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It’s no secret I’m the neighborhood “cat lady.” I didn’t start out to be the neighborhood cat lady, you understand, but it happens. You start out feeding one stray—and they bring friends. Next thing you know, they’re yours.
I’ve had cats all my life—and have been a gardener almost the same length of time. Why not combine the two and grow things FOR my kitties?
Grow catnip for your cats. It’s an easy, durable perennial. I’ve found it best (in my yard, anyway) to grow it in hanging baskets as growing it in the ground gets it mangled repeatedly by some neighbor cats rolling around in it. My indoor cats love getting a sprig or two to play with/munch on/roll on.
Plant it in spring, in well-drained soil, and in full to part-sun. It can reseed prolifically, so I trim off the flowers before they dry on the plant. I let them stay open a few days, however, because honeybees and butterflies love them.
You can also grow catnip in a sunny window inside—but take it from someone who knows—grow it in a hanging basket, just like outdoors, or you’ll come home from work to find happy, catnip-drunk kitties rolling on a mangled plant and pile of soil on the carpet. Been there, done that!
Cat “grass” seeds are usually wheat, oats, barley and/or rye and are readily available at garden centers and most pet stores. Eating grass is a natural behavior for cats—the greens provide folic acid—a necessary nutrient as well as fiber that helps move hairballs through the digestive tract. A grass specifically for cats is better than outdoor grass–first there is no assurance that the seed for yard grass has not been treated with something. Secondly, wheatgrass and/or oats, etc. are more tender and less abrasive and tend to cause less “barfing.”
Cat grass is inexpensive and easy to grow. Fill a pot with moistened soil and press the seeds into the top. I usually cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap and place it in a sunny window until green appears.
Remove the plastic and allow grass to grow to around four inches tall. Place the pot with the cats’ food dishes for about five minutes every couple of days. Put the pot back into a window they can’t get to it and allow it to recuperate a day or two before putting it back down. Or you can plant two pots at a time and alternate them. Each pot will last two to three weeks.
So if you have one or more kitties, why not have a go at growing catnip and cat grass? If you follow the steps I share in this post, you can do it with ease!
Your kitties will adore you even more than they do now! I can hear them purring with gratitude now.