Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vegetarian Cats

Does your cat have vegetarian urges?  One of our clinic cats (his name has been withheld to protect the guilty) likes to try to graze on our decorative plants.  This plant now lives in our break room so that he can’t get at it.  (Of  course, if someone accidentally leaves the door open, he’ll be in there snacking.)  If you have houseplants at home, there are a few tricks to keep the cats away.  First, as we’ve done here, restrict access to the plants.  This is especially important if your plant is potentially toxic.  There are a surprising number of decorative plants that can cause problems for our pets. 

The ASPCA has an excellent list at  You can also use sprays such as bitter apple spray on the leaves of the plant to discourage gnawing.  If you want to offer a safe alternative, you can buy ‘cat grasses’ or plant catnip for your little ones.  As with all behavior training, think about harmless deterrents (bad taste, an unexpected spray of water from around the corner) coupled with inviting, safe alternatives such as foraging toys or cat grass.  This way, we won’t have to try to explain to our cats that they’re carnivores.

Kelley Wagner, C.V.T.

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