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It's feline-friendly gardening all the way with the Shows team this summer!

01 May 2018

Green-fingered cat lovers are in for a treat this summer as Cats Protection will have a presence at five of the country’s top gardening shows.

The UK’s leading feline welfare charity is looking forward to sharing information with visitors about how to keep cats happy and safe outdoors at this year’s green-fingered events, starting at RHS Malvern (10-13 May) then Gardening Scotland (1-3 June), followed by RHS Hampton Court (2-8 July) and RHS Tatton Park (18-22 July) before the Southport Flower Show (16-19 August) and finally, the Malvern Autumn Show (29-30 September).

Cats Protection’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: “Gardeners love their cats and give us a warm welcome at the shows we attend, so we’re naturally thrilled to be attending RHS Hampton Court for the first time this year. We get asked about all sorts of things relating to cats and the great outdoors, so whether it’s tips on how to create a feline-friendly garden, information on safe planting, or even how to humanely deter the neighbour’s cat from your garden, we’ll be able to help.”

Tips for keeping cats safe and amused in the garden:

  • 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 those that are 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. Designing a garden with lots of resting and playing spaces will help ensure your pet does not wander far
  • avoid plants which can be dangerous to cats. Lilies in particular can be lethal especially if a cat ingests pollen from its fur after brushing against them – but remember all parts of the lily are toxic. For more information about poisonous plants visit www.cats.org.uk/dangerous-plants 
  • ensure 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

Along with planting ideas and designs to amuse playful moggies, visitors to Cats Protection’s award-winning stand can browse a beautiful range of cat-themed gift merchandise as well as find out more about current national and regional initiatives or how to adopt a cat or volunteer.

Please click here for a list of all the shows that Cats Protection will visit this year.