Cat Garden 101
Create a Cat Garden
Do you have a cat that likes to accompany you outside in the summer? Providing cats with a (supervised) enriching outdoor environment can be very beneficial to them. Not only will a cat garden satisfy your cat's natural instincts and curiosity, it has many great health benefits as well. Once the summer months have ended, bring the garden inside to continue providing your cat with great enrichment opportunities. All you need to get started is a planter and some cat friendly plants.
Cat Friendly Plants
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a short-lived perennial, herbaceous plant which blooms from late spring through fall. It is a member of the mint family of plants, containing a strong-scented minty oil that’s easily released into the air. Cats can detect catnip oil in the air at saturations as low as one part per billion. Cats will love to eat this plant right from the garden.
Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) is very similar to catnip and is also a member of the mint family of plants. It blooms from late spring through to the fall. Your cat may not be as attracted to catmint when compared to the nip. It is noted that cats tend to prefer to roll around on catmint leaves, more so than eating it.
The Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is a very common house plant that cats seem to be quite attracted to. This is because it is a mild hallucinogenic. It produces chemicals that cause fascination and obsession of this plant in your cat. When this plant is ingested by cats it has a similar response as catnip. While considered a non-toxic plant, excessive ingestion of the plan can cause a slight upset stomach and vomiting, so be aware of the amount your cat is nibbling on.
There are two types of Marigold: Calnduela and Tagetes. Calendulas are considered non-toxic for cats if ingested. The Tagetes while considered mainly non-toxic, can cause a bit of mouth irritation if your cat chews too much. Regardless of what type, these little flowers brighten up any garden and also have the added benefit of being an insect repellent. This plant will neither deter or attract cats, but cats do sometimes enjoy snacking on the flowers despite their pungent aroma.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of many herbs that are considered non-toxic to cats. Basil is also known for its insect repelling proprieties. Some cats may not have a taste for basil but it makes a good and safe addition to any garden. If your cat doesn’t enjoy the basil- you can always use it in your own cooking!
Planting your garden
Find an appropriate planter and add some curious kitties. Enjoy your summer outside with your cats!