Make a Hydroponic Cat Toy with your Aerogarden 3
We love hydroponics and we love cats, so it is only natural that we would try and combine the two into a hydroponic cat toy. We decided to do a very simple project using the Aerogarden model 3 hydroponic system. Aerogardens are available in several different models and the model 3 is the least expensive and most simple of their products. There is a catnip seed pod kit officially available for Aerogarden but we made use of the “grow anything” Aerogarden kit which allows one to plant any seed they want in an Aerogarden. The last key ingredient was catnip seeds. Combine all of this and we end up with a super awesome hydroponic cat toy!
Why a Hydroponic Cat Toy?
A cat toy made using an Aerogarden 3 makes a lot of sense for several reasons. The unit is lightweight and self-contained meaning that you can place this hydroponic feline toy anywhere you like, even away from windows and in dark locations. Plants that are grown hydroponically do require occasional water and nutrients to be added but other than that the Aerogarden is automated and will turn the lights on and off all on its own. Hydroponically grown plants tend to grow much faster than soil grown plants which is perfect if your cat is constantly chewing on the catnip. If your cat lives entirely indoors they definitely may enjoy having a nice catnip plant on their level. The only thing you may want to consider is whether the cat is a “cord chewer” so the cord may need to be covered but this would apply to any electronics you may have in the home.
Growing the Catnip Hydroponically
The catnip that you start from seed in the unit should sprout in under a week. By two weeks of growing the catnip should be several inches tall. Until the catnip has several branches and is more than several inches tall it may need to be protected from the cats. Once the catnip reaches a good size, usually after 3 weeks the plant will probably be big enough that having cats eat it won’t stop it from continuing to grow. This all depends on how much your cat loves catnip. Once the catnip is about a month old it will probably need the cats to eat it or it will need to be trimmed in order to keep it from getting too large for the Aerogarden model 3 container (it will bump the light). This is perfect because now you can trim the tops and start drying the catnip leaves that can later be sprinkled on cat toys or simply given to the cat.
Other Hydroponic Cat Toy Ideas
The Aerogarden 3 is a great choice for a hydroponic indoor cat garden because of it’s simple configuration and low cost. The other larger Aerogarden models would work even better for growing catnip because they can adjust to accommodate taller plants. If the catnip is allowed to grow taller it will be possible to harvest more seed from the catnip and the catnip flower buds are also popular with the cats. Aerogarden does offer a seed pod kit for the larger Aerogardens but you could also purchase that kit and use it in an Aerogarden 3 , it is just not recommended because catnip can grow quite large. Hopefully this idea can breathe new life into what you are able to do with your Aerogarden and keep the cat happy at the same time.
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