If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat and loves spending time in the garden, there are things you can put in place to make your cat feel environmentally enriched and happier in their home territory. One of my assignments for the Certificate of Feline Behaviour was to design a cat friendly garden and I would love to share my design ideas with you….
We cats need things in our world that encourage our natural behaviours to keep us mentally and physically well….Mr Ringo
What do I mean by environmentally enriched? Well cats need to be able to display natural behaviours, they need sensory and predatory stimulation and they need to feel safe in their territory. Smell and scent is SO important to cats, they need to take in scent to know what is going on in their world and be able to leave scent by either rubbing, scratching and spraying. We can help them achieve this better by providing the following…….
- Pots of herbs or a growing area for cat friendly herbs such as catnip, cat mint, valerian and cat grass.
- Allow scratching areas such as trees, logs (vertical and horizontal) and posts. This makes your cat feel secure in his territory by being able to scratch, rub scent glands on surfaces and spray objects, this helps to tell other cats this is his territory.
- If possible have a green roof for wild flowers and herbs that are both beneficial to nature and for cats to sleep on in the sun.
- Cats also need to display predatory behaviours and by us providing areas accessible to cats to hunt can help us with pest control and provides excitement for our cats. Composting areas are ideal for this.
Other things to consider in the garden…….
- Remember that not all plants are safe for cats and can be fatal if eaten. Please checkout this link for more info: click here
- Depending on your set up or where you life, you may want to consider fence proofing the garden to keep your cat in for safety and animals out.
- Most cats love being up high, they often feel safe high up, so think about providing cat shelves or other high up places for them to sit and watch their world go by.
- If your cat enters the garden via a cat flap, consider placing pots just outside the flap, this provides hiding places when exiting the home. Often cats are hesitant when using flaps as other cats can ambush them.
- Cats rarely drink from water bowls placed near their food and like to find water elsewhere as wild cats would do….so place water bowls around the garden. Cats much prefer rain water to tap water anyway.
- Lastly think about having a cat latrine in the garden, your neighbours will thank you and also you can keep an eye on your cats digestive health (if you see him using it)
If you would like to see more of Kt Shepherd’s illustrations click here
I hope you enjoyed reading all about Mr Ringo’s garden and please share on social media with your cat friends xxx