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You love your garden, so it’s natural that your cat will love one too. Indoor cats especially will benefit from their own special cat herb garden, because they don’t get to enjoy the benefits of certain plants and herbs outdoors. Whether you plant a number of pots on a windowsill or have the space for a larger herb garden in your home, find out more about what types of herbs will make the perfect choice for your cat.
What to Grow in a Cat Herb Garden
- You’ve probably noticed that outdoor cats love a nibble on grass that grows outside, and cat grass is the number one choice for your cat herb garden. A great source of fibre that also aids digestion, you can either grow it from seed or buy a ready planted and grown pot of it.
- Good old catnip is probably the king of the cat-friendly herbs, as you’ll know if your cat is part of the ranks of the catnip-crazy! I wouldn’t recommend having too much catnip growing at once if your cat is affected by it, but it’s easy to pick, dry and store for future fun.
- Cat thyme grows best in dry, hot conditions, so on a sunny windowsill is purrfect! Some cats take to cat thyme as much as catnip, so be prepared for a very happy cat indeed.
- The scent of lemongrass isn’t only attractive to us, cats love it too. It offers lots of health benefits to your cat, including being antibacterial and great for digestion, and you can even use it in your cooking if your cat leaves you any.
- Valerian offers similar crazy-making effects to catnip, so growing it in your cat herb garden is a fantastic idea.
- As well as smelling fabulous, lavender has a tranquilising effect in both humans and cats. Its colourful purple leaves make it an attractive addition to your cat herb garden.
What NOT to Grow in Your Cat Herb Garden
It’s important that you know what shouldn’t be grown in your herb garden for cats, or you might end up with a very sick cat or worse. Avoid the following herbs:
- Chives are part of the allium family, so like onions and garlics are toxic to cats. You may only notice an upset stomach if your cat has a little nibble, but over time the effects will build up to dangerous levels.
- Another herb that’s poisonous to cats is comfrey, which has carcinogenic properties if eaten, so is a definite no-no when it comes to your cat herb garden.
- Whilst chamomile is known to be soothing and restful for humans, it is toxic to cats so stick with tea bags in the kitchen and keep it out of your garden.
- A pretty purple foxglove plant may look lovely in your home, but it can be very harmful to your cat if he eats it, even life-threatening.
For a comprehensive list of herbs and plants that are toxic for cats, check out the ASPCA database.
So what are you waiting for? Get those gardening gloves on and have fun planting beautiful, fragrant herbs for your feline friend to enjoy.
Do you have a cat herb garden at home? Please share…
Images: John Benson / “T”eresa via Flickr
Athena and Marie says
Thanks for this post! Athena loves cat grass but I currently have to order it from Amazon, which can be quite expensive. I think I’m going to have to try and grow my own.
Traveling Cats says
I know someone whose cats almost died because they ate chives. Didn’t know about the chamomile though. Thanks for the info.
Susan from Life with Dogs and Cats says
I love growing organic oatgrass and catnip for my cats. I didn’t know about Valerian. I’ll have to add that to my garden!
Lauren Miller says
Thank you for posting this! I’ve always wanted to do this and didn’t know where to start!
This is a great idea, maybe the kitties would leave moms other plants alone?
The Island Cats says
The mom grows us a big pot of catnip!
Sharon S. says
This is a great idea. I worry that my indoor cats won’t get enough greens. Sharing.
The Swiss Cats says
We’re lucky kitties, we can go in the garden (to be true, part of the garden). We love to sleep under the rosemary ! And we like to chew some grass and offer Mum a nice vomit under the bed ! Purrs
Kitties Blue says
Is cat thyme different than regular thyme? I have catnip growing for the kitties, and have lavender in our human garden. I will dry both when fall comes.
Miley's Daily Scoop says
Our kitty would love this!! Thanks for sharing!
What a bummer that my human kills plants just by looking at them – I think having a kitty garden would be so cool!