Posted 13th Mar 2017
Feline-loving gardeners are being offered advice to help them create a cat-friendly outdoor space
Cats Protection will be sharing its 2017 planting tips when attending the RHS Malvern Spring Festival from 11-14 May. Along with these tips, cat owners will be able to find out exactly how to keep their pets safe when outdoors and the potential hazards they should avoid.
Their top gardening tips for 2017 are:
- Cats love nibbling grass, and it is believed it helps them to cough up hairballs. A popular variety is Cocksfoot, with the broad leaves making it easier to bite. Seeds can be purchased from garden centres and pet shops, and can easily be grown in trays around the home for indoor cats. Outdoor cats will love having their own grassy patch in their favourite spots across the garden.
- The ultimate garden treat for fun-loving felines is Catnip, a plant well-known for leaving cats in a highly excitable state. While not every cat is susceptible, around 70 per cent of them are, resulting in a great interest in the plant. This will involve rubbing, licking and sniffing it with delirious enjoyment for 10 minutes. It's available in pet shops but the fresh plant can act as an attractive addition to the garden. As a member of the mint family, it can become invasive, meaning it is best confined to a pot rather than the ground.
- Lavender is a great herb to plant in a feline-friendly garden, offering a bushy and attractive hiding place for cats, and also providing a lovely smell.
- Cats love to lounge in the sun but you have to remember, they can be prone to sunburn. It's therefore a good idea to plant large shrubs that will give cats an opportunity to seek shade while still getting to enjoy the warm weather.
- Apart from planting, there are other aspects that can be improved to make the garden more interesting for a cat. For instance a log pile can be excellent for scratching claws, while low shrubs offer hiding places for the cats to curl up for an afternoon snooze.
- Don't plant something which can be lethal to a cat. For instance, lilies can prove dangerous if ingested.
- Make sure your cat is completely vaccinated to protect them from the diseases and parasites they can come into contact with when outdoors. Also, consider neutering if you want to prevent unwanted kittens from being born.
Cats Protection also recommend microchipping, as it provides an effective way of identifying your cat should he end up lost.
Tips courtesy of Cats Protection