What is a Cat Fence? 

oscillot cat containment system fence rollers keep cat in your yard

If you’re a cat owner, you know that our feline friends are natural explorers. They love to roam, climb, and investigate their surroundings. 

But what happens when that curiosity leads them into areas where they shouldn’t be, like busy streets or neighboring yards? 

That’s when a cat fence could be key – it allows you to give your kitty some sense of freedom while spending time outdoors without letting them enjoy complete access to the wider world, where they may not be safe.

But what is a cat fence, and what are the best options? Let’s take a look.

Why Use a Cat Fence?

oscillot cat containment system with wood fence and rollers

A cat fence, simply put, is a barrier designed to keep your furry companions safe within a designated area. Whether it’s a backyard or a balcony, a cat fence provides a secure boundary that allows your cat to enjoy the outdoors without the risks associated with unrestricted roaming.

One of the primary reasons to use a cat fence is to protect your cat from potential dangers such as traffic accidents, predators, or toxic substances. It also helps prevent your cat from getting lost or causing damage to property in neighboring areas.

Many cat species are well adapted to being an ‘outdoor cat’ and can explore with some level of safety. Still, even they can get into trouble, especially if you live in an area with larger wild animals that could attack your pet.

Cat fences are great for ‘indoor cat’ species, those that are a little more naïve and may wander more freely into dangerous situations without some kind of barrier to keep them safe.

Additionally, cat fences can benefit households with multiple pets or those living in urban environments with limited outdoor space. 

They provide a controlled environment where your cat can exercise, play, and soak up some sunshine while remaining safe and secure.

Key Considerations for Cat Fences

oscillot cat fence rollers close up beige

Choosing the right cat fence for your home requires several key considerations. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

You need to think about:

  • The right type of fence for your space
  • The height of your solution
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Safety of your cat
  • Visual appeal

The main thing to consider is what type of space you install your cat fence in. If it’s a balcony, you’ll be looking at completely different options than a large yard.

However, one consideration always applies, regardless of your home: height. You must ensure your fence is tall enough that your cat can’t clear it.

The actual height needed will vary, depending on whether your cat has any surfaces they can climb or jump from that are elevated from the ground. A six-foot fence is a typical minimum for a yard, but if there’s a tree nearby or some other object your cat can use for purchase, they could still easily clear that height.

Equally, if the fence is wooden and has support beams, your cat will likely have no problem scaling it, even if it’s taller than six feet. For those fences, you’ll need to consider how to stop your cat from getting over the top. Inward-facing poles that give you an angled fence your cat can’t get over or fence additions that stop your cat from making any purchases are a good option.

Installation and maintenance are also important. A cat fence only works if it’s installed properly and is easy to maintain. When choosing a cat fence, consider how it needs to be installed and ensure it’s compatible with your existing fence or walls.

And then think about your climate – if you live somewhere that regularly suffers storms, you’ll need a fence that can withstand high winds, and any metal fencing needs to be properly coated to prevent rust in the rain.

After considering those practical criteria, you’ll want to consider your cat’s comfort and safety. Is your chosen fence option something that will work with your cat and, importantly, won’t cause them injury or distress?

Luckily, cats are resilient and will be fine dropping from heights of six feet or even slightly more if you’ve chosen a fence that blocks them once they’ve tried to climb.

So it’s more about making sure that you either buy a proper cat fence or that your DIY options don’t have sharp, exposed mesh points and that any gaps in the mesh are too small for cats to get stuck in.

Finally, there’s the visual appeal to consider. It’s the least important factor, but you don’t want to have to make your yard look like a military prison, either. You can get discreet options that keep your cat safe without being too much of an eyesore.

Are Cat Fences Cruel?

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

One common concern among cat owners is whether using a cat fence is cruel or restrictive for their pets. 

While it’s natural to want your cat to be free to explore, it’s important to weigh this against the potential risks and dangers they may encounter outdoors.

In reality, cat fences balance freedom and safety, allowing your cat to enjoy the benefits of outdoor exploration while minimizing exposure to harm. 

With proper training and supervision, most cats adapt well to the boundaries set by a cat fence and continue to lead happy, fulfilling lives.

If it’s a cat fence designed to keep your cat safe on a balcony, as long as they can come back indoors when they want to and enjoy a bigger space to roam, then they’ll be fine.

Top Cat Fence Options

1. The Oscillot System


If you want a cat fence that is safe, easy to install, and visually appealing, the Oscillot system is one of the best.

This is a roller, which you add to the top of your existing fence. It rolls freely, meaning that when your cat puts a paw on it and tries to get purchase to vault over, they’ll lose their footing and fall safely back to the ground.

Adding it to your fence posts is a relatively simple job. It’s highly effective at keeping cats safe without posing them any risks, and it’s discreet, too—you won’t even notice it once you’ve had it installed on your fence for a little while, and the only reminder it’s there will be when your cat tries (and fails) to get over it.

The only drawback of the Oscillot system is that it doesn’t add much height, so if there are surfaces near your fence that your cat could use as a jump-off point, such as a tree, your cat could jump clear over the rollers and make it past the barrier.

Learn more about the Oscillot System here

2. PURR…FECT Fence

The PURR…FECT Fence is one you can easily add to many existing fences. It provides an overhanging, angled fence leaning back into your yard, which your cat can’t get over.

These fences are good when you need additional height, such as when your yard has jump-off points you can’t remove. The drawback is that they’re not very discreet – you’ll get used to them, but they are a little unsightly.

Another big drawback is that they are one-way systems. If you have neighboring cats in adjacent homes, they could easily get into your yard and then struggle to get back out.

But overall, they are a good option worth exploring.

PURRFECT Fence on Amazon or Etsy.

3. Cat Balcony Rails

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

If your home has a balcony, then choosing a netted rail is the best way to keep them safe. You can completely enclose your balcony, so there are no risks of falls, but with a fine netting that doesn’t hugely detract from your view.

Installation is relatively simple, but it’s important you get it right – any weaknesses where you don’t get the supports completely secured could cause serious accidents for your kitty in future if they fell into the fencing.

Check out Balcony Rails here

If you want your cat to enjoy outdoor spaces safely, then a cat fence is an excellent investment. Just take the time to research the options available – check out the different types of cat fences for more information – and you’ll be able to create a secure outdoor environment that your kitty will love.

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