Poinsettias add a touch of décor to the home, especially during Christmas. Many use them as table settings or even place them around the fireplace and on mantles. When you’re a cat parent, you must consider what plants are safe in and around the home.
While poinsettias are mildly toxic to cats, you still don’t want your cat to stick its face into the plant or chew on its beautiful red blooms. If your cat ingests any sap from the plant, it could cause unpleasant symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, and excessive drooling.
In this article, we’ll list seven tips and tricks to keep your cat away from poinsettias in an effort to take some of the worries away.
The 7 Tricks for Keeping Cats Away From Poinsettias
1. Keep the Poinsettia Out of Reach
Keeping the plant out of reach is a surefire way to keep your cat away. Placing the plant up high may not be ideal for decorating, but you won’t have to worry about your cat getting sick from chewing on the plant. Some cats love to be up high, so pick a place your cat cannot access, such as a bookshelf. If your cat uses furniture to climb the bookshelf, move that furniture so your cat has no way to get up near the plant.
2. Use Artificial Poinsettias
Yes, there are such things as artificial poinsettias, and they look just as lovely as the real thing. These fake plants are made of silk and won’t harm your kitty in the event your pet gets nosey and decides to check it out. Artificial plants still add a nice touch of décor inside your home without worrying about making your cat sick.
3. Use a plant cover
Bases can be fitted over the soil of plants to keep cats out- often they are clear plastic, but you can do it at home with a plastic bag or sheet, or even old carpet cut to shape. This can make it less appealing for your cat to dig in the plant- especially if you place double sided tape on the top, to further deter your cat. Most cats hate having sticky items on their feet, so this simple trick can work remarkably well.
4. Add Gravel to the Soil
By adding gravel to the soil, your cat won’t be as tempted to dig in the plant. Simply place some gravel on top of the soil and done. You can also use pebbles or a mix-match of the two.
5. Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper
You can sprinkle cayenne pepper on the leaves to deter your cat. Cats hate the smell of cayenne pepper, and odds are it will stay clear of the smell, which, in turn, keeps your cat away from the plant.
6. Create a Plant Room
You can place as many poinsettias as you wish in a closed-off room. If you have the space, pick a room where your poinsettias receive sunlight and simply keep the door to that room closed. A drawback is you won’t see the plants unless you’re in that room, but it will certainly keep your cat from getting into them.
7. Aluminum Foil
Cats hate the sound, feel, and look of aluminum foil. With that said, you can wrap aluminum foil around the base of the plant. The noise, feel, and look of the aluminum foil will provide excellent protection for your plant and your cat.
Just because poinsettias are mildly toxic doesn’t mean you can’t have them in your home. If you choose to place poinsettias in your home, ensure your cat cannot access them, or try one of the methods above to deter your cat away. If your cat does get into the plant, contact your vet ASAP and keep an eye out for symptoms.