Monday, July 25, 2011

How to stop the cat from eating the seedlings

Today's guest blogger: Ann Hinds.  Mom met Ann on a website where humans write stories and articles and get paid for them.  Don't ask me why, getting paid seems important to humans. 

Anyway, some cats are rather fond of seedlings.  Ann gives some tips on how to avoid that.  Could be interesting as some plants are poisonous to cats.

Start your seedlings. Make sure that they are in a sunny spot that does not get direct sunlight. I have a perfect spot in my bathroom. There is a large frosted window next to the garden tub. I put a small table in the tub and can move it easily when the tub is in use. The tub gets sun all afternoon. Absolutely perfect for seed germination. Also, absolutely perfect for the Cinnamon cat who likes to nap in the tub as well...Purrfect for an afternoon snack.

Until the true leaves appear, they cannot be moved outdoors. While some of the hardier plants can be planted outside, most plants like a more controlled start. The problem with indoor seedlings is cats. Dogs do not generally mess with the seedlings but for cats, ahhh, the elixir of life.

I've listed some methods to keep your seedlings safe until they are ready to harden off outside.
Supplies you need to have on hand to start seedlings
You will need supplies for whatever method you choose.

You will need carefully grown seedlings from expensive heirloom seeds.

You will need a cute adorable cat but that choice is up to you. We already had Cinnamon so the cat part was easy. If you don't have a cat yet but want to stop one from eating your seedlings, might I suggest your local animal shelter where they have many, cute, adorable cats.
I always use Miracle-Gro. I have yet to have a problem with it and I do think it helps.
If you have not tried these tomatoes, give them a try. They are huge and yummy.


No cats were injured during the writing of this article. Cats will eat seedlings. It is up to you to take steps to prevent it. You can't get mad if your cat acts like a cat.

This is my list of suggestions

  • 1Cover the plants. Some have suggested that a box makes a great cover. The plants are covered at night and uncovered in the morning. This is a great suggestion until you leave the house during the day and leave the seedlings to the cats mercy. Still pretty effective.
  • 2I read a suggestion on the internet to soak a paper towel with ammonia and set it in the dirt. I haven't tried this but I could see it working.
  • 3Chicken wire is a thought. I do not plant anything outside without digging a hole and lining it with chicken wire. This keeps the gophers out. (That should be another article about the gopher who ate my horseradish plants). Making a cage for the seedlings is something I am considering. I just have to figure out the cat weight to chicken wire strength ratio. Also need to take into consideration, the average cat reach from the sides and the top.
  • 4One of the more obvious deterrents it to spray her with water. This works but I can't spend the next few weeks sitting in the bathtub.
  • 5Another interesting suggestion I found while researching was to put banana peels on the soil. I chased the cat around with the banana peel and she doesn't like it so I may try this method too.
  • 6Along the same line, cats are not fond of the smell of citrus or eucalyptus. Another thing to try if all else fails.
  • 7The final suggestion I found was to sprinkle plain black pepper on the seedlings. Cinnamon does not like pepper on any of her food.

PJ is too lazy to eat the seedlings. He would have to get up and prefers his food at floor level.  

To read more of Ann's work, please visit

1 comment:

  1. I have tried pepper but Gracie ate the plants anyway. Great post.