Ever since I started living alone I became obsessed with plants. I have lots around the house and spend so much time caring for them. However, recently I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one who fancies them. I guess you already see it coming – how to stop cats from pooping in plant pots?
Yes, I saw my two cats choosing my plant pots instead of their litter boxes which are perfectly fine. They were empty and spotless whenever I checked them. It was like my cats never needed to use them. But then I would take a look at my plant pots and I would see their poop.
I was so confused and I knew I needed to find the answers if I want to sleep well at night. So it was only logical for me to start digging for answers. I wanted to figure out why cats poop in plant pots, whether it is harmful to my plants or not, and how to stop them from pooping there.
And after some time I finally got the answers to my inquiries! Since you’re here, I guess you need them too, so I’m here to help you out. Let’s see what I have for you.
Why is my cat so obsessed with my plants?
To help you understand the topic better and make you a real cat expert, we need to start from the basics. So today, we need to talk about why are cats so obsessed with plants first. Is it because they look and smell nice or is there something completely different hiding behind their love for them?
Let’s find out!
1) She likes the texture
Cats and their senses are truly amazing. You’ve probably noticed that your kitty likes exploring her surroundings. She does that because she’s a natural hunter and she also feels the need to always be aware of everything that’s around her. That way, she’ll always be safe.
However, that’s not the only reason she likes doing that. Kitties adore feeling things that are different. It’s like they’re traveling through a completely different country. The one they’re living in has wooden floors or is covered with carpets. But plants have a completely different texture and most felines enjoy it.
If you take your kitty outside you will notice how amazed she would be by all the grass and flowers in the park.
2) They are tasty
Have you ever tried a meal you never planned on eating and then surprised yourself with how tasty it actually was? One of the main techniques of exploring is actually tasting. Cats like to put unknown things in their mouths to conclude what they are.
So don’t let it surprise you to notice your cat chewing on a new plant you put in your home. It’s probably because she wants to see what it is and whether it’s a kind of threat to her. But be careful. Most plants aren’t toxic to felines, however, some of them can be harmful so make sure you research them well.
If you aren’t sure about them, the best thing to do is to keep all your plants away from your fluffball until you figure out whether they can be harmful to her.
3) She’s bored
Sometimes when we’re bored we start doing random things that we otherwise never would. For example, making a weird dance choreography to one of our favorite childhood songs. Or simply talking to ourselves, or imagining winning an argument against someone we really don’t like.
Well, cats can get bored too. So it’s easy to conclude that they will try to do something fun too. However, the things we consider fun aren’t really interesting to them, and vice versa of course. Therefore, you probably won’t see your fluffball making a cool choreography or talking to herself.
But it’s likely that you will see your cat do some weird things like pooping in your plant pots, and she will only stop if you forbid it.
4) Your cat might be stressed
Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones who can feel blue from time to time. Felines can also experience stress from many things that happen around them. Some of the most common causes are big changes, like moving homes, getting them new beds or litter boxes, changing routines, or even their meal plans.
If you think that your cat might be stressed because of something, then it could be the reason why she’s suddenly so obsessed with your plants. It’s because anxious felines usually scratch things around them, groom themselves a lot, or even chew on blankets and other things that are near.
Therefore, it’s also possible that she will chew on your plants to get her mind off things that make her sad, scared, or angry.
5) She likes how the leaves dance
And finally, there’s one really cute reason why your cat might get obsessed with plants all of a sudden. If you never had many plants around your home and then you started buying them and placing them somewhere your kitty can reach, it’s possible that she will touch them while playing.
And when she does, your fluffy roommate will notice how the leaves make a little dance. We understand why it happens, but cats need a bit more time to figure out that things can move when we touch them.
That little dance will be very interesting to your kitty and it’s likely that she’ll play near that plant more and more just so she can see that choreography.
She likes them, but why does she poop there?
Okay, now we know why our cats are obsessed with plants. But why are they pooping in plant pots? We also have lots of things we like in our home, but our toilet will always be our toilet. So what’s a trigger that makes cats switch from using their litter boxes to using pots?
Is it possible that something feels more comfortable than the other? Or maybe it’s just that they feel rebellious from time to time? Don’t worry, I have all the answers you’re looking for.
