An outdoor area for your cat is a great idea, although it should be a safe and welcoming space. A feline that feels safe in your garden is unlikely to hop over the fence and set off on exploratory adventures. However, you might get a few unexpected visitors of your own should the neighborhood kitties take a fancy to your cat friendly garden.
Kitties that enjoy time outside in a secure environment are fitter, more relaxed, and less bored. They are also less likely to get irritated with other felines in the home and become more independent. Here is how you create a cat friendly garden:
Shelter And Water
Most cats prefer eating indoors, so there is no need to put any food down outside. All it does is attract other cats to your garden, something that your feline might find very threatening. However, keeping a fresh water supply outside is an entirely different matter.
Cats are well-known not to drink enough water to remain hydrated, preferring to consume water as part of their food diet. Therefore, cat owners should check the percentage of water in a feline food brand before choosing it. High water levels and nutrient balance are necessary when buying a good cat food brand supplemented by a nutritious cat multivitamin.
This lack of direct water consumption notwithstanding, ensure that your kitty does have somewhere to enjoy a drink of fresh water outside. While using tap water is fine, consider collecting rainwater for your cat.
A bowl under a gutter downpipe should let a feline slake their thirst. Alternatively, leave a bowl out in the rain to collect water. Check that the cat has outdoor water, especially during a dry spell when rainwater sources are not available. To avoid having multiple cats squabbling over one water bowl, place more than one in the garden.
Provide your cat with some shelter from the sun and rain in the garden setting. Cats love hiding under shrubs and lying in the sand when it is very hot cools them down. Your kitty might prefer a wooden box to spend some nap time in. A quick look online will reveal a plethora purpose-built cat houses that might be the best option for your feline.
Outdoor Kitty Litter
Cats are creatures of habit and tend to complete their potty routine in a fixed area. Some cats will only do their business inside and it’s also worth remembering that male cats may spray to mark their territory. Ensure your house is filled only with cat safe house plants, as some may be poisonous to your feline friend and could create skin problems or similar. For those feline lovers who would prefer not to have a cat litter box in their home however, ensuring the cat has a space to use outside is essential.
Unlike dogs, cats do not respond well to obedience training and are more likely to rely on instinct than their canine counterparts. Therefore, identifying an outdoor latrine area for your kitty might not come down to what suits you. When planning a cat-friendly garden, remember that your feline will select this area.
However, all is not lost, as you can set up an area in the garden where you would like your cat to do its business and make it as attractive to them as possible. Start by ensuring that the designated area will provide your feline with some privacy as toilet time makes cats feel vulnerable. Plant a few shrubs around an area containing sand, loose soil, or woodchips. A picky kitty might be fussy about the surface, so some experimentation might become necessary. Start with loose soil and substitute it for other materials if your cat does not take to it.
Once your feline settles on its preferred latrine location, keep it clean by picking up poop frequently and disposing of it. If you do not, your cat will find a new potty area. This could go on until you have very little garden left at all.
Safety And Entertainment
Cats are hunters by nature and love stalking prey, such as birds and mice. When they catch these creatures, kitties are well-known for bringing them indoors and presenting them as ‘gifts’ for their owners. If you would prefer that the garden does not become a killing field, focus your cat’s hunting endeavors on outdoor toys.
To be sure that your cat will be safe and sound being outdoors you need to protect your pet with a variety of methods that will provide information about the pet in case of loss. Those methods include microchipping, ID tags or you can opt for a high-tech option such as a GPS tracker for cats with a cat-friendly design. The collar enables the pet owner to find out the exact coordinates of the location of their cat and, in case of getting lost, it will quickly find and keep them under control thanks to the additional functions of the device.
Cats need a place to scratch as it keeps their claws clean and sharp. Most feline owners would prefer that their kitties did not do this on their furniture, and an outdoor area could save everyone some frustration. Many cat houses have built-in scratch areas for their feline occupants’ convenience.
As a safe space, a cat friendly garden should not contain plants like lilies, tulip bulbs, rhododendrons, oleander, and castor beans as they are harmful to felines. Since cats feel that a garden and everything in it belongs to them, they are likely to bite or eat some of its plants. Getting their teeth into the wrong plant could make your kitty ill. Instead of taking this risk, consider cat grass, catmint, catnip, honeysuckle, and valerian. Not only are they safe, but they can leave your kitty feeling super-relaxed after eating them.