Creating A Safe Home For Your Cat

In the garden

Cats left to their own devices in the great outdoors will often have a taste of your garden’s plants. Ask your vet for a complete list of plants that are potentially harmful to your cat or view our list of toxic plants.

The more common house and garden plants include:

  • Philodendron
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia

Garden plants

  • Lily
  • Azalea
  • Daffodil
  • Tomato
  • Foxglove
  • Yew
  • Hydrangea

Outdoor safety

Every cat has instincts to establish territory, climb trees, hunt for prey, socialise with other cats and catnap in the sun. However, being outdoors increases the risk of exposure to disease and parasites, getting lost or stolen, injured or killed on the road. So if you do decide to let your cat outdoors, make it as safe as possible.

  • Desex your cat to minimise roaming or fighting with other cats, as well as the transmission of diseases or risk of pregnancy. Confine your cat indoors until she has recovered from the surgery.
  • Keep all vaccinations current. Talk to your vet about new vaccines that protect against contagious feline diseases.
  • Follow a regular worming routine including flea treatments.
  • Get your cat microchipped.
  • If you live in a quiet area, install a cat flap and allow your cat outside during the day. Make sure the flap is lockable so you can keep your pet indoors at night and safe from traffic and predatory animals.
  • Alternatively, you can also build a large cat run in your garden, linked by a cat flap. This should have a warm, weatherproof section and be positioned half in sun and shade. Add a tree trunk or climbing frame, ropes and perches, some grass, a catnip plant, a litter tray and water bowl.
  • If you live in an apartment or near a busy road, consider keeping your cat indoors or use a harness and lead when outdoors. In spite of their intelligence, cats cannot be expected to understand that cars are dangerous. Always check for any cats lying in your drive before reversing your car.
  • Make sure your cat wears a ‘quick release’ collar with an identification tag listing your address and your vet's phone number. A reflector strip on the collar will help motorists spot your cat at night.
  • Use an enclosed cat carrier to transport your cat outdoors or by car.
  • Use chemical herbicides carefully. Restrict access to your garden after applying any chemical until the area dries completely.


About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre

PetCare Advice Centre The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.