Friday, April 13, 2012

Planting a Cat Safe Vegetable Garden

You might assume that a vegetable garden, since it contains edible plants, would be safe for your feline companions. In most cases, you would be correct. However, there are some vegetables that can pose a hazard for cats and other animals that might be in your garden. Some of these will cause your cat to become ill. Others may kill your cat in high enough quantities. Before planting any potentially toxic plants, consider how you will keep your cat safe from the dangerous side effects of many of these vegetables and herbs.

Onions, chives, and garlic contain a compound that, if ingested, can cause anemia in cats. Many cats are attracted to these plants, so consider planting them in hanging baskets or other planters that can be kept away from your cats. Any part of the potato plant that is green, including the leaves and the still-green skin of young potatoes, can be toxic to your cat if eaten in sufficient quantities. Again, containers are an option. Or consider building a chicken-coop style enclosure to protect your plants from pets and other wildlife.

Also beware of the fruits that might be planted in and around your yard. The seeds and pits of a variety of fruits contain toxic chemicals such as cyanide that could cause seizures or even death. Some of these fruits include apple, apricot, cherry, peach, and plum.

It would be highly difficult to creat a cage around a tree simply to protect them from animals. However, there are other options for keeping your cats safe from fruit and vegetable gardens. You might want to plant cat grass or cat mint (catnip) in certain areas of your yard to attract your cats. They'll probably be so interested in the cat mint or cat grass that they'll leave your garden alone. Also consider placing sprinklers around the edge of your garden. Most cats hate being wet, so they'll find somewhere else to explore.

There are many plants that can be planted that pose no risk to your feline friends. These include cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, and most herbs. If in doubt, simply keep your pets away from your garden and they'll stay safe and healthy all summer long.

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