LETTERS TO LUCINDA #19: Cat Behavior Solutions

Greetings, two-legged readers! It’s your four-legged literate cat, Lucinda, here to bring you the 19th column dealing with cat behavior solutions. Today we will discuss the issue of cats who eat houseplants.

Our first letter today comes from a Mrs. Longrich, who has the following question:

Mrs. Longrich: I have an indoor cat and must leave him alone when I go to work. I cannot monitor what he does all day, and am afraid he might get into trouble.

I have a lot of houseplants, and am worried that he will destroy them, or, worse yet, eat them and become sick. What can I do to protect him?

Lucinda: The first thing you need to do is to write out a list of your house plants and then research to find out if any are poisonous You will find many sources for this information online. To save you some time, here is a link to our literate cat website that has such a story: https://theliteratecat.com/medicine-food-plants-chemicals-what-is-poisonous-to-cats

There’s a pretty long list. Once you have determined which can harm kitty, you need to either rehome that plant or put it in a place where your cat cannot get to it.

As you must know, we cats have a lot of curiosity about everything. We love to have a bite or two of grass, as it helps our digestion. When we see a plant we don’t know, we naturally taste it to learn if it is as good as grass.

By the way, though grass can make some cats vomit, not because they are sick, but because they are cleaning out their stomachs, not all cats vomit after eating grass. Mocha and I never do, and we eats grass almost every day.

It’s too bad we can’t tell which plants are poisonous. After all, we can tell by the taste if meat has gone bad, but the plant either tastes awful or it tastes like more.

I know that tulips and lillies will make you very sick, but that’s only because my CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) has told me so, or I’ve learned through my reading. Other cats don’t have such a useful talent.

If you determine that your cat has possibly ingested a poisonous plant. follow these steps:

  1. Remove all plant material from your kitty’s hair, skin, or mouth
  2. Put it in a baggie to take to your vet. If you know the plant, go outside and find a whole one to bring with you.
  3. Also, take any vomit that might contain plant remnants. These will help the vet identify the plant and prescribe treatment. If your vet is far away, try this pet poison helpline 1-855-213-6680.

A very positive step you can take involves buying grass suitable for your cat to eat. Then, grow a pot of it and let kitty enjoy. You might be surprised at the amount of pleasure this grass garden will give your cat.

large container of cat grass

If you need to find a source for cat grass or seeds, click on this link: https://theliteratecat.com/why-is-my-cat-eating-grass/

Hopefully, this information will help you figure out if you have any plants dangerous to your cat in your home.

Our second letter comes from an upset cat named Angel. Let’s see what she has to say:

Angel: I am a most frustrated cat, as I must stay inside and need to find ways to occupy myself.

I love to chew on grass, as it helps my tummy feel good. However, I cannot get outside to get to it. Therefore, I have tried munching on some of my two-legged’s plants that she keeps inside, like she does me. My two-legged does not like it when I chew on these plants.

Actually, what she calls a spider plant tastes quite good, but she tells me I must leave this one alone, too. How can I get the message across that I want some fresh green grass to chew on?

Lucinda: It becomes so hard to communicate with our two-leggeds at times, because they do not speak cat language. However, we do the best we can. If you had some way to get your two-legged to read this post, it might help.

I can tell you about the spider plant, though, as CCL had the same problem with her cat, Mocha. She had to research the spider plant online to find out if it’s dangerous for cats.

What she found out interested me. No, the spider plant is not toxic to cats, so long as they do not eat too much of it. If they do, they could get diarrhea or an upset tummy.

The reason you’re so attracted to the spider plant, Angel, is because it contains a chemical very similar to that found in catnip. This chemical can make you a bit high, just like catnip. It’s very important to know, however, that just a little bit goes a long way.

tuxedo cat eating grass

CCL has also had trouble with Mocha wanting to chew her aloe vera plant. This one, however, is toxic to cats, so CCL has had to monitor Mocha’s desire for this plant and keep him away from it. If you know what this plant looks like, Angel, leave it alone.

I do not know how you can tell your two-legged that you want some grass to chew on. Maybe you can find a picture of someone’s lawn, paw at it, and meow piteously.

You must understand, though, that it’s best to follow your two-legged’s instructions, and not eat her houseplants, as they could make you very sick.

Angel, I will send a notification to your two-legged to let her know that your letter has been answered, and perhaps she will read this post. I do hope you find a way to let your two-legged learn what you want.

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