Plant Eating

There is no way to stop plant eating. Give the gift that keeps on giving: a Catnip Garden.



We have an 8 year old purebred Manx who seems to really love to eat plants.  It was always a problem for the geraniums in his grandma’s house when he lived there (she’s happy to actually have plants now, since he would eat them all), and now he goes completely crazy when my husband brings me flowers.  It seems he loves the baby’s breath and the ferns that accompany the roses.  We’ve heard that there are plants that are actually okay for kitties to chew on.  Could you recommend some that we could purchase and leave on the floor for him to nibble on?  Or is there a change we should make in his diet to satisfy his craving?


Dr. Nichol:

Aren’t cats sneaky? Here your husband, new age sensitive guy that he is, brings you flowers and your cat goes crazy. Maybe they were never your flowers in the first place.


Let’s start with diet. It’s not his diet. Cats aren’t really vegetarians. There is nothing about house plants that he needs. But I do believe your cat is bored. To help him lead a more balanced life I recommend a hobby. Go to your local pet supply store and purchase a Catnip Garden for $1.99. You grow the stuff yourself and your kitty can enjoy his own botanical delights leaving you and your husband to share the ferns and baby’s breath. Catnip is perfectly safe for any thing your cat chooses. In addition you can provide other healthy activities such as a ceiling height cat tree with carpeted little houses. Cats love to run up and down and play hide and seek in the enclosures.


Of course there are alternatives to providing your cat with his own garden. In other words something to bring out his gentler side-like rodent mauling. (Believe it or not a new kitten owner recently announced, with great pride, that she had purchased a pet for her new baby to keep him occupied. You’ll never guess-a hamster. I suggested that the hamster may not fair well but I was assured that the kitten is quite gentle and that the hamster is oblivious. Oh, brother.)


Now back to boredom: If you leave out the catnip all the time your cat will get bored with it. Instead bring it out whenever you expect your husband to show up with a bouquet. This way your cat can go completely crazy over his catnip (something all cats do) leaving you to enjoy your roses in peace.