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Create a feline-friendly planting scheme with Cats Protection's gardening tips

28th May 2017

Photograph of Create a feline-friendly planting scheme with Cats Protection's gardening tips

Scottish gardeners can find out how to create a feline-friendly outdoor space thanks to Cats Protection's tips for green-fingered cat owners.

The UK’s largest cat charity will be sharing its 2017 planting ideas when it attends Gardening Scotland at the Royal Highland Centre from 2-4 June.

As well as planting tips, cat owners will be able to find out how to keep their pets safe outdoors and what potential hazards to avoid.

The charity’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: "We are really looking forward to coming to Scotland to share our ideas and tips for feline-friendly gardening with fellow cat lovers.

"Cats love to spend time outdoors but many owners like to keep their cats close to home. By selecting the right plants, and incorporating some simple design features, it’s easy to create an outdoor space for both owners and cats to enjoy.

“While having a cat-friendly garden is a great way to keep your pet closer to home, it’s important to remember that cats often venture further afield. For that reason, it’s important cats are kept up to date with their vaccinations to ensure they stay fit and healthy, and we recommend cats which have access to outdoors are microchipped so they can be quickly returned home if they become lost."

The charity’s top gardening tips for 2017 are:

· Cats love to nibble grass and it is believed that it helps them to cough up hairballs. A particularly popular variety is Cocksfoot, which has broad leaves making it easy to bite. Seeds are available from garden centres and pet shops and it can easily be grown in trays within the home for indoor cats. Outdoors, cats will love their own grassy patch in their favourite spot in the garden.

· The ultimate garden treat for fun-loving felines is Catnip (Nepeta cataria), a plant which is renowned for inducing a highly excitable reaction in cats. Not all cats are susceptible but 70 per cent of them will show great interest in the plant - rubbing, licking and sniffing it with delirious enjoyment for around 10 minutes. Dried Catnip is available in pet shops but the fresh plant makes an attractive addition to the garden for both owner and puss. As it’s a member of the mint family, it can become invasive so is best confined to a pot rather than in the ground.

· Lavender is a great herb to plant in a feline-friendly garden, providing a bushy and attractive hiding place for cats.

· Cats love to lounge in the sun but can be prone to sunburn. Planting large shrubs gives cats the opportunity to seek shade while still enjoying the warm weather.

· Aside from planting, gardeners can look at other ways to make their garden interesting for their cat. Piles of logs make excellent areas for scratching claws, while low shrubs make interesting hiding places for cats to snuggle up in for an al fresco snooze.

· Avoid plants which can be dangerous to cats. Lilies in particular can be lethal if a cat ingests pollen from its fur after brushing against them. A full list of plants that are dangerous to cats can be found on the International Cat Care’s website www.icatcare.org

· Ensure your cat is fully vaccinated before venturing outdoors to protect against diseases and parasites. Neutering is also vital to prevent unwanted kittens being born and to reduce roaming.

· Cats Protection recommends microchipping as a safe, effective way of identifying your cat should he become lost when outdoors.

Visitors to Cats Protection's stand at Gardening Scotland will also be able to find out more about the work of the charity and how to become a volunteer. There will also be a range of cat-related merchandise available to buy, as well as leaflets and guides to cat care.

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, helping around 500 cats a day - or 200,000 cats a year – through a network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.

To find out more about the work of Cats Protection, please visit www.cats.org.uk

To find out more about Gardening Scotland, please visit http://www.gardeningscotland.com/

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