As a cat parent you may have wondered what is cat proof fencing? Whether you live in a peaceful rural area, or one that’s busy with traffic, you’ll want to keep your cat safe.
Unless you live in a high rise apartment with no garden, giving your kitty access to the outside world is beneficial. You don’t need a large outdoor space as cats don’t usually roam very far. In particular, neutered males stay close to home with some only wandering less than 40 metres.
From personal experience, my cat only seems to wander a few yards and spends more time on the windowsill than patrolling his territory! However, I’m lucky to be living in a very quiet cul de sac, with few cars and lots of green space. Many cat owners worry about everything from their kitty being run over, to fighting with other cats, or even digging up the neighbour’s plants.
In this post you’ll discover all about cat proof fencing and if it’s the right choice for you. You’ll also learn how to create a cat friendly garden for your feline friend, including what plants to get, and lots more..
What is cat proof fencing?
Cat proof fencing is just a normal fence with added overhangs to deter your cat from jumping over. Wooden encing to keep your kitty from wandering out of the garden needs to be at least six foot high. Felines think nothing of climbing a wooden fence as their sharp claws easily dig into wood. You’d also need upright supports of at least seven feet in height.
Depending on the size of your garden this could work out quite expensive. In addition to the fence itself you’d need an overhang at the top to deter your kitty from climbing over.
This could be a wooden structure such as poles that spin when the cat touches them. There are companies that can provide this solution depending where you live. In the UK there is one called Katzecure, but in the US, and other countries there’s sure to be an equivalent.
Cat oroof fencing is the kindest way of keeping your cat safe while allowing her the freedom to go outside. Of course, if you’re thinking of installing a high fence you’ll need to talk to your neigbours first. Not everyone would be happy, especially if it blocks their view.
DIY cat proof fencing solutions
Another way is to make your own spinning poles. Simply cut PVC poles to fit and hang them on sturdy rope at the top of your fence. This type of solution can be used on lower fencing, since your kitty won’t be able to grasp on to spinning poles. As long as the fence is high enough so she can’t jump over, an overhang with poles will do the trick. You’ll save money as you can do this yourself without paying someone to install a new fence.
Post extensions for chain link fence
If you have a chain link fence you can buy metal post extensions for the top. Although most cats would think nothing of climbing a chain link fence, a metal pole at the top would deter jumping.
Extend-A-Post – Extensions for Chain Link Fence – Set of 9 (1-3/8″)
Extend-a-post allow you to fit post extensions without removing the top rail or having the bother and expense of a new fence. It’s an ideal solution for stopping your kitty from leaving the garden and keeping her safe.
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What are the benefits of cat proof fencing?
In my opinion, cat proof fencing is ideal if you live near a busy main road. Road traffic accidents are the number one cause of cat deaths, and it can be heartbreaking to lose a pet this way. It’s also good if you have neighbours that don’t share your love of cats.
As cat parents we all know how kitties love to dig, and uprooting small plants is a common occurrence! Watching your neighbours lovingly plant a border of flowers only to find them lying in a heap later on isn’t good!!
However, if you live in a quiet area with few cars and plenty of green space, you may decide to give your cat full access to the outside world. In addition, if your neighbours are cat friendly and overlook the odd plant being dug up, all the better.
Cat runs offer yet another answer, and you can easily get them ready made. Something like this could be attached to a cat flap, allowing your cat to safely go outside whenever she pleases. The downside is that it will be a confined space within the garden, not giving her true freedom to run and jump. The plus point with a cat run though is it can easily be dismantled and taken with you if you decide to move home. Depending on the height and space inside the run, you could place a cat condo to keep her entertained.
Tracking your kitty to keep her safe instead of cat proof fencing
As long as you’re not living on a main road or near a busy motorway, you could still allow your cat freedom, yet track where she is. Tracking collars using GPS are a fairly new idea, and could save a cat’s life. Some tracking devices are very basic, whereas others have a lot of useful features allowing you to keep tabs on your wandering kitty!
