Summer is not over until the lady with the golden crown has sung her sweet cheery song of delight and optimism. Yes, the sunflowers have finally shown their bright vibrant faces and we are loving it! Sarabi and Mr. Jack make the most of a sunny Sunday in the tunnel while the sunflowers belt out their dramatic arias with “Hello, we’re here!”
We’re in week three of Happy Cat Month, created by the Catalyst Council to promote cats wellbeing and this week we focus on the Happy Safe Cat. There are many ways in which you can keep us kitties safe but we would like to talk about cat safe plants. Yes, we’re obligate carnivores but there’s not a cat in town that doesn’t like to graze on greens. It’s also officially the start of Autumn and we’re excited because the humans have begun setting up our watering hole/salad bar for winter. Essentially, this is when they bring the outdoors, indoors for the duration of the winter, during which time our catio is a blanket of white. The kitty salad bar is an area in the house where we like to lounge, groom, drink, share sun puddles and snack on our greens. There are many plants that appear on the toxic list and it seems that there are no safe alternatives for us cats. Cat grass and catnip are the most popular snacks on the menu, but I’m here to tell you that you can broaden your tastes, and that there are indeed many other safe varieties of plants that us Chirpy Cats have tried and tested. Of course, our plant-eating habit comes with leaving a few recycled remnants of regurgitation on the carpet, but fret not humans. Cleaning it all up is a very small price to pay for the precious purr therapy we provide to soothe your stressful living. By creating these little kitty garden watering holes around the house, you’re stepping up your cat environment enrichment game. Below, our big lady cat explains further on greening up our living spaces and tips on keeping us out of your plants. (as if!)
Let’s face it, all cats need in terms of greens is a patch of grass and perhaps some catnip to keep the them happy. But what about a kitty jungle to provide dappled shade and fragrant scents, some hiding/stalking spots from which to launch a ninja attack, or just for a simple snack or two from kitty’s very own all-you-can-eat-garden buffet! Below is a list of non-toxic plants and flowers that I have grown in their catio. Not only is it safe for them to munch on, but they provide the closest thing to a natural outdoor setting, where they can fall asleep on a thick patch of grass, or just ‘hide’ behind some foliage while stalking bugs. They also love to smell the flowers even if the plant is not necessarily on the snack menu. A simple to navigate website called Pethelpful lists popular plants which are toxic to cats. Also have a look at the ASPCA website which has an exhaustive list of toxic and non-toxic plants. I found this site really errs on the side of caution as it lists plants that may only cause slight stomach discomfort but nothing serious. Still, better to be safe than sorry, especially if you know your furry friend is indiscriminate and loves his greens, as well as, all cats may react differently to the same plant.
Cats are essentially obligate carnivores, so why do they chew on grass? One explanation for cats eating grass is that it helps to bring up hair balls and offers relief from an upset tummy. Cats in the wild eat every part of their prey, including indigestible parts like bones and feather. Eating grass is like fibre with no significant nutritional value for cats, but helps to expel undigested matter. For your spoiled little Miss Diva cat who doesn’t hunt, this undigested matter is her hair ball. Some cats are more prone to throwing up than others so don’t be alarmed if you see evidence of grass-infused hair balls on your carpet. Below is a list of container plants which are all safe for your furry friends.