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How Adding Dried Herbs to Your Cat's Catio Can Support Their Wellbeing

A guest blog post by Naturally Cats.

We all know that most cats enjoy catnip, but did you know that you can offer other dried herbs and flowers to your cat?

My name is Julie-Anne Thorne, I am a holistic cat therapist and behaviourist. I use many tools to support cats who are experiencing behaviour challenges, one of which being botanical remedies such as dried herbs.

All animals have the capacity to self-select herbs and flowers to maintain balance within their mind and body.

When we limit our cats access to the great outdoors we can still help them to self-soothe.

Putting down a herb garden for your cat is a great way to bring the outdoors indoors, so to speak, for your cat!

Let me explain…

A herb garden is when you put down a small blanket, towel or pillow case on the floor and sprinkle some dried herbs and flowers in each corner. The cat can then choose to rub, roll or sit near the remedies.

Each herb or flower has different healing properties.

By adding these dried herbs and flowers to your cats catio you are giving them even more enrichment and also an opportunity to help heal themselves.

Here are my favourite herbs to offer to cats:

  • Valerian – can help to reduce anxiety
  • Calendula – helps to boost self-confidence
  • Chamomile - calming
  • Rose buds – nurturing, emotionally supportive
  • Lavender – soothing and stress relief
  • Lemon grass – aids digestion and reduces depression

Dried herbs and flowers have a different energy to fresh plants. Cats are very sensitive to energy so offering the dried herb or flower gives them a way to enjoy the subtle healing properties.

Also, for some plants cat prefer the root. Valerian is a great example. The fresh plant doesn’t really smell of much yet the root smells like stinky feet! But it is such a powerful remedy in terms of healing. It relieves stress, reduces anxiety and can also help to reduce physical pain.

The power of herbs – who knew!?

Having a herb garden in your catio top tips:

  1. Be sure to top the herbs/flowers up regularly
  2. Leave the garden down for as long as you can. Washing the mat once or twice a month.
  3. Don’t panic if your cat ingests some of the herb/flower – this is perfectly safe and your cats way of working with the healing elements of the plant on a deeper level
  4. Sit back and relax – watch your cat interact with the herb garden. Its such a wonderful sight to behold.

You can buy a pre-made herb garden to offer to your cat from my website:

With love,