Plants make a wonderful addition to any décor. Some cats will ignore the greenery, some may dig at the soil a little, but many are curious about the texture and taste of objects that dangle before their eyes.
When making a plant selection, consider the safety of your resident feline . . . and other pets, for that matter. Plants and your Cat.com provides extensive lists of plants, classified according to whether they are safe or unsafe for cats.
Follow the page links to learn more about toxic and non-toxic plants and your cat, how to recognize the signs of poisoning and what to do if you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant.
Gift Idea for Cat Owners:
Make a selection of cat-friendly plants (those that Kitty will be welcomed to nibble on are perfect, i.e. catnip, cat grass, or barley grass) and plant in a pretty pot. If your friend has a green thumb you might even try seeds. Put enough potting soil to fill the plastic pot into a zipper-sealed bag. Arrange all of the items in a gift basket and top with a ribbon and card.
Special Precaution for Gardeners
Many systemic fertilizers—typically slow-release granules that are dug into the ground surrounding the plant—have toxic warnings on the container, but state that once the area has been watered and is dry it is fine for both pets and children to return. While the top layer of dirt once dry may not be harmful to animals, if they dig in that area they may be digging into and potentially consuming toxic or even deadly amounts of fertilizer. Even a small amount can be toxic.
To help prevent this, avoid using systemic fertilizers in conjunction with other plant feeds, such as fish emulsion, fish pellets or kelp, whose smell is attractive to pets. Keep your plants healthy and your pets safe by using natural plant foods like fish emulsion or pellets, bone meal, kelp and earthworm castings as much as possible.
For more gardening information and tips, go to Gardens and Gardening.