We love our cats, but honestly, they can sometimes be real pests when it comes to our indoor plants. They like nothing better than trying to get into trouble. Some cats love to nibble on our plants — regardless of whether they're allowed to or not. Some cats love knocking down your planters to make all of the dirt and plants fall out. You might even have a cat that likes to dig out the dirt around a plant until they’re able to pull it out to drag around the house. While these all make for some funny YouTube videos, they can be rather annoying to deal with at home. Why not take some time to plant a garden for your cat’s amusement in hopes that they’ll leave your other plants alone? Here are some tips on making your cat happy in an indoor garden.
Catnip is probably the first thing you think of in the way cat-friendly plants. If you love giving your cat some catnip, you’re probably most familiar with the dried variety you get at the store that goes into toys or just gets sprinkled on the floor. Once your kitties have had a chance to smell this dried herb, chaos breaks loose in all kinds of fun and zany ways. You just never know what mischief they'll get into with it.
Catnip is an easy-to-grow plant, so having a fresh supply of it on hand isn’t hard. Once your catnip plant is growing strong, you can take a couple of leaves from it, crush them up, and let your cats smell them. Not only will this help to relax stressed-out kitties, but making a bath out of it can be good for itchy skin (assuming you can manage to bathe your cat without needing a trip to the ER yourself later on).
Another garden favorite among cats is cat grass. Commercial cat grass, which can be purchased in little kits, is usually made up of oat grass, wheat grass, or barley grass. While cats are straight-up carnivores and really don’t need grass, they do enjoy eating it as a fun treat. It’s almost like they think they’re being bad, and that makes it that much more fun for them. This is another plant that’s really easy to grow without requiring too much from you beyond soil, water, and sunshine. Often, this can help your cats cough up hairballs.
Valerian has been used on people for a very long time as a mild sedative, because it helps us relax and even get a better night’s sleep. This plant, however, has the exact opposite effect on our feline friends. Like catnip, it makes them hyper. Valerian is an excellent choice for anyone whose cats need to lose a little weight, as it can make them much more active. This plant can be rather pungent, but it's pretty easy to grow. It also loves nitrogen, so be sure to keep that in mind when it comes time to fertilize.
Licorice Root is a favorite for many people, whether it's as a treat or as a tea that helps with digestive issues. As it turns out, it’s also good for your cats. They enjoy eating it, and it can help them with a variety of ailments, making it a win-win plant for pet owners everywhere. It can be beneficial for cats with allergies, itchy skin, arthritis, endocrine problems, digestion issues, and some respiratory problems.
Catmint and Other Mint
The smell of mint is really attractive to cats. This prolific plant is one that cats can’t get enough of, but one that they want to destroy when they get a chance. They don’t typically eat it but enjoy rolling around in it when possible. Still, you'll want to keep your pets from eating too much peppermint, as it could cause them some stomach problems.
One of the first things to consider when growing these cat-friendly plants is the containers you're going to use. There are some cute pots out there that have been decorated with fun designs that would probably look adorable in pictures of your cat eating from them, but you’ll probably want to avoid them, as they’re more than likely to be broken. Plastic is always a good choice for growing in a cat-friendly garden, especially if your cat enjoys showing their displeasure by knocking objects off shelves and tabletops.
Of course, not every cat is the same when it comes to the plants they enjoy eating. For this reason, you may want to experiment with what you plant. Try a few different varieties out to see how your cat enjoys them all. After a while, you’ll hopefully gain of a better understanding of the ones they’d prefer to ravage and be able to keep your other prized houseplants safe.
Finally, it's important to note that some of these plants, such as mint, can take over a space if they're grown outdoors. Keep this fact in mind if you decide to build your feline-friendly garden outside.
Your cat will enjoy your indoor gardening efforts on their behalf. A happy cat is one that can wreak havoc on your home and indoor garden. There’s no reason to let them in on the secret that you won’t mind them attacking these plants.