Why Do Cats Eat Your Houseplants?


As we are all aware of, cat species are generally feeding on meat. But throughout our cats lives, or if you have been living with cats, you may have notice them chewing on grass or your houseplants. This behavior is present not only among cats, but even on other carnivorous animals.

While others think that it is a normal behavior, others may worry and think that it is something that needs medical attention. So to ease your anxiety regarding this matter, we are going to answer the question, “Why do cats eat your houseplants?”.  In addition, we are going to widen your knowledge about the said topic.

Reasons Why Cats Eat Your Houseplants

Definitely, there are reasons why your cats nibble on your houseplants, but it doesn’t always mean that something is wrong. At first, you need to understand your cats usual behavior as well as the changes, then, you can consider which of the following may be the case for your cat.  

  1. The main reason your cats nibble on your plants is just because of their natural behavior. They like chewing, playing, scratching, and more. And when we say chewing, plants are included especially if they are what they usually see around.
  2. Plants’ leaves move when blown by wind, and this movement attracts your cats’ attention. Simple, but true! The moving leaves or the plants themselves trigger one of the cats’ natural instinct – hunting.
  3. When cats are bored, they turn to plants and try to entertain themselves. Cats are fond of fibrous textures, which is present in many kinds of plants. Munching them is simply fun and pleasurable.
  4. Cats may have sore throats, too. And one of their ways to ease it is to chew on grass. Cats with upset stomach also tend to do it as helps them to vomit.
  5. In few cases, cats eat plants to keep their digestive system healthy. Some grass and plants help in protecting their intestines against parasites and other dangerous elements.

As you can see, these reasons may not be something that you need to worry about. What you need to pay attention to is the kinds of plants that your beloved cats are chewing on.

Certain plants can be toxic, not only to cats but even to other animals. With this being said, it is a must that you pay attention to the plants that you grow around our house.

Plants that are Safe and Dangerous to your Cats


Here is a list of some of the houseplants that are known safe to cats even when ingested:

  1. Cat grass
  2. Cat nip
  3. Mint
  4. Spider Plant
  5. Lemon Grass
  6. Valerian


Many plants have been listed as dangerous or poisonous to cats and even to other house pets. Here are some of them:

  1. Aloe Vera
  2. Eucalyptus
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Lilies
  5. Hyacinths
  6. Mistletoe
  7. Poinsettia
  8. Jade
  9. Onion
  10. Sago Palm

How to tell if your cat ate a poisonous plant

When a plant is labeled toxic to cats when eaten, it doesn’t mean that it will kill your cat immediately. The amount of toxin in every plant differ, thus the effect also varies. Some plants may result to an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and at worst, seizures, liver failure and coma.

Some of these symptoms might seem usual for out feline companion, so it important that you observe your cats behavior and prevent a more serious problem from occurring. If your cat is experiencing any of the things listed below, seek for a professional help immediately.

  1. Unusual Salivation
  2. Vomiting
  3. Change in Appetite
  4. Twitching
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Difficulty in Breathing
  7. Collapse
  8. Swelling of the Skin

Still, you have to act immediately if you witness your cat eating any of the listed poisonous plants.

How to Prevent your Cat from Eating Houseplants

More than solving the problem after it occurred, it is still better to prevent it from happening. One way to do that is to make sure that the plants around your home isn’t any of the dangerous plants to cats. Other than this, there are suggested ways to keep your cats from nibbling on your houseplants.

1. Make sure that your cat is healthy.

As mentioned earlier, a reason why cats munch on plants is due to some illnesses, infection or nutrient deficiency. If you could ensure your cat’s health, there will not be any reason for them to eat any plants.

2. Keep your cats entertained

Make sure that boredom doesn’t strike to your cats so they will leave your plants alone. Provide them with toys that they find attractive, or spend time and play with them as much as possible.

3. Be strategic in putting your plants around your house

If you really are fond of plants as much as you love your cats, there is a way to enjoy them together. You can either put them in a place which is inaccessible to cats, or arrange them together with the plants that your cats hate.

4. Set up their own “garden”

Some plants are known to bring a lot of health benefits to cats. If you want your cats to enjoy these benefits, as well as for them to leave your other plants alone, set up their own “garden” filled with healthy plants like cat grass or cat nips.

5. Use something that is citrus scented

It is said that cats hate the citrus scent, and so another great way to drive them away from your houseplants is to spray them with anything that has the scent.

6. Train your cat to leave your plants alone

This way is probably the most effective: although, it could be a lot of work. A proper training can help your cat become responsible with all his actions, and avoid things that should be avoided.


Now that you have fully understand the reason behind your cats nibbling on your plants, you won’t have to worry about things that you shouldn’t. Although, you should always remember that being a pet parent is a big responsibility. So make sure you are equipped with the necessary information to be able to be a good one.

234 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Eat Your Houseplants?”

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