Before you release your cat in the garden, make sure they are neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. This will protect them and reduce the risk of them getting lost.
Find out more about neutering, vaccinations and microchipping
Most cats love having space outside to explore. However, some cats will prefer to stay indoors and others will need to remain indoor-only cats because of health conditions, such as FIV. You can find out more about how to determine if your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat in our guide.
If you have a new cat, or have moved to a new home, it is important not to let your cat out until they have adjusted to their new environment. This gives them a chance to spread their scent and find their own way home, and usually takes three to four weeks.
When you let your cat out for the first time, let them out before meal time – that way, they’re more likely to want to return to eat.
While you might not be able to confine your cat to your garden, there are some things you can do to encourage them to stay.
If you’re keeping your cat in the garden and surrounding areas, you’ll still need to be aware of potential dangers. Busy roads, especially at rush hour, can be a hazard for cats. It may be a good idea to keep your cat in at night and during busier times on the roads. Sheds and outbuildings can also be tricky places for felines. Often, they contain chemicals and poisons that can harm your cat. Make sure you keep these locked away safely and securely.
Find out more about keeping your cat safe outside
Cats are usually careful about what they eat and will stay away from anything that might be poisonous. However, young and curious cats might be inclined to ingest something they shouldn’t – or even ingest pollen or plant matter when grooming themselves.
Create a cat-safe flower bed with feline-friendly plants, and be aware of plants that are dangerous to cats. Common blooms like poppies and lilies can all be harmful – as can many others.
Hunting is a natural behaviour for cats, but it can create a tricky situation for wildlife-lovers. In the wild, cats have frequent hunting expeditions, while pet cats are given food easily without any effort!
If you want to reduce your cat’s hunting behaviour, there are some things you can try.
If you have visiting birds in the garden and want to keep them away from your cat, follow our top tips:
If your cat chooses to stray away from your garden, they’ll usually return fairly soon. If your cat goes missing for longer, however, you might begin to worry. If you’re awaiting their arrival, here are our top tips to get them back safely.