Are you nervous about your curious cat perusing through your garden and nipping at your plants? With so many plants out there that are toxic to pets, your concerns are totally valid—but luckily, there are also plenty of plants out there that are completely safe! Some even provide health benefits like extra vitamins, improved digestion, and disease prevention, so adding them into your cat’s diet is highly recommended.
To create your own cat-approved planter full of plants that are safe for pets, check out these three feline-friendly options that can all be grown together in the same pot. Remember, if you’re growing plants with the intention of having your pets eat them, you won’t want to be using any chemical products like pesticides. Keep it all-natural and find organic solutions for eliminating pests whenever possible!
Time to blow the dust off that old Jimi Hendrix album and plug in the lava lamp! Any cat owner can agree that there are few things funnier than watching your cat go full Woodstock-mode on the kitchen floor with a sprig of catnip. This fast-growing herb from the mint family is so easy to grow, and its powerful effect on cats is both impressive and hilarious. It’s also completely safe, so your cat can let loose without any worry.
Having catnip around can prove to be quite useful too, especially if you’ve got a cat with some rascally habits. For example, if you’ve got a restless cat that likes to scratch the furniture or the stereo speakers when it’s bored, providing it with a few catnip leaves will give it plenty of entertainment! They’ll roll around on the floor for ages until they’re all tuckered out, then they’ll crash for a nap for a few hours, and your furniture will remain intact. Problem solved!
Catnip is super easy to take care of, and it’s a pretty vigorous grower, so in a container, it’s a good idea to let your cat graze on it regularly, or remove a few sprigs every few days. This pruning will help to prevent the plant from overwhelming the container and snuffing out the other plants. Place it in a spot with plenty of sunshine, water it regularly, and skip out on the fertilizer, because it will only end up reducing the scent and flavor of the plant.
Many pet owners are surprised to see their carnivorous pets chowing down on grass so gleefully, but it really is good to include it in their diets! Cat grass is great for their digestion because it’s so rich in plant fiber, and it helps reduce hairball buildup. Plus, cats tend to have a natural craving for grass, so providing them with cat grass is good because it helps deter them from eating your other houseplants or chomping on the grass outside, which may be coated in chemicals.
Growing cat grass is simple, and it makes a great filler plant for containers! Start by popping in your other starter plants, and then sprinkle on some cat grass seeds in the bare patches to fill it all in. It should start sprouting in no time! Just let it fill out a bit before letting your cat get to it, because you want to make sure the roots are well established, or else there will be no hope of it bouncing back and continuing to grow if the seedlings haven’t matured enough.
It turns out this popular culinary herb is a favorite among the feline community as well! The ASPCA has confirmed that parsley is safe for cats to consume, and a lot of cat food companies actually include it in their recipes because it has tons of health benefits! It’s a natural antifungal, so it’s great for keeping their breath fresh and preventing illness and infection.
Parsley is also a powerful supplement that aids urinary tract health and function. This is especially valuable for cats that don’t like eating wet food and only like eating dry kibble. This can lead to dehydration, which in turn leads to urinary crystals—kind of like the cat equivalent of kidney stones. It’s a painful and expensive condition to deal with, so including parsley in their diet can help strengthen their immunity and prevent this condition from occurring. Just make sure your cat is also drinking water to push the parsley through its system.
From an aesthetic standpoint, parsley has that lovely “spiller” quality, where it tends to trail down the sides of its container. Plant your parsley around the edge of the container, put the catnip in the very center, and fill the gaps in with your cat grass, and you’ll have yourself a purr-fectly balanced potted arrangement.
Alsip isn’t just a greenhouse and garden center—we’ve got a full pet supplies center as well, so if you’re ever unsure about which plants are safe for your pets, you can rely on us for expert advice! Always double check with your vet on what is best for YOUR pet. Visit us in-store or check out our online shop for all the plants and pet supplies you could ever need here in the Midwest.