Outdoor Cats – Advice For Cat Owners and Proud Gardeners

Outdoor Cats – Advice For Cat Owners and Proud Gardeners

Cats like to roam. They like to be able to explore their territories, have some leisurely sunbathing spells when it’s warm and chase leaves when autumn arrives. Most people enjoy the company of cats going about their business, but some are less than thrilled. Not everyone likes cats, and they like it even less when their neatly kept gardens are affected.

It’s often assumed that cats can easily be turned into indoor pets. It’s certainly safer in certain areas, such as cities with lots of traffic, to keep your feline companion inside the house. Some cats don’t even want to venture outdoors; they’re quite contented snuggling up in front of the fireplace, so long as there are toys and interesting hiding places around for their entertainment.

In dangerous areas (dangerous to cats, at least), the average lifespan of an indoors feline is dramatically higher than the average lifespan of an outdoorsy cat. This stands to reason. Busy roads claim many victims, and there’s the risk of other wild animals, unsuitable food and a myriad of places for a cat to get stuck or hurt.

However, not every cat is contented with a safe, peaceful existence. That is why, especially in quieter areas and in the countryside, many people will allow their felines to explore the outdoors. There are risks, of course, but there are health benefits for the cats as well, like sensory and mental stimulation, and plenty of exercise.

Some cats are adopted as adults, and if they’ve been an outdoors cat all their lives, it’s difficult for them to adjust to such a big change. Some have a restless nature and get depressed when unable to roam.

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The decision on whether or not to allow your cat out is down to you and the circumstances around you. You know best about the nature of your feline and the risks present in your immediate area.

If you do have an outdoors cat, I recommend getting them neutered/spayed. A neutered cat tends to stay closer to the home, which is helpful. It will also prevent unexpected kittens, either in your home or someone else’s!

There is the risk that not everyone will be thrilled about your cat’s outdoors adventures. Unfortunately, some people express their discontent in terrible ways, causing harm to felines and subsequent grief to owners.

Cats don’t acknowledge borders. They don’t understand that someone’s meticulously kept flowerbeds have not been placed there for digging and rolling around in. It can be helpful to have a chat with your neighbours and see how they feel about wandering cats.

There are ways to discourage cats from gardens. Cayenne pepper and mustard seeds are said to deter cats, but they can also deter other small mammals. Lemon-thyme, geranium and lavender are said to be unpopular with cats. Used tea leaves can be placed onto the garden soil to deter felines.

Most cats don’t like water, and a sprinkle from a water bottle won’t harm them but will very likely chase them away!

And odd but apparently effective solution is the use of lion or tiger droppings (available from some zoos). Dissolve a lump into a watering can and spray it around the garden.

Placing a length of hosepipe amongst your plants can help, because cats might confuse it for a snake and stay clear!

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There are sprays for sale, but please make certain to check the ingredients, because some are harmful to cats and other wildlife. And whilst some people recommend the use of mothballs, they are toxic, so I certainly would not recommend them.

It really is best to communicate with your neighbours (and possibly share these tips). Many neighbours will welcome cats, but it’s advisable to make certain. Besides, if they welcome your feline, they’re more likely to keep an eye out for them which decreases the risks of the outdoors.