Installing a Cat-Proof Fence – Making Your Yard Safe for Your Cats

Keeping your cat safe and secure in your yard is crucial. You’ll want to know that they’re safe while getting their exercise and unable to escape.

Sure, some cats live happy lives as outdoor cats that wander around the neighborhood before returning home.

But many breeds are too naïve or nervous to be allowed to roam freely. Even if your cat is a breed well-suited to exploration, factors such as where you live (busy roads, predators) might mean you want to keep them safe in your garden instead.

So, let’s look at the options for a cat-proof fence to help keep your kitty from leaving the confines of your regulated outdoor space, where you know they are much safer.

Which Materials Are Good for a Cat-Proof Fence?

The materials you choose are crucial for creating a cat-proof fence. Opt for durable, weather-resistant materials that can withstand your cat’s persistent attempts to escape.

Many homes have wooden fences because they’re easy to install and look pleasant. Still, wood is one of the worst materials for cat fences because cats can dig their claws into it, making it easier for them to climb up and over, even if the fence is tall.

Instead, there are two materials you could use for a fence if you want to make it cat-proof:

  • Metal – Using sheet metal fence panels is one way of having a tough and durable fence that your cat can’t climb. However, for metal to be a suitable option, the fence panels are usually made from lightweight aluminum, and unless properly secured, they can cause noise in high winds. It’s also not the most visually appealing option and can be pricey.
  • PVC – PVC plastics are a cheaper alternative and can look nice when painted appropriately. They also prevent your cat from climbing over easily and are low-maintenance.

However, not everyone has the budget to replace their fence completely, and it’s not often you’re starting from scratch. You’ll likely be looking for ways to cat-proof your existing fence – and you can do this in several ways.

Cat-Proofing Existing Fences

oscillot cat containment system with wood fence and rollers

If you already have a fence in place, there are several modifications you can make to cat-proof it.

Add Height

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats are excellent jumpers, so increasing the height of your fence is a fundamental step in cat-proofing.

Cats can climb easily, so adding height alone isn’t always enough. You might deter your cat, but if it is relentless about climbing up and over, you need to make sure any extensions use a material your cat can’t get its claws into.

You’ll also need to remember your local laws on fence height, especially if you have neighbors – going above a certain height might not be permitted. It’s also a good idea to speak to your neighbors if you plan on extending your fence, even just as a courtesy. Most people will understand if you explain that you’re protecting your cat.

Add a Cat Fence Topper

oscillot cat fence rollers containment

Adding a cat fence topper is one of the most effective ways to cat-proof your fence.

There are different kinds of toppers you could use. Cheaper options include cat spikes (not the friendliest for your cat) or extension poles that lean back over your yard, with mesh panels between them.

But if you want a relatively discreet option so that your yard doesn’t acquire that military-prison aesthetic, cat rollers might be more suitable.

The Oscillot is a popular choice for this purpose. This system consists of rotating paddles installed on the top of your fence.

When your cat tries to climb the fence, the paddles spin, preventing them from getting a grip and making it impossible for them to climb over.

Placing it on top of the fence also makes it a two-way cat-proof fence that stops your cat from escaping. That’s because it’ll also prevent other cats (or even other animals) from climbing into your yard if they’re curious or aggressive.

It’s not just about making sure your cat can’t wander off to explore the outside world – it’s also about making sure the outside world can’t come to your cat and cause any trouble, too!

Close Gaps

oscillot cat containment system with wood fence and rollers

Inspect your fence for gaps or holes that your cat could squeeze through. Patch up any openings with additional fencing material, boards, or mesh to ensure your cat cannot escape.

It’s no good spending money on a topper if you leave a gap that your cat can get through – and they can be very effective at squeezing through tight spaces.

Don’t overlook this step. If your cat has a habit of digging under gaps to squeeze through, you’ll need to find ways to block access to those weaknesses and plug the holes themselves.

Remove ‘Ladders’

Cat Containment Fence One Reader Shares How He Contains His Ragdoll Cat Harry Ragdoll Cat Simon

Cats are resourceful and will use anything they can to climb over a fence. Remove any objects near the fence that could act as a ‘ladder,’ including trash cans or storage boxes. Keeping these items away from the fence line will make it more challenging for your cat to escape.

Trees are another challenge, too – you’ll need to cut back any branches your cat could use to get over the fence. If that’s not something you’re happy doing, you could also look at cat-proofing the tree. You can buy metal surrounds for the trunk so your cat can’t get a grip and climb up it.

Distract Your Cat

Cat Containment Fence One Reader Shares How He Contains His Ragdoll Cat Harry Ragdoll Cat Simon 3

Sometimes, the best way to keep your cat inside the yard is by making the yard more attractive than the outside world.

Provide plenty of entertainment and stimulation for your cat in the yard, such as climbing structures, toys, and shaded areas to lounge in.

A happy, occupied cat is less likely to attempt an escape, reducing the need to worry too much about cat-proofing the fence.

Of course, anything could distract your cat and get it interested in climbing—a rival cat from a neighbor or a bird landing on top of the fence. So distractions can help, but don’t rely solely on them.

In Summary

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There are many ways to add a cat-proof fence to your home, and there are usually plenty of good options that don’t involve the expense and effort of replacing your existing fence.

However, you need to make sure that you are cat-proofing the rest of the garden too – if there are any ‘ladders’ that your cat can use, natural or otherwise, then moving or removing those should be one of the first steps to help contain your kitty.

Adding a cat fence topper is often the best way to ensure your cat can’t escape over the fence, and the Oscillot system is one of the better options if it’s suitable for your existing installation. It’s discreet but highly effective and will help keep your cat in and other cats or animals out.

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