As a pet parent, you want the best for your furry feline. You probably think you’re giving your cat the most enjoyable life by keeping it indoors 24/7. However, allowing your cat to go outside regularly has several advantages, including exercise, mental stimulation and stress relief. It even helps reduce behavioral problems.
If you want to give your cat a safe, outdoor experience all felines naturally yearn for, consider installing a fence. A protective barrier like a fence allows your cat to explore nature while keeping them in a designated location, secure from traffic and predators. Because your furry feline isn’t used to going outside, you may need to condition your cat so they understand that the fence is a barrier they want to stay inside, rather than try to escape. Here are some ways to train your cat to get comfortable inside a fence.
Introduce Your Cat to the Fenced-In Area
You should familiarize your pet with the fenced-in area, especially if your cat has never been outside. If your furry feline is nervous, you may want to use a leash to keep your cat close to you. Your pet will feel more at ease with you by their side. Allow your cat to lead the way and let them go as slow as necessary.
Because the surroundings are new, you should take your cat inside after about 10 minutes, so they don’t get too overwhelmed. As your furry feline gets used to the outdoor environment, you can extend this timeframe and let them explore leash-free.
From rustling leaves to elusive chipmunks, nature has a lot to offer your pet, keeping them mesmerized for hours. For an indoor cat that has only had the opportunity to gaze out a window, everything will be new and exciting, and no day will be the same as the last. To enhance this outdoor experience, consider adding some man-made entertainment.
Since cats love to hunt, you should try hiding some fuzzy mice in the fenced-in cat oasis. These toys will meet your cat’s innate need to stalk their prey. Fake mice are a perfect addition because most cats aren’t even hungry when they hunt; they simply enjoy the thrill of the chase.
Additionally, cats naturally have the urge to sharpen their claws. So if your yard doesn’t have a tree your cat can use, consider purchasing a scratching post. If you want to expand on this idea, you can utilize a cat tree that includes steps, ledges and platforms in addition to a scratching post. With this setup, your cat can sit up higher, allowing them to get a good view of the yard and the critters scurrying about.
Teach Your Cat To Stay in the Designated Area
Cats think they should be able to go where they want, when they want, which can be a problem if you have a barrier in place. Teaching your cat what they can and can’t do can be challenging, but there are ways to keep your feisty feline in check if they try to break free.
Opt for a Metal Fence
Because cats can easily grip and climb wood, a wooden fence may not be the best outdoor cat enclosure option. Instead, try installing a metal fence, as most cats have difficulty climbing over the top.
Try attaching a mesh netting extension to the top of the fence and use the netting to create a lip on your side of the barrier. This add-on can make it nearly impossible for your furry feline to escape the perimeter.
Add Cat Spikes
Cat spikes are another practical option that can be placed on top of a fence. The term “spikes” has a negative connotation, which makes you think they’re harmful, but they are not. Cat spikes are generally made from plastic or rubber and create an uncomfortable barrier for cats to walk or lay on, making them effective.
Install Roller Bars
If you don’t like the idea of using spikes, roller bars are a great alternative. As soon as your cat reaches the roller bar at the top of the fence, the bar starts spinning, which hopefully prompts your furry feline to safely make their way back down to the ground.
Keep Your Cat Safe
While there are many things you can do to keep your cat inside the fenced-in area, it never hurts to add a few extra safety precautions, especially if your cat is a bit of an escape artist. Here are some other ways to be a proactive pet parent while your cat is outside.
- Keep your pet updated on their vaccinations.
- Put a collar on your cat with a tag that contains identifying information.
- Check on your furry feline often when it’s outside.
- Provide food and water.
- Make sure you don’t have toxic plants in your yard.
A feline is more than just a pet. A cat is a pet parent’s best friend, and, in return, they deserve the best life. Part of giving your cat a meaningful life is allowing them to enjoy the outdoors safely. As long as you’re willing to take the time to cat-proof a designated area and teach your furry feline the ropes that go along with proper outdoor etiquette and safety, your pet will be able to live a near-perfect life.