, are extremely easy to take care of, while others, like wheatgrass, require more attention. Be sure to do research on the plant that you plan on introducing into your indoor space.
Why do cats love to chew plants?
All types of cats eat plants, even in the wild. Here are a few reasons why your cats love chewing your plants.
- Cats can ensure that their digestion system functions optimally by ingesting plant material. This helps move fur balls through the digestive system.
- It is also possible that a cat likes the taste of a plant and will continue to consume it.
- Cats are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their surroundings; chewing on different plants may sate their curiosity and keep them mentally stimulated.
- Cats may also eat plants when they are stressed.
How do I get my cat to stop chewing on my plants?
If your house plant is not toxic, but you would like to prevent your cat from chewing on them, you can lightly sprinkle chilli powder on the leaves of the plant.
Seeing as cats have a distaste for anything citrus, if you do not have chilli powder on hand, you can also opt to use lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit juice distilled with water. You can spray this mixture on the leaves of the house plant you do not want your cat to chew on.