Posted 3rd Jul 2018 by Peter Byrne
Are you looking for ways to create your perfect feline-friendly garden?
Well, visitors to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will get the chance to find out exactly how they can. Visitors will get to come up with garden designs and planting ideas to keep their cats happy and safe when they're outdoors during the summer.
Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: "We’re often asked by cat owners for ideas to keep cats closer to home and creating a feline-friendly garden is a great start. Designing a garden your cat will want to spend time in needn’t be expensive or time-consuming and it can be fun to swap cuttings, seeds and ideas with other cat owners."
Other tips to follow include:
- Cats love nibbling grass - it's believed it helps them to cough up hairballs. A popular variety is Cocksfoot, with the broad leaves making it easy to bite. You can get seeds from garden centres and pet shops, and it's easy to grow it in trays within the home for indoor cats. Outdoors, cats love having their own grassy patch in their favoured spot.
- The ultimate treat is Catnip, with the plant renowned for the highly excitable reaction it provokes in cats. Not all felines will be susceptible, but those that do show a great interest in the plant, rubbing, licking and sniffing it in a state of delirious excitement for 10 minutes. The plant makes an attractive addition to the garden too, although if you are unable to fit it in, you can always buy dried catnip from pet shops. However, you’ll want to bear in mind that it's invasive so will be best confined to a pot rather than the ground.
- Another great herb to try is lavender - it offers a bushy, attractive hiding place for cats.
- Despite loving to lounge in the sun, cats can be prone to sunburn. Plant large shrubs to give cats the opportunity to seek shade while still enjoying the warm weather.
- Apart from planting, gardeners can look at other ways to make their garden more interesting for their cat. Log piles make excellent areas for scratching claws, with low shrubs an interesting place for cats to hide and snuggle up when they want an al-fresco snooze.
- Avoid any plants which could be dangerous to cats – for instance lilies can be lethal if a cat ingests the pollen from its fur by brushing against them. Find out more here:
- You'll also want to make sure your cat is vaccinated before venturing outdoors to protect against diseases and parasites. Neutering is vital if you want to avoid any unwanted kittens being born and reduces roaming too.