Many cat owners like the idea of allowing their cats to go outdoors to play in the yard and get some fresh air. Still, many are concerned about their cats escaping and getting lost. This is where cat-proofing comes in. There are many ways to cat-proof your fence so that your cat can enjoy the outdoors without you having to worry about it escaping.
It is a cat’s natural instinct to climb; even cats indoors will attempt to climb to various heights —as most cat owners can attest to. While it may not present much danger indoors, climbing outside can get a cat into tricky situations. Let’s look at some of the best ways to cat-proof your fence.
Mesh Fence Topper
The first method of cat-proofing a fence that we’ll go over is the mesh fence topper. This is precisely what it sounds like. It is a topper made of bendable mesh material meant to go on the top of your fence. This prevents your cat from climbing and escaping. The mesh material is bendable and designed to bend inward toward your yard and prevent your cat from escaping. The mesh material also makes it hard for your cat to get a good grip on, making it unlikely that it would be able to climb over the fence.
The material is very flexible and can be bent however needed. Even if the material was installed on your fence in an upright position, your cat’s weight would bed it before it can climb over the wall. Ensure that the mesh is bent toward the inside of the yard. This will prevent savvy cats dedicated to escaping.
You can make a DIY fence topper by using chicken wire and installing it with brackets. Doing it this way may be more cost-effective and a great option if you are looking for a premade mesh fence topper. Many great videos online showcase how to create and install the chicken wiring to your fence. This method works just like the mesh topper. Your cat will not be able to escape with it being bent toward the inside of your yard. The cat’s weight will further bend the fence inward and prevent it from climbing over the fence.
Large Overhang Mesh Fence Topper
Like the first method, this option is the same general idea but much more extensive. It extends further into the yard (sometimes by several feet). This offers extra protection and less likelihood that your cat will somehow be able to get over the fence. This option is a bit more expensive than the first since it uses more material. Still, it is even more effective at keeping your cat from climbing over the fence.
As the name suggests, these rollers can be installed on the top of your fence. This works by making it almost impossible for your cat to climb over the top of the fence. If your cat manages to climb to the top of the fence, it will not be able to climb over due to the roller being at the top. When the cat steps onto the roller, it will spin, preventing it from having any stability and thus escaping. Most cats hate this and will be unable to perch on top of the fence to climb over it.
Fencer rollers are a great alternative to mesh fence toppers if you’re looking for something less noticeable. However, as most cat owners know, cats are brilliant and adaptive. If you plan on installing a roller to the top of your fence, be aware that, in some cases, a cat may learn how to reach over the roller and avoid it. This usually isn’t the case, but some cats can be very crafty. You will need to monitor your cat if choosing this method to be sure that it doesn’t learn its way around (or over) the barrier.
If you cannot find already made fence rollers, you can make a DIY version out of steel cable and PVC piping. You can use brackets to hold up the steel wiring that the PVC pipe will be on from end to end at the top of your fence. These materials are usually found at most hardware stores and are relatively inexpensive.
Cat Proof Your Fence with Metal Pipes
This method is exactly like the last one, but instead of using PVC piping, you will use a metal pipe. This version looks better than the PVC version, especially if your fence is metal, as it will match it much better. For this method, nearly any pipe will work as long as it’s not too heavy and spins when suspended on the steel wire. You can use whatever you have on hand or can find at your local hardware store.
How to Know Which Fencing Option Is Best for You
Finding the best fence option for you will depend on a few factors like the type of fence you have, how determined your cat is to escape, and your budget. The most affordable options will be the DIY materials you either have on hand or can find at your local hardware store.
DIY methods will be the most affordable option. Still, they also come with the most risk since there is a chance that they won’t be as sturdy and, therefore, less effective at keeping your cat within specific parameters. If you’re willing to take the chances of this happening or have a limited budget, the DIY options may be best for you.
If you have more wiggle room in your budget or don’t want to try your hand at a DIY project, then one of the ready-made fence topper options may be best for you.
Suppose your cat isn’t very active or doesn’t appear determined to escape. In that case, you may be better off with simple mesh fence toppers that don’t require much installation effort. If you have an elderly cat, it is less likely that it’d go to great lengths to climb over the mesh material or even one of the spinning options.
Cat Proof Your Fence: Final Thoughts
Some cats are just more curious than others. If you have more than one cat, you may notice that some are more adventurous and curious than others, even if they are all around the same age. Each cat has a different personality, so some may be more likely to try to escape than others.
At the end of the day, you know your cat and situation best. With any of the options listed above, it’s best to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and adjust accordingly.
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- Animal Welfare Victoria, Available here: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/cats/enclosures-and-fencing/cat-proof-fencing
- Perfect Fence, Available here: https://www.purrfectfence.com/blogs/guides/cat-proof-fence-guide-different-options-effectiveness-ideas
- Excited Cats, Available here: https://excitedcats.com/ways-to-cat-proof-fence/