Many cat owners don’t think about the fact that their favorite feline friends need to be kept safely behind a fence, but they absolutely should.
Cat love exploring the outdoors, and they need to be able to do so in a way that allows them freedom of movement but also keeps them safe from dangerous predators. The best way to accomplish this is to cat-proof your existing fence or erect a cat-proof fence.
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Why Do You Need To Cat-Proof Your Fence?
You need to cat-proof your fence because your cat is vulnerable to all sorts of predators and threats outside. It’s even more critical to cat-proof if your feline friend is declawed, as they no longer have the ability to defend themselves.
Cat-proofing your fence allows you to be able to restrict the movement of your pet while still allowing them the freedom to explore your yard. Additionally, you’ll be able to leave them outside by themselves without worry.
Protecting Your Cat And Other Animals
Cat-proofing your fence doesn’t just protect your cat; it also keeps other animals within your vicinity safe. Squirrels and birds can quickly flee your yard if your cat gets too aggressive, and other cats are kept safely on the exterior of the fence.
How To Cat-Proof Your Existing Fence
If you want to cat-proof your existing fence, you need to create a shelf that juts out of the top of the fence and prevents your cat from vaulting it. Construct the shelf out of anything that your cat can’t get their claws into, like metal sheeting or even plastic.
Your cat will not be able to get a grip on the siding and will be safely contained inside of your yard. You can also install a roller on the top of your fence.
These types of instruments are generally used to keep coyotes at bay, but they work just as well on housecats. Essentially the animal can’t get a grip on the roller and is unable to get to the other side of the fence. Rollers are straightforward to install and will not take away from the aesthetics of your fence.
Building A Cat-Proof Fence
Cat-proof fences don’t need to be exceptionally tall. Unlike dogs, cats can’t jump over most fences and are unlikely to be able to bulldoze through.
You only need a few feet with a deterrent on the top in the form of a roller or shelf that will prevent your pet from getting over to the other side.
Deciding What Cat-Proof Fence Is Right For You
Several factors come into play when you’re cat-proofing your fence. You should think about your budget, how skilled you are with construction, and how many cats you have to control.
If you have multiple cats, your fence should be generously large enough to give each of them their space. Cats can be territorial and will fight if they are crammed into a tight space.
Similarly, more agile cats and kittens will require more comprehensive fencing than older or more sedentary cats, so use discretion and think about your cats’ ability level when choosing the right cat fence for your pet.
What To Do If Your Cat Escapes
If your cat escapes, it’s essential to try to find him or her immediately. The less time your cat is missing, the more likely they will be found.
Put up signs in your neighborhood and leave food and water out for your missing pet. Most cats are highly intelligent and will attempt to find their way home. There’s a good chance that your cat will return once he or she is done exploring the neighborhood.
Other Options For Containing Your Cat
If you don’t have the DIY skills, budget, or inclination to set up your own cat-proof fence, there are several other options that will work just as well for smaller cats. You can always buy a cat leash and lead for your pet, which will allow them to explore the yard just like a dog. Your cat will be contained in s small area that you can control, but still, experience freedom.
Alternately, you can put your cat in a small baby playpen or an open crate, which will allow them to bask in the sun in a space of their own, where they are still contained and not able to run away. The great thing about cats is that they are smaller creatures that don’t require as much space to move around.
Is A Cat-Proof Fence Easy To Install?
Like most other kinds of fences, cat-proof fences vary in sophistication. Many of them require little to no installation skills, and you can buy most of the parts, like siding or rollers, from your local hardware store. Once you have them, it’s easy to simply affix them to your existing fence or structure.
Will My Fence Keep Other Cats Out?
Cats are territorial creatures, so it’s crucial not only to keep your cat inside but other cats outside. A proper cat fence will accomplish this goal.
The only problem that you may encounter is the other cat marking his or her territory. It is possible that the other cat might mark directly outside your fence and irritate your cat. You can avoid situations like this by making the exterior of your fence inhospitable to other animals.
Consider planting some bushes or scattering mothballs, the scent of which is highly unpleasant to many different kinds of creatures. These simple solutions will keep both your cat and other cats safe from unwanted encounters. Taking these precautions will also help you keep your sanity.
Since cats establish a dominance hierarchy, keeping your cat and other cats apart will protect them from fighting and save you from stress.
How Tall Should My Cat Fence Be?
The height of your fence largely depends on how active your cat is, how many cats you have, and what kind of carpentry skills you have. All pet fencing is different, so there is really no “one size fits all” for any type of cat fencing.
You can keep your cat safe and give him or her the freedom they crave with a well-placed cat fence. It’s a win-win situation!