Why Cats Destroy House Plants

Many people grow lovely houseplants that add to the ambience of their home. But what happens when cat attacks and eats that houseplant you were so proud of? One day you have a healthy plant, next day the leaves are hanging in tatters and the only thing left to do is throw it in the trash bin. Naughty cat! But wait before you spank. 


First, you must decide what caused your cat to attack the plant. There are two main reasons that cats eat plants. One is that green food is part of their diet. If your cat has not been given any vegetables or greenery to eat, he could be simply following his instinct for survival. In this case, make sure cat gets to go outside frequently so he can eat the grasses of his choice. Eating grass will also help to remove fur balls that can catch in his throat. If you cannot let your cat outside, then grow some special cat grass in a pot and allow him free access to it. A good pet shop will provide the right kind of seed.  

Another reason your cat may have attacked the potted plant is that the breeze rustled its leaves and so it became an enemy to be attacked and eaten. This is a natural behaviour for cats in the wild. If this is the case, then move the plant to a place where cat cannot readily see it – somewhere away from drafts and breezes. It may suffice to place the plant upon a low table, or you may need a higher shelf for it.


Of course, once cat has had a wonderful time destroying that plant you loved so much, he might decide he wants to do it all the time. In this case, you may have to live without indoor plants, or keep cat confined to a room where there are none while you are out of the house. On the other hand, it may have been sheer boredom that made him attack the plant – he could have just needed something or someone to play with. Give cat plenty of attention when you are home. Make sure he has plenty of his own toys. They need not be expensive store-bought toys; homemade ones are easy to make and easily renewable.  


Dangle a small wisp of scrunched up paper a few inches off the floor by tying it from something with string. A chair rung would do, or a cupboard doorknob. Cat will love to pounce on this and wrestle on his back with it. A light, small ball will have him skittering all over the floor as he chases it. With plenty else to interest him, he should soon forget about your indoor plants. Know more about Cat behaviour.