7 Safe & 5 Dangerous Ways to Stop Cats From Pooping In Your House Plants

It’s very annoying when your cat poops in your plants. However, there are a few easy ways to stop them from doing it.

There are lots of ways to stop your cat from pooping in your houseplants. These include methods to block them and things to deter them. I’ve also seen many ways suggested that I think are very dangerous for your cat. Below I cover what to use and what not to use to stop your cats from pooping in your plants.

Although these solutions are used for houseplants, they will also work for the most part, for outdoor plants as well.

7 Safe & 5 Dangerous Ways to Stop Cats From Pooping In Your House Plants

If your cat uses your houseplants as a litter box

I have to admit I’m not keen on some ideas that I’ve seen in the past. They seem irresponsible and dangerous. And sometimes a bit cruel.

Here I put the ones I think will work and are safe. Below I’ve also put the reasons why they might be pooping in your houseplants.

If there is an underlying reason for your cat to be pooping in your plants, you might find that they simply go elsewhere and still don’t use their litter box.

7 Safe Ways to Stop Cats From Pooping In Your House Plants

Below are 7 safe ways on how to keep your cat from pooping in your houseplants.  Some of these I think are better than others. I wanted to give as many as possible because what will work for one person and their cat might not work for another.

Cover It with Large Stones

This is a simple yet effective way of stopping your cats from pooping in your houseplants. Simply buy large stones and placed them in the pot around the base of the plant.

By large I am thinking 4 maybe 5 inches long or bigger. (10-15 cm approx).

This works really well as it not only deters your cat but looks really nice at the base of your plant.

Use Chicken Wire

Chicken wire is a great deterrent for cats. It works really well if you place it around the surface of your soil in your pots. The cats don’t like it because they get their claws caught in it. You may want to secure it down though otherwise, you might find it when they try to dig they will pull the chicken wire up.

Simply place it just under the surface of the soil all-around your pot.

Special Spray from Pet Store

I’m not a big fan of sprays. I try not to use them if there is an alternative. However, it might be worth trying. You can get them from pet shops or online.

Move the Plant

Move the plant to somewhere more obscure and put a litter box in its place.

Use Silver Foil

I’m not sure where my sister got this from. Probably somewhere online. However, she has a lot of problems with her cat going up on her kitchen side. She decided to use silver foil. This works a treat. I see no reason why you can’t use it around plants.

Although, I think that the only downside to silver foil is it might be a little conspicuous.

Smaller Plants

Only use smaller plants. Smaller plants won’t have room for your cat to poop so easily.

Use Pepper

I used to use this many years ago to stop my kitten from pooping and peeing at the door that led upstairs. It took a while for it to work. Let’s put it this way, I called her Pepper.

I couldn’t make up my mind whether to put pepper, in the OK section or the not OK section. I know a lot of people use pepper as a deterrent for cats. However, you might not want to use it for your cats.

When I had Pepper the Cat it was many years ago, and we weren’t so well-informed back then. Pepper is an irritant to cats and can irritate their eyes and make them sneeze. I would never use this for my cat Boo precisely for that reason.

5 Dangerous Ways To Keep Your Cat From Pooping In Plants

I like to check to see whether these things work or not and whether they are poisonous to cats. Many of the suggestions in my view are dangerous for your cat.

Below are several ways of stopping your cat from pooping in your plants that I have seen suggested that I do not agree with.

The list of solutions below is either very dangerous or potentially dangerous for your cat. In my view, these should not be used.

Coffee Grounds — Dangerous For Your Cat

Someone suggested coffee grounds. On the surface, it seems like a good idea and one that’s something that’s also recommended for my allotment.

I checked this with Petmd I then double-checked on the caffeine in coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are still high in caffeine.  Caffeine is very dangerous for cats.

Pine Cones — Mildly Dangerous to Cats’

I admit I was surprised at this one.  Pine cones are actually mildly toxic for your cat. They can cause allergic reactions.

The symptoms are as you’d expect from an allergic reaction. These include sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, rashes, etc. And in more serious cases it could hinder your cats’ ability to walk and breathe.

As houseplants are under your control, I’d recommend not using them as there are better things that you could use anyway.


Some people use different spices as a deterrent with varying success.

I’m not so keen on this method for 3 reasons:

  1. My own cat Boo is highly sensitive and would sneeze.
  2. I would want to be certain that they would not harm the cat or give it an upset tummy.
  3. It’s not a permanent solution as then you water the plants it will wash away. (maybe that could be cured if I did it right and water from below LOL).

Something Protruding out of the Soil — Potentially Very Dangerous to Cats

I’ve seen various suggestions for different objects sticking out of the soil.  I’m not keen on this solution at all. It has a very good potential for harming your cat. I’d be very careful before deciding to do something like this. In fact, I probably really wouldn’t.

Tobacco or Cigarettes Crushed up — Dangerous to Cats

My first thought on this is Uck! How horrible disgusting and smelly. (Not a smoker obviously LOL). But that aside, nicotine is extremely toxic to cats and according to Pet Place far from discouraging them, they are actually attracted to it.

To Stop the Pooping You May Need to Know Why it’s Happening

Whilst stopping your cat from pooping in your houseplants is a great idea., There may be other reasons why they might be doing it. Below I’ve covered briefly a few so that you’re not storing up problems for later.

From Your Cat’s Point of View

As far as your cat is concerned your plant soil is simply another litter box. There’s no way for them to know the difference. As far as they’re concerned it’s there for their benefit. And they probably prefer it to the litter box anyway as it’s more natural. Using what is the recommended Solutions above should stop the problem.

Soil is Softer

Let’s face it which would you prefer? A luxury bathroom with opulent marble, clean glass, and soft toilet paper or a dirty smelly hole dug in the floor?

Dirty Litter Tray

You want to look at how often you clean out your litter tray and how often you pull out the wee and the poop. If you think about it what happens when your cat goes poop in your plants? It probably goes something like this:

“No! Argh! I better clean that up straight away.”

So you clean it up straight away. This might not always happen with the litter box.

Or you’ve just got a simply super fussy cat, like my previous cat Holly. She was fastidiously clean with her litter box. I could clean it out after she’d used it, and she still would not use it again. Even the slightest smell and she would just refuse point-blank to poop or pee in it.

It goes to show that even when you are doing the best you can for your cat, it might just not be up to your cat’s standards. As was the case with Holly.

Don’t Like Litter

Another reason is they might not like the litter that you’re using. This could be for several reasons. It could be that they don’t like the feel of it on their feet. It doesn’t mask the smell. Or simply that it’s too highly scented for them, and they don’t like it.

Attention Seeking

They might also use the plant pots because they are attention-seeking. There’s a good chance that you say no in a firm tone when they do it. For a cat tension is attention.

If this is the case not only cover up the pot or use one of the other solutions but make sure that you spend a little bit more time playing with your cat.

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