Cats and Plants
My cats love to crew on my plants. If they aren't chomping on them, they are knocking them over and spilling soil all over the ground. I have had to remove many plants from my home because of my cats, which is unfortunate because I love to have plants in the house.
To help solve this problem, I started to keep a pot of cat grass near one of their water bowls. I often see them chewing on the grass and they actually become excited when I bring out a fresh pot of grass. By providing them with their own grass that they can chew on, they have left my plants alone.
Why do cats like to crew on plants?
Sometimes it's for fun, sometimes comfort, and sometimes to get attention. However, it is important to know that cats that eat plants or grass excessively usually end up throwing up. If you find that your cat is eating excessively, you may want to remove the cat grass.
I have decided that I would like to try to build them their own garden. I don't expect this garden to provide many health benefits, but instead hopefully metal stimulation and enrichment to their day.
When building my garden, I wanted to find a planter that was wide and low to the ground. I wanted the cats to be able to sit inside the planter or outside by the rim and still have access to the plants. I new litter box is actually the perfect size and shape!
These are possible plants that you can use in your own cat garden. They are plants that are no only safe for cats, but also provide some benefits.
Valerian is a medicinal herb. Many cats love to rub, sniff and eat valerian. Valerian is a stimulant and gets cats moving and active.
Catnip is a herb that contains an active ingredient called Nepetalactone, which cats love. When cats smell Nepetalactone, the cat to feels euphoria. When cats eat catnip, instead of smelling it, the nepetalactone provdes a calming effect. However, it is estimated that about 30% of cats do not respond to cat nip and are not affected by nepetalactone, therefore they don't feel the sensation of euphoria or calmness from cat nip.
Some facts to know about Catnip before using it with your cat:
-Kittens and elderly cats don't always respond to catnip.
-The euhporic feeling from catnip lasts about 10-15 minutes
- A cat needs to wait 1-2 hours after experiencing catnip, for the before the cat is capable of reacting to the herb again
- There are some cats that will become aggressive when they are around catnip.
- Catnip can be used to encourage a cat in playing
- Rubbing catnip on a cat's scratching post can encourage the cat to scratch on the post.
- Catnip can lower the stress a cat is experiencing
- Only give your cat catnip 2 - 3 times a week because if they are exposed to catnip too often, they may lose the ability to react to it.
When you buy 'cat grass' in the store, you are buying a mix of different grasses. Those grasses are oat grass, wheat grass, rye grass, barley grass, orchard grass. You can use any of those grasses individually.
Plants from the mint family, such as spearmint and peppermint can be a great smell to add to your cat garden.
Lemongrass is a medicinal herb that is safe for cats.
Other Herbs that are safe for cats:
Over all when it comes to picking plants, I suggest planting Valerian, Catnip, Cat Grass (or any of the grasses) and then trying out different herbs and seeing which your cat enjoys playing with, smelling, and exploring. Switch it up, keep your cat entertained!