Why Do Cats Eat Plants?

grey cat and plant

Cats are known for eating all sorts of plants, but some are very toxic to them. 

If you have a cat at home, you’ll be interested to know why these animals seem to love eating plants and what you can do about it. This is normal behavior for these animals, but it could mean something is wrong.

Reasons Your Cat is Eating Plants

There are a number of possible explanations for your cat eating plants that you’ll want to be aware of.

1. To Induce Vomiting

It is believed that cats often eat plants so they can induce vomiting, which helps with spitting up hairballs and other indigestible things. This can prevent an intestinal obstruction, which is potentially life-threatening for your cat.

2. The Fiber Content

A lot of plants contain high levels of fiber, which helps regulates your cat’s digestive system. This allows them to stay regular with their bowel movements. To decrease this risk please make sure that your cat eats well-balanced cat food.

3. Boredom

There is simply no telling what a boring can is going to eat. If your kitty is bored out of its mind, it might start gobbling down plants. These animals will do just about anything for a sense of stimulation.

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If you believe that your cat might be eating plants in or around your home because it is bored, you should try spending more time with it. This is a potentially easy way to fix this issue completely.

scottish red cat eats plant

4. Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

There are certain plants that are toxic to cats, and it is important that you know what some of them are.

Some of the most toxic plants that your cat should never eat include:

  • Lilies
  • Avocado
  • Creeping fig
  • Daffodil
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Boston ivy
  • Cactus
  • Mistletoe
  • Tomato leaves
  • Holly
  • Ivy

You need to keep in mind that lilies are especially toxic to cats. In fact, it only takes a couple of leaves from one of these plants to produce a toxic effect. Every single part of this plant is toxic to cats, including the stems, flowers, and pollen.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Away from Plants

There are some tips that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your cat away from toxic plants.

1. Keep Your Cat on a Leash

It is okay to let your cat outside, but you should keep it on a leash. It is especially important to do this if you know there are toxic plants in the area. This way you can pull them away if they start to go near any of these plants.

There are lots of different leash options to choose from for cats, so you will need to review some of them. This will help you get a better idea as to which one you should choose. Allowing your cat to roam around outside freely drastically increases the chances of them eating something they shouldn’t.

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beautiful cat eyes

2. Get Rid of Any Toxic Plants in Your Home

You will also need to take stock of all the plants that you have in your home to see if any of them are toxic. If so, you should find a new home for them right away. The longer you keep these plants in your house, the more likely it is that your cat will munch on them.

3. Spray Your Plants

You can spray the plants in and around your home with a non-toxic substance to keep your cat from eating them. There are lots of different types of solutions that can be very effective at doing this. Spray some apple cider vinegar on the leaves of your plants. There is a good chance that once your cat takes one lick, they won’t go anywhere near the plant again.

There are also spray products that you can buy in pet stores that are specifically designed to deter cats from licking and chewing on things. Make sure that you only use products that are safe for your kitty. You’ll want to take a look at the ingredients in each of these products before making a final decision on anything.

4. Keep Them Stimulated

One of the best ways to stop your cat from eating the plants in your home is to keep them stimulated, both physically and mentally. This will greatly reduce the chances of them getting into all sorts of trouble.

You should play with your cat for at least an hour every day. This can help a lot with keeping them happy and healthy as a whole. The last thing you want is for your kitty to be miserable because it is going out of its mind with boredom.

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Symptoms of Toxic Plant Poisoning

There are numerous symptoms that you’ll want to look for when it comes to planting poisoning in your cat, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Coughing

If you see your cat eat any plants that are toxic to them, you’ll need to call your vet right away. They will be able to advise you as to whether or not inducing vomiting is a good idea. You may need to take your kitty in to have tests done. The vet may administer activated charcoal to minimize the toxic effects of the plant.

cat at wondow e1584775967578


  • One of the most common reasons cats eat plants is to induce vomiting so they throw up hairballs and other indigestible things.
  • A bored cat might start eating the plants around the house just to create some sense of stimulation.
  • It is important that you spend time with your cat each day so they don’t get bored and start to act out.
  • Make sure that you don’t have any toxic plants in or around your home that could pose a threat to your kitty.
  • If you want to stop your cat eating the plants in your house, you can try spraying them with a non-toxic but unpleasant substance.
  • If you notice any signs of plant poisoning in your cat, you should call your vet immediately.
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