1) It’s like a five-star toilet
Imagine you have two choices but you can only choose one of them. Okay, the first choice is a beautiful five-star bathroom. It’s got great decor, it smells amazing, it’s comfy, and it has everything you could think of!
And then the second option is an old bathroom. It has everything you need too, but it’s just that. It doesn’t smell nice, it’s not comfortable nor nicely decorated. It’s as simple as it could get, and it’s there just so you can have a place to do the things you need to do.
So, which one would you choose if they were both free? The first option, of course. Well, your kitty has good taste too, so naturally, she’ll choose to poop inside your plant’s pot. It’s probably softer so she likes how it feels on her paws, and on top of that, it smells perfect!
2) Her litter box is dirty
We all know that cats are one of the cleanest animals in the whole world. When they aren’t sleeping, eating, or playing, they are probably grooming themselves or their friend if you have more cats. It’s amazing how much attention they pay to their hygiene.
Therefore, it’s not difficult to conclude that their litter box is very important to them. If it’s even a bit dirty, be sure that your kitty will decide to poop somewhere else. Not necessarily because she fancies that new place, but because she wants you to know there’s something wrong.
She can’t really come to you and say, “Hey, I know you’re busy, but my litter box isn’t really clean, so could you please do something about it?”, so she’ll need to figure out another way to grab your attention. If you see your cat pooping in your plant pot, be aware that she won’t stop unless you do something about it.
3) She wants more attention
Cats are like little kids. They adore their playtime and need your attention. So every time your fluffball feels like you’re not really interested in what she’s doing, she will try to grab your attention by doing something that you will definitely notice.
She probably thinks something like, “I can come to her and cuddle, and she will do the same! But that’s a bit basic, so why don’t I go to her favorite plant and poop in its pot? Wow, good thinking. Let’s do it!”. And then she goes there and does what she’s planned.
But the thing is, you’ve obviously noticed her, so her plan worked fine. It’s not the best one for you, but she’s definitely proud of how it turned out.
4) Or she simply doesn’t like her litter box
And finally, cats can be demanding from time to time. Maybe that’s because they actually remember people in the past looked at them as Gods, so they somehow believe it’s still a tradition. Then they expect to get whatever they want any time they want it.
The problem is that we are always trying to give them the best things in the world, but it’s just that they sometimes want something completely different. For example, I bought my kitty a new bed. It was so fluffy, pretty, and comfortable. But, she never wanted to sleep there.
Instead, she would always go to her old and half-ripped bed. The same thing could happen to her choice of litter boxes. Maybe she simply doesn’t like it and the only thing she can do to make you notice it is poop somewhere else. And she chose the plant pot because it’s soft and it smells nice.
Can cat poop ruin my plants?
When you first saw cats pooping in your plant pots, you probably didn’t worry much because you thought it was a great fertilizer for your plants. But is it really true? What if their poop is actually harmful and can destroy the plants you’ve spent so much time caring for?
I’m sorry to tell you, but a cat’s poop is actually not a good fertilizer and it can, in fact, harm your plant. That’s because her poop could have some harmful pathogens that can threaten to kill the plants. And it’s even a bigger problem if it touches some of the fruits and veggies you’re planning to eat.
But that’s not the only issue with this fake fertilizer. It is also high in nitrogen and that can severely damage the root of your plants.
As you could see, letting your cat use your plant pot instead of her litter box is not a great idea. Therefore you should learn how to stop her from doing that. But don’t worry, I’m here for you and I promise to help you solve this problem efficiently and quickly.
How to stop cats from pooping in plant pots?
And now we have enough knowledge to talk about the main topic of this article. How to stop cats from pooping in plant pots? I’m sure you were as confused as I was when I first saw my cats choosing my plant pot as their new favorite place to do business.
Maybe it even seemed funny for the first few minutes, but then you figured it just makes a lot more work for you. And there is no need for you to spend additional time cleaning your plant pots and their litter boxes every day. Luckily for you, I know how to stop them from pooping there.
I struggled with the same problem with both of my kitties, but these tips and tricks worked perfectly and now I never have to worry about it. Let’s check what I’ve prepared for you.
1) Cover the soil with decorative stones
As you’ve already read, one of the main reasons cats choose to poop in your plant pots is because it’s so soft and comfy for their little paws. So if you want to stop them from doing that the best thing is to cover them with something.
