How to create a cat-friendly garden

Animed-Direct-cat-in-the-garden

Now spring is finally here, it’s the perfect time to get out in the garden and start preparing for the summer days.  But, before you start planting new flowers and planning your barbecues, have you thought about your cat?  Most cats will enjoy spending time in the garden with you, but some will happily venture off over the fence for the day. If you would like your cat to hang around for a bit longer, you can create a cat-friendly garden to encourage them to stay.

Here are our tips for creating a garden your cat will love!

Creating a Stimulating Garden

If your cat is the active type, think about setting up a garden that will keep them entertained. This can include logs and trees that your cat can use to climb and scratch. It’s recommended that you cover the ground below with mulch to protect your cat if they fall while climbing. Avoid cocoa-based mulches though; these contain theobromine, which can be toxic if ingested.

Making Your Cat Feel Secure

Cat hiding in grassPlanting sturdy evergreens in your garden can help your cat to feel protected and offers hiding places. Hedging can also help your cat to feel less threatened by the presence of other cats, although there is no guarantee that they won’t venture into your garden.

Cats alsCat in gardeno like to be up high to give them a look out point to check for danger. A good idea is to fix shelves to external walls or stacking crates in a corner that gives them a view of the garden.  If you don’t have a wall, adding a table or bench will also work just as well.

We all know cats love to sleep. Adding a sheltered cat house with a blanket in or placing an old cushion out will encourage them to choose your garden as their favourite catnap spot.

 Planting Tips

Where possible, don’t plant near to entrances, prominent corners and other obvious places. There is a very big risk that these areas will be used for a toilet by your cat!

Be careful with what you plant in your garden, many plants are dangerous for cats and some are poisonous. By nature, cats are not particularly inclined to eat plants other than grass. However, this can change if grass is not readily available so it is important to know which plants are not suitable for a cat-friendly garden.

Plants that can be poisonous to cats:

  • Aconitum
  • Alstroemeria
  • Brugmansia
  • Colchicum
  • Conium
  • Daffodil
  • Daphne
  • Euphorbia
  • Foxglove
  • Helleborus
  • Hemlock
  • Henbane
  • Laburnum
  • Lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Morning Glory
  • Oleander
  • Nightshade, woody and deadly
  • Poppy
  • Potato
  • Rhododendron
  • Ruta
  • Ricinus
  • Tomato
  • Yew

Lilies and foxgloves can be particularly toxic for cats and both of these plants can cause kidney damage if they are ingested.

Contact your vet if you are concerned your cat has ingested anything dangerous.

If in doubt, it’s best to play it safe with plants that are recommended for gardens with cats. These include:

  • Catnip
  • Cat grass
  • Cat mint
  • Sunflowers
  • Herbs (dill, basil, rosemary, mint, sage, parsley)
  • Michaelmas daisies
  • Caryopteris
  • Eucalyptus niphophila
  • Scented leaved geraniums

Remember to be careful with insect repellents, a bug infestation isn’t nice but many chemical-based garden products can be harmful for your cat. For example, slug pellets can be toxic if your cat accidentally ingests them. There are natural repellents and plants that will help to control bugs, so it’s good idea to check those out first.

Do you have any extra tips for creating a cat-friendly garden? Share your stories in the comments section below!