Cat Friendly Plants

dan_the_mailmanMarch 27, 2008

Hello! Does anyone have any advice on what would be safe to grow indoors with a couple of cats in the house? I ended up throwing out all of my houseplants earlier this past winter because they were all bad for my two toms. Since then, I've got some catnip growing, but what else would be safe for them?

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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I'm interested in this too. Never having had a cat, I am completely ignorant of cat plants. Well, of cats, too.

My interest was piqued when I read that nepeta planted in the yard deters rodents (I am plagued with voles, chipmunks). Or do they just attract cats who then eliminate rodents?

What's the difference among catgrass, catnip, catmint?
What does catnip DO to/for cats? Make them high, like an LSD type hallucinogenic? Is this good or bad or cats?
Is catmint in the mint family? Will it take over my yard like other mints? Does it have a long bloom time? I think catmint is really pretty!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Uh, oh. You have brought out the Cliff Claven side of me.

Since I kill most houseplants, I'm not the best expert on what to grow. I do however have a few links I will try to find that have kitty friendly plants listed. Spider plant is my favorite. My kitty even has his own babies in a jar of water next to his food dish for nibbling.

Cat grass is a kind of grass that is harmless to kitties bellies. It is a grain of some kind. There is one kind of grain that is bad for them. I forget which kind. I find that the packets of cat grass germinate well and last a few weeks to a month. Then the grass seems to turn brown and die. When I'm on a cat grass kick, I start a new one after the grass has gotten tall enough to give to kitty. Then when the one he is eating turns brown, there is another one ready to go. It is too much work for me. The most fun I had with this was to place a foil turkey pan on my 3rd floor balcony for the summer. I just kept cutting it and adding more seeds when I thought of it. Kitty enjoyed hiding behind it.

Cat mint is Nepeta (mint family). It is a general term for all nepata. Cat nip is Nepeta Cataria. It is supposed to be the most stimulating for kitty. In my experience, my cat ignored the cat nip I planted for him, but loved the cat mint. He found a mint weed in my yard and rubbed it almost to death. I rescued it and potted it up for him. A nearby herb farm has dried cat nip that he goes nuts for.

My understanding is that catnip is not harmful for cats and does not act as a "drug." Rather it is a sensory stimulant more like aromatherapy for kitties. I also understand that young kittens will not smell cat nip/mint, but that most cats will gain some reaction to it as they get a little older. Some cats get drooly and crazy, some get playful and snuggly, some have no/little reaction. I sprinkle a little of his favorite catnip on the end of the bed to encourage him to sleep on my feet.

OK, now to search for the plant links...I posted the ASPCA's poison control center's non-toxic list. They also have a list of toxic plants. Remember that true lillies (like easter lilly and stargazer lilly) are extremely fatal to kitties. One bite, and they usually die. Friends lost their kitty that way. I posted a question about how to tell if a lilly is a true lilly on the lilly forum and received a very nice answer a few months back. Of course, I can't remember it now. I've also noticed that my kitty tends to nibble on non-toxic plants and avoid the toxic ones somehow. (He is a strange bulb licking kitty though. I have to watch him with those).

Have I rambled enough for you?

Oh, I don't know how the nepetas fare in regards to taking over the garden. I've always planted them in containers to be safe. They usually die when winter comes though.

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA non-toxic

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Here is the link to the message I posted on the lilly forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: lillies and cats

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 3:08PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Heres a link to pretty good list --

Cat Safe plants

Funny thing - I remember reading somewhere that catnip is poisonous to cats. Weird, must have been a typo or something ....


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:12PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Nothing like going right to the source ...

ASPCA-Non toxic plants


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:27PM
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agirlsgirl(6 SW-PA)

Cat nip is good for those cats that react to it ,because it gets them moving and they get the much needed exercise they require to stay healthy.squirrel girl is right they don't all react to it. I find that it is much more effective dry than fresh.
Cat grass is loaded with Omega vitamins that are great for cats,it should only be offered for a few minutes everyday though,because some will engorge themselves with it and throw up.I keep two cups of it for our Hayden,I keep them under lights and alternate between the two,it is so funny because she can be fast asleep and all I do is stick the cup near her nose and she springs up and will follow me anywhere to get to it,I jag her a little by walking around the circle that connects our rooms downstairs a few times and like a little dog,she follows,she does this with the hockey stick use it to retrieve toys of hers that go under the stove...quite a sight!
I plant my cat grass deeper than what is suggested,because, I am sure some of you know what I am talking about,they will rip it out by the roots,I am planting the next batch even deeper than these last two,she has still managed to pull some of it all the way out.
I haven't worried about poisonous plants too much except the Easter Lily,we have always had plants and cats,and haven't had a problem with them eating the poisonous ones.My Peace lily has been around awhile and my 17 year old never touched it when she was still with us,and now our new baby hasn't messed with it either,they prefer my spider I think most cats know better. But in the case of my sisters isn't very bright,he will go after her poinsettias ,so she doesn't buy them anymore,who knows he may have eaten enough to do himself some harm eventually!
It is great you are looking into this Dan! You are such a good daddy! :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 2:33PM
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