The cat proof fence would be the main focus in a perfect world. There are other factors to consider than the cat proof fence.. Cat-proofing can be a dynamic science. To do it properly and thoroughly, you must think like a cat. You should consider what items can be used to escape from your yard and work to reduce their use.
There are many ways for cats to escape. This includes the layout of your yard, proximity to your home, garage, or other buildings, as well as items nearby such as AC units, benches, and trees. We could list endless things that we have seen over the past 20-years, but we will now focus on the most important things to watch out for.
Cats can climb trees, which is why tree climbing is a common problem. Utility poles, although less common than trees (at least within fenced yards) are still something cats can climb. There are many tree types and cat-proofing options available depending on their proximity to a fence or other building. It is important to think like a cat trying to escape from your trees.
You want to know if your cat can climb onto a tree and then jump on or drop to a fence topper, roof, or other structure that would allow them to move towards an exit that is not cat-proofed. Trees that are not within a certain distance of a fence or building, or branches that reach beyond the fence or buildings, should not be considered threatening. It is worth checking out all other trees.
Decks, Porches, and Steps
Anything that can encourage a cat to jump higher (think roofs, fence toppers) can help him escape. When evaluating backyard structures, it is important to think like a cat. You never know where a cat might go if they manage to climb onto a structure in your yard. Cats can leap up to 5ft, some a little higher. They can also climb onto things that they can hook their claws into, dig into or paw around. Every structure in your backyard should be evaluated thoroughly.
Utilities (AC Units, Utility Meters, and Utility Access Covers)
These items are essential to your house’s functions/systems and were placed where they were intended to be used without any consideration for a future cat enclosure. AC units are large and obvious. Cats can leap onto AC units if they can overcome the fact that they make noise when they operate. These things could include the top of a cat proof fences topper, nearby shed roofs, or low house roofs. A utility box, gas meter, and other small items can be hidden from view, but they are still very visible. Mounted to your house, a utility box or gas meter can be something that a cat can jump to. This can lead to an escape plan.
Window Screens & Sills
Cats can jump on window sills. Cats can jump on window sills that are near objects. This type of window will most likely need to be fixed. Cats can also climb on screens. Even though there is no space for cats to jump from (window sill), screens on windows may have a screen that they can climb and jump to. They could also use the screen to reach the top of your fence topper or something else. A screen problem is when fences are placed against a screened-in room. Cats can climb screens, so this is not a good situation. There may be alternatives if a screen room is all that is needed.
Climbing to the Exterior of Buildings
A cat can even climb some buildings. Wood siding such as log homes and cedar can be climbed by a determined cat. Even light cats can climb brick and stucco with great skill. Your cats and the exterior surface of the building may require more work to ensure your cats don’t escape.