How to Keep Cats from Pooping in House Plants? From Paws to Plants

If you love cats and plants, you may have run into the annoying issue of your cat utilizing your indoor plants as a litter box.

This is not only unpleasant and untidy, but it may also hurt your plants and endanger your cat’s health.

How then can you prevent your cat from urinating on your indoor plants? Here are some hints and techniques to assist you.

Why Do Cats Poop in House Plants?

Let’s try to comprehend why cats do this in the first place before moving on to the answers. Cats may defecate in indoor plants for a number of reasons, including:

  • Outdoor cats might be drawn to potted plants because they consist of similar compounds to soil or grass, which they are accustomed to using freely.
  • Soil is comparable to kitty litter[1]. It can be moved around and utilized to bury squander.
Cat pooping in Plant
  • Cats may mark areas in the house with their urine to leave their smell there.
  • Cats who suddenly urinate or defecate in unfamiliar locations may be suffering from a medical issue[2] like a urinary tract infection[3].
  • Cats who delay using the litter box or demand attention may have a behavioral problem[4], such as stress, anxiety, boredom, or territorial dispute.

How to Stop Cats from Pooping in House Plants?

It is important to rule out any medical issues as the first step in stopping your cat from peeing on your indoor plants.

You should initially visit your veterinarian to rule out any illnesses [5]or infections if your cat has suddenly begun acting this way.

See also  Why is My Cat Pooping Outside the Litter Box?

If your cat is healthy and has no medical issues, try some of the following techniques to stop them from using your plants as a litter box:

Choose Cat-Friendly Plants:

Prevention is key. Opt for plants that are less attractive to your feline friend. Plants with strong scents like citrus, lavender, or rosemary are often disliked by cats

Cat friendly plant

Additionally, consider plants with prickly leaves or stems, making them less appealing for digging or lounging.

Provide an Attractive Alternative:

Cats need a designated area for their natural digging behavior. Place a litter box near the plants or use a shallow container filled with sand or soil.

shallow container filled with sand

Encourage your cat to use this alternative spot by gently placing their paws in the container and praising them when they use it.

Cover the Soil:

Covering the soil with larger stones, pinecones, or decorative rocks can create an uncomfortable surface for digging, discouraging your cat from using the plant pots as a litter box.

Use Physical Barriers:

Create barriers around your plants using materials like chicken wire, lattice, or even decorative plant stands.

Covered Plant

These barriers can prevent cats from accessing the soil while allowing your plants to flourish.

Employ Scent Deterrents:

Cats are sensitive to certain scents. Sprinkle citrus peels, crushed red pepper, or even commercial cat deterrent sprays around the base of your plants.

These scents can be unappealing to cats and deter them from approaching.

Incorporate Texture:

Place aluminum foil, doublesided tape, or plastic carpet runners around the plants.

Cats dislike the sensation of these textures on their paws, reducing the likelihood of them digging or pooping in the soil.

See also  Why Did My Cat Poop in My Bed?

Train with Positive Reinforcement:

The use of positive reinforcement is effective. Reward your cat with food, compliments, or affection when they use the specified litter box or stay away from the plants.

To reinforce the desired behavior, consistency is essential.

Consider Elevated Plants:

Cats may find it challenging to reach the soil when there are elevated plant stands or hanging pots.

This stops digging and gives your indoor garden an intriguing aesthetic component.


Are there certain plants that cats dislike?

Yes, there are plants with scents that cats find unappealing. Citrus plants (lemon, orange, and lime), lavender, rosemary, and certain herbs are often disliked by cats due to their strong fragrances.

Is it safe to use deterrent sprays around plants?

Yes, many commercially available cat deterrent sprays are safe to use around plants.
These sprays often contain natural scents or substances that cats find unpleasant but that are harmless to them and the plants. Always read the product label and use as directed.

Will covering the soil with rocks prevent my cat from digging?

Yes, you can stop cats from digging by covering the dirt with bigger stones, pinecones, or beautiful pebbles.
If the roughness is unpleasant for their paws, cats may be less likely to investigate the area since they favor softer surfaces.

Are there specific breeds of cats that are more prone to pooping in plants?

Certain cat breeds, like Bengals or Abyssinians, are known for their curious and active nature, which might make them more likely to explore and dig in plants.
However, any cat can exhibit this behavior. Implementing preventive measures can help, regardless of the breed.

See also  Why Do Cats Play In The Litter Box

Is it okay to use double-sided tape or aluminum foil around plants?

Yes, using doublesided tape, aluminum foil, or plastic carpet runners can create an uncomfortable surface for cats to step on, deterring them from approaching your plants.
Just make sure these materials are safely secured and won’t harm your plants.


Cat feces on indoor plants might be difficult to prevent, but it’s not impossible.

You may safeguard your plants’ health and happiness in addition to your cat’s by comprehending why they do it and putting some of the ways listed above into practice.

Never forget to call your vet if you see any changes in your cat’s routine or behavior. Happy gardening!


  1. What is Cat Litter Made of? | PetMD
  2. 6 Most common cat health problems | WebMD
  3. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in cats | VCA Animal Hospital
  4. Behavior problems in cats | MSD Veterinary Manual
  5. Recognizing the signs of illness in cats | VCA Animal Hospital

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