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How to Keep Cats Away From Poinsettias: 7 Great Ways

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat biting plant poinsettia

How to Keep Cats Away From Poinsettias: 7 Great Ways

With the holidays comes decorating, whether hanging up pretty baubles or keeping a few lovely holiday plants around. But as a cat owner, you should be careful with what you’re decorating with, especially regarding plants. Our feline friends greatly enjoy getting into things they shouldn’t, and plants are no different. However, some plants can harm our pets or even be deadly.

You’ve probably heard poinsettias are deadly for cats if ingested, but that’s not actually true1. That’s not to say that you should let your kitty hang around poinsettias, though. Ingesting this plant will still cause your cat to become ill, and that’s not something you want.

So, how can you keep your cats away from poinsettias if you have them in your home? Below you’ll find seven great ways to accomplish this so your pet stays safe and sound!

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The 7 Ways to Keep Cats Away From Poinsettias

1. Invest in Artificial Poinsettias

If you’re unwilling to give up poinsettias altogether, the next best thing would be to invest in artificial poinsettias. We admit it’s not quite the same, but this way, you’ll get the look you want without risking your cat’s safety. You can find these fake plants online or at places such as Walmart or Lowe’s, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to locate. And besides keeping your cat safer, artificial poinsettias will be a lot less work to maintain during an already busy holiday!

Pros
  • Safest bet
  • Easy to find
  • Less maintenance than the real thing
Cons
  • May not be as pretty as the real thing
Poinsettia plant
Image Credit: suju-foto, Pixabay

2. Keep Poinsettias in a Room Away From Your Cat

If artificial poinsettias aren’t your thing, you could keep the real thing in your home but locked away in a room your cat isn’t allowed in. This allows you to enjoy the live plant but keeps your pet from getting into and possibly eating it. The downsides here are that the plants won’t be in a public spot of your home where they can be seen by all, and everyone in the home would need to be aware that the room the plant is in should be cat-free at all times. Cats can be slippery and sneaky, so there’s a chance your pet might figure a way in any way.

Pros
  • Get to have the live plant in home
  • Plant isn’t easily accessible to cats
Cons
  • Poinsettias won’t be on display in a spot everyone can see
  • Cat could get into the room

3. Keep Poinsettias Surrounded by Glass or Wire

If you really do want to keep poinsettias displayed where everyone can enjoy them at all times, you can do so by ensuring your plant is either under a glass case or surrounded by a wire cage. A glass case would be the optimal choice between the two, as it would be much prettier and, unless it’s broken, your cat can’t get to the plant. Surrounding the poinsettia with wire should work too (although more adventurous kitties may be able to sneak a paw or nose in).

Pros
  • Get to have the live plant in home
  • Plant is shielded from cat
Cons
  • Not as pretty as a poinsettia with nothing around it
  • Cats might be able to get their paws on plant with a wire cage

4. Place Poinsettias as High as You Can

Cats are notorious for loving high spots so they can view their kingdoms, but if you have a place in your home you can hang a poinsettia that the cat can’t reach, you should be golden. You could try hanging the plant from the ceiling in a place where there are no pieces of furniture around to be climbed on. Or, if you have an incredibly high ceiling in a certain room, you could hang poinsettias there. Even if you just have a super tall piece of furniture that you’re 100% sure your cat can’t climb, it would work. High places out of reach of the cat are pretty win-win.

Pros
  • Cat will be unable to reach
  • Still get to keep the live version of the plant in your home
Cons
  • You might not have a place high enough to evade your cat

5. Make Poinsettias Smell Unappealing

If you make your plants smell horrible to your cats, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about them getting into them. There are a few scents that felines intensely dislike, including rosemary or citrus, although you should always avoid the essential oil versions of these. Sprinkle a bit of rosemary or place the peels of oranges in your plant’s pot and the cat should get out of there quickly! You can also pick up a cat deterrent spray from your local pet store and spray it around the plant. This may not work on all cats, though, particularly determined ones.

Pros
  • Easy remedy
Cons
  • Might not work on all cats
poinsettia flower
Image Credit: ErikaWittlieb, Pixabay

6. Surround Poinsettias With Plants Your Cat Dislikes

There are certain plants that felines aren’t fans of either because the plants smell bad or the texture feels strange on kitty’s paws. So, surrounding your poinsettia with these plants in a little indoor mini-garden could do the trick of keeping your pet away from the plant you don’t want them going after. However, you still need to ensure these plants aren’t dangerous for your cat.

Pros
  • Fairly easy fix
  • You get a little mini-garden in an area of your home
Cons
  • Might not work on all cats
  • If you don’t already have these plants, you’d need to buy them

7. Make a Kitty Garden

Speaking of mini-gardens in the home, why not make one for your cat? Making a little place for plants your cat enjoys, such as cat grass and catnip, set in a part of the home away from poinsettias could keep your cat out of the plants you want them to avoid. This may not work with all felines, and this option is probably best paired with another option on this list, such as keeping poinsettias up high, but it’s worth a try!

Pros
  • Kitty gets their garden to distract them
Cons
  • Should probably be paired with another option on the list
  • Might need to purchase supplies
  • May not work with all felines
close up of a poinsettia flower
Image Credit: sandid, Pixabay

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How to Tell if Your Cat Has Gotten into the Poinsettias

So, how can you tell if your cat has gotten into the poinsettias? Your biggest clue will be the stomach upset—vomiting and diarrhea—but you may also see drooling or irritation around the eyes or skin. The severity will depend on the size of your cat (kittens are more likely to experience severe signs), how much was ingested (in most cases, this won’t be much), and whether pesticides were used on the poinsettia.

In most instances, signs will clear up on their own and, while not fun, aren’t a huge cause for concern. But if the poinsettia was treated with a pesticide, a vet visit is probably best to ensure they haven’t become ill from that and not only the poinsettia. And if signs don’t go away on their own or seem to worsen, take your cat to the vet because it might not be poinsettias and they could have gotten into something else entirely.

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Conclusion

Long story short, poinsettias don’t deserve the bad rep they’ve been given. While they will make your cat mildly ill if eaten, they aren’t deadly. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to keep them out of your pet’s way. Luckily, there are ways you can safely keep poinsettias and cats in the same house, whether by keeping your poinsettia in places kitty can’t get to or simply making the plant unappealing to your feline friend. The best solution would be to not have poinsettias around, but if you’re not ready to give up this holiday plant, rest assured you can keep your favorite cat safe while having the plant around.


Featured Image Credit: Credit: Lebedeva Mari, Shutterstock

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