We have 6 foot high stockade fence, 700 feet of it, to keep cats contained where they are safe. The trouble is that some of them are able to get over it (we have other means to keep them from going under it).
We slit large corrugated plastic tubing, the kind people put on their downspouts to direct water away from the house, and pressed it over the very top of the fence. This means their tiny paws are unable to dig in and get a grip, instead sliding uselessly off, so the cats can’t drag themselves over the top.
But there are still a few cats that are able to get over that, too. So at our vet’s suggestion we put electric fence on top of that. It’s the lowest energy rated fence, and it pulses rather than staying hot, so they can’t freeze on it and get electrocuted. When they get “bit”, they quickly learn to give up.
Trouble is, this is all a lot of effort, and it takes steady work to keep it operating, especially as our fence is 90% under heavy tree cover.
This week we are getting all the fence replaced, as it is 20 years old and falling apart. We’re replacing it with the same kind. I’d have liked to go eight feet high instead of six, but couldn’t bring myself to spend several thousand extra.
This is an obvious time to come up with some less labor intensive, and perhaps less expensive, solution. Anybody have any ideas???
Great idea but I bet some kitties could still get over. Instead of wire alone use short pieces of 1/2 in. PCV pipe on the wire.
If you still have one that can escape, just live with the hope it will be able to get back.
This company, Purrfect Fence, has a “system” that keeps cats inside. Basically posts that you connect to your existing posts that have a bent arm, onto which you secure some wide mesh fencing. Cats can’t climb under and around that bent-in fence.
These guys also sell another product that was the same thing but not bent, which can be used to merely make your fence higher to keep dogs in. I installed that about 3 years ago for my dogs and it has held up great, even through Ohio winters. The posts are sturdy and well coated and the hardware has held up. There have been no rips in the fencing either and none of the zip-ties have come undone.
Of course, you can source your own bent posts and hardware and mesh fencing without going through this company. I just submit it as an example, of how to contain cats.
I made my own version of the Purrfect fence with the mesh overhang using T-posts, the biggest shelf brackets I could find, and the 1" heavy mesh fence that I found an online distributor for. (The 1" squares keep birds from getting trapped) My guys don’t climb it but I don’t have wooden fence. They don’t like how wobbly the mesh is.
I like the Purrfect fence. Unfortunately, the official store-bought version for adding to my wood is gonna cost $2800. Which I might possibly do, I have to admit. Thanks to the lovely and delicious ZipperJJ!
I might try something home-brewed similar to it. Their product costs about $31 per 8’ fence panel. For wire, it’s hard to beat 18" chicken wire, which is gonna be about $5 per 8’ panel, so if I can find something for below $26 that acts like their springy arm, I can do it for less.
Tedder tines are springy and about the right strength, and they sell for about $10. But how to mount them? Some of them might mount on a lag bolt with another bolt sitting on top of it (like a shaft the spring wraps around). Maybe $5 for two bolts, $10 for the tine, and $5 worth of chicken wire, would get me down to around $1800. It’s possible…
FWIW I was able to talk to the Purrfect Fence folks and get a discount on my order, as it was a fairly decent-sized order. Granted, it wasn’t a $2800-to-1800 discount but it was a couple hundred bucks.
Also note what **saje **said - cats don’t like wobbly mesh fencing. Actual chicken wire fence might be too sturdy, and they could climb it. I also wonder how rust-proof that stuff is. You might be better off looking for a source for polypropylene fence instead of metal.
I spent a while looking more closely at the Purrfect fence for adapting to existing wood. They have a series of more detailed photos. I have to admit it does look really good. I wonder how it handles autumn leaves, and snow?
And as far as the fence holding up to elements, it does really well. I live in SC so not a lot of snow, but we’ve had a couple of ice storms that tested it, also I’ve had big branches fall on it and it held well. The most I’ve had to do is replace a few zip ties here and there. It’s pricey as hell, but they do have a good system and the customer support is great.
I guess the stronger cats are able to propell themselves up above this tube shape PVC, and fall down on top, and with a twist of their body get ti the outside slope of the tube and get a hold on the outside that way.
What if you rework the PVC tubing design … use larger diameter tubing, and/or have a significant hang inwards.
If the tubing hangs inward more, then the cats either propell themselves at the tubing, and get deflected . OR they propell themsleves into the air beside the PVC tubing, and have no way to get any traction to the outside.
How about get larger diameter PVC tubing and cut it in half, lengthwise, and mount that to the inside of the fence ?
But maybe fencing wire or gutter guard or some sort of mesh is the cheapest way to build this inward overhang piece ?
Just install the brackets and a few strands of wire ? It wouldn’t have to be very strong wire.
The floppy Purrfect fence could be effective probably 95% of the time (allowing only the best cats to escape) but it seems like it might be noisy and it’s a giant pinch point.
The slit pvc tubing across the top of the fence sounds good. Metal would be better, though, because sharp claws.
I like the coyote roller idea better. Seems like you could make something along that line fairly cheaply with parachute cord and 1/2 inch pvc pipes strung between the tops of the fence posts… Doesn’t have to roll smoothly, just rotate under kitty’s hands and be annoyingly unsteady.
We just recently went through this. Our condo backyard has three sides. One is 6 feet, the other two 5 feet. We bought 6 foot bamboo fencing, the kind that comes in rolls at Home Depot, for the shorter sides, and just stapled it to the fence. We figured the cats wouldn’t try jumping it because they can clearly see there is no landing point, and we were right. We were hoping the 6’ fence might prove too tall, so we didn’t do anything about that at first.
Everything was going fine, until the second day, when the squirrel showed up. One of the cats scaled right up the 6’ fence. So, inspired by this video, I attached PVC sheets along the top part of the fence, sticking up over the top by a couple of inches.
It’s been a month now, and nobody has escaped. (Crossing my fingers)
ETA: the original fencing in our yard is just solid wood regular fence, no gaps in it or anything.
Cheap-o bird netting can be found for 2¢/sq ft … plus the labor stitching it together …
I’ve trained my cats to stay in my yard and within the 5 foot cyclone fence … there’s gaps everywhere … when I first let them out, and when each of them left the yard, I would punish them severely … give them each a good five minutes of cuddling and your troubles are over … there’s nothing a cat hates more than being wrapped in a receiving blanket and be carried around like an infant child …