The cat is a carnivore, so why in the world would it want to gnaw on houseplants?
Today it is believed that one reason for this habit is the folic acid the plants contain.
It is believed that it is an important complement to the rodent diet that cats have in nature.
But that theory is only a guess, the truth is probably only known to the cats themselves.
1. Get rid of hairballs
Eating plants can also be the cat’s natural way of cleansing the digestive tract of hair. Hairballs can occur when the cat licks its fur and swallows loose hairs. The hairs do not melt in the stomach but stick to each other and form a dense lump, ie a hairball. Understandably, long-haired cats have easier problems with hairballs than short-haired cats.
In mild cases, hairballs cause loss of appetite and vomiting, but if the ball is large or there are several of them in the stomach, it can lead to life-threatening intestinal obstruction. A depressed cat without appetite and who seems to have a stomach ache should always be taken to the vet.
2. The plant can also be a nice toy!
The cat may also simply find it fun to chew on plants. Leaves that sway attractively can be reminiscent of toys, which you just have to nibble on. The fly cat may also have noticed that by chewing on plants, it gets its owner’s undivided attention at least for a while.
3. Do not punish the cat – divert its attention
Although the cat is a predator, it is also a prey for larger predators. Punishing the cat or, for example, scaring it with a spray bottle causes stress and impairs its relationship with humans. A positive break, on the other hand, evokes positive emotions and positive interaction with the cat increases its initiative. When it notices that a behavior is followed by something positive (treats, the owner’s attention, etc.), it probably continues to be so in the future.
How do I protect my plants from the cat’s teeth?
Stop the unwanted behavior positively: Teach the cat a word that means it will get something good. It can be e.g. “Kss-kss”.
Say the word and reward the cat. Repeat the exercise several times. Soon the cat will turn to you when it hears the word. You can use the word when you notice that your cat is doing something it is not allowed to do. Remember to always reward it with sweets and / or cuddles!
Directs an unwanted behavior towards a desired one. Grow your own cat grass for the cat, which it can gnaw on and which at the same time helps it to prevent problems with hairballs.
The safest way to protect the plants, even when you can not watch over your little predator, is to place them out of the reach of the cat, for example in a lamp post.