How To Make Garden Cat Proof
Cats are curious by nature and discover their environment like small children. As outdoor cats, they quickly put themselves in danger outside the home: roads with heavy traffic, train tracks and other situations that cats can’t grasp are unfortunately lurking everywhere. If you still want to allow your cat to bask in the sun and roll around in flower beds, it’s best to cat-proof your garden. In this way you allow your darling small freedoms in nature. With a special fence and cat-friendly plants you can protect your cat from danger.
What you can do to make your garden cat-proof, you can read in our guide.
What should you consider when designing cat-proof fencing?
With a fence you should basically consider the following if you want to make it escape-proof for the cat:
Pay attention to a height of at least 1.80 meters for the strong-climbing animals for the escape-proof fence! Ask in the responsible authority (building authority), if you want to redesign the fence or also your garden strongly – for example the fence height increases very much! Think in advance how much money you are willing to invest! Some fence materials are very expensive. Talk to your neighbors at the beginning of the planning! It would be a shame if they are upset when everything is finished.
Traditional garden fence – what are the options for making it cat-proof?
Chain link fence: Existing ordinary chain-link fencing is also suitable for a secure cat garden. However, it needs to be high enough and you need to secure it at the top, for example, with an over-climbing protection.
Overclimbing protection for already existing fence: An over-climbing protection is best attached to already existing fences or walls. You simply mount metal bars bent upwards, to which a net is attached. The bend makes it impossible for cats to climb over. You can also make good use of smooth plexiglass cuts to prevent over-climbing. A special kind of overclimbing protection are rolls or tubes. This will be discussed later in the text.
Cat enclosure as part of the garden: There are cat enclosures or even cat aviaries that you build on part of the garden. You can buy ready-made kits, some of which are expandable, or you can get creative and build an enclosure for your future garden tiger on your own.
New fencing around the entire property: If your property doesn’t have a fence yet and you want to surround it with a high and quality fence, you have to keep in mind that it can be very expensive. For example, you can opt for bar fencing made of metal or a fence made of rolling lattice.
With climbing plants such as wild vine you can green the fences, so that they are also beautiful to look at. For privacy, plant a hedge of your choice in front of the fence. In general, it is a good idea not to choose fence posts made of wood, but with a smooth surface so that the cat can’t get a grip with its claws.
Quickly the curious furry noses find a loophole that escaped you. Therefore, it is advisable that you regularly inspect your garden fence and check whether it is really safe.
How do you cat proof the fence with a roller?
Some cat owners get very creative and mount smooth plastic or even plexiglass tubes on the top of an existing solid fence, or even slightly to the side of it on the inside of the fence. Even if a cat manages to climb the fence, it must stop here. The tubes are too slippery for it to find a foothold and get to the other side of the fence. However, the fence must be at least 1.80 m high even in this case, because the cat must not get on the top of the fence with a jump. Otherwise, it can easily jump from here to the other side of the fence.
There is also the variant where the tubes are loosely attached. In this case, they rotate around their own axis when the cat grabs against them from below and tries to find a foothold. With this system, the garden tiger has even less chance to leave its usual territory.
Are there electric fences for cats?
Analogous to electric pasture fences for large animals, there are also electric cat fences. In order to make the garden cat-proof, one uses appropriately weak pasture fencing devices for the smaller animals. The specialized trade offers suitable cat fence sets. Here, the individual parts are optimally matched to each other. The fences have small mesh sizes, can be flexibly designed and are available in different lengths.
Making the garden cat-proof without a fence – is that possible?
The invisible cat fence can also be a solution to make the garden safe for the cat. The invisible fence is conceivably unobtrusive. Conventional fences may not only look ugly and deprive you of a lot of light on the property, but also pose a certain risk of injury to your cat. Anything lower than 1.80 meters is not a reliable obstacle for them. Accordingly, it is advised to make fences even higher or provide them with over-climbing protection. The cat will still try to get over the fence.
Invisible fence is not so much a fence in the sense of the word as a learning aid and a protective device for your cat. You decide where the freedom for your animal ends. This way you keep it from running into a street or coming into conflict with the neighbor’s dog. An invisible cat fence is a flexible solution that you can always adapt. Structural changes to the garden are not necessary.
How does the invisible cat fence work?
The invisible fence is simply a thin wire that you lay on the ground or dig a few inches deep. You can also place the wire on or against an existing fence or hedge. Connected to the wire is a radio transmitter that sends a signal along the fence. Your cat wears a collar with a small radio receiver. If it approaches the wire, the collar receives the radio signal and triggers a warning tone. If the cat now runs even further, the collar triggers an unpleasant but harmless stimulus. The impulse strength is variable. Cats should learn in this way not to move on when the warning tone sounds.
