Cat Proof Garden

We have enclosed our garden completely with cat-proof fencing. This allows our cats the freedom to roam in our garden, chasing round and climbing trees without worrying that they can roam any further. As an added bonus, generally no other cats can get into our garden (once we'd found and eliminated a couple of weak spots) although we can't say it is 100% secure from outsiders.

Our "Secur-a-cat" fencing was installed in Summer 2002 and was an instant success with the cats and us.  Initially they looked for escape routes but the system proved very reliable and now they no longer bother trying to breach the defences !

The cat proof fencing system itself is quite unobtrusive to both us and the neighbours.  It can be attached to any solid wall or fencing (including chain-link fences) at least 5ft high. It is available in kit form for DIY installation, but as our garden is large and the fences change levels at various places, we chose to have it installed professionally. If we ever move, then it can be taken down and re-used at the new property. In the picture below, you can just see how the angled aluminium brackets are used when the fence height changes at the end of the vertical trellis.  The Acer tree on the right is now too close to the fence for comfort and we have now protected it as it is a possible escape route.

Essentially it is salmon netting (about 3 foot wide), angled inwards at 45 degrees on aluminium struts, and attached with cable ties to 3 black nylon cords (top, middle and bottom) threaded through holes in the struts . The salmon netting is flexible, so cats feel unsafe trying to climb on it and the angle prevents them from escaping.  Foliage can grow through and round it (although care needs to be taken that it doesn't get too heavy for the netting or too solid so that the cats can get a paw-hold).

After installation, we discovered that a couple of the more athletic cats would jump from our mature apple tree onto a low roof - and from there be able to roam further !  Cutting back the apple tree was not an option, but the fencing system can be easily adapted to provide a roof barrier as shown below. This has proved extremely successful in preventing the cats from roaming:

Martin appears to be having some "help" from an assistant here !

The installation requires minimum maintenance - a regular check for any small holes due to the local squirrels (fixed using cable ties), cutting back foliage and tightening the cables occasionally. Occasionally one of the struts has broken (falling boughs from our neighbour's ash tree) so we now have a supply of spare struts ready to undertake repairs.

We got our system from "Secur-a-cat".  They don't have a web-site but a little effort with a search engine will locate them.  Although they used to offer an installation service, we understand this is no longer available but comprehensive instructions are provided as part of the kit. Over the years, several of our kitten owners have installed this system on our recommendation and are delighted with the results.

 One of our owners decided to independently source the components, then installed it himself at a fraction of the cost of the "Secur-a-cat" kit. That's something else to consider as well.