Gardening is a wonderful hobby. It not only gets you outside for some fresh air and exercise, it also offers a sense of accomplishment once your hard work pays off and plants and flowers start to bloom.
Many cats are fond of gardens too, and enjoy snacking on grasses and other vegetation. However, not all plants are safe for cats to consume, and if your cat munches on the wrong ones, it could land them at the emergency clinic, or worse.
If you’re looking for a safe way to satisfy your kitty’s desire to forage, consider planting a cat garden. Here are five plants your cat will love.
1. Cat Grass
Cat grass is a fast-growing, easy-to-care-for option for cats who love to graze and cat parents who don’t want to worry about a high-maintenance plant. Cat grass is made up of cereal grasses such as wheat, oats, rye, and barley. While cat grass isn’t loaded with health benefits, it does add roughage to your cat’s diet, which can aid in digestion and loosen hairballs. Cat grass seeds are available at most pet stores.
No cat’s garden would be complete without catnip. This minty herb contains a mild hallucinogen and is famous for throwing cats into euphoric frenzies; they love to rub against it, roll on top of it, and even chew its leaves. Catnip is very easy to grow and maintain, and it even grows like a weed in some places, spreading quickly over large areas. If you plan to plant catnip outside, just keep in mind that neighborhood cats might not be able to resist! For this reason, many people grow catnip indoors or in a hanging basket.
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Valerian is an herb that most people associate with relaxation and a good night’s sleep. For cats, however, valerian does the opposite — it acts as a stimulant. This makes valerian an excellent choice for chunky kitties who could stand to lose a few pounds, but need a little boost of energy to get them up and active. In addition, valerian is a great alternative for cats who don’t respond to catnip.
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Lemongrass is a popular herb in Asian cuisine, and while they won’t be using it in soups or sauces, cats go crazy for it. Lemongrass has a sweet-yet-grassy aroma, and like catnip, it is soothing to Mr. Whiskers. The stalks of the herb make a hearty treat; just avoid giving your cat lemongrass essential oil, which can be toxic.
5. Cat Thyme
Despite what the name suggests, cat thyme is not related to herb commonly used in Italian cooking. Instead, cat thyme is a perennially growing plant with lovely pink-hued flowers. It has a minty, musty, pungent smell that cats adore, but humans may be less fond of. If you can get past the odor, however, your cat will be happy to soak up the plant’s soothing effects (which are similar to those produced by catnip).
Do you keep a garden for your pet? Leave a comment and tell us what’s in it. And if you’re looking for another way to care for your four-legged friend, consider signing up for PetPlus. Find out if PetPlus is right for you, and get more information on the members-only benefits, which include discounts on food and vet visits, as well as boarding discounts.