The advantage of the invisible fence for the cat is that people and other animals neither notice the boundary nor are affected by it. Your cat can also enjoy a lot of freedom thanks to the fence: it can always go into the garden, even without supervision, because the fence protects it. You can also protect parts of the garden, such as flowerbeds or bodies of water, from the cat with the invisible fence.
Charms as punishment – is it dangerous for the cat?
The invisible cat fence is not dangerous for the animals. You set yourself how strong or weak the impulse is. In principle, the impulses should be so weak that they flow only through the skin. For your animal this is a shock, but harmless from a health point of view. This is at least true for the physical well-being of the animal.
It can be different with psychological consequences. It is questionable in terms of animal welfare to force your cat to obey with the electric shocks. She sees, smells and hears that other animals cross the property line, so the cat fence cannot harm the others. She herself, on the other hand, is confronted with the punitive stimulus every time. This confuses, frightens and frustrates her. Since the cats often do not associate the warning signal with the punishment stimulus, they do not understand why they sometimes feel an electric shock for no reason. Permanently, this can make the animals aggressive.
Another danger is the collar. Cats climb, squeeze through bushes, along branches and through the narrowest cracks. With the collar they can get stuck. To prevent the cat from stripping the collar with the radio transmitter, it must be sturdy and fit relatively tightly. Your cat can strangle or injure itself trying to get the collar off.
Is an invisible cat fence prohibited?
Basically, impulse trainers and invisible fences are prohibited in Germany. The German Animal Welfare Act formulates the following in its paragraph 3 sentence 1 no. 11:
If you are thinking about using an appropriate fence for the safety of your cat, it is best to ask at your local veterinary office. They will give you expert advice.
Can dense planting alone make the garden cat-proof?
Some cat owners manage to cat-proof their properties with appropriate and lush hedge planting. In particular, dense thorny hedges ensure that the cat cannot leave the garden. However, it sometimes takes many years for the hedges and shrubs to become so dense that no garden tiger can fit through any gap.
You can also plant a slip-proof garden fence closely. This makes the fence even safer and it looks nicer to boot.
Cat defense belts prevent your cat from elegantly jumping out of the garden over a tree it climbs. Tie the belts around tree trunks that are close to the fence.
How can you cat-proof a rain barrel, pool or pond in the garden?
To effectively protect your cat from the dangers of drowning in the garden, you can take action with simple means.
Secure rain barrels with a lid. Cats cannot fall into closed rain barrels. Other sources of danger, such as pools, are best protected with covers.
Of course, you can also surround your pool with a fence, so that the cat is prevented from accessing the water. You can cover deep ponds with grids.
These will also protect fish swimming in them from attacks by birds of prey. Ponds in the garden may not need to be secured. If your pond is not deep in the shore area and the water is shallow, you do not need to worry about drowning.
Animals don’t like to swim, but they can. If there are fish swimming in the pond, you should rather protect the fish and put a grid under the water surface. In this way you will prevent your cat from having a fish meal.
Which plants in the garden are poisonous for your cat?
Keeping your garden safe for your cat includes making sure you don’t put poisonous plants in your garden beds. Find out exactly which plants are harmful to cats. These include, for example:
Laburnum (golden rain) Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) Azalea Rhododendron Yew (Taxus) Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Keep in mind that fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides are also toxic to cats, and put them out of reach! Also, lock away antifreeze, oils and paints.
Check out our guide, “What effect do certain scents have on cats?” to learn which plants cats like best.
How does the cat keep interest in the garden?
Your cat should feel comfortable in its garden. In the best case, she will not even go in search of loopholes in the great outdoors. Offer her variety in the garden, so that she does not get bored. For example, you can incorporate the following into the garden design using simple means:
Higher vantage point: An outdoor-ready cat tree or even a simple wood pile is suitable for this purpose. Lawns with tall grass: In high grass areas, animals can hide and better observe insects. Cottage for the cat: The garden tiger also likes to retreat from time to time. For this purpose, an appropriate cat house is best suited. The specialized trade has attractive offers. With fun in the matter and manual skills, you can also make a cottage yourself.
Shallow garden pond: Cats roam enthusiastically in beds around small garden ponds. They also like to snooze there and occupy themselves watching flies and mosquitoes at the water’s edge. Cat toys: Your feline loves to play with you outside. The more you keep her busy, the less likely she is to try to leave the property and find other attractions.
Check out our guide “10 valuable tips to keep cats busy” on how to best entertain your cat and have fun together.
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