Cats are inquisitive creatures who love to explore and investigate environments by sniffing or tasting them. When you bring a cat into your home, they’re sure to be curious about their surroundings but unlike humans, they can’t identify dangers as easily. You may have hidden hazards in your garden that could pose a threat to your cat – here are some of the top dangers that you need to watch out for to protect your cats from harm.
Cats can often be seen chewing on grass or plants, but it’s worth taking note of the plants you have in your garden as some can be extremely dangerous to pets. Lilies, daffodils, foxgloves, hydrangeas and tomato plants are just a few of the plants that can be toxic for cats, so if you’re cat-proofing your outdoor space, these should be removed. Your vet can provide you with a full list of potentially harmful plants to protect your cat if you’re unsure.
Unlocked Sheds and Garages
Sheds and garages can contain sharp tools which are hazardous, as well as chemicals which can be toxic to your cat if they ingest them. If you have a shed or garage in your garden, it’s important to always keep them locked when you’re not using them so that your cat can’t wander round unsupervised. But make sure that your cat hasn’t wandered in before you close it, as they can get trapped. You should also make sure that when you’re done with garden tools, you don’t leave them on the ground outside as they can cause an injury to your cat’s paws if they walk on them.
Uncovered Ponds and Pools
Ponds and outdoor swimming pools can be a temptation for cats to drink from, but if they fall it can be dangerous for them and they may get trapped. In order to protect them from falling, it’s a good idea to cover large areas of water or make sure that there’s a low edge so that your cat can get out easily if they lose their balance. Likewise, water butts should have a lid on them to protect your furry friends from an unfortunate accident.
If you’re a keen gardener, you may use chemicals and herbicides or insecticides to create a verdant garden that’s free from weeds and plant-eating bugs. But these chemicals can make your cat ill if they consume them, so it’s a good idea to restrict your cat’s access to the garden if you’re using these chemicals until they’re fully dried, or switch to a natural alternative that’s safe for pets.
Rat Poisons and Slug Pellets
Rodent poison isn’t only fatal to rats and mice, it can also be fatal to your cat if they eat it – both directly and if they eat a poisoned rat. You should avoid using poisons in your own garden, but it can also be helpful to check with your neighbours that they aren’t using rodent poisons either. Slug pellets can also be tempting to cats, partly because they look like food, so they should be avoided where possible and replaced with a harmless alternative.
Fruit Stones from Trees or Plants
If you have trees or fruit-bearing plants in your garden, you’ve no doubt noticed that they drop fruit stones, berries or seeds. But cats will sometimes eat these, and they can create an intestinal obstruction that can be fatal if it isn’t resolved quickly. They can also be toxic in some cases, so these stones and seeds should be removed from the ground when you spot them.
Pets love to dig through compost heaps, but there can be sharp materials like sticks or foods which are poisonous to cats, like mouldy food, coffee grounds and certain fruits or vegetables like raisins, onions or avocados. There’s no need to ditch your compost heap if you have one in your garden, but it’s wise to make sure it’s fenced off or that you use a container which will keep the compost out of reach from your pets.
A Safe Garden for Your Cat
Gardens are a relaxing haven and a wonderful place to enjoy nature. But without taking certain protective measures, they could be dangerous for your cat. By checking the plants you’re growing, making sure there are no bins or ponds that cats can fall into, and keeping sharp objects and chemicals out of reach, you can let your cat roam freely in your garden without worry.