Cat Knows How A Cat Can
Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

Yes, indeed, warm weather will be here soon and how are you going to keep'em down on the sofa once they've seen the great outdoors? It's one of the perils of adopting a"stray" cat...they're used to being outside and they THINK they can handle it. Of course they can...but their days are numbered and full of peril. Or maybe you just have a very determind, head-strong kitty..."It's Outside or Bust, human!"

If you want to give him or her a safe taste of the outdoors, there is a solution. First and foremost, make sure your cat has an ID tag with your phone number on it and make sure she is spayed or he is neutered (of course a good catFriend has already done that!).

As for a solution, many human catFriends are having great success with fence yard systems. There are two kinds:

  • one that is physically restraining, like something called a "Purr-fect Fence," for small backyards or patios,
  • the other is electronically restraining (called a "radio fence"), like you find with "Invisible Fence" for roomier backyards, frontyards or to encompass both.

The Cat Co. is not endorsing either system but these two companies mentioned do offer good information on each type of fencing for the cat who is determined to be an escape artist or experience the great outdoors.

Let's start with the first kind of fencing. A physcial containment fence system is a strong, flexible poly-mesh fencing or cat-proof netting that creates a smaller-sized backyard enclosure for kitty to experience the great outdoors. Since the fencing is attached to an arched support that turns it downward at a 90 degree angle, should a kitty reach the top, he or she is forced to loop-de-loop back toward the ground and back to the ³right² side of the tracks. This system is just about 100% guaranteed to keep the cat contained, and also keeps other potentially threatening animals out.

The second kind of fencing is an invisible radio fence; this fence combines technology, professional installation and personalized training (for you AND the cat) to keep a pet contained within a specific outdoor area. The cat wears a radio operated collar that alerts them with a warning tone when he or she is approaching the edge of the containment area. If they don't heed this warning, they get a little shock from their collar, not enough to harm or hurt, but enough to dissuade them from proceeding. Many cats never test the fence again; they back up the second they hear the warning tone.

An invisible fence boundary can be practically anywhere; the wire (that signals the collar) goes underground, underwater or under rock. This kind of fencing, however, will not keep out other potentially threatening animals.

Cost estimates for each kind of fencing are at no cost and no obligation, so check different fence options out and see which one's right for you and your cat. You can also put "Pet Fence Systems" into a search engine and see all the information that pops up. Whatever works for a dog, by the way, will usually work for a cat so don't be deterred if the emphasis is on "dog containment."

Once you've installed something, there's still three more precautions to ensure a safe outdoor adventure for kitty:

  • An up-to-date vaccination record is important for indoor cats, but it is absolutely CRUCIAL to the health of cats who are allowed outside.
  • Will you be letting your cat out in warmer or hot weather? Make sure kitty always has access to fresh water and a shaded area.
  • And finally, the ASPCA recommends that you supervise your pet AT ALL TIMES, whether kitty is in a physically or electronically enclosed area.

    Why not make going outside a very special treat and limit it to a few hours a day...and enjoy!

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THE CAT CO.® 2005