Even though we have a bit of winter weather left here on the West Coast, it can be a comfort on cold grey days to picture springtime and plan our gardens and backyards. Here at Cypress St., we want to make sure your outdoor pets can enjoy their time in nature while staying safe. So, if you live in Metro Vancouver and have outdoor pets, particularly cats, that like to join you in the garden on those sunny spring days, here are some things to consider for a cat-friendly garden this season from your friendly cat care center in Vancouver.

Beware of poisonous plants

While spring brings an abundance of beauty and fragrance to our lives with delightful flowers and gorgeous shrubs, unfortunately, many of these plants can be toxic to our feline friends. Here in Metro Vancouver, we enjoy a bevy of beautiful bulbs as early as April but many of those spring bulbs are poisonous to cats including daffodils, tulips, amaryllis, and lily. Lilies are particularly dangerous to cats as ingesting their pollen can lead to kidney failure. This applies to both garden lilies and lilies in a vase. When you’re planning which flowers to plant this spring, leave lilies off the list unless you can ensure your cat won’t get into them. If you suspect your cat has ingested a poisonous flower bulb or pollen, it’s important to bring them into a cat care center in Vancouver to have them assessed by a veterinarian.

Give them something to go gaga over

When deciding on plants that may benefit your cat, consider not just whether they are edible but what sort of structures the plant will provide for your cat to play and rest in. Of course, there are obvious choices such as catnip and catmint, but there are also some nutritional grasses that would provide a sweet snack for them to enjoy such as oat grass or wheat grass. Alternatively, think about which shrubs or vines could be grown to provide a shady place for your cat to lounge or some coverage for them to stalk behind while chasing grasshoppers. Tomato and potato plants should be kept away from cats, but others such as pumpkin or cucumber are safe and offer big leaves to prowl amongst. If you’re not sure which plants may be edible or even nutritional for your cat then we encourage you to reach out to your local cat care center in Vancouver for tips on local plants and whether they’re safe for your outdoor cat.

Keeping kitties out

If having a cat-friendly garden is not your priority, and you’d rather find simple and safe ways to keep your outdoor cat away from your garden patch, there are lots of tried-and-true methods to deter your pets from digging in your flower bed. Cats like to walk on soft easily-tread surfaces like fluffy soil or grass. Try surrounding your plants with prickly compost such as eggshells, stone mulch, bramble cuttings, etc. They will be more inclined to protect their paws than dig in the dirt.

If you’re dreaming of your spring garden while you wait for the weather to warm, make sure you consider the ways your outdoor pet may interact with your nature spaces. If you have questions about how to safely plan a garden for you and your cat to enjoy, chat with a cat care center in Vancouver to help your pet and your flowers flourish this spring.