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Cat Containment Systems To Keep Your Furry Friend Safe

Author: Jamie Quinn
As urban living spaces become more compact, the issue of pets, particularly cats, roaming freely is leading to increasing tensions among neighbours. Unlike dogs, which have seen a shift in public attitude towards more responsible ownership, cat roaming remains less regulated.

This lack of regulation often results in conflicts where non-cat owners seek ways to deter cats from their properties, while cat owners sometimes face threats from neighbours irritated by their pets' trespassing.

Benefits of Containing Cats

timber face

Cats are natural hunters, not only when hungry but as a basic instinct. Therefore, containing cats not only protects them but also significantly reduces their impact on local wildlife. Some regions in New Zealand have already started implementing cat containment rules, a trend likely to grow as awareness of environmental impacts increases.

Keeping cats indoors or contained within your property greatly extends their lifespan. Such cats face fewer dangers, such as traffic, fights, or consuming harmful substances. Additionally, indoor cats pose less of a threat to wildlife and result in lower veterinary costs for their owners. Contained cats also offer more companionship as they spend more time interacting with their owners instead of roaming freely.

Challenges of Cat Containment

oscillot system

While safety is a significant benefit, containment can potentially lead to boredom for cats. Owners can overcome this by enriching their indoor environment with various activities that engage their cats physically and mentally. This includes playing with them, providing climbing posts, perches, tunnels, and even interactive toys like puzzle feeders.

Solutions for Cat Containment

purrfect fence

Neil Sanderson, director of Cat Fence.nz, offers two simple solutions. “We sell two systems that are installed on top of fences. The Australian-made Oscillot® system uses aluminium rollers that spin when your cat tries to climb over them so the cat cannot get traction. We also sell Purrfect Fence® from the USA, which has steel arms that extend inward from the fence top and support a barrier of low-visibility poly mesh. The arms are spring-loaded so that even if a cat tries to climb over the mesh, the arms will gently lower them towards the ground.”

Pros and cons of the Oscillot vs Purrfect Fence

“Oscillot is extremely unobtrusive and comes in a range of colours. It does require fences at least 1.8m tall (so that a cat cannot simply jump over them without contacting the roller). The fences need to be in good condition and not have too many changes in direction or height.

Purrfect Fence is more visible, but it is very versatile. The spacing of the arms is not critical, and it easily handles changes in height. It will also work with fences as low as one metre. Plus, we have a freestanding version, which is great if you don’t have a completely fenced area or you want to create a cat zone within a larger fenced yard,” Neil says.

Catio As An Alternative

Catios can also offer a fantastic alternative for cat containment, combining safety with enrichment. These enclosures can be attached to a window, door, or freestanding in a garden, allowing cats to enjoy the outdoors without the risks associated with free roaming. Catios can be custom-built to fit any space and can include various features such as climbing shelves, cosy nooks, and even real plants for a more natural environment. They provide an excellent way for cat owners to enrich their pets' lives while keeping them safe and sound.

These days, many people are creating catios, which are large cat cages, usually attached to the house at a window or door. These enclosures can be very nice, but if you have a very small yard, they can make it hard to use the yard for other purposes. In these cases, a fence-mounted system is a good option.

Photos provided by Catfence.nz

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