Cats love to snuggle up with our house plants. They really do love greenery. They enjoy natural things like plants. Did you know that there are plants that are healthy for your kitty to eat? Here’s a quick summary of the top five plants your feline friends will love having around the house.
Valerian is a delicate white or pink flower that blooms in the summer and releases a sweet scent. But your cat will be more interested in another part of the flower – the root. These plants have a similar effect to catnip for a cat. It acts as an intoxicating stimulant for cats, contains a substance called actinidine that is attractive to them. It makes some cats excited or even slightly aggressive. It may be a mild stimulant for kitties, but for humans, it’s a sedative that’s often used to treat sleep problems. Not only does the plant have good feeling effects for your cats, but it tastes quite yummy to them.
Cats are big fans of several types of grass. Cat grass is named such because of the feline’s fancy towards its succulent blades. It would appear that there are two main species of grass referred to as cat grass. Dactylitis Glomerata (also known as Orchard Grass or Cock’s Foot) and Avena Sativa (common oat, cat oat). Other common “types” of grass are often referred to as “cat grass” include barley and wheatgrass. There is no definitive answer as to why cats eat grass but some theories include:
- Cat grass acts as a laxative and helps with the passage of hairballs through the system.
- Eating grass can induce vomiting, which helps the cat bring up hairballs.
- Grass contains some nutrients which aren’t a part of their normal carnivorous diet.
- It may provide your cat with certain vitamins and nutrients your cat is lacking.
- They enjoy it.
Don’t worry, cat grass doesn’t harm your cat if he eats it. Many cats seem to get enjoyment from nibbling it. The jury is out as to whether or not cat grass offers any health benefits to them, but if they enjoy eating it, then there really is no reason to stop him. Sometimes Mr. Kitty just wants a bit more chlorophyll in his diet.
Catnip is an old favorite for house cats, though most people do not realize that catnip is not a delightful treat for some kitties. It is a perennial herb from the mint family Labiatae. It has a square, hairy stalk with typically green/grey colored heart shaped leaves that have scalloped edges. Flowers grow in spikes, reaching ½ inch in length. It is best known for its ability to get cats high.
The active ingredient that causes a high in cats is an essential oil called nepetalactone, which can be found in the leaves and stems of the plant. Other constituents include acetic acid, alpha and beta-nepetalactone, citral, nepetalactone, geraniol, dipentene, citronellol, nerol, butyric acid, valeric acid and tannins.
It is not just domesticated cats who enjoy the effects of catnip; many other wild species of cats also enjoy it. Most cats know when they’ve had enough and will refuse any further offers. Just be careful not to allow them to munch on it so much that they could kill the plant. Some kitties will love it so much that they will devour the greenery right down to the roots, doing irreparable damage to the plant.
This has a catnip-like effect on most cats. It is beneficial to both kitty and the owner. Whether potted indoors or planted in an outdoor garden, a nibble-friendly patch of lemon grass is a safe cat treat. The smell of lemon grass is attractive to cats. If you are growing some for your purposes, you’ll want to make sure to plant an extra. Lemon grass essential oil, however, can be toxic to felines, so store it safely and securely. A cat may eat too much of the plant and throw up, but poisoning is unlikely. If your cat seems more than a little upset when you take away his lemon grass, schedule a veterinarian appointment and review the animal’s diet.
Chamomile is very soothing for both humans and same for your kitty. This flower calms your stomach, your skin and even your nerves. Give it carefully, though, because cats need much, much smaller doses than do humans and even dogs. It relaxes them, and it is a relatively soft plant. Even though chamomile has healing properties, it’s not good for your cat to eat or chew on the plant. The oils coming straight out of the plant are concentrated, and there would be no real way to know how much your cat had ingested. Eating a chamomile plant can give your kitty diarrhea, vomiting, and a lack of appetite. It can also irritate the skin around his mouth. If he chews chamomile all the time, he could develop bleeding problems.
When brewed into a tea, dried chamomile can be safe for cats in small amounts. The tea can be given by mouth for an upset stomach or to calm your kitty’s nerves. Give about ½ tsp. to an average-size cat. Chamomile tea can also be used to soothe your kitten’s irritated skin. First make sure the tea is cool, and then dab it on with a cotton ball, or put it in a spray bottle and spritz it onto the skin. It’s also good for cleaning your cats’ ears. Mix the tea with a little bit of white vinegar and use a cotton ball to clean out the gunk.
Source: RealtyTimes.com, metaphoricalplatypus.com, tabbyjames.com, cat-world.com.au, thenest.com
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