Mr Pickles is a very affectionate and gentle cat who, like thousands of others, has landed in rescue. He is currently residing at Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary before he finds himself a new home.

He is still adjusting to all of the different sounds from dogs barking to doors and gates closing and all of the new voices of the people caring for him. So he has taken to hiding in a hooded litter tray to help him feel safe.

When I went into his pen, Mr Pickles sat up on his shelf to survey the herbs as I placed them onto the towel. He took a moment to inhale the different aromas and immediately began purring.


Sniffing at the peppermint leaf first and then moving quickly onto the catnip which he snaffled down with vigour.

Many cats choose to EAT catnip herb as it’s a member of the mint family and is a great digestive aid. It can have both a euphoric and calming effect depending on what the cat needs. It’s also known to have mild analgesic properties so is often selected by animals with inflammatory pain.

He then hopped down onto the herb garden and began rolling in the catnip, giving off loads of satisfying purrs, sneezes and stretching out all of his limbs. Pure joy to watch!

herb garden for cats

A herb garden gives cats the opportunity to feel calmer, more balanced and at peace whenever they need it. It gives them the chance to do what they would naturally do in nature. Self-medicate to help them restore balance.

Suddenly spooked by a dog barking, Mr Pickles became on alert and looked for a safe spot which was his hooded tray. As he sat in there for a moment, I offered him a couple of hydrosols and essential oils which are often selected by anxious/fearful animals.

He selected Lavender, Violet Leaf, Rose water and Jasmine. He began to relax again and ended up sitting on my lap as he inhaled the oils.

We ended the session with Jasmine essential oil which is a beautifully comforting and nurturing oil, often referred to as ‘a hug in a bottle’. Just what he needed.

My Pickles tucked his paws under his chest and deeply inhaled the aromas. His eyes closed and he went into a lovely trance like state.

cat enjoying Jasmine

So that he could continue to work with the remedies once I had gone, I left him his favourite herbs down and wiped a little of his favourite Jasmine on one side of his pen so he could choose to lay by it.

If you would like to learn more about Botanical Self-Healing and how it can help your own animal contact me on or have a browse of the rest of the website.

Check out more details on Botanical Self-Healing in rescues here 

For more information on rehoming cats and dogs from Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary and the work they do, click here

Important safety information when working with cats, click here

About Rachel

Rachel Windsor-Knott, owner of My Animal Matters Ltd,  is an Animal Wellness Practitioner, specialising in Botanical Self-healing and a Dog Behaviour Therapist. She offers private consultations, workshops and talks

She also has an on-line shop where you can buy the beautiful therapeutic grade remedies for your own animals. Either as individual products or starter kits.

Her goal is for the beautiful process of Botanical Self-Healing to become a natural part of sharing your life with your animals.