Cat Containment Solutions
A safe cat is the best cat. Keeping your cat at home will ensure that it is safe from car accidents, dog attacks and cat fights. But keeping a cat at home doesn't mean your cat can't enjoy the benefits of being outdoors.
If you want your cat to enjoy the great outdoors without them or local wildlife being put in danger, there are several great options.
Leash and harness training
Cat behaviour experts agree, cats can be trained to walk on a leash and harness!
Keep in mind that not all cats want to go outdoors, some cats are easily stressed and the outside environment can expose them to many unknown smells and sounds. These cats are quite content inside and would do better with a safe cat enclosure. However, cats that show a keen interest in the outdoors are great candidates for walking on a leash.
Training a cat to walk on a leash and harness will take time and patience and you will need to let your cat set the pace. It is easiest to train a kitten from a young age, but you can definitely teach an old cat new tricks. Multiple short training sessions with regular breaks in between will keep the training fun, not frustrating, for your cat. The more you practice, the quicker you will be able to enjoy the outdoors together with your cat.
Once your cat is trained to walk on a leash it is a good idea to explore quiet areas, close to home. Avoid busy roads and areas that dog-walkers frequently visit. And don’t worry about your neighbours, they will get used to the sight and will most likely applaud your initiative.
Check out our guide for more information on how to train your cat to walk on a leash and harness.
Install cat proof fencing around your yard
If you want your entire yard to be available to your cat, fencing is a good option. No ordinary fence will do, of course – since cats are such great climbers, special provisions must be made! Cat fencing serves to keep cats out as well as in, so if you’re concerned about keeping your cat in, as well as keeping a neighbouring or stray cat out, cat fencing may be a good solution for you.
This is an ideal option for people with small yards.
There are a number of ready-to-install cat fencing options on the market or if you're DIY savvy, try building your own.
Install a cat enclosure on your patio or in your garden
Cat enclosures extend your cat’s access from indoors to outdoors for some sunshine and fresh air.
Enclosures come in many shapes and sizes - from simple cat netting around your patio to a free-standing enclosure in your garden. We don’t recommend any particular style or brand, but we want to provide you with several examples so you can decide what works best for you.
There are cat-only enclosures that can be small and fit into an otherwise unused space, or you can build a space both you and your cat can use by enclosing an existing patio or veranda. There are several accessories available to enhance cat enclosures such as ramps, shelves, hammocks and scratching posts. The price of enclosures will depend on their size, whether you buy a pre-made kit or build your own, and what materials you use. Costs can be kept to a minimum by using second-hand building materials.
For instructions on how to build a basic cat enclosure that you can adjust to your requirements, download a copy of TassieCat's Build Your Own Cat Enclosure - a step-by-step guide, or click here to access alternative enclosure designs by the Victorian Government.
Looking for more information?
Cat netting and enclosure products:
www.catnets.com.au - suppliers of netting and cat enclosure products
www.backyardcatenclosures.com.au - cat enclosure products and accessories
www.catnip.com.au - cat enclosure products and accessories
www.catmax.com.au - cat enclosure products
www.catsafe.com.au - cat enclosure products and accessories
www.facebook.com/catswithacurfew/ - cat enclosure products and accessories
Ideas for different styles of cat enclosures:
Thanks to Kingborough Council and the Victorian Government for their great information on outdoor cat containment.