Since you have plants, I guess you really like how they look as decoration in your house, and you probably want to keep it that way. So the best thing you could choose is decorative stones. You can put them in your plant pots and they won’t be soft and comfy anymore.
So your kitty won’t fancy it and she’ll most likely just go back to pooping in her own litter box.
2) Or cover it with cardboard
If you think that decorative stones are a good choice, then I have another tip for you. You want to stop your cat from pooping in the plant pots, right? They poop there because it’s soft and they can easily dig it and then cover it again. Just like they do it in their litter box.
So one great way to stop them is to put cardboard in your pots. But why? It’s simple. That way your feline won’t be able to dig anymore and she will have to find a new place to do her business. That’s because cats are extremely clean animals and they always need to cover their feces.
3) Use chicken wire
Do you have plants only because they look nice? Or you’re also growing some fruits and vegetables? If you are growing something then you need to make sure it’s well protected from your cat’s poop. As you’ve already read it can be full of harmful pathogens or high in nitrogen that can damage the root.
One way to stop your cat from pooping in your plant pots is to put a chicken wire around the plants you want to keep safe. I know it’s not the prettiest decoration, but it’s a great option because cats really hate that kind of fence. That’s because they can get their claws stuck there, which naturally hurts.
4) Leave some lemon or orange peels
It’s a known fact that cats hate scents like lemon and orange. Luckily for you, it’s the season that’s full of these fruits and if you like them, you’ll just need to keep their peels. Then put them inside your plant pots and your cat will never approach them again.
Maybe she will once, but after she notices there are lemon and orange peels there, she will definitely go back to her litter box. Citruses have a very strong scent that is hard to get rid of, and since kitties run as fast as they can whenever they smell them, your plants will be safe.
5) Try using pet repellent
Many cat owners use pet repellents to teach their pets what not to do. Most cats don’t like the smell of it so they will immediately move away from whatever you put it on. You can even make one of those sprays at home if you don’t feel like going to the store.
You’ll need some essential oils and water. But be careful because some of the essential oils can be harmful to your kitty. It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t spray the plants, but the place around them. And don’t put too much of it because the smell of it can bother you too.
6) Use the aluminum foil
If you want more answers to “How to stop cats from pooping in plant pots?”, then keep on reading, because I have 4 more of them! Maybe you didn’t like any so far, or they haven’t worked on your kitty for some reason, but don’t worry!
You can use aluminum foil. It’s the same tactic as the cardboard tip. Your cat won’t be able to dig a hole and poop in it if there’s aluminum foil in the soil. Just be careful because it’s very thin and your cat can easily tear it up. So you should always use more layers of it!
7) Move the plant to a new place
One of the simplest ways to prevent your fluffball from pooping in your plant pots is to move the plant to a new place. It should be somewhere she can’t reach easily. Cats are great explorers and hunters, therefore they are very good at climbing on different surfaces.
However, it’s still possible to find a place she won’t be able to reach. For example, your cat can climb onto a shelf that’s not surrounded by anything else. Or you could even keep them in a pretty glass cupboard.
8) Or buy smaller plants with smaller pots
If you only have a few plants, or you just heard that cats like pooping in them, then I have an easy solution for you. Move the plants you already have to a new place. And every time you decide to buy a new one, try to choose a smaller plant that has a smaller pot.
That way your kitty won’t be able to fit in it, so she won’t even try to poop inside of it, and she’ll go back to her litter box.
9) Grow strongly scented plants
And finally, I’ve already mentioned that cats don’t like strong scents. And even if something smells nice to us, it will bother our fluffballs. So it’s a win-win situation!
Just buy a plant that smells incredibly nice, but make sure that the scent is strong. Your cat definitely won’t be interested in pooping in that particular plant’s pot and you won’t even have to try and stop her from doing it.
Congratulations! You’re becoming a real cat expert. Now you know why cats like plants, what makes them better than the litter box, and how to stop them from pooping in your plant pots. I hope that you had fun while learning something new. I definitely did!
But that’s not even the best part. The best part is that these tips and tricks will definitely help you solve the problem and you’ll never have to worry about your fluffball ruining your beloved plant again. They can be mischievous from time to time, but there’s always a way to stop them from doing something bad.