There are various ways to create a cat friendly garden, which will mean your cats are safe and secure whilst exercising all of their natural animal instincts in the great outdoors. Cats are naturally curious creatures and the old adage 'curiosity killed cat' is an unfortunate truth. But they do have nine lives and these ways to create a cat friendly garden will ensure they can enjoy each and every one of them to the full!
1. Good Plants
When it comes to populating your garden, there are good plants and bad plants. Cat-safe plants include sunflower, bamboo, rose, violet, lavender and snapdragon and there are some herbs which are also fine for your cat. These include mint, sage, parsley, dill, rosemary, basil and tarragon and they're believed to have a positive effect on your cat's health if eaten. This is one of the first ways to create a cat friendly garden.
2. Bad Plants
There are some plants to avoid and although cats will instinctively stay away from plants which they know are bad for them, it's better to be safe than sorry as they can be very harmful to cats if unwittingly ingested. Lilies and foxgloves can cause kidney damage to your cats and other plants which are harmful include marigold, oak, peony, wisteria, rhododendron, buttercup, crocus and daffodil. Be careful with house plants too such as poinsettia, mistletoe and holly, which are also poisonous to cats.
3. Adventure Playground
How about creating a fun adventure playground for your cat? Cats love to roam and clamber through bushes and hedges, hiding in nooks and crannies, so the more interesting you make your garden, the more fun they will have. Plant areas where your cat can hide and shelter from the summer sun and create hidden areas by planting heathers and lavenders together so they can snoop and prowl and pretend they're in the wild!
4. Soft Landings
My cats are acrobats, or should I say acrocats, and I love nothing more than to watch them do backflips and jumps to rival any olympic gymnast. It's therefore essential to have soft floors so they can have a soft landing. Grass is great as is a layer of bark but do not use cocoa bean mulches as they're highly poisonous to both cats and dogs.
We all know that cats go crazy for catnip. It's also known as nepeta or catmint and is a member of the mint family. This plant contains an essential oil which has a euphoric effect on cats and makes them super happy. So if you want a super happy (and super high) cat, plant some in your garden where cats can chew on it, roll around in it and lie in it at their leisure.
6. Garden Products
Be careful when purchasing products to treat your garden. Most are pet friendly but it is worth double checking. For example, slug pellets are a hazard and can be toxic if ingested by your kitty. If you do have a slug problem, try ferrous phosphate pellets.
7. Cat Toys
Tie cat toys to low handing branches for hours of fun. These will move in the breeze and give your feline friend hours of entertainment as they chase the toys again and again. If you have logs, cover them in sisal rope as they will make great scratching posts and will save your trees from cat clawing too.
These are just a few ways to create a safe adventure playground for your kitty. Do you have any other ideas?