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I have to grow my plants indoors because it does get cold enough in Dallas sometimes that frost may occur or even snow.

However, we have a small household cat. She has bit our bamboo plant leaves in the past. We really can't just place them in the window where it would be ideal for the plant. The cat loves to sit by the window. We could hang it up higher but it's not practical to water them. Also, it would provide her another fun "toy" to jump and swat with her paws.

Any recommendations on keeping her from biting our plants?

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3 Answers 3

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She's probably looking for some fiber in her diet. There are special grasses you can get that are good for cats: maybe just grow a little pot of one of those and she'll ignore the other plants. We did that for our cat when she was an indoors cat, and that worked fine. Now, she only knocks down plants when she's being clumsy :)

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I'd avoid hot pepper oil as a deterrent in case your kitty gets it in her eyes or mouth - ouch! A safe alternative is something called 'bitter apple' spray which is often available from vets or pet supply shops and will not harm your plants. Vets often suggest it as a deterrent for pets that are chewing or licking inappropriately.

Does your cat have enough 'toys'? It won't completely stop her from nibbling your plants, but if there's something fun to keep her preoccupied, she might bother the plants less often. Bored cats like to make mischief which I know from experience. After my two were given outdoor access, they caused a lot less havoc indoors and leave the house-plants alone. And as Suresh mentioned, it often helps to grow 'cat' grass (you can buy it as seed and it's easy to grow) or even a catnip plant to which your cat can have free access.

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She has plenty of cat toys but she likes to bite things for an odd particular reason: plastic bags, green leaves. But that's another question for another SE. –  chrisjlee Jun 22 '11 at 15:51

I feel bad coming back to this answer again but a solution of water and a bit of hot pepper oil sprayed when watering should do the trick. Make it taste bad, in addition to making sure they get enough fiber

Bonus tip; put foil at the base of the plant to keep cats from digging in dirt.

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Hot pepper oil could burn the cat's eyes or mouth! –  Shanna Jun 22 '11 at 15:43
    
@Sha Just be wary of how much you use and what kind of pepper. Frying some crushed red pepper in oil and putting a few strained drops oil in 8 ounces should do the trick without hurting the little guy. –  mfg Jun 22 '11 at 15:47

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