Do you want to let your cat go outside but are worried about cars, and dogs, and other cats? Well, there is a way. If you put up your own cat fence, your cat will be able to safely enjoy the great outdoors. Well, at least a portion of it.
Imagine your feline friend prowling around the soft grass, watching the bird that safely sings from the neighbor’s tree, enjoying the fresh air, and pouncing on all of the bugs to her heart’s content.
Well, we have your back. We have some fairly simple ideas on building your own cat fence or adapting an existing fence, so your wily cat won’t find a way out.
When You Have an Existing Fence
If you currently have a fence around your backyard, then most of the work is already done; just be sure your fence is at least 5 to 6 feet tall. What’s next is just making sure your cat won’t be able to either jump or climb out. There’s a number of ways this can be accomplished.
Cat rollers are essentially adapted coyote rollers. The rollers are placed on top of the fence, and no surprise here, no cat will be able to jump on it and keep her stability. If anything tries to stand on a roller, they immediately start to spin, making the animal (or bird) lose its balance.
They can be wood, PVC, or metal and can be purchased online. The rollers will do a great job at keeping cats in and other cats or predators out (like coyotes).
2. Brackets and Mesh
There are a number of different concepts on this idea. You can use a combination of angled brackets and some kind of mesh or chicken wire. Cats won’t be able to climb over the mesh and don’t like to dangle, so it’s an effective way to keep them in.
Building a Cat Fence
If you don’t already have a fence or aren’t able to make any modifications to the fence already there, then the next option is to create your own cat-proof fence. In most cases, you might need to purchase a kit or ready-made fence since it needs to be large and tall enough to prevent your cat from climbing or jumping out. If your fence isn’t tall enough, no matter how many rollers you have in place, your cat will be able to soar straight over them and out to freedom and the big, scary world.
A number of companies offer fences designed for the cat owner to be easily installed and include a cat-proof element that can be equipped on the top (like the rollers).
That being said, with the right materials, equipment, and instructions, it is quite doable on your own.
Here are a few different types of DIY fences to consider putting together:
3. Mesh Fence
These fences are made with mesh netting, or chicken wire strung between fence posts. They are easy and relatively cheap to make. You’ll want posts – wooden, metal, or PVC – that are 6 to 7 feet tall (part of that will be under the ground) and mesh netting. Your cat will attempt to climb it, but it won’t hold her weight because it’s flimsy, and she won’t like the shaky instability. It needs to be attached to the ground as well so your cat can’t push her way under.
And don’t forget the trees! If you have any trees in your backyard, particularly with long branches that might give your cat an escape route, you’ll have to cat-proof them as well.
- Interesting Read: 10 DIY Cat Hammocks You Can Build Today (with Pictures)
Okay, so a fence is out of the question. Maybe you’re renting your house, and adding to the current fence or building a new one is just not feasible. This makes an enclosure a good idea – some are portable, so you can take it with you if you move. Plus, some enclosures have a roof, preventing your cat from getting out and any predators from getting in. And it would keep the birds safe.
Obviously, an enclosure is not a fence, but it still provides the same access to the outdoors as well as keeping your cat safe. Again, like all options in this article, you can buy a kit that makes putting a small enclosure together easy. Purchasing the kit will give you the necessary material in addition to the instructions. Or, again, if you or some you know is handy, you can build it to your own specifications.
- Related Read: 10 DIY Cat Hammocks You Can Build Today (with Pictures)
5. Cat Catio
The fun thing about providing your cat with an enclosure is the amount of customization. Some people have gotten quite creative with tunnels and walkways – you can add shelving, cat trees, and cat hammocks. They’re actually also called catios.
This one requires wire cutters, pliers, a mallet, zip ties, and cube wire storage.
If your balcony has large gaps, you can use chicken wire or mesh netting and zip ties to wrap around and close off these gaps. You’ll also need to extend the fencing above the railing since a cat could potentially still jump over or on top of the railing.
The added advantage of this setup is it not only makes it safe for your cat but also for any young children that live with you or visit. It will also discourage birds, particularly pigeons, from visiting your balcony, keeping them safe from your cat and your balcony safe from bird poop.
- Interesting Read: 6 DIY Cat Fence Ideas You Can Build Today (with Pictures)
Keep in mind that what works to keep your cat safe in the backyard won’t necessarily work for another. Unless you have the entire backyard, or a section of the yard, closed off and with the fencing going deep enough underground so your cat can’t burrow her way out. Cats are very good at figuring things out and are expert escape artists!
Some of these ideas require a certain level of handiness and others not so much. Giving your cat some extra safe outdoor space will provide her with mental and physical stimulation – you just need to find an idea, run with it, and make it your own.
Featured Image: aki sato, Flickr