Monday, August 11, 2014

Cats & Plants?

If you're a cat lover and a plant lover, you probably have figured out the two don't always mix. The oldest two of my cats don't mess with plants but the other seven can't leave them alone. There are some strategies you can try though.

You can always try the old bait and switch. If you put out plants you don't mind them eating, they "may" leave other plants alone. There are a lot of kits for cat grass or catnip you can purchase and use to offer them their own greenery that is safe for them.
 This is the kind I use. It is called SmartCat Kitty's Garden. It sprouts thick and quickly and has four different kinds of grass seeds. Some of the cats definitely like one kind better than the others so the variety is great.

They sell refills and need only moderate light. I have tried several kits and another one may work better for you. They have ones that grow in fountains, as part of toys ... Lots of varieties. They are especially attractive to my rescues that lived outside.

Another option is to grow the plants in a safe place. I have an entryway where I keep herbs and plants. It is separated from the house and the outside by doors. There is a vent though and plenty of light through the outside glass door. I like to believe that because that air is circulated through the house that we still get some benefits from the plants. They are close enough to use easily and protected from harsh weather as well as ravenous kitties.

Another plant takes up the entire top of a tall narrow display cabinet. So far they haven't managed to get up there. My favorite solution is a new one though. It is kind of like a birdcage.

The sides are glass framed with wood. One side is a door with a latch and the top is metal. It's pretty, allows the plant to get sun, protects it from nibbling cats, and the top is like a lattice - with openings that allow air circulation. This one is large enough to hold a bigger plant - or even more than one.

I bought mine at a local hardware store but you could buy something similar almost anywhere. You could also use a birdcage or terrarium.

These kinds of ideas can help keep your plants safe, but it's also protection for your cats. There are plants that are poisonous. So check the variety before leaving them out for your cats.

Here is a site with a list of toxic plants and how to care for your cat if it ingests one of them:

Pet Care Tips - Poisonous Plants

Anyone have a tip about plants and cats to share?