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Top tips to keep your cat safe in the garden this summer

Summer’s here and just like gardeners; cats will be enjoying the long days and warm weather amongst the flowers and shrubs.

Whilst most felines will be perfectly safe in the great outdoors, there are a host of potential garden hazards for cats – so the UK’s leading feline welfare charity Cats Protection has compiled a list of tips to keep cats safe this summer.

Cats Protection’s top tips to keep cats safe this summer are:

Read the label on pest control products - Slug pellets which contain metaldehyde, can prove fatal to cats, so make sure any pest control products are safe for felines.

Take care with barbeques - If you are planning to enjoy some al-fresco dining during the summer, make sure barbeque coals are properly cooled with water as your cat can suffer nasty burns if he or she jumps onto them once you are finished.

Check your plants and flowers are feline friendly - Certain plants and flowers can be toxic to cats, particularly lilies – even if your cat simply brushes against them before licking the pollen from its fur. Avoid buying lilies, both for outdoors and indoor arrangements, and if you think your cat has eaten or come into contact with any part of a lily, then get him to a vet as soon as possible. For a full list of potentially dangerous plants, visit the Feline Advisory Bureau website on www.fabcats.org

Protect your cat from the sun – Like humans, cats can develop skin cancer from too much sun exposure and certain cats, particularly white and pale cats or those with sparse hair on their ears, are more at risk.

A high factor sunblock, which is safe for babies, can be obtained from pharmacies and can be applied to vulnerable areas such as the ears, but owners should be aware that most cats will clean this off. Therefore, it is best to keep your cat indoors or in the shade between 11am and 4pm when the sun is at its hottest. Fortunately, most cats like a snooze around this time, so provide a quiet spot and a litter tray and your cat is likely to stay indoors.

Keep the doors of sheds and greenhouses shut – Be careful not to accidentally trap cats inside outbuildings during hot weather.

Ensure your cat has appropriate flea treatment - Fleas thrive in hot weather, so make sure your cat is protected against them. Your vet will be able to advise on what treatment is most suitable for your pet.