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Oct 06

Why does my cat eat plants?


Your cat is a carnivore, so why is he eating your plants? Plant eating is a normal cat behavior, but almost every pet owner is annoyed by it (myself included).

In the wild, cats probably eat plants as a source of fiber. In most cases, owners must either accept the behavior, remove the plants from the home, or try to redirect the behavior to a different source (such as cat grass).

However, if the plant in your home is poisonous, you must remove the plant from your home or place it in a location where the cannot cannot chew it. If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, you should take him to see a veterinarian. Toxic plants can cause some serious health issues for your cat!

Is your cat eating his food? If your cat does not like his food, he may be eating your plants as a food source.

Cats biting fake tree

Cats biting fake tree

Why Do Cats Eat Plants?
Cats eat plants because the plant either tastes good, or feels good on their mouth while they are eating it. Some plants, like catnip, also produce a pleasurable effect. Cats don’t know which plants are safe plants and which plants are hazardous plants.

How can I stop my cat from eating plants?
Training your cat to stop eating your plants is very difficult. Most likely, you will end up getting rid of your plants, or choosing safe plants and accepting the ‘chewed up’ appearance of your plant!

However, if you’d like to keep your plants, here’s somethings that you can try:

  • Place your plants in cat-proof places, or places that are difficult for your cat to access
  • Provide your cat with cat grass in order to redirect the issue to an appropriate plant
  • Place mothballs to the plant’s soil
  • Spray the plant a scent or product that will keep your cat away from the plant
  • Attempt to train your cat that he cannot chew the plant (use a water squirter or air horn when your cat bites the plant)

What should I do if my cat eats a plant?

If your cat eats a plant, you should contact your veterinarian.  If your cat has eaten a poisonous plant, your cat needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.  You should also bring the plant with you when you go to see the veterinarian so they can determine the type of plant.  Different plants can affect cats in different ways.  Some plants may simply cause your cat to have an upset stomach and diarrhea, while other plants can be toxic and sometimes fatal to cats.

Are plants poisonous to cats?
Yes, some plants are dangerous for cats to eat. There are different opinions about which plants are safe for cats and which plants are dangerous for cats. Even if a plant is considered safe for your cat, it is possible that your cat can become sick from the plant.

If your cat ate a plant, you should check to make sure the plant he ate is not toxic to cats. If it is, you should speak with your veterinarian quickly!

Below is a list of plans that are considered poisonous to cats (taken from the Cat Fancier’s Association):

Almond (Pits of)
Aloe Vera
Alocasia
Amaryllis
Apple (seeds)
Apple Leaf Croton
Apricot (Pits of)
Arrowgrass
Asparagus Fern
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (fuit and pit)
Azalea
Baby’s Breath
Baneberry
Bayonet
Beargrass
Beech
Belladonna
Bird of Paradise
Bittersweet
Black-eyed Susan
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart
Bloodroot
Bluebonnet
Box
Boxwood
Branching Ivy
Buckeyes
Buddist Pine
Burning Bush
Buttercup
Cactus, Candelabra
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Charming Dieffenbachia
Cherry (pits, seeds & wilting leaves)
Cherry, most wild varieties
Cherry, ground
Cherry, Laurel
Chinaberry
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Rose
Chrysanthemum
Cineria
Clematis
Cordatum
Coriaria
Cornflower
Corn Plant
Cornstalk Plant
Croton
Corydalis
Crocus, Autumn
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cutleaf Philodendron
Cycads
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Daphne
Datura
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas
Devil’s Ivy
Delphinium
Decentrea
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena Palm
Dragon Tree
Dumb Cane
Easter Lily *
Eggplant
Elaine
Elderberry
Elephant Ear
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
Evergreen
Ferns
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida Beauty
Flax
Four O’Clock
Foxglove
Fruit Salad Plant
Geranium
German Ivy
Giant Dumb Cane
Glacier IvyGolden Chain
Gold Dieffenbachia
Gold Dust Dracaena
Golden Glow
Golden Pothos
Gopher Purge
Hahn’s Self-Branching Ivy
Heartland Philodendron
Hellebore
Hemlock, Poison
Hemlock, Water
Henbane
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horsebeans
Horsebrush
Horse Chestnuts
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Indian Rubber Plant
Indian Tobacco
Iris
Iris Ivy
Jack in the Pulpit
Janet Craig Dracaena
Japanese Show Lily *
Java Beans
Jessamine
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Jungle Trumpets
Kalanchoe
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lantana
Larkspur
Laurel
Lily
Lily Spider
Lily of the Valley
Locoweed
Lupine
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Marble Queen
Marigold
Marijuana
Mescal Bean
Mexican Breadfruit
Miniature Croton
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning Glory
Mother-in Law’s Tongue
Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Needlepoint Ivy
Nephytis
Nightshade
Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily *
Peace Lily
Peach (pits and wilting leaves)
Pencil Cactus
Peony
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pimpernel
Plumosa Fern
Poinciana
Poinsettia (low toxicity)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pokeweed
Poppy
Potato
Pothos
Precatory Bean
Primrose
Privet, Common
Red Emerald
Red Princess
Red-Margined Dracaena
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon Plant
Rosemary Pea
Rubber Plant
Saddle Leaf Philodendron
Sago Palm
Satin Pothos
Schefflera
Scotch Broom
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage
Snowdrops
Snow on the Mountain
Spotted Dumb Cane
Staggerweed
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Striped Dracaena
Sweetheart Ivy
Sweetpea
Swiss Cheese plant
Tansy Mustard
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily *
Tobacco
Tomato Plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree Philodendron
Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia
Tulip
Tung Tree
Virginia Creeper
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Wild Call
Wisteria
Yews — e.g. Japanese Yew
English Yew
Western Yew
American Yew

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