Why Do Cats Like Spider Plants?

Cats and houseplants can be a disastrous combination. On one end of the spectrum, cats can be simply curious as to why you’ve brought a plant inside, or they might ignore them completely if you’re lucky. 

On the other end are death, destruction, and tears. Cats will sit on your plants, flattening them, sometimes taking a bite or two out of a plant, or even worse, using the pot as a new litter box.

They may also bring out the big guns, where they sit on the windowsill, and move the pot to the edge, making full eye contact as they do so, waiting for you to yell before they send the plant to certain death (or so they think).

But there are some plants that cats are drawn to more than others, and one houseplant that seems to fascinate them the most is the spider plant, botanically known as Chlorophytum comosum.

Why is this? And how can you make your feline friend pay less attention to your spider plant? Let’s take a look.

Are Spider Plants Safe For Cats?

Spider plants are considered nontoxic to pets, which is always a good thing. But you will probably still want to put this plant well out of your cat’s reach since it’s a fascinating plant to them!

It doesn’t mean that it won’t cause some sort of harm, either. If your cat nibbles the leaves, your cat will likely throw up at some point.

While this plant is considered non-toxic, if your cat eats it, it will likely upset your cat’s stomach at the very least, but this varies from cat to cat.

Spider plants are also mildly hallucinogenic to cats, as the plants contain similar compounds found in opium, so it’s best to keep them away from your cats.

What Attracts Cats To Spider Plants?

The main reason why spider plants attract cats like a magnet is that they have hallucinogenic properties. 

Just like cats will make a beeline for catnip, they will also zero in on your spider plants for the same reason.

The shape of the spider plant doesn’t help. Cats can rarely leave hanging things alone, and the dangling foliage is a great toy in your cat’s mind!

The shape of the leaves, with long narrow blades similar to grass, also makes the plant attractive to cats, as cats will nibble on long grasses to help settle their stomachs.

How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Your Spider Plants

Even when a plant is considered safe for homes with pets, you don’t exactly want your pets damaging your houseplants!

Here’s how to keep your cat’s paws and teeth away from your spider plants. 

Keep Spider Plants In A Cat-Free Room

This is the easiest way to make sure that your plants are safe. If you have a cat-free room that your feline friends cannot access, put your houseplants, including your spider plants in there.

While it can be easy enough to keep the likes of pet rabbits, dogs, and guinea pigs away from plants, cats can be more determined, especially when they are so agile.

A great way to deter them is to put the plants out of reach entirely, in a room they cannot jailbreak their way into.

If this is a bathroom, even better, as the higher humidity will help your spider plant grow better.

Grow Spider Plants In Hanging Baskets

Maybe you would prefer your spider plants in a room where you can see them most of the time, or you don’t have a cat-proof room to keep your houseplants safe.

Another option is to grow your spider plants in hanging baskets. This also looks great when your spider plant is mature enough to produce offsets, showcasing the plantlets on the dangling runners.

Just keep in mind that cats will reach pretty much everywhere you think they can’t, so keep an eye on your cat when it tries to reach your plant, making sure that it can’t parkour onto your spider plants.

Keep Your Cat Entertained

Your cat may be making a beeline for your spider plants because it is bored, and it is one surefire way of getting your attention!

Don’t forget to make time for your cat, and playing a couple of high-energy games will make sure there’s less energy for mischief. It’ll also mean the bond between you and your feline friend is that much stronger.

Grow Cat Grass

There are some plants that you should grow for your cats as a tempting option, leaving your ornamental house plants alone.

Cat grass and catnip are plants that are very easy to grow from seed, and your kitty will thank you for it (or pretend not to), but these plants will be much more interesting than your spider plants.

How To Stop Your Cats Using Your Plants As Litter Boxes

Keep The Litter Box Clean

It sounds obvious, but if life has gotten in the way and the litter box is dirty, your cat will look elsewhere to relieve themselves.

Clean the litter box at least once a day to help keep things clean, and keep your cat doing their business where they should.

Change The Type Of Cat Litter You Use

Some cats can be particular about the type of cat litter they are willing to use. 

Some materials are more abrasive on those toe beans than others, and it’s also worth knowing that some cat litter can be dusty, irritating noses, eyes, or lungs.

Consider trying a different type of litter, especially if your cat is pointedly going to the bathroom elsewhere when you’ve just changed what type of litter is in the box.

Keep The Plants Out Of Reach!

Your cat cannot go in your plant if it can’t physically reach the pot. If you have a room your cat cannot get to, put your plant in there to stop the cat from toileting in the pot.

If that isn’t an option, and a hanging basket is out too, you could always cover the surface of the soil with some sharp pebbles, and the rough surface will deter them.

Final Thoughts

When trying to keep your cats away from your houseplants (or anyone else, for that matter), it’s worth employing a few methods to do this. 

One on its own may not work, but if you have a few methods lined up, you’re more likely to keep your houseplants intact, especially when you consider that one method that might work for one cat doesn’t always work well for another.

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