Cats and dogs love dirt, they dig in it, play in it and if a cat’s litter box isn’t clean they may find a back-up location in your potted plants. Some pets will leave the dirt alone but are irresistibly drawn to the leaves, either to nibble on or bat at. There is no fail-safe plant but there are some tips and tricks you can follow to make your pets leave the plants alone.
The biggest problem and the most damaging to an indoor plant is a cat deciding to use the dirt as a litter box. Once a cat has done this once, the odor is there and it is going to be hard to stop them from going back. To prevent this from happening in the first place, cover the dirt in larger pots with lava rock or wood chips. A cat will not like the feel of either of these materials on their paws and will not feel comfortable using the pot as a bathroom.
Dogs are easier to train and keep away from plants but it is harder for other animals. Especially for cats - a deterrent may be necessary to keep them away. You can use a spray bottle of water to stop them from chewing on plant leaves or digging in the dirt. Since cats don’t like anything from the citrus family you can put fresh citrus rinds at the base of the plant too – their sensitive noses will stop them from getting too close.
Keep your soil nice and moist, not only is this good for the plant, cats will not enjoy digging in wet dirt. Some trial and error may be called for until you find the right solution that works for your pets. If all else fails, buy hanging plants instead or put the plants in an inaccessible location.