Housecats, the outside world of feral animals and protecting the home office.

I’ve got four cats. None have ever gone outside. I live in a fairly rural area that’s developed enough, but there’s an acre and a half around me. Woods, field, etc. Wandering outside are squirrels, a family of groundhogs living under the back deck, rabbits, possum, chipmunks, raccoon… and feral cats. ( Also bear and rattlesnakes and deer, but let’s be serious. Unless I bait with raw meat, I can’t see a bear forcing it’s way through the window. I know, such things do happen, but it’s darned rare.

Quite a few feral cats are out there. My office is in the lower floor of the house. Not really a basement, but the windows on this level- at this side of the house- are set so that the bottom window sill is perhaps 6 inches from the dirt. I have no central air.

I love fans, fresh air moving through. It has come to pass that the housecats love to sit in the windows and watch the world fly/crawl/scamper by. Nothing new, all cats love this.

Several times in the last few weeks I have been sitting here before The Oracle Of All Things ( the computer monitor ) and have heard what can charitably be described as a choking whimpering moan. I turn to see one of the cats. Sometimes on all fours, sometimes up on hind quarters with paws against the window frame. The lower window is up a crack but NOT enough to let an animal pass through.

Said cat is in high terror state. Tail fluffed out wildly, moaning, jaws convulsing, body tense. I stand up…and see a feral cat inches if not a foot or two from the window. Just sitting there. Being a feral cat.

My concerns :

A) I am aware that at some point, on of the cats will pee out of sheer terror. This will either sprinkle cat urine all over my Apple Cinema Display or all over my video edit system, all depending on which window they are standing at.

B) I fear very much that a feral cat will simply launch at the housecat, and go straight through the nice pretty smooth expensive new windows with their nice pretty smooth black vinyl screening. This will cause much uproar. Whether we are home or not, I suspect it would be bloody work to get the feral cat off of the housecat before killing it ( or them, if we are not home and the feral cat(s) get the run of the place through the screening. )

My question:

Any idea of what I can use to completely protect the house from an outside animal? I don’t want to leave the windows closed, and the screening is useless for anything with more mass and forward velocity than a mosquito. I have seen with my own eyes, a housecat launched through the metal screening of a second floor window and fall out to the ground. Fortunately, it was about a 15 foot drop onto soft damp lawn and it landed, and ran.

Chicken wire would look like shit but would protect the housecats. I suspect that if a real emotional/chemical pissing match happened, a feral cat might spray towards the housecat. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Thoughts? The windows are low enough to the ground, that opening the top window instead of the bottom one wouldn’t solve the problem. And as I said, that fresh air sure is nice to have flowing through here. Especially because the 4 litter boxes are right now sitting about 15 feet from me. Both windows up, fresh air pulled past me, bad cat smelly air pulled out near the boxes. Nice. :slight_smile:


I’ve never seen a cat (feral or otherwise) go through normal screens unless your feral cat is actually a bobcat or lynx. On the other hand, they do make ripstop vinyl screens that have stood up to both my cats and my 80 lb. dog (scratching, not charging). I have never heard of anything smaller than a deer (or a child) going through glass windows.

Aside from covering your hardware with plastic sheeting ($10 a roll at most garden or home supply centers–trim it to the appropriate size) to protect from urine, I don’t have a great solution for you, but I don’t think you are in that great a danger from outside assault.

If it is seriously worrisome, consider replacing the glass in the windows with Plexiglas or similar acrylic and leave the windows closed down to about 1 inch when you are not there.

You could try lacing the outdoor area with mothballs. My husband swears by them. Feral cats can infect indoor cats with just spit, so if they can get biologicals airborne and thru that window you may have a health problem. Just another reason to look into mothballs/camphor flakes.

My husband said feral cats would crash through the screen fairly frequently when he was a kid. :eek: He’s always had cats, and the desire to sex up one of his kitties was too much for those ol’ tom cats to resist.

Except for the bears and feral cats, your situation sounds exactly like mine. We’ve adopted two male kitties who came around (and had both of them fixed), but it never got crazy like you’re describing. Maybe because our girls are fixed?

Perhaps a motion activated sprinkler set in the right spot?

They make all sorts of metal mesh and gratings these days. Stop by Home Despot and look for something light and not too offensive.

We have the same sort of situation here. We are trying to de-feralize a momma cat and her kittens before carting them off to the local placement agency. But our indoor kitties sit at the screen door and trade hisses with the outdoor kits. We reinforced the grating, and now they can’t poke through at each other. Peace will eventually ensue, I hope.

I don’t know how I forgot to mention this- all four of our boys are fixed. It does not stop them from being utterly freaked out when a cat is howling in heat- as was the case at around two o’clock in the freakin’ morning just last night. :frowning:

Rip-stop screening? Thanks, tomndebb, that sounds like a good solution. The windows are all brand new double-pane and I don’t really fear for bear and such. It’s the street-tough muthahs just mere inches from the boys that makes me nervous. Gotta admit, I had no clue that the cats could get sick from airborne biologicals. I should know that- humans transmit all the time that way.

Mothballs will be the first line attempt. That’s BRILLIANT and as long as I’m not gagging on the wafting subliming mothballs, all will be good. Perhaps orange rinds and mothballs? I’m going to Home Depot today for some ear protection, and will stop by both the mothball aisle and screening department.

Silenus, I wish you luck. And admire your gumption. Peace may well ensue in the coming…decades. :smiley: