I love cats. I really do – I have two of them. But there is nothing that makes me angrier than finding a pile of dirt next to my beautiful ficus tree. Or even worse, a “present” inside the pot. Keeping cats out of potted plants is a frustrating task. Some cats won’t give the time of day to a houseplant, while others love the smell of rich, earthy potting soil better than any catnip. I’ve tried many things to keep them at bay and I’ve finally come up with the best idea. Not only does it work, but it’s quite stylish, too. Pinecones! They are prickly on Fluffy’s paws and she will look elsewhere to do her digging. If your cat dreams of being Rambo and nothing will stop him – wire the pinecones together in a long swag. Then, drape them in a circle on top of the potting soil. Luckily, pinecones are cheap to buy or free if you go collecting with your whole family. Give your kids each a canvas tote bag and see who collects the most. Have fun collecting and have fun gardening.