Cat-proofing your garden

By Catnips – Cat Behaviour services

I’m not an advocate of keeping a cat indoors, however there are many circumstances that may lead to people keeping their cats confined as house cats only. These can be:

  1. Owning an expensive breed of cat


    An indoor Persian cat

  2. Fear of a cat getting lost, run over, or stolen


    Crossing the road – street savvy

  3. Thinking a cat doesn’t want or need to go outside


    Don’t worry about me. I’m just an animal that loves doing nothing all day every day for the rest of my life

4. Keeping your cat indoors for fear of them making the local wildlife extinct (for this reason, people in the US mainly keep their cats indoors and Australia is now advocating eradication of feral cats, or strays, to protect wildlife)

5. Owning a cat with feline aids

6. Owning a blind cat

One more bird and then they will all be extinct.. horray

One more bird and then they will all be extinct.. horray

I understand all of the above, although number 4 is extreme/unfair and slightly baffling, but thought I would mention it anyway. I think the bird population in the western world is coping just fine. Birds and cats, after all, have lived side by side for 1000’s of years without either becoming extinct unless of course both live on a small island where the cat was introduced as an unnatural predator to the bird by man! But we are not that island and research has shown that cats are not making birds, or any other small mammal, extinct in the US or in the UK.

If you have a garden, and you can tick any of the above pointers as concerns you have, then a cat-proof fencing system should put your mind at ease and could be the best present to give your cat.

I start with the best solutions and end with methods that should be avoided at all costs.

  1. Katzecure

A British company who thought up a very simple but effective design. Rollers!

Single or double rollers go on top of secure fencing

Single or double rollers go on top of secure fencing

The cat cannot get a grip on the rollers to climb over. Double rollers are used for breeds that are huge climbers such as Norwegian Forest cats. Many breeders use this type of cat proofing and it blends in very well with most gardens.





2. ProtectaPet

A company who uses thin galvanised and powder-coated steel fixed at an angle on secure fencing. It’s the perfect solution for any sized garden or balcony and has been used by renowned cat behaviourist Vicky Halls as well as many cat breeders.

cat-fence-protectapetThis type of cat proofing can be done as a DIY job.





3. Secure A Cat

winter cat proofing

A happy cat enjoying some freedom

Companies that offer humane solutions are the companies to book an appointment with. Most of these companies have a supreme eye for looking at your garden with a cats’ mentality and can tackle most difficult spaces.




4. Window boxes – 

A cat window box in an urban flat

A cat window box in an urban flat

The perfect solution if you do not have a garden is to build a cat window ledge box. These are easy to make for any DIY enthusiast. Chicken wire around a frame is best with a solid base. Your cat will love sitting out in the fresh air on their own kitty condo and the fact that humans cannot climb out on it too will make this very appealing for the smug city living cat! Google cat proofing ideas to get a whole variety of designs with humans at their best thinking outside of the box…





Electric collars/electric wiring systems

The fear of your cats escaping from the garden can be managed without the need to cause them undue pain, fear or discomfort. These systems work by having an invisible border that the cat is not allowed to cross. It gets a beep from a collar if it enters the forbidden zoneIf the cat continues to cross the border it gets an electric shock. The level of severity is set by the owner.

Electric shock collar

Electric shock collar

MY VIEWS: As your cats’ guardians you have an obligation to use the least aversive means necessary to find a way to secure your cat in your garden with humane fencing system. Cats like to guard their territory, sniff plants and trees which they see as scent sticks (sniffing for other cats), hide under bushes, dig in the dirt, chase and run around freely and to ‘punish’ a cat for doing what it naturally should be doing is fundamentally wrong and very confusing for the cat who will not understand why it is feeling pain or hearing a beep for merely existing & doing what cats naturally do!

Being able to chase another cat out of their own territory is also a natural behaviour which your cats are being denied, because they can only go so far. As well as the collars being too big for their necks they also have to put up with two metal prods sticking into their throats.

Accidents can happen.  If a cat started to chase something, and a higher level was set by mistake (I’ve personally witnessed this) or there happened to be a one off flaw in your product, who is to say your cat would not go into cardiac arrest. This has been known to happen with dogs, which is why electric collars have been banned in many countries and why the RSPCA and most behaviourists look on this type of cat proofing and behaviour modification with a very dim view.

If you have chosen for your cat an in-door existence then the lesser of two evils is to cat proof any outside space you have by choosing a fencing system, like any of the ones above , which gives your cats free range right up to the borders of their territory.

Enrich your cats’ life and choose your method of cat-proofing wisely. If you love your cat(s) please choose a company that uses humane methods.


