We all know cats love Catnip, but what other plants and herbs give them a sensory blast in the garden? Here's my recommended top ten plants you can grow at home to create a kitty paradise that can be enjoyed both you and your beloved moggie.


#1 - LEMONGRASS (Cymbopogon) :



Not only is Lemongrass a beautiful looking tropical herb grass that's great for cooking with, adding flavour to Asian, Thai and fusion recipes, it smells uh-mayzing! It's sweet, lemony scent can be enjoyed by humans and felines alike and is great for your cat to have a nibble on. Also, did you know it is great for relief of stomach disorders, insomnia, respiratory disorders, fever, aches, infections, rheumatism and edema.

#2 - VALERIAN (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) :



You may have seen Valerian in human holistic medicines before, and the same anti-anxiety producing buzz it gives us also chills out our kitties. This is great for nervous or stressed cats and from first hand experience works like a charm. My crazy little ball of fluff, Shimmy, has always been a nervous-nelly and since he regularly gets his Valerian fix in the porch is a much happier cat. It's also great for overweight cats who need to lose a lil paunch.

#3 - CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita) :



Another calming plant, widely used in teas and the like, that is also great for your cat. These pretty daisy like plants have been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs. When you combine them with some Calendula and Echinacea you can also help alleviate some skin issues such as itching.

#4 - CAT MINT (Nepeta × faassenii) :



Photo by snowmanradio



I love this one! It's so easy to grow and with it's attractive aromatic foliage and masses of blue or purple flowers, as groundcover it's perfect in pots, as border edging, or in rockeries. It is drought resistant, attracts bees and butterflies, and will send your kitty into a euphoric state. Beware though, it's so good, it will bring all the cats to the yard so if you live in a highly populated feline area, try popping it in a hanging basket near your cats favourite perch.





#5 LICORICE ROOT (Glycyrrhiza glabra) :



Photo by commons.wikimedia.com

Another very pretty plant for your garden that has surprising health benefits for your moggie. Knawing on this helps aid digestion, allergies and is especially good for cats with arthritis due to  it's blood cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. The same benefits can be gleaned for humans too so be sure to look up some of the great recipes to try using Licorice root yourself.  

#6 - PEPPERMINT (Mentha × piperita) :





Cats are drawn to the Mint family in general, but Peppermint is great for your garden not only for the epic smell and making yourself some home-brewed Peppermint tea, but it also keeps away mice. This is particularly useful if your kitty likes to bring you mouse-shaped presents on a regular basis. Peppermint is is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint and is great for digestion so a nibble here and there will keep feline tums happy. 


#7 - CATS CLAW ( Una de Gato) :





This gorgeous yellow flowered rain forest herb has been long used to treat asthma, ulcers, and cancer but is also great for itchy cats and those with allergies as it contains natural cortisone. You can also reduce it into a tea for yourself! Bonus! 


#8 - GOLDENSEAL ( Hydrastis canadensis) :



Hydrastis.jpg


Now how pretty is this flowering Goldenseal? But it's not just a pretty face, this one is an essential for all cat owners. Goldenseal is a naturally occuring disinfectant and when used in conjunction with salty water can shrink swollen eyes due to infections and allergies. Great for all the family! 

#9 - CAT GRASS (
Dactylis glomerata) :




Does this look familiar?! Haha... No cat garden paradise would be complete without a patch of Cat Grass. You can buy this in pet stores but why not grow your own? Easy to grow and a feline favourite, it's great for digestion and prevents hairballs getting stuck in their little tums. It's also great for dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits too.


# 10 - CAT NIP ( Nepeta) :






Of course, number 10 is Cat Nip. If I didn't include this, my pack would disown me. Cat nip is the one we all think of when we look for a plant to stimulate our cat. Did you know however, how it works? The nepetalactone oil contained inside the plant binds to the olfactory receptors of cats, giving them that temporary europhic high. Respeonse to catnip is hereditory and 70 to 80% of adult cats go crazy for it. This is a great plant for humans too, not only because it comes in so many pretty colours (lavendar, bue, pink, white, lilac, spotty), but also we can use it oo. It's great for ailments such as migraes, crams, gas, indigestion, insomnia, anxiety and reducing swelling from arthritis.



So there we are...10 awesome plants you can grow yourself at home to create your very own cat garden paradise. Which plants do your kitties prefer? Share your pics and stories below or on social media.



Cat nose pic courtesy of  P.Fernandes @ Wiki