If you’re keeping cats and potted plants in the same household, it’s possible you’ve already come across poop in a plant pot.
It has happened to many of us, and it can be very annoying.
You put in the effort to make your cat’s potty location comfortable, and the little rascal does the business in the potting soil. Even worse, you have already ensured your plants have the right fertilizer!
Covering the potting soil and using cat deterrents (both natural and manufactured), should stop your cat from pooping in your potted plants.
If your cat is substituting its litter box with a plant pot, or you want to prevent such a thing from happening, continue reading as we present you with a dozen easy solutions for your problem.
This Is How To Stop Cats Pooping In Plant Pots
Cats can develop very strange littering habits. Changes to their routine can give us a hint that our pet may have a problem.
However, sometimes cats just prefer some other place to do their business. Perhaps the soil of your potted plants is much softer and more welcoming than the material in their litter box.
If you want to make your potting soil cat-repellent, and learn how to keep cats from pooping in it, read on for some tried and tested techniques.
Cover The Soil Of The Potted Plant
Why do cats like to poop in the potted plants? The answer is simple; there’s dirt in it.
However, if a cat cannot dig a hole, it probably won’t poop there. In most households, the only dirt present – and therefore the only place a cat can dig a hole – is potting soil and the litter box.
So, if you don’t want your potted plant to become a litter tray, you might want to cover up the soil.
Even though sticking cardboard on a potted plant may not look like the most creative solution, it will work.
As mentioned earlier, cats only care about your houseplants because they have soil in them.
However weird it may sound, strategically placing cardboard onto the potting soil will probably solve your problem.
A simple piece of card cut from a box will do the job. Measure the piece of cardboard, cut out a circular shape with a well-placed hole, and you’re done.
Of course, don’t leave too large a hole, you want just enough space to pour water through. You may have to replace the cardboard regularly if it becomes damp.
This solution works similarly to the cardboard. By placing stones on the soil, you may be able to prevent your cat from digging.
However, stones will probably be a much more welcome addition to a potted plant than a piece of cardboard. So if you want to go for the natural look, we suggest you use stones on your potting soil.
Not only will they look better, stones will most likely work as mulch, which means that they will help the potting soil to retain moisture for longer, and they will also regulate the temperature better.
Another good thing about stones is that you can use them in your outdoor garden beds. If you have a problem with the neighborhood cats pooping on your plants, try putting some large stones around them.
Stones will deter cats from littering in your flower beds, and they won’t look out of place.
Some particularly determined cats may still want to poop on them, so it may not be a perfect solution.
3. Aluminum Foil
This solution will work in a similar way to the previous ones, but this one comes with a special twist.
The texture of the aluminum foil and the sound it makes when it is touched, will send your cat flying away! I’m not joking! The internet is full of videos showing this incredible effect.
So, if you don’t mind your potted plant looking a bit odd, try this method; it’s just as entertaining as it is effective. You can always make your kitty an aluminum ball to play with if it doesn’t work!
4. Sticky Tape
Sticky tape is another one of the things your cat will be reluctant to go anywhere near! Cats hate anything sticky on their paws that they can’t remove, and the tackiness of sticky tape is certain to annoy them.
Try putting strips of sticky tape across the potting soil. You don’t have to use a lot, just enough so that your cat can’t get into the soil without touching it.
A few touches and your cat will be glad to stop pooping in your plant pots.
Put Natural Cat Repellants On Your Houseplants
If you’re wondering how to stop cats pooping in plant pots, and you don’t want the pots to look odd, you can try using natural cat repellants on the potting soil of houseplants or your garden beds.
As you probably know if you own cats, it is very hard to teach them to do anything they don’t want to do. This is why you have to use their nature against them.
In these instances, you will have to use the superior feline sense of smell, touch, and even taste, to lead them to decide by themselves to stop using your plants as their litter box.
So, if you don’t want to put sticky tape or aluminum on the raised beds in your home, garden, or greenhouse, check out the following natural home remedies.
1. Pine Cones
Cats love using soft surfaces as a litter box. They will rarely choose peeing on a rough, hard surface. That is why some people use pine cones to protect their indoor plants.
So, if you live in a rural area, and there are pine cones in the proximity, try picking some up on your way home.
Spread the pine cones over the potting soil, and observe. It is very likely your cat will not find the spiky cones comfortable, and you will no longer find cat litter in your plant pots.
2. Put Citrus Peel
The feline sense of smell is very powerful, and this is one of the reasons why cats are top-notch predators.
When you understand how sensitive a cat’s sense of smell is, it is very easy to manipulate them. Some smells are just detestable to cats, and they will gladly avoid them.
One of these is the scent of citrus fruits. Grapefruit, lemon, or orange peels will very quickly deter your cats from littering in your plant plants.
