Safe Outdoor Environments for Cats
Hey, Fence Me In!
Since outdoor enclosures can be homemade or commercially
constructed, they come in all shapes and sizes. For durability, chain link,
chicken wire or wire mesh hardware cloth-secured around a simple wood frame-is
preferable to ordinary window screening. Roofing is a necessity since cats are
exceptional climbers. The most successful structures include furniture
for resting and climbing inside. A shaded area complete with a water bowl is
required for warm or hot weather usage.
Whether you choose an outdoor enclosure or add cat-proof
netting to the top of traditional fencing, remember that they are best used
only when you are at home and outdoors with your cats or able to check on them
often. Pet theft only takes a few moments, whether perpetrated by pesky
neighborhood kids or an organized group rounding up animals to sell to research
facilities. Don't forget, a microchip, tattoo or ID tag is the very thing to
reunite you and your family feline if all precautions fail.
Jacque Lynn Schultz, CPDT
ASPCA Companion Animal Programs Advisor
National Shelter Outreach