Urinating on plants is unacceptable for cats and is an undesirable behavior with foul-smelling consequences. It’s really frustrating for cats to pee on plants, and no matter how big of an animal lover you are, things can start to get unpleasant when your cat starts peeing on your houseplants. Like all animals, cats have spent most of their history living outdoors rather than in apartments or townhouses, so it’s not uncommon for them to pee on plants.
If your pets, and especially cats and dogs, prefer to urinate on your potted plants in your garden or indoor area, you will need to prevent this behavior and develop strategies to prevent your pets from repeating it. While it takes time and effort to teach your cat not to urinate in inappropriate places, your pets will learn not to urinate on your plants if you don’t give up.
Why do cats pee on plants?
Yes, some cats see plants in your garden or home as a potty and think it’s natural to leave “cat manure” in there. The consequences of this behavior can be quite smelly and messy. Your cat’s urine in rich soil emits a very offensive and strong odor, and your cat’s digging of the soil to bury its urine causes pollution of the environment.
Toilet training is very important in kittens and this includes learning that cats should not urinate on the bottom of plants. In order to have a satisfied house cat and undisturbed, non-urinated houseplants, it is essential to first understand why some cats do this. Here are the main reasons why cats pee on plants:
- Some cats like the feeling of soft earth where they can dig up to pee or defecate.
- Some cats urinate on flower beds because they think their litter box is not clean enough.
- Your pet may be instinctively urinating on your plants to mark its territory. This behavior can be seen very often, especially in male cats that have not been neutered. Therefore, neutering in cats is very important to prevent cats from urinating on plants.
- The litter box you choose may not suit your cat’s liking and taste. Or it may be that cats don’t want to urinate—near a noisy washing machine, for example. If possible, try more than one litter box to see which one your cat likes best.
How to prevent your cat from urinating on outdoor plants
You have a beautiful garden outside your house and you grow both ornamental plants and herbs that you can consume on your table. Your cat also comes and urinates among these plants. Doesn’t sound good at all, does it? Then our solution suggestions on this subject may be useful for you!
Build barriers around your garden
The physical barriers you create will be a deterrent to prevent cats and other pets from approaching your outdoor plants. You can easily implement this method with a little dexterity with materials that you can easily obtain from hardware stores such as chicken wire fences and wire cages.
Eliminate the lure of soil for your cat
In situations where barriers are unattractive, you will need to try different strategies to keep your cat away from your plants. Cats are very careful about how the ground they urinate or defecate on, so making the soil undesirable for the cat can be effective at keeping it away from plants. You can use objects such as mulch, prickly pine cones, large flat stones, citrus peels, and poultry wire to make the soil uncomfortable. The smell of citrus is an unpleasant experience for most cats.
Grow plants your pet doesn’t like
If your cat doesn’t like the plants that grow in your garden, she probably won’t prefer it to urinate and defecate. Examples of herbs that cats generally dislike are rue, geranium, and thyme. Both cats and dogs dislike thorny plants such as rose, barberry and holly. If planting a thorny plant makes sense to you, we recommend choosing plants with short thorns that won’t harm your cat’s eyes and skin. Since the Coleus plant has a strong odor that cats and dogs do not like, it is among the measures that can be taken for cats to defecate on garden plants.
Create a garden where your cat can play
If you have a cat who likes to play in the garden, you can create a special area for your pet and plant plants that your cat will like to play with. Putting some catnip and some sand for your cat’s comfort will make your cat very happy. While doing this, of course, you should continue to prevent your cat from entering the restricted area.
Use deterrents near your garden
If the measures you take to keep your pet out of your garden are not working, you can try deterrents available from the market. For example, a motion-sensing water sprinkler can spray your cats and other pets away when they approach your garden by spraying them. After getting wet a few times, your cat will learn not to go near your garden to urinate.
Natural deterrents for cats
Citrus fruits are the most well-known natural deterrents for cats, and cats do not like citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. Therefore, you can place orange and lemon peels around your garden. Coffee grounds and peppers can produce similar results. You can also use the scent of vinegar to keep cats from peeing on plants. Of course, as the effects of these may decrease over time, refresh the materials regularly after you realize which one works.
How to prevent your cat from urinating on indoor plants
It shouldn’t be a pleasant experience to see cat poop among your potted plants that you have grown at home with great effort. Then how about taking a look at our suggestions and making sure that our lovely friends stay away from your flowers?
By disciplining your cat and other pets, you can teach them that urinating on your plants is unacceptable and prevent them from urinating on your plants. We can briefly list the things you need to pay attention to and what you need to do in this discipline process as follows:
Clean contaminated pots
Clean all contaminated pots and their substrates with plenty of water and change the soil of your plant if necessary. You can also use an enzymatic solution that is not harmful to your cat. If your cat smells urine from the pot, it will continue to use it as a litter box.
Do your timing very well.
Despite your best efforts, your pets may continue to urinate on your plants, which can become very frustrating for you. For your pet to be properly disciplined, this must be done at the time the undesirable behavior occurs. If you try to discipline before or after the behavior, your pet will not understand why he was being punished and why you behaved this way. So if you haven’t seen your pet urinate on plants, avoid punishing them.
Spray your cat with water
If you see your cat urinating on your plants, spray him with water using a spray. The sudden encounter of water will frighten your cat, but will not physically harm him. Your cat, who has been exposed to spraying behavior several times, will associate this negative experience with urinating on plants and will stop urinating on plants. A disadvantage of this method is that your cat may avoid urinating only when you are around.
Interrupt the act of urinating
When your cat or dog presents signs of urinating, such as sniffling, raising their feet, and hunching their hind legs, interrupt their behavior with a negative phrase such as “no”. Stop urinating by giving your pet commands such as “sit” or “lie down” after you get their attention.
Encourage use of the litter box
Encouraging your cat to use the litter box with various rewards and incentives will help prevent her from urinating on your plants.
Avoid harsh penalties
Even if your pets who have urinated on your plants are now driving you crazy, avoid yelling at them or using physical violence. Shouting at your cat may cause your cat to be more stressed out instead of stopping this unwanted behavior. Severe punishments will also cause your pet to fear you and behave distantly towards you.
Other measures that can be taken
Even though your cat has a nice new litter box, she can still urinate into pots. If you are struggling with this negative behavior, there is no need to get frustrated or angry.
Investigate medical causes
Medical problems may lie behind cats urinating in inappropriate places. In this case, it is very important to rule out these causes and a full examination may be required for this. After performing the necessary examination, your veterinarian will guide you for the treatment of urinary tract infections or other health problems and prescribe the necessary medications.
Clean the litter box
Litter boxes for cats are a special area and they want it to be very clean. Your cat may think the litter box is not clean. For this reason, be sure to adequately clean your cat’s litter box at regular intervals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do cats pee on plants?
Surfaces such as sand and soil are very attractive for cats to hide and relax after urinating and defecating. Plants also cause cats to defecate here, as they remind cats of the open air.
Is cat urine harmful to plants?
The salts and acids found in cat urine can kill plants, causing them to become upset. Also, cats can dig up plant roots, which can cause plants to die faster.
How do I stop cats from peeing on plants?
To prevent cats from peeing on plants, you need to remove the attractiveness of plants. For this, you can spray the soil, use wire or stone, and use citrus peels.
How to neutralize the soil where cat urine is found?
The acid value of cat urine is quite high and if not treated immediately, acidic urine can quickly kill your plants. In some sources, it is stated that the soil can be neutralized with slaked lime and it may be beneficial to mix the soil thoroughly.