Bring home a bag of grapefruits and lemons, and spread the peel on the potting soil. The strong scent of these fruits will linger for a long time, and this should be more than enough for your cat to return to its litter box.
If you have a problem with outdoor cats, you can still use this method, and your neighbor’s cat should leave your garden alone.
Additionally, if your climate suits these fruits, try planting them in your garden. You will have a natural cat repellent as well as some free fruit!
You can also use essential oils derived from citrus fruits. Just sprinkle a few drops around your indoor plants and garden beds.
3. Put Strong Scents And Spices
If the orange peel method doesn’t work, do not despair, there is a plethora of scents and spices that are despised by cats.
Brewed coffee grounds, lavender, rue, and cayenne pepper will all work to keep cats away from plant pots. Even mothballs can work to deter cats.
In some of these cases, cats may even experiment by licking the spice, which will cause them to recoil in surprise.
Licking spices will not hurt your indoor cats (if you are careful which spices you are using), but it will teach them to avoid that place.
Just like citrus peel, spreading spices or scented leaves on the potting soil will deter your cat from peeing there.
Also, if you have a garden, and you’re looking to diversify your planting, try adding some strong smelling herbs. Coleus canina, lemongrass, pennyroyal, and lavender, etc. all smell too strong for cats to bear.
Restrict Access To Your Houseplants
This might be the most obvious solution, but how can your cat ruin your plant, if it cannot reach it? Check out the following suggestions about restricting access to your houseplants.
1. Change The Location Of The Litter Box
You can simply try moving your potted plant to some other location. Try designating a room just for your houseplants, and move all of them there.
If your cat is forbidden from entering your “indoor garden”, it won’t be possible for it to ruin it.
2. Use Chicken Wire
The same logic goes for this method. If your cat cannot reach the soil, it cannot poop on it. Use chicken wire at the correct height to be certain your cat cannot reach the plant.
Chicken wire is light, easy to use, and will allow sunlight and moisture to reach the plant, while also stopping your cat from reaching it.
Just wrap it around the plant pot, and you’re done!
You can also use this method in your outdoor garden, but you will probably have to increase the height, to make sure no feline acrobats can reach the plant.
If none of these methods work, you can try using some products designed specifically for repelling cats.
These products are made with the exact purpose of safely deterring cats from doing damage to your property..
So, if you’re not a do-it-yourself person, you might want to try these products.
1. Use Cat Repellent Spray
Not many people are willing to go through all the DIY steps when it comes to protecting their plants.
Cutting up cardboard, experimenting with aluminum, and putting up mini fences can be time-consuming, especially when you are already busy.
This is why cat repellent spray is such a good product. It works essentially the same way as scents and spices by deterring cats. A cat repellent contains ingredients that will annoy your cat and make it want to change its potty-location.
You can usually buy it in your local general store, and for a small price, your plants can be safe.
Just spray the contents near your potted plants and garden beds, and your cats will not want to go anywhere near them.
Again, if you want to make a cat repellent spray on your own, it is pretty easy to do so. Just get some citrus essential oils, lemongrass, cayenne pepper (or the other ingredients mentioned above), dilute them in water, and put the liquid in a spray bottle.
Voila! You have yourself a cat repellent spray bottle. Just be wary of the amount that you put in; professional cat repellent sprays are perfectly measured so as not to cause harm.
2. Install A Motion Sensor Cat Deterrent
For outdoor cats, if you want to go full Batman-mode, an ultrasonic cat deterrent could be your solution!
This device operates on ultrasonic frequencies, which are emitted when a motion sensor is activated.
This means that if a cat on the prowl decides to use your garden as its litter box, the motion detector will register it and produce an ultrasonic sound which will let the offending cat know that it is not welcome.
The sound cannot be heard by humans, which means that you won’t be bothered by it.
However, dogs and other animals will hear the sound, so if you have a loud dog in a neighborhood, or a canine in your house, you may want to skip over this solution. This device might set them off barking for a long time!
You can get this type of device in a local pet store, or on Amazon.
3. Water Sprinkler
This device is not made specifically for repelling cats, but it does a pretty good job.
If you’re a long time cat owner, you will know that they despise water, especially if it comes at them unexpectedly.
Getting a garden sprinkler for your lawn will not only keep your grass green, it will also do a great job at deterring cats from pooping in it.
Just set the sprinkler to cover the whole area, and cats will avoid your garden like the plague!
All in all, there are many ways to stop cats pooping in plant pots. Some may seem weird or look odd, and some may not be effective for all cats, but they are all worth a try.
Remember that not all cats have the same level of tolerance. Some cats are just not as affected by scents and textures like others.
This is why we have presented you with 12 different methods. If none of these methods work, you might sign your cat up for the Avengers, since it must have superpowers!
Good luck, and we hope at least some of these methods work for you!