The 6 Types of Cat Fence (and Their Pros and Cons)

Giving cats a chance to enjoy the fresh air, the sights, and the smells of your garden can be valuable for their physical and mental health. But you have to make sure they’re safe.

Not all cat breeds are great at being ‘outdoor cats,’ so you might need a cat fence to help keep your cats safely confined to your garden space.

Or maybe you’re trying to keep other cats out – especially if you have neighbor cats who feel like your garden is their territory.

Several different kinds of cat fence are available, so let’s examine all the options and identify the pros and cons of each.

Do Cat Fences Work?

oscillot cat fence review

Most cat fences work well, provided they’re installed correctly and you follow other tips for making your garden safe, such as removing high structures near the fences. Cats can still clear some cat fences if they have a suitable platform from which to jump.

Even if you’re used to your cat climbing over a cat tree inside your home, you might be surprised by how agile and strong they can be outdoors, so safety-proofing your garden is a must.

How Do I Cat Proof My Fence? Cat Fence Options Explained

Metal Fencing

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Used for: Keeping cats in and out

Metal fencing can help contain cats because it is often produced as a flat sheet, so cats can’t use their claws to grab it and climb or boost up over it.

You can get metal fence panels to replace your existing fence or add shorter metal panels to the top of your existing fence. However, they would still need to be high enough that cats couldn’t get over it from the top of the wooden fence panels.

Metal fencing is an easy solution, but it’s expensive, and many people think it’s unattractive, even when it’s brand new. And then, if you have cats trying to climb it, it will get scratched, so it’ll look even worse after a while.

Mesh Fencing Topper

Used for: Keeping cats in

Mesh fencing toppers are a practical option for keeping cats within your yard. These panels of mesh material can be securely attached to the top of your existing fence, usually with angled support structures so that the mesh curves into your yard space. The mesh fencing design makes it challenging for cats to gain traction and climb over, effectively containing them within the enclosed space.

One of the primary advantages of mesh fencing toppers is their affordability compared to other options like metal fencing. They can be easily installed onto your current fence without extensive modifications. However, mesh toppers may not be as visually appealing as other alternatives, depending on the design.

While mesh fencing can effectively deter cats from climbing over it, some determined felines may still find ways to navigate or tear through it. Regular maintenance might be necessary to check the integrity of the mesh and ensure it remains effective in containing your cat.

Some example fence toppers:

Roller

oscillot cat fence rollers aluminum frame

Used for: Keeping cats in and out

Roller systems are an innovative solution for preventing cats from scaling fences. These systems consist of rollers mounted along the top of your fence. When a cat attempts to climb the fence, the rollers spin, making it difficult for them to gain a foothold and ultimately deterring them from crossing the barrier.

Once installed, they require minimal maintenance and can be used on various types of fences. However, some designs may only be suitable for some types of fences.

They have much less visual profile than mesh panels, so you don’t have to spoil the look of your fence completely.

The only issue with a roller fence is that they don’t add a lot of height, so if you leave any perches near the fence, your cat could clear the roller with a leap.

It’s important to ensure that trash cans aren’t left near the fence and that tree branches extending to the fence are trimmed back.

The Oscillot system is one of the better choices for a roller fence. The rollers are designed to suit all weather conditions and come with angled brackets to make it even more of a complete solution.

Even if your cat could get their claws into the fence material, they can’t get over the Oscillot rollers once angled. You should still move other potential climbable surfaces nearby, if possible.

Check out the Oscillot system here.

Spiked Strips

Used for: Keeping cats in and out

Spiked strips offer another option for deterring cats from accessing the top of your fence. These strips have upward-facing spikes that make it uncomfortable for cats to perch or climb on the fence.

One of the main advantages of spiked strips is their affordability and ease of installation. They also tend to have one of the lowest profiles of cat fences – you often won’t see them when you’re in your yard.

But there’s a balance to be struck. You must use rubber spikes so that you don’t harm cat paws (which are pretty sensitive), but they aren’t always the best at preventing cats from climbing. You don’t want spikes that hurt your cat but need them to work.

These typically aren’t the best options, as finding the right balance between the spikes being effective without hurting your cat can be a case of trial and error, which could end up expensive.

If you did want to try cat spikes, check out these options on Amazon.

Mesh Fencing

Used for: Protecting areas of the garden

Deer fencing consists of mesh panels that you can use inside your garden to fence off certain features, whether it’s a delicate flower bed or a tree that you don’t want your cat to climb.

It’s not an option you would use as a border because it would make your home look like a military installation. But it can be an affordable option for protecting parts of the garden or for a deck or balcony area.

However, you need to be careful when choosing the right type. If the gaps in the mesh are too small, your cat might be able to climb on them. If they are too wide, your cat could squeeze through them.

Here are some options:

Wireless Fence

Used for: Keeping cats in

If the aesthetic of your cat fence is the most important thing, then a wireless fence would likely appeal. That’s because it’s invisible once installed. The idea is that you bury a wire around your yard’s perimeter, emitting an FM signal.

You then put the partner collar on your cat. Every time they try to cross the perimeter, the wire communicates with the collar, giving the cat a mild shock – not enough to harm them, but enough to be uncomfortable and kind of rude.

Many people have valid ethical concerns about this type of fence – do you want to distress your cat in that way, even if it is mild? Also, in terms of installation, this is the biggest project by some distance. You must ensure the wire is sufficiently buried so it can’t be accidentally dug up.

If your priority is your cat rather than the look of your yard, there are better choices than this type of fence.

Here’s a PetSafe Premium Ground Receiver Collar on Amazon.

The Best Cat Fence Type

oscillot cat containment system with wood fence and rollers

When selecting a cat fence, consider factors such as your budget, the layout of your yard, and your cat’s behavior and preferences. 

Ultimately, the best cat fence for your needs will depend on these factors. 

The Oscillot system mentioned is one of the best all-rounders. It serves its purpose well for keeping cats in or out of your garden without adding a large eyesore to the fence.

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