While it’s true that indoor cats live longer, healthier lives, allowing cats outside has proven to have many physical and mental benefits for these felines. It will allow you cat to express their natural behaviours, get plenty of exercises, relieve stress for mental wellness, and get unlimited entertainment among other things. But as much as you want your kitty to roam freely in the backyard, you’ll also have to deal with unwanted behaviour like trying to jump over the fence. The good news is there are many solutions that will allow your feline friend to enjoy all the benefits of staying outdoors while keeping her safe from the dangers of outdoor life.
So, how do I keep my cat from jumping the fence? There are several humane ways of keeping your cat off the fence. The best solution will involve making some simple alterations to your existing fence like making it higher, attaching roller bars, installing anti-cat spikes, installing a cat-proof fence, and so on.
Many people say that cats will always come back even when they sneak off to the neighbours. Maybe so, but I’d much rather keep mine within my sight given all the potential risks that could prevent her from coming back. I’m sure many cat owners feel the same way; the biggest fear for any cat parent is wondering where your cat is when you can’t find her anywhere as darkness falls. Luckily, in this day and age, there’s no reason to keep your cat indoors full time as there are many ways to give your cat the best of both worlds. In this article, I will cover all you need to know about keeping your feline friends safe outdoors, so keep reading for more information!
How to Keep Cats from Climbing Over the Fence
There are many potential risks awaiting your cat if she jumps over the fence, including poisoning, car accidents, getting lost, being stolen, catfights, diseases and parasites, and so on. But if you don’t want to restrict her to staying indoor 24/7, here’s how you can let her enjoy the outdoors risk-free:
Build a higher fence
Do you already have a fence around your outdoor space and what is its current height? Cats can jump up to 5 ft and some a bit more so if your current fence is shorter than this, you may want to consider making it higher. This doesn’t guarantee that she will not be able to jump over the fence since cats have great physical abilities that make them superior climbers, but it’s a great start.
Install a metal fence
Feline attributes like flexible spines and joints, strong muscles, and the fact that cats always land on their feet gives them an impressive range of motion and excellent jumping abilities. Therefore a determined cat may still be able to climb a high fence and jump over it. A metal fence is the answer because cats can’t get a grip to climb over them. This is, however, a more costly solution.
Install anti-cat spikes
These spiky strips are placed on top of the fence to prevent cats from climbing over it. Although they are blunted so as not to cause harm, your British Shorthair won’t like the sensation under their toes when they walk on them. Ensure the fence is high enough so the cat can’t jump over it.
Attach roller bars
This is another attachment you can put on top of your fence to keep your cat from getting over it. Cats may generally have a good balance but these rollers will move whenever your cat places their paws on them. This will make them feel uneasy and out of balance, forcing them to jump back into the garden.
Install a cat-proof fence
You can buy specially designed netting or a fence extension that goes on top of the fence and leans inwards so your cat can’t get around or over the fence. These kinds of fences are effective since they can be installed on virtually any fence, including trees.
Create a dedicated cat run
Another effective solution is to build a cat enclosure or an outdoor cat run. The idea is similar to creating a cage although this is big enough to allow your cat to run around. This will keep her from jumping over the fence and also confine high in specific parts of the garden away from your beautiful plants, flowers, and fixtures.
Put a cat repellent
There are different kinds of cat repellents, ranging from motion-sensor repellents to ultrasonic ones. The former will emit an irritating but safe spray when it senses motion near it while the latter emits an annoying sound that only cats can hear. Either of the options will scare your cat from nearing the fence so she doesn’t climb over it.
Another option is to use natural deterrent to cats. Citrus scents, for instance, are offensive to a cat’s nose. You can also place a motion-activated sprinkler at the base of the fence. Cats don’t like water so getting sprinkled on every time they come close to the fence will keep them away.
Other Possible Solutions to Keep Your Cat within the Compound
There’s more than one reason your cat might want to jump over the fence. Although making simple modifications to the fence will keep her within the garden, you might want to resolve other reasons that could be pushing her to this behaviour. This includes:
Providing enough food and water; otherwise, your cat will have no choice but to jump over the fence in search of these needs.
De-sex your cat. This will provide benefits far beyond keeping your cat from climbing over the fence.
Make the outdoor space more appealing: Provide your British Shorthair with areas that they can call their own. This includes installing things like an outdoor bed, as well as providing interactive toys for fun and stimulation.
Provide a safe environment: This means keeping your cat away from children’s rough play and even dangers from other pets like dogs.
Create more bonding time: Take regular walks together around the neighbourhood or to the park so your cat can explore the outdoors while under your care. And, be sure to talk with your cat, pet her, and provide hugs. Doing all this will make your cat feel loved and secure that she won’t seek these needs elsewhere.
Unfortunately, given a cat’s curious nature, she may still find a way to jump over the fence. In that case, you must find ways to protect her like ensuring she wears a collar and tag with your contact information on it, having her microchipped, and most importantly, ensure all her vaccinations are up to date.
Why Does My Cat Jump Over The Fence?
As you can see, there are many solutions to keeping your cat from roaming the neighbourhood. Before deciding the most effective solution, you should first understand why your cat is or wants to do so in the first place.
First off, cats are naturally curious and it’s in their nature to want to roam and explore the outside world. This includes even those that are considered indoor cats like the British Shorthair. Cats also have a historic need to hunt. This is usually manifested through chasing birds or rats. Even if your British Shorthair is well-fed, she will still have the urge to express her natural behaviours by climbing the fence to continue a chase.
The other thing that influences this behaviour is the mating instinct. Cats, particularly those that are unsprayed or unneutered, usually have the urge to roam in search of a potential mate.
Oftentimes, cats are lonely or bored in the confines of a yard. If your cat is spending long periods on her own, she might go looking for companionship and affection elsewhere. This is especially true for those who are left all day when their owners have to go to work.