Organic Home Gardening Series: 9 Plants to Grow For Your Cat's Garden

People are not the only ones who can benefit from plants! Did you know that certain plants are pleasant to furry felines -- and some are actually good for them? Cats are naturally drawn to varieties of vegetation, which can help provide them with essential nutrients, vitamins, oral health, and more. So, whether you are a cat lover or a cat owner, check out these 9 plants that are great to grow for cats.

1.      Catnip

Cats go bonkers for catnip (Nepeta cataria)! This plant makes them act silly when consumed and relaxes them when they sniff it. It’s the active ingredient in catnip called Nepetalactone that makes them go crazy for it. Most of the time cats will roll all over and smother themselves in it. It’s quite adorable to watch them do this.  

2.      Mint

Mint is a close relative to the catnip plant, which may be why cats are attracted to it and enjoy nibbling on the leaves every once in a while. Another benefit?  It is said to be good for their oral hygiene, as well.

3.      Lemongrass

This herb is also a favorite for cats to chew on, and it is said to work as a great tick repellent for cats as well. It is best when grown in a pot, and placed out for your cat to nibble once a week. Careful though -- some cats can, and will, go overboard on this stuff. So, if your cat goes nuts over it, place the lemongrass out sparingly.

4.      Spider Plants

Trying to keep your cats away from some of your other plants in your house? Try growing spider plants! They are beautiful plants that can be grown indoors, and cats love to eat and chew on their leaves.

5.      Cat Oat Grass

Cat Oat Grass is great for cat health for many reasons -- one of them being that it helps strengthen their immune systems. This plant is considered a wonderful complement for cats because it adds fiber to their high protein diet. The enzymes in oat grass seem to be particularly helpful for their digestive tracts. It is fairly easy to grow cat oat grass in small containers indoors, as long as there is sufficient sunlight.

6.      Valerian

Cats love to nibble on and eat this pungent plant. Valerian is often used by humans to help promote relaxation, but when it comes to felines, it acts as a stimulant. This plant could work wonders if you have a lazy cat that could use some motivation for exercise. When growing valerians, be sure to place them in an area where they can get at least 6 hours of sun.

7.      Cat Thyme

Cat thyme is actually not thyme that you’re used to cooking with. It has more of a musty-like scent in comparison to thyme, but man, do cats dig it! The plant can really soothe and relax them. Some kitties are even said to prefer cat thyme over catnip. It grows best in warm locations with plenty of sun.

8.      Dandelion

Here’s a good reason to never look at dandelion flowers as weedy pests—dandelion flowers are said to be high in lecithin, and contain useful analgesic qualities. This plant is known to be both a safe and gentle pain reliever for cats. These flowers are easy to maintain, and they grow just about anywhere. It is best to grow your own organically, because dandelions with herbicides on them can be toxic to cats.

9.      Cat Wheat Grass

Cat Wheat Grass is one of the healthiest grasses for cats because it contains a great amount of vitamin E and vitamin B. Vitamin E is said to be one of the most important lipid soluble antioxidants for cats. B vitamins have a lot of health benefits for cats, such as promoting healthy shine on their coats, strengthening their immune systems, and stimulating their nervous systems. It is beneficial to the cells in their body, and the antioxidants can reduce a cat’s risk of heart disease and cancer and increase immunity.

The above plants are well known to be safe and even beneficial for most cats. Even though cats are primarily carnivores, they do often enjoy chewing on plants. For your cat’s sake, it is highly recommended that you make sure the plants they chew on are grown organically, and do not contain toxic chemicals or poisons.

Stay tuned for more organic home gardening tips and ideas!