Creating a cat friendly garden
Installing cat proof fencing is great and gives you peace of mind, however, you may also want to create a cat friendly garden as well. You don’t have to spend a fortune on redesigning it, as making a few simple changes can make all the difference.
Cats love exploring and stalking prey, so carefully manicured gardens with a large expanse of lawn aren’t ideal. Wild flowers, plenty of evergreen shrubs to hide in, and trees to climb are paradise to a cat. Pathways through wild, overgrown patches are also perfect for your kitty. If you have a south facing garden with no shade, consider getting a large garden umbrella, or planting a few trees.
Cat friendly plants are a must. There are some flowers such as lilies which can be poisonous. Though you can’t stop your neignbour from growing them, at least you can keep them out of your own garden.
Most cats love catnip, and growing it in your garden is a sure way of making your feline friend happy. It’s not addictive or harmful, but gives cats a sense of well being. Cat mint is also a favourite of felines, as well as valarian and chamomile.
If you don’t have a lawn, consider growing grass in a pot. Cats eat grass and there are many benefits to this weird habit. You can also grow it inside and keep a pot on the windowsill.
Spider plants are extremely easy to grow and cats love them. Though mostly grown indoors, you could grow a pot of spider plants outside in a warm, partially shaded spot. Always take indoors though if frost is forecasted. Keeping a spider plant indoors as well, may stop your cat from chewing other houseplants.
Make somewhere for your cat to climb
Cats love climbing, so having a few trees is ideal for a cat friendly garden. As well as making great scratching posts, trees also provide shade. In addition, kitties love perching up high so they can survey their territory and wait for unsuspecting prey!
If you don’t have any trees You could always construct a perch for your cat by installing a few vertical logs and placing a hardboard sheet on top. The logs will serve as scratching posts and your cat will have a place to rest and sunbathe!
Wind chimes are fun but could scare your cat. As an alternative, place a few hanging toys on branches or bushes to get your kitty’s attention. Make a tunnel for your cat using large cardboard tubes, or alternatively buy one. These make excellent hiding places to pounce from, as well as run through and even sleep in!
Place smaller toys such as felt mice or ping pong balls within easy view of your cat. Make time during the day to interact with her, playing with some of the games. The more entertainment you have in your garden the less chance your cat will wander outside and get into mischief! Even if your garden is very small, it’s still an outdoor space for your feline friend.
Create a toilet area for your cat
Your kitty will love freshly dug earth or fine sand to use as her toilet. Create a special area for her that’s secluded from other cats where she’ll feel safe. Make it easily accessible without her having to negotiate large open spaces. Underneath a shrub or hedge is ideal, or even near the patio.
Buy some sharp sand or bark chippings and use to make a latrine. Show your cat and encourage her to use it. Clean the toilet every day just as you would a litter box, and replace with fresh earth mixed with sand or bark chippings.
Creating a designated toilet for your cat not only benefits her, but your neighbours as well. She won’t be number one suspect anymore each time their plants are dug up!!
Should you have an ornamental pond with pets?
As cats are known for their curiosity, garden ponds can be a danger. If you already have a pond you could consider surrounding it with wobbly rocks. This should be enough to deter your kitty, but to be on the safe side I’d recommend covering it with rigid netting as well. If you have fish in your pond this will also deter any passing herons.
Other dangers you must avoid in your cat friendly garden
Though slugs can be a nuisance and reduce carefully tended plants to a twig, slug pellets are highly toxic. As an alternative, try filling a small container with beer and leaving it near your vulnerable plants. Slugs will be attracted to the beer and fall in. As a result,, your cat will be safe, and your plants won’t get eaten. Just think of the slugs as dying a happy, drunken death!!
Now you know what is cat proof fencing and how to create a cat friendly garden. I hope you decide to use some of the ideas outlined here, as your kitty will love you for it:) Not all are expensive, and most are easy to implement. Be creative and try to see the garden through your cat’s eyes. Don’t worry about perfect borders and carefully pruned hedges. As long as your cat has plenty of places to explore, hunt, and play, you’ll be the best cat parent:)
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)