Nearly every morning for the past couple of weeks I’ve awoken to find that some naughty feline has been playing with my plants and eating them. I usually wake up to find a spectacle of knocked over planters, dirt everywhere, and some cat eyeballing me as I make my way to the kitchen to make my coffee. They know what they did. 😛
The image above is a pretty tame example of the mischief they get into while John and I are asleep, what isn’t pictured here is what all this looked like before I cleaned it up. The wheatgrass container in the middle was pulled out of the tray and onto the counter, dirt was everywhere. These aren’t the only planters I have around the house either, all of them have been targeted at some point. I love my cats, but I do feel a tinge of frustration when I wake up to the aftermath of their “entertainment”. While I like my cats to be happy, I wish it wasn’t at the expense of my plants. I would also enjoy not having to clean up a big pile of dirt every morning.
How the hell do I keep my cats out of the plants? I posed this question to facebook and some of my friends gave me some really great tips and advice.
Carla suggested using cat greens and putting Cayenne pepper into the soil. I’m definitely going to use the cat-greens, more on that later. As far as the Cayenne pepper goes, I’ve tried sprinkling it on the tray around the planters, but that hasn’t worked very well to stop them. I haven’t tried putting Cayenne into the soil directly yet, I will try that after I’ve done a little more research to make sure it won’t adversely effect my seedlings.
Lisa suggested another herb that I could use to repel the cats, peppermint. She also said keeping an open jar of vix vapor rub by the plant would help. I plan on probably using both Cayenne and Peppermint in the future, after I’ve done a little more research into the effect they have on different plants.
Heather said she puts tin-foil over her pots, this keeps the cats from digging in the dirt. She cuts a hole in the foil for the plant to grow. I guess Tin Foil also works well for repelling some insects too. I think this will work great for my plants when they are a little older, for now I might try putting some plastic wrap over the newer sprouts.
Azaria suggested that I put the plants out of reach and get some cat-grass so they can mess with that instead. My little feline felons haven’t really messed with my hanging garden too much, I think I’ll do more of those in the future. For now my space options are a little limited, I might try to block off the kitchen at night.
I really liked the catgrass idea, it reminded me that I had a pack of seeds ready to be planted. I decided to plant a big tray full of the stuff so my cats could have their own garden to enjoy (and hopefully leave mine alone). 😉
When I started planting my catgrass seeds, I noticed they looked strikingly similar to the wheatgrass seeds I had planted previously, which the cats apparently LOVE; judging by the way they almost always go after it.
I compared the packages of catgrass and wheatgrass and sure enough they are both the plant “Triticum aestivum.” I thought that was interesting and went online to find out more. It turns out cat-grass is a generic term that can be used for many different young grass species, wheatgrass being one of them. I found this interesting article that does a great job of explaining the whole cat-grass thing.
I can’t really get too mad at the cats for going after my plants, they’re following their instincts. Instead, I’ll just accept the fact that my cats are wheat-grass eating hippies and work with their natural inclinations. I think I’m also going to invest in a way to block off my kitchen from the cats. The kitchen is South facing and gets the best light. I want to maximize the amount of space I can use to grow indoors. The best way to do that and avoid having the cats eat all my plants is to just keep them out of there.
Much gratitude to my friends who offered all these great suggestions. I’m going to need them, as I was writing this Lyra knocked over another one… *Sigh* It’s a lesson in patience I guess…