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  #1  
Old 03-29-2021, 02:06 PM
GrandpaUtz GrandpaUtz is offline
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Default Keeping Cats Away

Hello all!

I used to have an account (either here or at OrchidTalk?) years ago, was very active then went to college, etc and my orchids died in my mom's care, as did my activity with the community via life. Anyway new account and newly rekindled love of orchids here!

My biggest issue is: I have exactly one window that is acceptable for growing any sort of plants, let alone orchids at my house. It faces SE. We have a couch with a behind-the-sofa table sitting in front of it, and my cats LOVE to go up there and nibble on my plants! I know Orchids aren't toxic to cats, but is there any way any of you have found that is successful in keeping your furry friends from chewing your orchids to crap? I've been barely keeping alive an irish clover for years now, because it's their favorite, and I'm worried bringing an orchid in will just give them something new to chew (starting with a phal to ease back into things!)

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2021, 02:52 PM
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Welcome to this forum - (maybe again!). One grower mentioned using a spray bottle (water) ------ so that if the cat(s) went to that table ----- the spray bottle would come out. And eventually the cats would know to not go up onto that table.

Interestingly - not all cats eat or damage plants and orchids. I have a cat at my place that sleeps on one of my orchids hehe ------ can see at this link here. That was really lucky that this one doesn't eat or chew orchids. Otherwise - I would have likely needed to try the 'spray bottle method'.
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2021, 02:52 PM
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I second SouthPark's idea, nothing like a dose of fear to teach those furry jerks. They have to learn what "no" means.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2021, 06:23 PM
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Welcome back. Some cats can't be taught to leave plants alone. The only thing that helps is keeping them out of that room.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2021, 07:28 PM
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Definitely not cruelty to cats. I like cats and dogs and lots of other animals. But just wondering if the cats tend to eat particular orchids on a bench ------ then allow them to eat say once ...... but with a carolina reaper chilli spray on the leaves. Not just hot. But super hot. Otherwise ------ to tone it down a bit ..... birds eye chilli spray on the leaves.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2021, 09:01 PM
Maru777 Maru777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post

Interestingly - not all cats eat or damage plants and orchids.
I don’t have a cat, though I love them, but my mother has 3. Not a single one of them seems to have any interest whatsoever in her orchids. I think one knocked a pot over once but it was by accident because it wanted to be petted when my mom was watering the plants and it jumped on the windowsill and knocked a Den over. But I mean, I knocked over more pots than that and I’m no cat Grandma has 2, one is also chill and one will only knock the pots over if they are placed on “his” windowsill. So it depends on your cat I think.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2021, 10:16 PM
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I disagree with the spray bottle idea. Cats are not trainable in the same way as dogs (they don't respond to punishment). Although you might think you are teaching them 'no,' you are actually teaching them to fear you. The spray bottle idea sounds good in theory, but in actuality what ends up happening is your cat starts to associate the water being sprayed on their face with your presence. This is because every time you spray the cat in the face with water you are standing right in front of them. Too many times I have seen this strategy backfire on people. They don't usually associate the spray bottle with the action that they are doing (i.e., chewing plants, jumping on counters, etc.), and will probably continue doing it when you're not home... because they only get sprayed with water when you're there.

Have you tried bringing an orchid around your cats? My cat doesn't care about them at all. She does try to eat pretty much every other plant I have, but the orchids don't tempt her. I would try bringing one around your cats first and see what happens. If they do end up chewing it then the best strategy is to put it somewhere out of their reach. Perhaps invest in a grow light if that spot is not very bright.

---------- Post added at 07:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:00 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
Definitely not cruelty to cats. I like cats and dogs and lots of other animals. But just wondering if the cats tend to eat particular orchids on a bench ------ then allow them to eat say once ...... but with a carolina reaper chilli spray on the leaves. Not just hot. But super hot. Otherwise ------ to tone it down a bit ..... birds eye chilli spray on the leaves.
I believe chillies are toxic to cats.

Last edited by spinrah; 03-29-2021 at 10:08 PM..
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Old 03-29-2021, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinrah View Post
I believe chillies are toxic to cats.
Probably better not use chilli if it is toxic to cats. On the other hand - if it's super powerful chilli ---- eg. carolina reaper ----- and if cats do react in the way that most people react ----- very quickly ------ then it's possible that they won't be continually eating. They'll probably get a very small sample ------ but powerful sample.

Maybe a protected tub of citronella (eg. protected cotton buds in a container dipped in lots of citronella) - placed in among the plants ------ could work Not sure.


Last edited by SouthPark; 04-07-2021 at 02:35 PM..
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2021, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthPark View Post
Probably better not use chilli if it is toxic to cats. On the other hand - if it's super powerful chilli ---- eg. carolina reaper ----- and if cats do react in the way way that most people react ----- very quickly ------ then it's possible that they won't be continually eating. They'll probably get a very small sample ------ but powerful sample.

Maybe a protected tub of citronella (eg. protected cotton buds in a container dipped in lots of citronella) - placed in among the plants ------ could work Not sure.
They do sell special kinds of spray that have a small amount of rubbing alcohol in them to deter cats (not sure how I feel about the alcohol being in it, but apparently it dissipates when it's exposed to air, although the smell remains). But, my experience with these things again is that unless you're consistent enough to spray the plant on a regular basis the cats will always end up going back to it if they really want to.

I'm a bit of a crazy cat lady so I've tried all the tricks... the only thing that works is keeping the plant out of reach.
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Old 03-30-2021, 02:46 AM
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Perhaps keeping all the plants in a cage, reptile habitat (the type with the screens on the sides), wardian case, terrarium, etc. might be the easiest solution.

I have a very well-behaved, well-trained pup who, maybe once a year, twice at most, would go on a small orchid-destroying rampage. I lost a few very good, irreplaceable orchids. Now I keep the orchids on a shelf she cannot reach and, when they are outside for the summer, I accompany her outside. Most of the time, she left them alone so it did take me a little time to take action to keep them out of her reach.

---------- Post added at 02:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:44 AM ----------

If you want to deter the cat from eating plants with plants...Rue is one of the most bitter herbs and it can grow in a small pot as long as it is kept watered. When we had wild critters eating plants, I planted that and wormwood in the garden and it ended the problem.
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