Cat owners can make houseplants unappealing by applying a non-toxic, bitter coating to the leaves like bitter apple or cherry spray available from pet stores or veterinarians. Cat owners may also wish to place certain houseplants, especially those toxic to cats, in an area the cat does not have access.
Cats chew on houseplants for fun or because they suffer from a compulsive disorder where they suck or chew on non-food items. Cats with a compulsive disorder do well when owners provide safe alternatives to traditional houseplants. Catnip plants and live oat are two safe alternatives that cat owners can grow and allow their cats to chew on with no harmful side effects.