Cat Garden: Gardening With Cats

We love our feline friends don’t we? But sometimes our gardens suddenly become a cat garden instead. They do however pose some challenges when it comes to keeping our homes and gardens intact.

There is nothing a cat can’t reach or get to if they decide that that’s what they want to do. They also require some protection from the gardening as well, since there are some plants and other aspects of gardening that can be harmful to your cat.

If you would like to learn some methods for protecting your cat garden from your cat and your cat from the garden then I suggest you read on.

House Plants

Cats love houseplants, digging in the fresh earth and along the way, spewing soil across the carpet and sometimes destroying the plant in the process.

The reason for this is that your cat finds the scent of certain plants nearly irresistible. Not only plants like the catnip plant, but also certain others will attract them, as well as the scent of the fresh earth being a real draw. Additionally, one of the things that attract your cat to your plants is the way the leaves will wave or move as they are hit by air or movement during the day.

One trick I’ve used with very good success, is to blow up a few balloons about half way and place them around the stems of the house plant they are bothering. After about the third balloon they pop with their claws, they decide that the plant isn’t quite so attractive.

Having a cat garden, a place where you grow plants specifically for your cat, such as oat sprouts or catnip in the house will tend to keep them happy as well. A small orchid pot of their own plants, with the clippings placed where they like to play will keep them satisfied for plant material. Cats are obligatory meat eaters, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t like, or crave greens. They absolutely do.

Planting the plants for your cat may protect him/her and prevent them from gravitating toward your house plants as well.

If your own cat is, as some of mine are, an inveterate leaf chewer, there are come plants that are going to be harmful to him. Make sure that those are suspended in the hanging pots, or perhaps in wall mounted plant holders. I’ve found that setting up a plant in a wall holder, while leaving the cat clippings on the floor effectively kept them from wanting the house plants.

Poisonous or Harmful Plants

Some plants you might want to avoid having down in harms way to protect both the plant and the cat are as follows:

  • Ivies
  • Philodendrons
  • Foxgloves
  • Wisteria
  • Ficus Benjamina
  • Pothos
  • Spider Plant
  • Snake Vine
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Hibiscus
  • Sago Palms
  • Mistletoe
  • Grapevines

Pesticides

When you are gardening, take special care of your cat and your garden by keeping the two apart. Cats have very thin skin and very meticulous grooming habits. Using harsh pesticides in the garden is detrimental not only to the environment but also to your cat.

Use the least toxic substance you can find when its time to kill pests in your garden and take the time to explore some non toxic solutions to pest control such as those you can find in Mother Earth News, or Natural Gardening sites and magazines.

Cats and Earth

Once you’ve completed adding those fragile seedlings, if your cat is an outside inside cat, he or she is going to be attracted to the earth that you’ve displaced, possibly lying in the earth and flattening the plants. Protect your plants, by inserting some twigs upright around them at intervals, or a few thorny bramble type cuttings which will prevent your cat from getting comfy on top of your new plants.

If you have new seedbeds in your garden and are having a problem with pet or stray cats, protect them by using a mesh bag with several moth balls inside it and scattering them at intervals around the garden. Cats are not impressed by the smell of mothballs and I found that this was a fairly effective way to deter them from invading the garden.

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