You may catch your cat in the act of eating or digging up your houseplants, or you may discover the telltale sign that the plant has been destroyed. Why do cats engage in this behavior? Just like with dogs, cats may sometimes eat greenery in order to help aid their digestion or just because they enjoy the taste of it. There are some cats who even feel that the soil or compost of the plants serves the same function as kitty litter.

It is not know for a fact whether the act of eating grass is the cats’ way of self-medicating and is eating the plant on purpose to help induce vomiting, or if she is simply attracted to the plant itself. Regardless of the reason why, the eating of houseplants can be dangerous as many are toxic to cats, for example, lily, ivy, daffodil, mistletoe, poinsetta, and more.

Some cats may prefer the use of soil or compost of the plants as an alternative to their litter, maybe because their box is not clean enough, or just simply because the plant is right there.

To deter your cat from eating or digging up your houseplants, it’s best to keep them out of reach, but be sure to take into account that cats are great at climbing and jumping. Some cats do not like the feel of foil on their paws so you may try to place it underneath the plant. Most cats also don’t like the smell of mothballs, so keeping some in a cloth bag placed on top of the soil may also help keep them away.