When you first brought your new kitten home, you didn't give a second thought to the plants on your windowsills. Until the first time you came home to spilled dirt and leaves scattered throughout. So does this mean you have to give away all of your favorite houseplants? No…just use a few common sense tricks and you and your furry friend can stay happy, healthy and still enjoy the greenery! Here's how…

  1. Try keeping plants out of your cat's reach. Many plants are appropriate for hanging baskets and pots. You can secure these with ceiling hooks or picture hanging hooks (for the lighter weight pots).
  2. To discourage contact for floor plants, use cayenne pepper spray (check the Organic Tips section - Pest-Proofing The Natural Way! for a quick recipe) or simply sprinkle the pepper on top of the soil. The hot pepper will offend your cat's sense of smell.
  3. Container grow wheat or oat grass indoors for your kitty to get it's chlorophyll fix. Seeds and kits are readily available at many pet stores and mail-order companies.
  4. Continuing along the same idea as #3. Try growing a pot of catnip. These are also completely safe to eat.
  5. Place plants into heavier pots which are more difficult to knock over. Another trick is to re-pot and layer the bottom with pea gravel or marble chips. Not only will this provide better drainage, but it will also add weight, making it harder to tip over.
  6. Try growing some succulents that are "armed" and can protect themselves. Cacti can make a nice addition to your home and are relatively easy to grow. Avoid pencil, peyote and candelabra cacti because these varieties have various levels of toxicity.

 Finally, check out the plants listed on the safe plant lists at this web site.