Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cape Town Cat

Fellow garden writer Cheval Force Opp sent these photos of a cat who followed along with her tour group recently at the  Stellenburg Garden in Cape Town, South Africa.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Grass is Always Greener

This photo was shared by @theasscat on Twitter.

She commented, "Neighborhood snoop. He can watch 4 yards at 1 time."

See more cute cat picks on her Twitter feed.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Berry Cute

This is Mulberry Meow of Magic Garden Nursery and Landscape in Tucson, AZ. He is still quite young and getting used to his role at the garden center and his new family -- including two boxer dogs, Tobie and Shawney

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Saturday, August 25, 2018

WARNING: Permethrin and Cats

Because few people are aware of this issue, I thought I'd share this video here with my fellow Cat and Garden lovers.

"Permethrin is a type of insecticide. It is a pyrethroid – a synthetic compounds derived from pyrethrins, which are naturally occurring substances extracted from Chrysanthemum flowers."

It is used in flea and tick repellents for dogs, "natural" mosquito sprays, scabies and lice treatment cream, etc. The most danger is when it is still wet and the cat is exposed to it. Once dry, it is low-risk, but I'd still avoid use of it around any cats.

See more at:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Alternatives to Cat Nip

A research study covered recently in Wired shows that 3 plants can cause similar reactions in some cats to catnip. They are Silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), and Valerian (Valeriana officinalis).
Most cat owners will know Valerian as "kitty valium" and that vets recommend it as a natural way to sedate kitties that have anxiety issues.

From the study results: "Nearly all domestic cats responded positively to olfactory enrichment. In agreement with previous studies, one out of every three cats did not respond to catnip. Almost 80% of the domestic cats responded to silver vine and about 50% to Tatarian honeysuckle and valerian root. Although cats predominantly responded to fruit galls of the silver vine plant, some also responded positively to its wood. Of the cats that did not respond to catnip, almost 75% did respond to silver vine and about one out of three to Tatarian honeysuckle. Unlike domestic cats, tigers were either not interested in silver vine or responded disapprovingly."

Best quote in the Wired article: "Cats love novelty, and spending part of their day blissed out on plant matter might help them cope with the sensation of living with a hairless, erratic ape."

Image Source: 
By derivative work: Mr.Z-man (talk)Micas.jpg: Carlos Botelho (Micas.jpg) [CC BY-SA 3.0  (, GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Farm Ninja

Bethany Karn shared these photos of Jack, the Flower Farm cat. She said, "Jack is a new addition to the flower farming team at M and M Plants in Dickerson, MD. He is about 8 or 9 months old and all black (except for a few white chest hairs). He’s a speedy little guy who is earning his nickname as Farm Ninja. He came to Mark and Madgie McGaughan's farm after a niece graduated from Mount St. Mary’s college and her post graduation plans could not accommodate a cat. Jack went from a sheltered campus life to the wide open spaces of 5 acres of flowers. Because the new environment is so different, Mark and Madgie are taking their time with his adjustment period, slowly showing him the farm and gingerly introducing him to the  “Elders;” existing cats Dax and Judsea. Jack is very eager to become their best friends. The Elders think the jury is still out on that one, but they are hissing at him less and less each day. 

"He is slowly being shown the grounds of the farm and enjoys following Madgie out into the greenhouse and down the long rows of dahlias, cosmos, sunflowers, salvia, and lisianthus. He is a huge fan of butterflies (of which there are many) and a very eager participant in bouquet-making activities. He pants like a dog with excitement over his new exhilarating freedom and everyone on the farm (except maybe the butterflies) is happy to have him on hand."