Find out how to create a feline-friendly planting scheme at RHS Malvern!
02 May 2017
Cat loving gardeners visiting the Cats Protection stand at RHS Malvern Spring Festival (11-14 May) can find out how to create a feline-friendly outdoor space with the help of some of the charity’s gardening tips.
In addition to planting ideas, cat lovers can find out how to keep their pets safe outdoors. The charity’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: “Cats love to spend time outdoors and we’re often asked by owners how they can encourage their cats to stay closer to home. By choosing the right plants and providing an interesting and stimulating environment, it’s easy to create a feline-friendly garden which your cat will love spending time in.”
The charity’s top gardening tips for 2017 are:
- cats love to nibble grass and it is believed that it helps them to cough up hairballs. A particularly popular variety is Cocksfoot, which has broad leaves making it easy to bite. Seeds are available from garden centres and pet shops and it can easily be grown in trays within the home for indoor cats. Outdoors, cats will love their own grassy patch in their favourite spot in the garden
- the ultimate garden treat for fun-loving felines is Catnip (Nepeta cataria), a plant which is renowned for inducing a highly excitable reaction in cats. Not all cats are susceptible, but 70% of them will show great interest in the plant – rubbing, licking and sniffing it with delirious enjoyment for around 10 minutes. Dried catnip is available in pet shops, but the fresh plant makes an attractive addition to the garden for both owner and puss. As it’s a member of the mint family, it can become invasive so is best confined to a pot rather than in the ground
- lavender is a great herb to plant in a feline-friendly garden, providing a bushy and attractive hiding place for cats
- cats love to lounge in the sun, but can be prone to sunburn. Planting large shrubs gives cats the opportunity to seek shade while still enjoying the warm weather
- aside from planting, gardeners can look at other ways to make their garden interesting for their cat. Piles of logs make excellent areas for scratching claws, while low shrubs make interesting hiding places for cats to snuggle up in for an al-fresco snooze
- avoid plants which can be dangerous to cats. Lilies in particular can be lethal. A full list of plants that are dangerous to cats can be found on the International Cat Care’s website: www.icatcare.org
- your cat is fully vaccinated before venturing outdoors to protect against diseases and parasites. Neutering is also vital to prevent unwanted kittens being born and to reduce roaming
- Cats Protection recommends microchipping as a safe, effective way of identifying your cat should they become lost when outdoors
Visitors to Cats Protection's stunning summerhouse stand at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival will also be able to find out more about the work of the charity while browsing a lovely range of cat-themed gift merchandise.