Gardening For Cats

Home gardeners know the challenges of finding plants that will grow well in the available indoor and outdoor environments without posing a danger to our furry friends. But let’s take it one step further! Not only are these excellent new garden additions safe for Patches and Smokey, but they’re just the kind of plants your cats will love. Here’s what you need to start a cat-friendly garden.

(Remember to always speak to a vet and consider your individual cat’s health and needs before introducing them to any new plants or vegetation.)

 

Cat Grass 

What Is It: Cat grass is made from types of grain seeds, like rye, barely, and oat. 

Why Cats Love It: Cats like to eat grass. It can be helpful in digestion and reduce hairball development. Vets also believe that cats will find some necessary vitamins and minerals in the grass as well. While outdoor cats likely find grass all on their own, domestic cats will love a little indoor jungle.

Why We Love It: It’s hard to control the conditions in which outdoor grass is grown and treated. Providing fresh grass for your cat will help reduce the risk of exposure to chemicals and pesticides. Also, it’s lovely to look at.

Growing Difficulty: Easy

 

Catnip

What Is It: This cat favorite is a perennial herb that can be found in the mint family.

Why Cats Love It: Cats will have a different relationship with catnip depending on whether they eat it or smell it. When smelled, it works as a stimulant that will make your cat wired and euphoric (some believe the effects are similar to those of marijuana in humans, but we can’t exactly ask Fluffy for first hand experiences.) When eaten, catnip is a sedative and calms your cat down

Why We Love It: Just look at how happy it makes them! Catnip will affect about 50% of cats, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t show any interest.

Growing Difficulty: Easy

 

Catmint

What Is It: Catmint is a member of the mint family and closely related to catnip.

Why Cats Love It: If your cat isn’t stimulated by catnip, they may enjoy catmint. It’s a more subtle herb that cats often enjoy rolling around in. Cats love mint, but there are dozens of species of mint, and some can become dangerous if ingested too often, so catmint is a good choice.

Why We Love It: It’s the prettier version of catnip and actually has flowering blooms, so even if your cat isn’t interested, it’ll add a beautiful element to a spring garden.

Growing Difficulty: Easy

 

Licorice Root

What Is It: Technically licorice is a legume, just like beans and peanuts!

Why Cats Love It: Licorice root can solve a lot of common kitty problems, including itchy or scratchy throats from allergies, and digestive issues. It can even help with colds, as it can smoothes out irritation in the respiratory system.

Why We Love It: It’s always preferable to provide natural treatments to our furry friends, so licorice root is a great way to solve some common ailments with what nature gave us!

Growing Difficulty: Medium

 

Echinacea

What Is It: Echinacea is a term that refers to ten different species of flowering herbaceous plants that are part of the daisy family.

Why Cats Love It: Echinacea is known as an excellent immune booster for many different animals, cats included. It can help to prevent the common cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections. It can also be used topically to reduce itching and may even help accelerate wound-healing.

Why We Love It: What’s not to love? In addition to being extremely useful, echinacea is also a beautiful plant that adds a little something special to your home garden.

Growing Difficulty: Medium

 

Remember, if your pet is showing signs of illness or distress, it’s vital to speak with your veterinarian or animal expert. Before bringing any of these plants into your home or introducing them to your pet, verify that they are the right plant and ensure your pet has no allergies or sensitivities to the plant. If they react poorly from proximity or ingestion, remove the plant and contact animal poison control at (888) 426-4435 right away.

 

Sources

https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/evr_ct_how-to-grow-cat-grass

https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jcoates/2011/june/cats_and_catnip-does_it_really_get_them_high_and_why-11271

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/echinacea

https://jemmasnaturalpet.com/blog/153-plants-that-are-safe-for-cats

https://www.spiceography.com/catmint-vs-catnip/

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/houseplants/7-plants-to-grow-for-cats

https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/5-alternatives-catnip

https://www.litter-robot.com/blog/2019/06/13/14-herbs-safe-for-cats/

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/echinacea