Spring is here! And while you’re planning what to plant in your outdoor garden, why not create a wonderful, fun, and safe indoor garden for your cat to enjoy, too!
A kitty garden will give your indoor-only cat a taste of the outdoors while keeping him safely inside. Keep in mind, though, that many cats love to munch on plants, so it’s imperative that you take careful considerations when selecting what you’ll put in your garden since so many plants are poisonous to cats.
We’ve compiled this guide to some of our favorite grasses, herbs and flowers that are purr-fect for a feline-friendly indoor garden:
Perhaps the most obvious choice for a cat garden, catnip is a member of the mint family and usually loved by the animal it’s named after! Some cats like to eat catnip, but the most intense experience is had when your cat sniffs it. When ingested, catnip tends to make cats mellow out, but when they smell it, they typically react with excitement.
To grow catnip indoors, plant it in a sunny windowsill, give it plenty of water with good drainage, and when it starts to grow flowers, snip them off to encourage the leaves to grow. When your catnip gets about 7″ tall, you can start pulling leaves off to dry out for your cat!
Rosemary is a beautiful, bush-growing herb that will add a wonderful fragrance to your home and it’s perfectly safe for your cats should they choose to nibble on it. Not only is it a yummy herb you can add to your meat and potatoes, rosemary is also a natural flea repellent!
To grow rosemary indoors, it’s easiest to start with an already established plant. Rosemary is best kept in a terra cotta pot in full sunlight, with good water drainage and good air circulation.
This may come as a surprise, but kitties love the smell of lemongrass (and a lot of people do, too!). Lemongrass has a catnip-like effect on many cats. It should be noted, however, that lemongrass essential oil is highly toxic to cats – so stick to the plant and keep the oil out of your home!
For your lemongrass to thrive indoors, it will need 6-8 hours of full sun every day. And, as with all the plants on our list, you’ll need plenty of water with good drainage. Since lemongrass is native to Asia near the equator, never expose it to freezing temperatures.
If you’re not interested in planting grasses and herbs but are more interested in some pretty flowers that are totally feline-friendly and hardy indoors, look no further than impatiens! They can bloom in moderate light conditions – perfect for an indoor splash of color in your kitty garden!
To keep your impatiens alive and well inside, plant them in a container that drains well, keep them watered and fertilized with a pet safe fertilizer. You can trim your impatiens to maintain their shape – but don’t throw those clippings away – the cuttings will root in a glass of water to produce a new plant!
Other plants that would make great, and more importantly, safe, additions to your indoor cat garden are Parsley, Thyme, Zinnias, Valerian, Petunias, and Lavender. Consider adding a cat tree or tall scratching post to mimic a tree. Add a water fountain and the garden becomes a full-blown feline oasis!
A final word:
You’d be amazed at just how many plants and flowers are highly toxic to your feline friend. So do your research before bringing any other plants into your home. Then, fill your planters with organic potting soil to avoid bringing dangerous pesticides in with the dirt. With a bit of preparation, you and your cat will soon be enjoying your new indoor kitty garden!
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