Experience with cat-proof fences?

rrrager

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i currently live in AZ in a rental apartment so this isnt an immediate concern, but it's looking like I might relocate to my rural reservation in western NYS in the spring or so. my family's looking into clearing out some land we have to make room for several little houses, including one for just myself even, like a little shed house or smth 🤔

but since I have 3 cats, with the older one still trying to accept the concept of kittens, I thought I might invest in a fence or enclosure so they're not all stuck in close quarters with each other. i dont want them to go back to the life of a true "rez cat" especially when the coyotes we have up there are sometimes the size of german shepherds and foxes like to square up against ferals -- and also our neighbors on the next plot over have a decade long habit of not putting their dogs on leads when letting them outside :')

(trust me, i have experience wielding heavy sticks against them, being chased by them, and having them stand off against me + rottweiler i was petsitting in the middle of the road. rez life.)

my brain had this fence in mind, but i definitely wanted to hear second opinions! price is obviously a factor since i'm moving literally across the country with no (currently) future job locked in, but i have time to save and the fence i linked is a good ballpark price range with the extra door included.

anyone else have experience with this type of fence?? would you recommend another kind of fencing product?? or do you think theres a good short term solution we can use upon moving, in case i still need to save up for a big enclosure?
 

daftcat75

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I think that fence hits all the marks—difficult to climb, curved inward, and spring loaded. I want to see more videos of the fence defeating cats. 😹.


It looks like a solid solution if it’s in your price range.
 

Dacatchair

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The Perrfect fence is expensive if you are doing a large area, and I wouldn't feel secure that the netting would hold up tp larger predators.

I recently fenced the main part of my yard for my 2 Savannah cats, and the cheapest, most durable way to do this that I could find was using 8' metal T bars with 5' sections of inward bent 3/8 inch rebar bound with wire to the top of the T bars. The fencing material is 2 by 2 inch 16 gauge galvanized steel welded fencing.The vertical part of the fence is about 6 feet high, and the inward overhang is 22 inches. The bottom of the fence is staple nailed to logs which are reinforced with rocks. Generally speaking 27 inches is recommended for the overhang, but my fence is reinforced with a low powered, .07 joule, 2 mile, low impedance, pulsing type electric fence charger that powers one charged wire that runs along the perimeter about 4 feet up, and will soon power an added wire along the top that will keep raccoons out of the orchard, though just the fence and drop seem to be working. I have enclosed about 1/3 of an acre, or whatever area is contained by a meandering 500 foot perimeter fence.

One of my cats was absolutely desperate to be out in the yard, and building large catios or taking him out on a leash, did not help him. This large fenced area has totally satisfied him, and he is protected from possibly roaming too far and neighbouring cats that are territorial.

As far as I have seen, neither of them have even tried to climb this beyond 1 foot off the ground,and neither of them has ever touched the charged wire, but if they did and got a shock, I figure it is not much different than them having to learn not to eat bees. And they are both so much happier!

This video will give you an idea of what I did. It is the first time my younger cat got to be out with no leash, so he could run and climb trees wit no encumbrances. The slimmer older cat who had been so desperate to be out, had been out for a couple weeks when this was taken, as he is a lot more trustworthy

 
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Dacatchair

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(Now I have seen the fence keeps them in they are not having to wear collars and jackets with tracking devices. I used these initially but as my cats like climbing trees in the orchard I am not sure the collars are worth the risk, even though they are stretchy beastie bands and seem unlikely to be dangerous)
 

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How big of an area are we talking about? I recently "built" an enclosure for my cats, 15' x 20', and I just used dog kennel panels and plastic poultry netting for the top. And about 8000 zip ties, lol. You do need a post or something in the middle to hold the netting up though, because it sags a lot. I also put the poultry netting all around the bottom of the enclosure inside and out, part of it folded against the ground to prevent any digging out or in, and also to prevent raccoons from grabbing through the bars (this happens to rabbits, not sure if cats would stand for it but I don't want to risk it).

I don't think I'd trust a Purrfect fence to stand up to coyotes and rez dogs.

