If you are a cat owner in the 21st century, chances are you have considered (or purchased) an outdoor cat fence, or indoor barrier, for your pet. While for centuries cat owners have categorized their pets into two distinct camps: “indoor” and “outdoor” cats, the lines have blurred, and the cats are the winners.
More and more feline owners are letting their avowed “indoor” cats get significantly more fresh air and playtime outside, and this has resulted in an increase in demand for outdoor containment systems, cat runs, and “catios.” In addition, a marked reduction in the incidence (and outright banning, in some cities) of declawing cats has created a market for better indoor barrier systems, to preserve furniture and other valuables from sharp claws.
While outdoor fences introduce your cat to a whole new world, the use of an indoor fence will help protect YOUR world. How many of us have seen the damage caused by an innocent feline needing to scratch? How many of our agile cats have knocked precious breakables from on high? How many of our favorite cats have tried to “help” on the countertop during meal prep? An indoor fence or boundary system can easily help protect your home from the natural, typical behaviors of climbing and scratching.
You will be amazed at the innovative solutions available to help your cat enjoy the great outdoors, and also keep him off the kitchen counters indoors!
Outdoor Cat Fence Option One: Brackets
With cats no longer being declawed, owners are far more open to the idea of allowing their cats to play and explore outside. But, how on earth do you keep a cat safely contained in your backyard?
One popular method is the cat fence bracket. Metal brackets can be placed atop the existing fence, then linked with a type of fine mesh. Their bent shape creates an overhang, which can deter the most agile and strong feline. Brackets are versatile and can be placed on gates, sheds, and even trees, to keep kitty out of harm’s way.
Outdoor Cat Fence Option Two: Wood
Not too keen on the metal bracket look? Want a more aesthetically pleasing enclosure? Fear not- many outdoor fencing companies can create a customized wooden enclosure that may blend in better with your home. Still incorporating the metal and polycarbonate mesh roof options, the wooden enclosures use wooden posts and framing instead of metal. They can be assembled on site, easily providing you with a more “rustic” safe area for your cat.
Fun in the Sun: Construct a “Cat Run”
No current fence in your yard? No problem. Create an outdoor cat enclosure using a few freestanding posts and low-visual-impact mesh to install a fun “feline run” your pet will absolutely love. It also uses brackets and mesh at the top, to prevent any escapes, and can be configured to suit any shape yard.
A word to the wise: if you are considering this as your next DIY project, take heed: many outdoor fence manufacturers advise that only the more skilled DIYers should take on this project.
Feline Houdini Wants Outside? Consider a Cat Pen!
One of the most secure enclosures for your cat, that goes above and beyond the typical outdoor cat fence option, is the cat pen. It is exactly as you imagine: a fully-enclosed area, secure on all sides and topped with a metal or polycarbonate mesh room. As with cat runs, these full-coverage cat enclosures can be customized to fit any size backyard.
DIY is not an option here: most cat fence companies will send over their own installers to complete this project for you.
Rhymes With “Patio:” Introducing the “Catio”
Want your favorite feline to join you on the porch, balcony or patio? It’s possible with a catio! A catio involves creating a mesh enclosure over an existing adjacent area of your home, thus allowing your cat to freely roam and enjoy the fresh air while staying safe and secure. Catios can also be customized with tunnels and shelving, to help your feline get up high to where he feels content, observing all below. As with other outdoor cat fence options, catios are fully customizable and can be installed on a variety of hard and soft surfaces.
Take it Inside: Good (Indoor) Fences Make Good Pets
Maybe your kitten is a truly “indoor” cat, and has no need or desire to explore outdoors. But, his indoor exploration has resulted in torn and damaged furniture, spraying, upended Christmas trees, and broken valuables. In order to keep the peace, an indoor cat fence may be the solution. Many options exist, but we will look at two choices here: the traditional “scat” pad, and the indoor invisible barrier.
Keep off! Cat Deterrents go High Tech
Cat deterrent sprays and the like are giving way to more high-tech options, such as sonic “scat mats.” These wired mats, placed on furniture, across a threshold, or on a counter, emit a sound or mild static shock when touched by a pet. These mats are typically thin and flexible, and easy to place on the desired off-limits area.
Wireless Indoor Fence Equals Visible Results
Outdoor pet fence companies offer many indoor options, and the setups are the same: signal transmitter, receiver collar, and sometimes a boundary cable or wire. While the wired systems can be easily camouflaged like other household wires, more recent system offerings use radio waves and Wi-Fi to create invisible, harmless barriers for your household.
The indoor systems are typically smaller and even more discreet than their outdoor versions, creating a great option for any dwelling, from small studio apartment to roomy single family home.
An indoor underground cat fence can be placed wherever you need your kitten to be contained: away from the front door, the laundry area, the kitchen counter, even your extensive holiday decorations.
The world is your (cat’s) oyster
There you have it- a short rundown of the many options you can give your favorite kitty! No need to keep Fluffy inside anymore, and no fretting over keeping her out of trouble indoors: finding the right system, whether an outdoor enclosure, or indoor fence, or both, will no doubt keep you both happy for many years to come!