Cats, whether they be indoor or outdoor pets, are great companions that often like to spend time outdoors, some more than others. Keeping your cat in your yard is an especially difficult obstacle for many outdoor cat owners, although there are some steps you can take to fix this problem.
1 – Use Overhead Netting
One common solution to your cat escaping from your yard is by installing overhead netting on top of your original fence. Of course, this solution will only work if you have a fence in your yard that you have set up.
Overhead netting works by resting on top of your first fence and prevents your cat or cats from climbing on top of both the standard fence and the new overhead netting. Cats do not like to climb or walk upside down, especially when the surface they are climbing on is unsteady or, in this case, unstable.
Another factor to keep in mind when you are considering installing overhead netting is the size and type of your original upright fence. If your fence does not keep your cat in your yard in the first place, adding an overhead net on top of it will not change anything.
On the other hand, if your cat is unable to climb under your fence, throwing a net on top of it will give you a better chance at keeping your cat on your property. Keep in mind that this solution is a do-it-yourself one and that it will not work for all situations and locations.
2 – Use a Fully Netted Enclosure
If the overhead netting solution did not work out for you or if you do not have fencing around your yard, another alternative is a fully netted cat enclosure. Fully netted enclosures allow cats to have some space outside without risking the dangers of the elements and other creatures.
As with overhead netting, a fully netted enclosure prevents your cat from climbing on top of the material that is keeping them inside. Proper brands of these enclosures will use quality materials that are resistant to heavy rain and other elements, as well as your cat’s claws if it tries to break through the net barrier.
Some net enclosures are more expensive than others, although making sure that your enclosure uses good material is a good idea if you want the best chance of keeping your cat safe outside. It is important to find a balance between price and quality so that you are not overpaying, and at the same time, you are not buying a low-quality product.
For long-term planning, adding a fully netted enclosure to your house or yard is a good idea, although it often becomes a large investment if you move a lot or do not plan on having a cat for years to come.
For smaller yards or other specific situations, installing or building a fully netted enclosure is a great way to keep your cat safe in your yard.
3 – Make a Catio
For smaller areas to keep your cat in your yard, a catio is a nice, cost-effective option. A catio is essentially a patio for cats, although it includes much more than a standard human patio, including multiple levels and a full enclosure.
A catio can mean a variety of things, including an enclosure you can add to a window or a wall as well as other places around the house. You can find special catios designed for yards or that lead into your yard, and the choices are very broad.
Catios also come in different shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect solution for both you and your cat, depending on your wants and needs as well as the conditions in which your cat resides.
The size of the catio you want and how much you want to spend on your cat’s accessibility is completely up to you, which is what makes catios work for just about every situation.
Customizable catios are also available, which will cost a bit more, but fit your exact wants and needs. Catios are usually smaller than both netted enclosures and overhead enclosures, although they are better for many circumstances.
4 – Put up a Fence
If none of the previous options catch your eye, you can go with an old-fashioned cat fence. For active and exploratory cats, adding a fence to your yard will allow your pet to run around without you having to worry about it running into trouble or disappearing.
There are a few different types of fences that work especially well for cats that you want to contain outdoors, many of which keep your cat from being able to climb on to off and escape from.
Certain cat fences are investments of both time and money, while others are less expensive but may not get the job done as well as others if your cat is especially large or good at tearing.
Add-on Cat Fence: The first fence designed especially for cats is the add-on cat fence, which you install on top of a free-standing fence. These fences include a strip of mesh or other material that connects over a given space and keeps cats from climbing on top of and over fences.
For larger animals and cats, these add-on fences are especially effective, since the material in the products is usually very strong and resistant to wind and stretching. If you are concerned about your fence topper being ugly, you can often install your fence so that it is difficult to see or is invisible from the street.
For cold climates where you receive lots of snow, be careful with your add-on cat fence. Adding wind clips to your add-on fence will help your material stay strong so that it does not break when snow builds up on top of it.
Wireless Cat Fence: Another type of fence you can use to keep a cat in your yard is a wireless version, which uses electricity to keep your cat from leaving your yard.
If you install an underground wireless cat fence, you simply need to have your cat wear the electronic collar, which will warn your furry friend not to get close to or bypass the electronic line.
One notable benefit of a wireless cat fence is that it is invisible and you can build it around physical barriers where other types of fences would be difficult to put up. Speaking of physical barriers, adding a wireless fence to your yard with a physical cat fence combines two types of protection, which helps all parties involved.
One consideration to keep in mind if you opt to go for the wireless cat fence by itself is that your cat is unable to get out, but other animals are able to come in. If you live in an area near a forest or other area in which predators are a threat to your cat’s well-being, you should consider putting up a physical fence as well as a wireless one.
There are a variety of cat fences that come in different shapes and sizes, and many of them are customizable to fit your exact needs.
Metal Fencing: For a quick fix with a cat that does not jump much or a small cat, metal fencing might be a good option for you. Metal fencing is not the best way to keep average cats from escaping your yard, although it works in certain situations.
Even with tall fences, some cats will inevitably find a way to get over them, which means that you will need a different type of fence or cage for your cat to keep it safe in your yard
Spiky Strips: If you use metal fencing or other types of fencing to keep your cat inside your yard, adding spiky strips on the top of the fence will keep your cats in and other unwanted critters and animals out of your yard.
As the name suggests, spiky strips prevent animals from sitting or getting over a fence or wall, often to keep the fence material in good condition.
You have probably seen spiky strips on top of light poles or houses to fend off birds, which like to sit and peck at houses or light posts. You can put these strips on your fence or enclosure to keep your cats from exiting your yard, as well as to keep birds and other animals from climbing into your yard.
You can find some special spiky strips made specifically for putting on top of fences, which are very effective at keeping cats inside.
Cats are great companions and are fun creatures to have around just about any house, although keeping them inside of your yard is not an easy problem to solve. There are a variety of actions that you can take to keep your cat inside your yard, including adding netting to your yard or putting up a fence.
These fences include add-on cat fences, wireless electric fences, and standard metal fencing. For physical fences, adding spiky strips on top of the fence will help keep your cat in and unwanted things out of your yard.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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