Kennel panels: https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/fencing/outdoor-dog-kennels/master-paws-reg-6-x-5-heavy-duty-kennel-black-panel/1711680/p-1444430934414-c-13935.htm

Poultry netting: https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/fencing/utility-fencing/plastic-poultry-netting/1721204/p-1444451731203-c-5768.htm

Oh and I did use one of these stands on each side to hold it a little straighter, not sure they make much difference but hey: https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/fencing/outdoor-dog-kennels/temporary-kennel-panel-stand/m-tempstand/p-1958440146157532-c-13935.htm

If you think any climbing/jumping animals in your area could get through the plastic netting, you could use welded wire fencing on the top. It costs a bit more but would definitely be more secure:
https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/fencing/utility-fencing/50-welded-wire/1712656/p-1539153028956-c-5768.htm
 
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Willowy

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Or, if you're good at that sort of thing, you could build something using 2" x 4"s and welded wire. It would probably be cheaper but I'm not sure how much cheaper.
 
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rrrager

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D Dacatchair W Willowy thanks for the alternative ideas! the land isn't cleared out yet and tbh, we haven't even settled on what size the houses that are being placed are. or even what amount of the 4 acres is being allotted to who. things are still very much in the air for the next few months as we investigate housing and discuss who's living where, esp considering how quickly we've had to start thinking about this -- within the last month n a half.

honestly the minimum size of the Purrfect Fence would be enough. what makes it appealing to me is the relative ease of its construction and the fact that some of the reviews mention the fence being deer impact proof and also able to withstand literal falling trees and heavy wet snow. i'm short and young with medically inspected but ultimately undiagnosed chronic pain up and down my arms which would make heavier, custom construction difficult for me, and i'm not on good terms with a lot of men in my family so i cant call on them for help 😥

the upside to doing a custom fence is that there's a decent market for DIY hardware and rural farming supplies where we'd be living. not sure of their pricing, but it never hurts to look when i'm up there over the winter (hopefully).

but, given that i'm paranoid about my cats, i wouldnt leave them outside while away or unsupervised, and definitely not at night when the predators do come around. the few rez dogs next door would be the only dogs to worry about and i'm not beyond using tamer methods to scare them off from our land for the long term. tbh they're not even rez dogs, bc community rez dogs can be pretty chill, these ones are just spoiled and undisciplined doberman dogs.
 

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Set 4x4 fence poles/posts in ground. 8ft tall above ground. Get roll of 2" x 4" fence wire at hardware store. Staple wire to posts.
Get lengths of 2' wide clear poly roofing panels at hardware store. Install it lengthwise around the top 2 ft of the fence.
Cheap, simple, and easier than any other method, and cat proof. (cat can't get past the poly panels at the top)
See below: In this case, panels were installed lower than the top edge. Due to concrete floor and cat being a kitten at the time. This was cheap enough to be a temporary enclosure. If I remember right, around $150
Panels were installed with screws and moved to the top edge as he got older.
 
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Willowy

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I was worried about having an open-top enclosure due to eagles, owls, raccoons, maybe coyotes, etc. I suppose the plastic panels or coyote rollers on the outside would have done it for the mammals but I'd still worry about eagles and owls for domestic cats.

If the cats will be supervised it would definitely work though.
 

Dacatchair

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I think the risks from birds of prey may depend on the location, but generally speaking, eagles rarely go after peoples cats. And in most areas, hawks are even less capable of flying off with a cat. However, wide open spaces probably have more of a risk of this than areas with a lot of trees and ground cover. And golden eagles which normally go after small mammals may be more of a risk than bald eagles., which prefer fish or carrion

Eagle Flight and Other Myths, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

I have heard a few credible stories of owls killing a small cat, but according to my vet, that would be extremely rare if the cat was over 5 lbs. And keeping cats in at night would greatly reduce the risk of them having an encounter an owl. Maybe in some areas where there is a lot of cats killed on the road, and there is also feral kittens, birds of prey might learn to enjoy eating cats, starting with road kill and young kittens and working their way up to mid sized adult cats. But one cat bite would be the end of that bird's career in cat hunting, as without antibiotics, birds that get bit by a cat, will almost always die from infection.

