The Aluminum Foil Hack You'll Want To Know If You Have Houseplants And Pets

Pets are intelligent and inquisitive creatures that bring so much interest and joy into our lives. We love to watch them as they explore their home environment, but playful curiosity can sometimes lead cats, dogs, and even rodents and other pets directly into trouble. For anyone who loves their houseplants equally to their pets, but has had to sacrifice one for the other in the past, we have a handy hack that may just be a game-changer. All it takes is a common household product that you can find in your kitchen to deter your pets from going anywhere near your houseplants — aluminum foil!

It's natural for animals to want to play amongst or chew on leaves. This is how they would behave outdoors or in the wild, so how are they supposed to know or understand that houseplants are off-limits? The solution is to surround your houseplants with something that feels extremely unnatural — and that is shiny crinkled-up metal paper. It'll feel horrible underfoot and will certainly deter any pet from getting near enough to your plants for a midday munch. It works especially well with cats and Christmas trees, so give this idea a go with your houseplants and see what your cat makes of it.

How to use aluminum foil to keep cats away from houseplants

There are two clever ways you can use kitchen foil to put your cats off your precious houseplants. If your problem is that your cat enjoys digging the soil inside your plant pot, try lining the top layer of soil inside the pot with tin foil. Some cats really hate the feeling and sound of it, so they are unlikely to carry on digging in your plant pots after they have discovered the new layer of foil inside. It's important not to push the foil down into the soil though, as you will block the flow of air and this could encourage mould to grow underneath it. A loose layer of foil placed on top is all you will need to deter your cat.

The 'Christmas Tree' method is a popular one that involves laying out sheets of aluminum foil on the floor around your Christmas tree. You can do something similar by lining shelves or bookcases with foil and then placing potted plants on top. This works well on higher shelves as you won't be able to see the tin foil. Placing foil around the plant in this way is best if you're trying to keep your cat away from the plant in general, perhaps because they enjoy chewing on leaves or jumping up in between branches of taller plants, resulting in them knocking the plants over and making a big mess.

Why cats are so into your houseplants

By using aluminum foil to deter cats and other pets away from your houseplants, you are simply working to make the plant pots undesirable, or the plants unattainable. If your cat is paying attention to your plants and making an effort to get to them, it is because they find it rewarding in some way. There are a number of reasons your cat may find your houseplants and pots rewarding; for example, they may be trying to leave their scent around it by pawing or digging in the soil. They may even be trying to use the soil as a litter tray. You may be able to reduce this behavior by ensuring they have more than one litter box and that they are kept clean, and provide various cat scratching posts so they can leave their scent in more suitable places.

Cats don't normally eat vegetation as they are carnivores, which means they only need animal products in their diet, such as meat, bones, and organs. They are known for eating grass though, and it is thought that the vegetation helps to remove foreign objects like hairballs or undigested food through the digestive tract, per International Cat Care. So, if your cat is chewing on your plants, it may be because they don't feel very well. You could provide them with cat grass, or take a trip to the vet to make sure there isn't a more serious problem.