With warmer weather and lighter evenings in the northern hemisphere comes a gradual shift to an outdoor living state of mind. From bucket BBQs to fully equipped outdoor kitchens, many of us enjoy dining al fresco, whilst embers can be moved over to stoke up the chimenea as the evening progresses. At ProtectaPet, we promote outdoor spaces which can be enjoyed by cats and their owners. However, with the added element of fire comes added risks to you, your cat and your ProtectaPet system. Here are our top tips for avoiding accidents and injury during BBQ season...
Be Mindful of Your Cats Whereabouts
Like the cat who got the cream, it is likely your feline friend will want to find a prime position to enjoy the heat source from in your garden. Be aware of dangers such as dehydration, burns, sparks and ash. Don’t assume that your cat will simply move should they get too hot! They could be asleep for hours and not move, making them susceptible to burns and dehydration. So, be sure to keep them a safe distance away from the heat source. It goes without saying that you want to discourage your cat from climbing on or near hot surfaces at all costs.
Heat Source Positioning
If you already have a ProtectaPet system installed, make sure that your BBQ or chimenea is positioned well-away from your system mesh. We would recommend leaving a distance of at least 1.5 metres between your heat source and system. Whilst the heat rises up vertically, occasionally wind can blow the heat in a certain direction which could potentially melt your mesh or worse.
Avoid Giving BBQ Titbits
Whilst it can be tempting to give your cat a morsel of food from the BBQ, it would not only encourage them to jump up into potential danger, but the food itself may be harmful. Foods in the onion family can break down a cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anaemia, and also cause gastrointestinal upset. Nobody wants to deal with cat litter during a garden party! To be on the safe side, keep onions, garlic and chives well out of reach and ask your guests not to feed your cat.
Encouraging ‘Safe Spaces’
If you have guests and in particular, ‘spirited’ children over to your garden party, it could potentially be quite frightening for your cat who may not be used to the noise. It might be worth explaining to your guests and/or children that your cat has a favourite bush or hiding spot and they must be left alone when they are hiding. Cats also like to climb up high or hide when they feel stressed, so you could consider putting a cat-friendly shelf in your garden or catio, which can be found here. Fortunately, a ProtectaPet garden will eliminate the risk of your cat from running away and getting lost during the chaos of a garden party.
Extinguish At the End of the Evening
All the sausages have been eaten and the punch bowl has been drained, it is time to go to bed! Be mindful that your heat source might still be extremely hot and could still cause damage afterhours. It could be worth pouring a bucket of water on the final embers of a coal/log fire and closing the lid on a gas burner. Never put hot ashes in the bin.
Other factors to be aware of:
- Whilst the BBQ is not in use, make sure it can't be used as a leap point for your cat to escape from a ProtectaPet system with.
- Cats hate citronella so you may want to rethink outdoor candles or gel burners.
- Don't use petrol, paraffin or any flammable liquids on your BBQ – firelighters are a much safer option.
- For further advice and guidance on safe BBQs, visit fireservice.co.uk