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Cat Proof Fake Plants – Will It Work?

If your cat keeps on destroying your fake plants you may be getting annoyed and wondering what you can do about it…

Why do cats mess with fake plants?

Cats love making toys out of just about everything and this includes plastic plants. To be fair, real plants aren’t safe either and are much more likely to be chewed on than the fake variety, but this doesn’t keep your cat from playing with it.

It fills the standard cat-toy profile anyway when you think about it. Thin, string-like stems are popping up or dangling down and a simple bat of the paw makes it shake pleasantly.

Let’s face it, it was going to be noticed by your cat at some time or another. Thankfully, there are a few strategies that you can use to keep your cat out of the fake plant and we highly recommend that you start using them quickly – before your cat starts chewing and that chewing becomes noticeable.

What is a fake plant?

A green plastic plant in a pot.

A green plastic plant in a white pot.

Fake plants are simply artificial plants that are made of various plastics or even silks, which are designed to look like the real thing and make for easy, low-maintenance, and pet-friendly decoration.

They let you make an area look a little bit greener without having to worry about watering or trimming actual plants, though most low-end variety fakes are easily spotted if you are standing close enough to get a good look.

That said, many popular houseplants are poisonous to pets, making fake plants a good compromise if they are well-made and used to substitute a favorite plant that could be harmful to your pet.

Are fake plants safe for cats?

Actually, yes, they are fairly safe for your pets, and many plant lovers will sneak in one or two of these to take the place of a ‘poison favorite’ plant that could be harmful to their kitty.

That said, it’s best to make sure by going with artificial plants where you can trace down the specific plastics involved to ensure that it’s completely non-toxic.

Also, excessive chewing from your kitty might mean that you might want to do away with or simply move the fake plant out of reach, as plastic in their tummy can cause indigestion if your cat is a habitual chewer. Thankfully, there are some strategies to keep your cat away from these plants which we will discuss shortly.

How can I cat proof a fake plant?

A little strategy can go a long way when it comes to keeping your cat from going where they are not supposed to. We’ve collected a few tips that we will share below that can help to keep your cat away from your artificial plants but you will need to experiment a little.

Cats, being the individual little mischief makers that they are, will respond in different ways to different strategies. So, if one doesn’t seem to work, then just try the next, and so on until your kitty responds.

Place it out of reach

It’s not always an easy thing to do, but try moving your faux plant out of reach and see if this works. Some cats may figure out a way to get to the plant anyway, but it’s the easiest strategy and it’s worth a shot.

Spray it with a citrus cat repellent spray

While humans tend to love the sweet smells of citrus, it’s not something that felines share with us. Cats seem to dislike the smell and you can purchase commercial citrus sprays made from 100% citrus oils which are non-toxic and quite effective where kitties are concerned.

Place it inside a cabinet with a glass door

Placing your faux plant behind glass gives it a somewhat regal look, as far as displays go, but more importantly, it will keep the plant completely blocked off and safe from your cat. If you can put it behind glass, then this is one of the easiest and most effective solutions to the problem.

Place some orange peel in the pot

A person peeling an orange, with the orange peels  on a serviette.

A person peeling an orange, with the orange peels on a serviette.

Just as citrus sprays can keep your cat at bay, so can the simple addition of orange peels into the plant’s pot. Cats that get close to the plant will get a good whiff of the citrus and in theory, this should be enough to change their mind about playing with the plant.

Lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are also good options that work in a pinch for keeping your cat at bay by taking advantage of their sensitive olfactory senses.

Spray them with bitter apple

Bitter apple is another option that you can try if you find that oranges just aren’t doing the trick. Like the citrus oils, bitter apple repellent sprays are made with all-natural ingredients, so that they are non-toxic and thus safe for your pets.

Cats don’t like the smell or the taste of it, so give it a try if you don’t like citrus scents or if your cat seems to have developed immunity from them.

Place some vinegar-soaked cotton buds around it

Vinegar is easy to find since most of us have at least 2 kinds already in the house. As such, you can take advantage of this by grabbing 2 to 3 cotton balls and dousing them in vinegar, to then hide inside the plant pot for keeping your cat away.

Cats don’t like vinegar and once they get a whiff of it, they will be much more likely to leave that plant alone.

Why is my cat eating my fake plants?

Sometimes cats will chew on fake plants just because they like the texture and it’s a way to pleasantly pass the time. That’s not always the case, however, so you should keep an eye on your cat to see what else they are chewing.

Chewing and especially eating and swallowing items in the house may be a sign of a medical issue called ‘pica’, or it could be a sign of Feline Immunodeficiency disorder or Leukemia! As such, if your cat seems to be chewing more than usual, a vet checkup is a good idea just to rule out any potential health issues.

Lindsey Browlingdon