As a result of the warm weather, recent data states that the amount of BBQs taking place in the UK has increased by 391% compared to the previous year, with around 60 million BBQs have already been enjoyed in the UK this year. With the summer season set to remain warmand, these numbers are expected to rise.
However, it’s important to remember that BBQs present safety hazards for the nation’s 17 million household pets, of which 12% are our feline friends.
Indian Fire Bowl Company, a BBQ and fire bowl manufacturer, have explained their top tips on the best ways to ensure the safety of your cat when having BBQ.
How to set your BBQ up in a safe space around pets
A secure and secluded space is recommended when having a BBQ around pets, but the primary aim is to not let your pet get too close which will subsequently avoid any potential accidents.
Barriers are advised to be put in place. These should be preferably brick walls which can shield your cat from any dangers a BBQ might present. Also it is advised that you set up your BBQ in a secluded part of the garden away from any activity, this will help keep your pet safe and will prevent them from accidentally knocking over any BBQ or fire pit. Please note that when in these designated spots, you must keep the BBQ away from flammable materials.
Additionally, the recommended area for BBQs is on flat ground where it’s less likely to fall over on uneven surfaces. If an accident happens and ash is tipped onto the garden, surfaces can overheat and lead to paw pad burns.
It is advised that you clean this up safely and immediately and always feel the ground with the back of your hand, leaving it there for 10 – 15 seconds to make sure it is safe for your pet to return to the garden.
How to safely manage open BBQ flames around cats
A large open flame is perhaps the biggest threat for your cat when you’re cooking on a traditional charcoal BBQ. Averaging over 177C, if your cat roams freely around your garden or designated BBQ area, it’s important to make sure that the BBQ is secure to avoid them getting burnt on the coals or grills.
It is recommended that when not using your BBQ, you should keep the lid closed. This will reduce the risk of your cat accidentally jumping up and burning their paws.
BBQs are a sociable event and it is easy to get distracted by friends or family. Although it is easy to forget about the BBQ, they must remain supervised at all times. Close the lid regularly when necessary and keep a constant check on the temperature to reduce accidents with your cat.
How to correctly put out your BBQ around your cat.
BBQ take time to cool down, often taking up to 2 days for the charcoal BBQs to fully cool down on some occasion. As cats are particularly inquisitive, you monitor their actions and keep them away from the BBQ grill for up to 48 hours, with all vents closed.
If they normally freely roam outside, make sure they’re supervised at all times. Just because a BBQ is no longer in use, it doesn’t mean it can be forgotten about as they can remain incredibly hot for many hours afterwards.
One way to dispose of hot coals if you have a traditional rather than gas BBQ is in buckets of water instead of spreading them on the ground. This will ensure pets don’t walk on them and injure their paws.
BBQs must be turned off and put out immediately once you have finished using them. Not only does this help save fuel considerably, it also helps prevent an accidental flare up and burning anything near it, which can be dangerous around your cats and young children.
Lastly, be careful of certain food
Although the best bit of a BBQ is often the food, there are a few things you need to be careful about if you don’t want your evening to end in a trip to the vets.
Foods in the onion family can break down a cat’s red blood cells. This can be uncomfortable for your pet and might potentially leading to anaemia and other stomach issues. To be on the safe side, keep onions, garlic and chives well out of reach.