We discuss a lot about the plants that cats shouldn’t eat (for example, tiger lilies, day lilies, and Easter lilies are bad, okay?) However, what about the greens that are good for a snack?
Kittens are obligate carnivores, which means they must consume meat, meat, and more meat. As a result, plants are just a tasty but nutritionally devoid treat, similar to the last box of Girl Scout cookies you have in your kitchen. Cats may also eat grass to help clean out their gastrointestinal tracts of hairballs and other debris so they may barf it straight back up.
Fortunately, there are a number of cat-friendly plants you can cultivate in your patio garden that will satisfy your human need to be surrounded by vibrant living things while also protecting your cat in case she decides to turn your window box into a breakfast buffet.
It’s super cheap and easy to grow catnip at home. All you need is a packet of seeds and a pot of soil, and before you know it your happy kitty will be able to get as stoned as her little heart desires. Catnip requires full sunlight, so you may need to keep it outdoors — and, naturally, out of reach of other neighborhood wanderers who might want a taste. Growing it in a container might be preferable, because this member of the mint family can be invasive.
2. Oat grass
Oat grass, typically marketed as “cat grass,” is fun and easy to grow. Simply plant the seeds in a pot (any size will do), and within a couple of weeks you’ll have a thick, luscious patch of greenery for kitty to enjoy. I typically leave the grass outside and bring it in every couple of days for Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix to munch on. I do keep an eye on them, though, or they’ll eat the whole thing.
These earthy little bits of roughage quickly add texture and crunch to any salad or sandwich — and in small amounts, they’re harmless to cats. If you want to hone your green thumb but know your kitty will devour anything you manage to grow, sprouts are a great way to get your fix and ensure your feline friend stays safe.
In addition to bean sprouts, various herbs are also harmless to cats (in small quantities, of course; remember that cats are mad about meat, so plants are not a vital component of their diet). Valerian root, known for inducing sleep in humans, has the opposite effect on cats, causing your lazy kitty to get up and go (but it kind of smells like a foot). Many common herbs used for seasoning are also cat-safe, including basil, dill, lavender, mint, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.
Given the choice between herbs and grass, however, cats are more likely to choose grass, so keeping them side by side may discourage kitty from destroying your dinner plans.
5. Edible flowers
It might seem no bouquet is safe from your cats, but certain flowers are safe for your cats. Some options include roses, zinnias, gerber daisies, sunflowers, roses, and snapdragons. Bad news: The cat in the photo above wants to eat that tulip, but these early spring bloomers are potentially toxic! So are carnations, daffodils, and — you guessed it — lilies.