Most of us are at least a little reluctant to let our cats roam around the outside world, navigating busy roads, gardens prowled by dogs and children, fields of livestock and woodland areas overseen by wild animals. It’s too much of a worry, and far easier to keep them safe and sound inside.
At the same time, however, our cats sometimes make it clear to us that they’re interested in what lies beyond the window – and that they could do with the exercise.
So, it might be a good middle-ground then, to allow your cat to wander around your garden. But it will take some pre-planning to make sure they don’t go much further.
Even if you have an outdoor cat, your garden can be a mild minefield for them. Take a look at our guide to keeping your cat safe in your garden.
What are the risks?
If you have an indoor cat, they might not have the survival instinct to know what they shouldn’t be eating in your garden. There are a range of flowers and shrubs that might have your kitty feeling ill if they ingest them. For example, lilies are toxic to cats, as well as peonies, daffodils and tulips being harmful if eaten.
Keep to hard-wearing shrubs so they aren’t trampled by your cat and plant them around fences to keep your cat from digging their way out. And if your cat were to get out, they could make their way to a road without the instincts of knowing how to cross safely.
Other cats and wildlife can also make their way into your garden and start a fight, which can already result in injuries, but also illness. A lot of serious diseases like feline leukaemia, feline AIDs, and upper respiratory infections can be contracted from fighting with other cats.
So how do you avoid some of these risks?
Keeping your cat entertained
If you want to keep your cat in the garden and away from the roads, you can keep their attention with some toys. Toys are a great way to keep your cat entertained and exercised. You can buy toys that look like hamster wheels for cats, with similar functions, allowing them to run while feeling the wind in their…fur.
Or attach other toys to branches and fences on string and allow the wind to do all the jangling to keep your cat interested. This way, they’ll want to stay in the garden and won’t go wandering.
Keeping your cat contained
Keeping the cat in the garden might sound tricky since they love to climb, but it’s easy to install a fence topper to keep cats in your garden. The fence topper will fold inward at an angle so that your cat can’t swing themselves over the fence. They are easy to install and are made of mesh that your cat can’t try to claw their way up.
Keeping your cat healthy
You can keep your cat at their physical best by installing a couple of exercise toys in your garden. If you’re worried that your indoor cat isn’t getting enough movement, it can be a great addition to your garden.
Some come looking like a cat-sized hamster wheel, perhaps with a treat attached to the top?