About Anita Kelsey - Cat Behaviour Consultant

Anita Kelsey holds a first class honours degree in Feline Behaviour and Psychology (work based BA Hons) and runs a vet referral service dedicated strictly to the diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems in cats. She is also a qualified cat groomer and specialises in grooming aggressive or phobic cats. Anita writes for Your Cat Magazine and is on their experts panel answering readers questions on cat grooming. She also advises on feline behaviour for the CFBA (Canine and Feline Behaviour) magazine as well as being a full member. Anita is based in Notting Hill, London but consults all over the UK as well as international requests. She lives with her husband, a music producer, and two Norwegian Forest cats, Kiki and Zaza. Anita's debut book, Claws, Confessions Of A Cat Groomer is published by John Blake Publishers and is out on 7th September 2017 (available for pre-orders on Amazon UK)
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  1. yvonne holt says:

    Thank you for leaving such good and thorough advice. i currently have a ‘catproofed’ garden with the extension netting at the top of a six foot woodedn fence. this has been great for keeping my (6) cats safe for a good few years. However, the fence is rotting and needs replacing now so we are about to redo the whole thing and i am not sure what to use for th best as i have been looking at the pole style devices due to my neighbour being a true gardener who allows his plants to ramble wildly over my netting providing a great platform to walk on if you have four legs. anyway i will sort it out but i was wondering if you could PLEASE advise me on another matter?
    One of my cats was a little stray who was in danger of starving to death in the snow a few years ago when i took her in totally infested with EVERYTHING! after several attempts to rehome her i soon realised that no body wanted this little ting and i had aquired yet anther cat! i had purposely bought the others so please dont think i am a seriel cat stealer! the problem i have is that she lives in my bedroom for sanctuary as the usually ‘soft as putty’ maincoone who out wieghs her by around 20lbs, is a total bully and she lives in fear! the other cats take his lead so she is victimised by all! its so sad. the onlytime she is relaxed is when i am with her and she comes out at night in my room! i have tried loving them all (especially bully boy maincoone) to ensure he has nothing to be jealous of consistently, and tried squirting them in the face with water if theyre horrible to her but nothing works! Any suggestions? PLEASE?


  2. Akash says:

    Thank you for pointing out this to me. I can know many kind of effective tips from here. I want to visit this blog regularly.
    Thank you


  3. Charles Huss says:

    I love the roller idea but I wonder if they can jump onto the connecting areas.


    • Thanks for your comments Charles.

      The rollers prevent a cat from getting a grip as it is not a stable surface.

      Most breeders go for this design.

      Best you talk to the company if you are UK based!

      Good luck.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Anita I LOVE this blog and the roller systme! Cat that matches your book cover got out today, what a shocker! … I’ll need something like that roller sytem ASAP available in USA …looking…. There are coyotes all around my house!! xox Anjel


  4. Diane S says:

    :”Birds and cats, after all, have lived side by side for 1000’s of years without either becoming extinct…” is an absurd statement. We have reduced the bird habitat while vastly increasing the number of cats that can survive in the area. City cats are one of the major contributors to the decline of small birds. Your cat doesn’t need to hunt to eat, but it will kill anyway. At the very least, bell your cat, or confine it.


    • Thanks for your contribution to this subject …Roger Tabor states from his book ‘Cats, The Rise Of The Cat’ and I quote…”While a quarter of Felmersham’s house sparrows were consumed by cats every year, after each breeding period, the sparrow population doubled. In Winter many householders feed garden birds, while nest bxes, garden trees and domestic buildings provide additional nesting sites and in this way the bird population in villages and towns is kept at well above ‘natural levels’. Even if there are lots of cats in built up areas there are also a lot of birds. So the survey (by Peter Churcher in Felmerhsam) found that the house cat is a significant predator and that it is not devastating Britain’s bird population. On continents cats rarely have a harmful effect on overall bird population but on small islands they can be disastrous.


  5. Shelley says:

    I am in South Africa and really want to ensure my cats don’t get out. But cannot find a supplier of these products. Can u assist?
    Thank you


  6. Pingback: (Watch) Here's The BEST Way To Protect The Birds At Your Feeder From Your Cats | Homesteading Off The Grid

  7. FreedomCat says:

    Thanks for not advocating an owner be shot because they allow their cats to go outside. My cats are misbehaving (in other words, doing what comes naturally) and pooping in a neighbor’s yard.

    I’ve offered/bought her all kinds of deterrents which I don’t think she’s even tried. I’m taking her word for it even though there’s plenty of stray cats around here (they’re probably mine 🙂

    Now she has mounted a campaign against me with the neighbors. Thank goodness my lease is up in the next couple of months. I have to keep them in until we leave. This will be very rough, and they will be miserable.

    If we end up purchasing a house, I will refer to your page for methods to keep them on our property to avoid the same problem.

    Thank you, appreciated.


  8. Breana says:

    Wow! such a great information about fence this is very helpful!


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