My brother, Eric, called the other day to relay the sad news that the family’s beloved cat, Nanners, hadn’t made it back home in several days, has not been found with an exhaustive search and posters, and so is presumed to have gone on to the next world.
Nanners, Nan, or Nano (her proper name given because she was so tiny) was a stray kitten the family found on the side of the road 4 years ago. She was matted, sickly, and on the verge of starvation. It took some prolongued TLC, but she recovered from her early rough start to become a healthy happy cat. She lived a great life with a great family who deeply loved her.
They knew the perils of letting Nanners be an outside cat and they made peace with the fact that outdoor cats typically have much shorter lifespans than indoor cats– on average less than 5 years vs upwards of 15+ years.
True cat fanatics insist that cats should only be kept as indoor pets and accomodated accordingly with cat jungle gyms, play time, etc. And they can make a case for their views.
I can make a decent argument for both sides of the aisle. But, truth be told, I land squarely in the middle.
As my regular readers know, I went to great efforts to build a fenced outdoor area so Finn could enjoy the great outdoors. (Those who argue that cats learn to be completely happy inside didn’t have Finn for a cat! He was NOT a happy indoor cat, though we made a great effort for a couple of years.) And Finn’s quality of life skyrocketed.
There is fencing specifically for cats that is very floppy at the top, so that it won’t hold their weight when they climb, and they’ll be unceremoniously gently dumped back down on the ground inside the fence.
Here’s a great solution that’s very inexpensive and works on pre-existing fencing.
6 thoughts on “Affordable Outdoor Cat Fencing that Works”
Where do I purchase this fence add-on to keep my cat in it’s yard? I love the idea and it looks so easy to install. Please send me some information on the cost and where I to purchase this product.
Louise, search for cat proof fencing.
We had a cat for only two weeks before we lost her to the wild.
At the time we lived north of LA and our yard backed up to open land. We loved the wildlife we could see (well, most of it — I could have gone without the up close and personal encounter with the tarantula, and Rich let out the biggest scream I’d ever heard from him when a snake dropped down on the hood of his convertible from the garage door opening, missing going into the driver’s seat by mere inches…). But the rabbits, deer, hawks, bats and owls were often visitors. We realized that we were really living on their land. Our merle collie, Marley, would woof at the coyotes, but was big enough to not be prey. (She is the most Beta dog on the planet, having once being totally cowed by a 10 pound Chinese Crested, so I don’t know what she was really thinking of when she ran the fence so excitedly when the coyotes came down from the hills.)
But Luna, Luna was another story. A delicate all-black cat we got at the Agoura Shelter, she was unbelievably soft, loving with a diabolical way of messing with Marley’s mind and a passion for hunting. The first day she was with us, she delightedly dispatched two mice, and she caught a lizard within 90 seconds of going outside for the first time. After that, the outside, the wild called to her. It took two of us to stop her from slipping out the back door, and every tactic we used to divert her was only good one or two times before she figured it out.
One night, she got out, and didn’t return when I called her. the next morning, though, she was there proud and purring as she jumped into my lap and curled up as I had my morning coffee. The next night she got out (Rich was taking out the garbage and she slipped out between his feet), she didn’t come back.
Luna used to revel into messing with Marley’s mind, purring and rubbing in and out of her legs one moment, then ambushing her with a hissing swipe to the nose the next. I could only imagine what kind of reaction that would have received from the well-fed coyotes in our area.
So we lost Luna. But part of me is not sad. She loved the wild. Once she had experienced it, there was no keeping her inside. I remembered the scared creature cowering in the cage at the shelter, and then the confident cat stalking through our yard, and I can’t help but think that her life, short as it was, was what she wanted..that she experienced it with feral joy and eyes open.
(Karen — this is Emily Cushman that was from Woodbury — Greetings!)
Emily! How are you?! How great to hear from you!
Yes, our crazy animals… How we love them. And losing them is never easy, but it sounds as though Luna had a great cat life while she was here.
LA? Sounds like you had a nice spot. Where have you landed since? We need to catch up!
I also had a good size pen put in for my cats. After we lost our old two cats to coyotes, my husband said the two new kittens would not go out. I said I didn’t want a total inside cat for fear if they did get out they would be terrified. So the agreement to getting the new kittens was a pen would be built around the cat door and they love it.
Fantastic! : )