Grow a Garden For Your Cat

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.

2. Catnip

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.

RELATED STORY: 5 Ways to Entertain Your Cat With Catnip

3. Valerian

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.

RELATED STORY: Maintaining a Healthy Cat Weight

4. Lemongrass

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.


How to Pet-Proof Your Yard


Bulbs are popping and seeds are starting to take root. For the green-thumbed among us, you know what this means: Gardening season is here! If you have an outdoor cat or a garden-loving dog, you might need to do some thinking about how you design your yard, what’s planted, and where you allow your pets to play. See below for some tips on pet-proofing your garden.

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Are the Plants OK for Pets to Eat?

Many of the very prettiest flowers, shrubs, and plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Even non-toxic greenery, like grass, can cause pets to have an upset tummy. If you know your pets will be in the garden, take time before you plant to make certain you’re not introducing something potentially toxic to your pet’s environment.

RELATED STORY: What Plants Are Poisonous to Pets?

Is Your Fertilizer Toxic?

As well as killing mites and bugs and encouraging blooms from flowers, some fertilizers, pesticides, or insect repellants can contain ingredients that are toxic for pets. If you spray fertilizers or insect repellents on the grass, and your pet walks on the freshly treated area, it’s all too easy for some of the chemicals to wind up on your pet’s paws. Licking the paws later on can lead to your dog or cat ingesting some of the toxins. Aim to use pet-safe fertilizers, and keep your cat or dog off the lawn and away from the yard area just after applying chemicals.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unexpected Dangers to Pets in the Summer

Design With Your Cat or Dog in Mind

As you plot out your garden, think about your particular pet. Is it easy to train them to stay away from certain areas? If so, plant at will — but if your dog or cat has a tendency to go where they’re not wanted, or dig up herbs, shrubs, and flowers, you may want to establish boundaries. Here are a few ideas for how you can lay out your garden to accommodate your pet’s habits:

  • Create Pathways: Generally speaking, many pets will stay on pathways (and away from flower beds).
  • Establish Boundaries: Use materials like bricks, rocks, and leafy barrier plants to form boundaries around areas that should be kept pet-free. You can also put up a gate or fencing if you really want to make sure to keep pets away from vulnerable seedlings.
  • Try Containers: Raised beds, or containers, can be a good way to keep plants and flowers away from paws.

Stay prepared this flea and tick season with PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more. Does your pet love the garden? Tell us what tips and tricks you use to make your yard pet-friendly.