Kitty Colditz

When Rufus developed hyperthyroid cat-proofing my back garden became vital. I had almost never seen him use a litter tray, and suddenly stopping him going out after almost 15 years of free access would have been cruel.

Overhang on fence - neigbour's garage

Overhang on fence – neigbour’s garage

I started with a promising back garden – the house along most of one long side, a tall brick wall opposite, the neighbours garage along one of the short sides and a brick wall along most of the other short side. Using information from iCatCare (formerly the FAB) I had done quite a lot of work, but hadn’t realised how easily the cats could escape via the wood garage until I saw Rufus giving a demonstration!

Overhanges on the side gate and garage.  Max enjoying the sun!

Overhanges on the side gate and garage. Max enjoying the sun!

What was missing was overhangs on the side gate, garage and shed, plus repairing existing overhangs that were damaged by the weight of snow in the winter of 2010/2011.  I got some more information from someone at a cat show, which is that the overhangs should feel insecure to the cat.

Staples along the bottom of the mesh

Staples along the bottom of the mesh

So, I got some cheap shelving brackets, green plastic garden mesh, green plastic-covered garden wire and a staple gun.  I put the brackets along the structures that they could escape up, and stapled the plastic mesh along the bottom of the brackets.  I accidentally stapled my palm at one point as well – not as painful as I’d imagined!  I also had to get a better staple gun!

Mesh 'roof' between garage (left) and shed (right)

Mesh ‘roof’ between garage (left) and shed (right)

Then I loosely fastened the outboard end of the mesh to the ends of the brackets.  The garage and shed are both wood, and are close to each other, so I simply made a ‘roof’ with the mesh between them.

Blocking off behind the shed

Blocking off behind the shed

The other weakness was behind the shed.  I dragged out the rubbish, and used strips of metal as extensions so I could use more of the plastic mesh to stop them going behind it – the garage had been done previously.  Finally I ‘knitted’ bits of mesh together with the wire until I was happy no weak points were left.

It was nerve-wracking testing it.  As Rufus was not as agile as Minnie and also no longer as strong I started by letting him out when I was in the garden.  He looked longingly through the side gate, and along the side of the garage.  He had a trial climb, but he didn’t get out.

The next step was letting Max in the garden, again while I was there, and he didn’t get out either!  The final step was letting Minnie in.  She had a trial climb or two, but she also couldn’t get out.

Result!  Now I can have back windows and/or the back door open when it’s hot, and Max and Minnie have free access via the cat flap.

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  1. […] The FAB (as was) has lots of info: fencing in the garden And you can see how I did mine: Kitty Colditz | Shunra Oriental & Siamese Cats __________________ […]

  2. […] that really wanted to escape and he had a filthy look on his face! Lots of photos on my website: Kitty Colditz | Shunra Oriental & Siamese Cats __________________ […]