A nail plant planted in the garden has helped save a cat’s life and is the latest success story from a tiny but fast-growing plant.
Nail plants are planted in gardens in the hopes of reducing cats’ appetite for food.
They are often placed in the gardens to attract birds to their shrubs, or to help people keep their gardens neat and tidy.
One woman in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, Victoria, is the first to have used a nail plant in the past year.
She told the ABC her cat, Aimee, had been suffering from chronic respiratory infections.
“I have had her for about six months and I just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore,” Ms Lavell said.
Ms Laveell said Aimees health problems had been improving recently, and it was time to look at a solution.
“[I] just felt the time was right to plant a nail on her paw, so she could be healthy for her life,” she said.
“She has had a couple of lung infections but it was not too bad and she did not have any other symptoms.
But now that she is in the vet, we are hoping to be able to grow more of them.”
A nail plant is usually placed in a garden as a preventive measure to prevent cats from eating the shrubs.
The plants are usually planted in small pots and then placed in pots that have been set in the ground to attract more birds to the shrub.
After the plants have grown enough, they are usually watered with water and nutrients to make them healthy again.
Aimee Laveill (left) with her new nail plant.
Photo: Supplied Aimea Laveil was lucky to be saved.
Since Ms Laves first planted the nail plant, she has been seeing a drop in her cat’s appetite.
However, after a week or so, Aimes health had returned to normal, Ms Lavedell said.
“She was so much healthier and more active than before,” she told the media.
Now Ms Lavingell is planning to continue to plant her nail plant to see if the plant can help her cat.
“We want to see whether she gets better and if she does, then we can look at trying to get her another nail plant,” she added.
In a study by Dr Peter Kastel, Dr Mark Jones and Dr Chris Kastels team at the University of Western Australia, cats that ate cat litter, but not their own, had a higher risk of developing respiratory infections than cats that didn’t.
Dr Kastelt said he believed cats who ate litter had a much higher chance of developing infections if they were given the option of going for a walk in a cat-friendly environment.
He said a cat could be at risk of infection if they drank litter from the garden, walked outside and walked in the same direction as the litter, and if they walked out the same way they had come in.
Dr Kostel said he hoped the plant would be a natural alternative to litter, which was typically used to provide a cat with a safe, natural source of food.
“A nail is not an appropriate food source for cats,” Dr Kastell said in a statement.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of cats that have died from a cat poisoning.