DIY Cat Garden

By Valdette Muller| January 29, 2018 | Blog


If you have an outdoor or indoor cat or if your neighbour’s cat comes to visit you, then why not create a cat-friendly garden.

Cats love greenery and will often sniff and chew on certain plants they enjoy, so you have to make sure that the plants and flowers in your cat-garden are safe for feline consumption.

Outdoor cat-garden

Choosing a location in the backyard or near a patio can be a great place for a cat-garden.

Create flower beds to plant various types of herbs that your cat will enjoy such as cat mint or honeysuckle.

Cats are naturally curious and have a need to explore. They love climbing, hiding and pouncing. You may even want to add climbing structures or hollow areas for your cat. Examples include cat posts or trees. Another good idea is creating little hiding places for your cats. You can plant small bushes or you can make little tree houses for them in your garden.

Indoor cat-garden

Sometimes you may not have enough space for an outdoor garden. Not to worry, here is an idea for an indoor one! You will need a large diameter pot which does not have to be too deep, potting soil and some cat-friendly plants.

Place the plants and soil into the pot, water and place pot in a shaded area on the patio or close to a window where the plants can get some sun. You can also add some nice garden ornaments or some pebbles in between the plants.

Plants that cats like:


This is one of the more obvious choices for a cat garden. Nepeta cataria, also known as catmint, is the most popular of cat-pleasing plants, mostly because 80% of cats are attracted and react to it. The stems, leaves and flowers produce oils that contain nepetalactone which stimulates a cat in a calming, even pleasurable way.


Also known as Valeriana officinalis, this plant has flowers that bloom in the warmer seasons. They have a sweet fragrance similar to vanilla. Cats become excited when they encounter the roots, which contains actinidine, a chemical compound that is thought to work as a semi-psychotic stimulant for cats.

Cat Grasses:

There are a wide variety of grasses that cats may nibble on. Oat grassAvena sativa or wheatgrass, Triticum aestivum are the two most popular choices for cats.


This plant has an attractive smell which works on some cats. About 30% of cats will respond and be attracted to the smell of honeysuckle in much the same way as other cats will respond to catnip. Please note that the seeds from a honeysuckle are not recommended for cat consumption.

Cat Thyme: 

Teucrium marum or Cat thyme is not really a type of thyme plant, it is a thyme look-alike. It has small, oval leaves and a musty scent that smells very different from thyme. Cat thyme bears fragrant pink flowers in summer. Some cats prefer cat thyme to catnip. This plant grows well in a warm well drained location with lots of sunlight.

Silver vine: 

Also known as Actinidia polygama or Cat Powder, Silver vine hails from Asia. The plants grows in stout vines up to 15 feet high. The fruit is similar to Kiwi. The reaction to silver vine from cats is similar to that of catnip, yet is often more intense. Cats love silver vine plants and will usually visit one repeatedly about every half hour.

Other Herbs to consider:

Rosemary, parsley, lemongrass, cilantro and thyme are all safe and are good for cats to chew on or sniff at.

Catnip or catmint and valerian, are very adaptable and easy to grow.

The other plants mentioned require special handling because of their sensitivity to temperature, but depending on the climate in your area, they may still be a good fit for your garden.





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