The racoons here just ignore cats, though in some areas maybe they have learned to go after them. However, cats can easily outrun a raccoon, so it seems they would have to be cornered to be caught. From what I have seen, raccoons generally eat things that cannot run away, like animals that are already dead, eggs, nestlings, shellfish, worms, wasp nests, chickens in small enclosed cages, fruit, and nuts. I have an orchard they love to raid, and the fence with the lip and 7 foot drop to the ground seems to have been enough to keep them out. But if they ever got in and began chasing my cats, the cats could easily get away from them or come in the house.

Probably talking to neighbours and local vets about wild life in the area, and what they have seen happen to cats is the best source of information, and would help people know if a cat proof fence would be sufficient.
 

Willowy

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The thing is, owls aren't very smart, lol (big eyes, little brains), and will sometimes attack animals too big for them (even humans, sometimes!), even if it means they get injured. They can mess you up! I know an old guy with one eye who says he lost the eye from being grabbed by an owl when he was a toddler (it was not able to fly off with him though ;)). But I'm sure it's only a small risk.

In Sioux Falls a hawk grabbed a small dog on a leash! The dog's owner was able to get it off but it scratched up her arm pretty badly, and the dog had puncture wounds. They're braver than they are smart sometimes, I think.

The bald eagles here are pretty darn lazy and much prefer roadkill over hunting. But they are capable of taking cats if they feel like it, and I've heard that some eagles who live in more populated areas seem to prefer cats.

I don't think raccoons would do anything bad to the cats, but I also don't want one coming in the cat door and rampaging through the house, lol. Plus then if I had to have someone else deal with it they'd probably consider it a rabies exposure and I can't afford quarantine for everybody :/.

I've heard coyotes can jump/climb a 6-foot fence easily, not sure how inclined they are to do so that close to a house. Maybe if desperate. I know there are coyotes around because I hear them every night, but they're under heavy hunting pressure here so they don't get too brave.

And I wanted an enclosure where the cats could go out at will and I wouldn't have to restrict access at night or other times. But, yeah, I agree that a top isn't always needed; it just depends on the circumstances.

Or I might just be paranoid 🤪. I also keep the Chihuahua in a small pen when I let him out in the yard at night, just in case.
 

Dacatchair

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I think usually when owls or hawks go after humans, dogs, or cats it is because they feel their nest or young babies are being threatened.... not that they are hunting for food. I tend to trust the Alaska Dept. of fish and game when it comes to knowing what eagles normally do, but I am open to the possibility eagles may learn new behaviors in areas with different conditions. My cats have free access to the yard all day, and it is really simple to feed them supper and shut the door, so they are in for the night. They are usually very tired and ready to conk out for a few hours, and they have 24/7 access to the enclosures with sealed tops, if they want to do some night time rodent hunting.

They are so much happier, having access to the yard, I really recommend choosing cat proof fencing if this is possible!
 
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rrrager

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thank you all for the replies and excellent wildlife advice! it's been a decade since i lived in WNY and i was a teen then, so i've been brushing up on the kinds of raptors in the area.

i've seen and heard quite a few bald eagles, golden eagles never. red tailed hawks are very common, and likely the only threat from owls is the great horned owl. we have turkey vultures which are terrifying in size (esp when perched on speed limit signs for comparison) but dont pick on domestic animals often, if at all. the land would be cleared out but it would still be surrounded on the edges by tall trees and thick vegetation so hopefully?? raptors that need a long approach would be deterred from swooping past trees and a fence??

we're also confident that we'll be living in a single, large house to start off, with the Adult Children (my sisters and i) slowly expanding on the same land over time. i might be better off building the enclosure separate from the house because we'll have at least another cat and 2 dogs as well -- one who gets too excited over cats and the other who plays well with cats that actually like her lol. but maybe the mere presence of the larger dogs would deter daytime predators?? either way, separate enclosure = place to chill outside with the cats, plus i can continue my leash training now to use in the future 👀

i love the idea of plastic panels to deter either other mammals or the cats! i think i'll implement them with whichever fence i get in the end and hope they mesh well 🤔

i'll def ask my community back home about predators tho, bc i know of at least one small dog being attacked by a few coyotes/coydogs in a poorly fenced yard. i'm waiting til a closer date to seek out a new vet but i'll be sure to ask 🙂
 
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