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A Garden For Cats
by Diana Roberts
Category: Landscapng
There are times when gardening includes giving in to some of the elements which you would normally work hard at keeping out of your garden. One of these is cats. I know you probably think I have really lost it this time, but if you are a cat-loving gardener, I am sure that you wish there was a way to incorporate a part of your garden for your cat. Well there is a way!
Soft earth
If you watch a cat in your garden, you will notice that they try to take up residence in a garden bed facing south, especially if there is some soft earth to roll in. This garden would probably be best developed next to a garden shed or your home as these places are normally more sheltered. Aside from rolling on plants and crushing them, the worst thing a cat does is use your garden as a litter box. This causes a horribly bad smell which no one can stand. So, why would anyone want a cat in their garden? I have a daughter who adores her cat and loves gardening, so she would be a person who would want to accommodate her catís needs.
In setting up a ĎCat Gardení you must find a perfect spot. It should be in a south-facing, sheltered garden which is away from the rest of your gardens. Any cat lover knows exactly what their cat likes. If your cat loves curling up on chairs, why not place a comfy bench in the garden. A few select cat toys and a bowl of water will also encourage your cat to feel at home in his special garden.
What should you plant to entice your cat into this area instead of the rest of your garden? Catnip and catmint of course! We all know how cats go wild over these plants, whether they are dried in cat toys or growing in the garden. The essential oil in both catnip and catmint is nepetalactone which induces a harmless physiological reaction in most cats. Catnip will grow about a foot tall and bear tiny lavender flowers in mid summer. Catmint can grow up to three feet tall and produce small lilac or white flowers in the summer. You may want to put the catmint near the back of the garden because of its height.
Both of these plants like full or partial shade and well-drained soil which makes them perfect in a cat garden. Though you donít have to have a rich loam in this garden, the darker the soil, the more heat it will soak up and your cat will enjoy loose soil to roll around. In addition, you should think about planting a patch of grass for your cat. There are some flowers which are poisonous to cats such as iris, marigolds, daffodils, lantana and tiger lilies, so you should avoid planting them in your cat garden.
Grass is something which cats crave as it adds vitamins and folic acid to their diet and helps them to get rid of hair balls. Tall grass is great for cats to roll, hide and play in. If you want your cat to enjoy his garden and spend time there you must make it cat friendly. Add those little touches which you know your cat enjoys. Also, if there is a big dog next door that scares your cat, situate the garden out of sight of the dog.
Litter box
Something else I would incorporate into the cat garden is a kitty litter box. Cats love doing their thing in soil, but if you were to have a covered cat box in the garden, they may very well use it and you will be able to keep it clean and smell-free. It should be covered in some way to keep rain from getting into it. If it is under an overhang you will probably be fairly safe, but you may still have to clean it out after a stormy day. To hide the box from view, you may want to keep it behind a patch of tall grass. When building your cat garden, it is very important to make it look nice or you will hate it. Sit down and design your cat garden just the way you would with any other garden. This is a great time of year to make a list of plants, ornaments, seating (for yourself as well as your feline?) and other necessities for making your cat feel at home.
If you are on the fence about cats, think about it this way; cats can get rid of the voles, mice and rats which may be a problem near your home. Cats also love eating flies, moths and bugs, so maybe inviting a cat into your garden is not a bad idea after all!

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