Cat-proofing the garden - this is how it's done
Cat-proofing the garden - this is how it's done
Ein gemütliches Plätzchen in der Sonne, sandige Beete zum Wälzen sowie Sträucher zum Verstecken, auf der Lauer liegen und Anpirschen: Ein Garten ist ein kleines Paradies für Samtpfoten. Wer seiner Wohnungskatze hin und wieder Freigang im eigenen Garten ermöglichen möchte oder eine Freigänger-Katze hält, die gern im Garten ist, sollte seinen Garten katzensicher anlegen. Wir zeigen dir, worauf man achten muss.
First of all, it must be determined whether your garden really needs to be escape-proof, i.e. whether your cat is not allowed to leave it. If this is the case, the property must be fenced in such a way that it is escape-proof. A fence height of about 1.8 metres is recommended. In order to decide which fence is the right one, you should first think about it and gather information:
- Is the transformation of your garden subject to certain regulations (for example, do you need planning permission for a high fence)?
- Does the fence interfere with my neighbours' needs (for example, visibility)?
- Is this solution really the best compromise that both my cat and I can live with?
With these considerations and information, you can roughly determine which garden fence is the best solution for you. We present you with a few options:
- Completely fencing in your property or garden: If you have decided to completely fence in your garden, then your budget is certainly an important factor in your decision. A completely enclosed property with a durable, high-quality fence can quickly cost several thousand euros. A cheaper solution is, for example, an "over-climbing protection", for which, however, a garden fence must already be in place.
- Build a "cat enclosure": If you only want to turn part of your garden into a cat's territory, you can build a cat enclosure. You can buy such enclosures or build them yourself with a little craftsmanship. This way you can create your own area where your darling can romp, play and snooze to his heart's content.
- Over-climbing protection: An over-climbing protection usually consists of metal poles bent upwards to which a net is attached. The poles are attached to the existing garden fence, palisades, gabions or posts with the bend facing inwards. This effectively prevents the cat from climbing up the fence and leaving the property.
- Cat repellent belts: These metal belts, which can be attached to trees, for example, are - despite their special-sounding name - not dangerous for your velvet paw and prevent it from climbing up the tree and leaving your garden from there. Always make sure that they are placed high enough and that the metal ends are fitted with protective caps so that they do not pose a risk of injury.
- Metal fences: Fence elements angled upwards and made of weather-resistant metal are very robust and durable. However, they are also one of the most expensive solutions for your cat-proof garden.
- Wire mesh fence: Conventional wire mesh fence is also suitable as a fence for a cat garden. However, it must be high enough and should be secured at the top so that the cat cannot climb over it.
- Cat nets: If the cat nets are very strong or are only used as a superstructure for an existing fence, this solution can be a good alternative to expensive cat fences. It is important that the meshes are the right size.
- Plexiglass: Robust plexiglass can also serve as an aesthetic and effective cat fence or complement an existing garden fence. However, this solution is comparatively expensive.
Cat-proof garden without a fence: To make your garden cat-proof without a fence, you can also rely on high, dense planting. However, you should bear in mind that hedges, trees and other plants need some time to grow and sometimes do not become so dense that there are no loopholes left. The most important thing is to plan carefully: check beforehand whether rain pipes, the roof of the garden shed or the tool shed could be a loophole for your cat and come up with an effective solution so that your pet's run doesn't end in a nasty surprise. And let yourself be reassured: No master has ever fallen from the sky! If your kitty does find a loophole, then improve the cat fence. For this reason, you should be especially attentive during the first walks in the garden and accompany your cat. However, you should plan for regular checks on a permanent basis.
Our tip: You can integrate your garden fence into the garden in a particularly attractive way and make it appealing to your neighbours if you plant it with climbing plants or provide greenery in front of it.
3 tips for a cat-safe garden
If the garden is only a possibility for your outdoor cat to spend time outside, a fence is not necessary. However, as a cat owner you should be aware of possible risks in the garden and eliminate sources of danger as best as possible.
1. secure pond, pool and rain barrel: A pond, pool, rain barrel or other water points - you should not underestimate the danger they pose. On the smooth inner walls of a rain barrel, your curious cat will not find a foothold to climb out if it should plop in. Therefore, make sure the water surface is covered where possible or, in the case of ponds and pools, use a board that leads from the water back over the edge of the pool or shore to the outside in an emergency. Fencing off sources of danger of this kind is also an option.
2. refrain from using poisonous plants: If a cat moves in and is also allowed to roam around in the garden, the garden planting must be adapted. Many plants are poisonous to cats and can cause symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting, nausea or drowsiness. Therefore, inform yourself thoroughly about which garden plants are poisonous for cats. These include for example:
- Angel trumpet
3. do not use chemicals in the garden: Insecticides or aggressive weed killers have no place in a cat garden. Check all products you plan to use in your garden to see if they can be dangerous to your cat.
Keeping the cat busy in the garden
Especially if you can't allow your cat unlimited outdoor access, it makes sense to enrich your cat garden with some "attractions". How about a climbing course or a small, shallow watering hole? Take time for your darling and use cat toys to satisfy the hunting instinct and play instinct of your four-legged friend under the free sun.
Set up resting places
As much as cats love to play, retreats in the garden are also indispensable. Cats especially like to settle down in raised places - perhaps a shady platform can be attached to a tree in the garden? A cat cave in a place protected from the weather is also a good place to sleep, snooze and rest. Make sure your cat has access to both sunny and shady spots. If your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, you can also set up a feeding area outside with some cat bowls for drinking water and meals.
Create a cat garden: this is how your velvet paw feels at home
For a carefree coexistence of your cat with other garden inhabitants, you should always keep a watchful eye. Between April and May, for example, many native bird species breed, sometimes on the ground. During this time, you should accompany your cat into the garden and take care that other animals are not harmed. Especially during this time, it is worth giving your cat an extra hour of playtime together: This keeps your cat occupied and makes it less inclined to go on intensive forays into the garden.
In addition to the animals, you should also keep the needs of your neighbours in mind: Check your cat fence regularly and talk to your neighbours about your plans to avoid trouble.
We are curious: How have you cat-proofed your garden? What highlights do your pets appreciate in their territory? Tell us about them in the comments.