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Need ideas to help me let my cat outside

(13 Posts)
ShinyPinkShoes Sun 01-Jun-08 19:49:13

Hi all.

I adopted my lovely cat from the RSPCA a few years ago, she was a stray and I was advised that she may have a tendency to stray again. At the time I lived in a small cul-de-sac so her getting lost was not really an issue.

However, I have recently moved to an area where there are lots of houses- all our gardens back on to one another. As a result I've been too scared to let her out and instead walk her round the garden on a lead each day.

I am feeling increasingly guilty that she isn't able to enjoy the outdoors more but at the same time would be heartbroken if she ever went missing.

Does anyone have any bright ideas as to how I could get around this?

I have considered getting some kind of enclosure made for her, or having someone in to try and cat proof the garden, but since I am in a rented property for a projected 6 months cost is also a consideration!

ShinyPinkShoes Sun 01-Jun-08 20:11:48


ilovethecake Sun 01-Jun-08 20:44:18

Hi Shiny, we have always had cats (i have 4 at the moment), mind you they were never from the RSPCA, so can't really help you out there, but when they were kittens and were allowed out for the first time, like you i was anxious, but we used to put butter on their paws so that they would sit down( rather than go mad and run off!!) and lick all the butter off. I am sure as you have spent some time with your cat outside she has become familar to your garden, the scents and smells, it is a big step to make, but like you i think cats need to be able to have fresh air and enjoy the outside!! One of our cats is a blue long haired Persian and when we bought her 3 years ago we were advised not to let her out, as some-one may take her, but as we have other cats there was no way i would let her stay indoors, lucky for us she never jumps over our fence and always stays in our garden!!
Is your new cat micro-chipped and does she wear a collar with your phone/address on?

BabiesEverywhere Sun 01-Jun-08 21:03:37

We built our own cat fence out of strong sport netting and bent iron brackets. My father made the brackets for me (he is an engineer) but I did get a couple of reasonable quotes from local iron workers.

There are a few companies out there, that do kits and/or portable versions.

ShinyPinkShoes Sun 01-Jun-08 21:04:39

Thanks for replying.

I am just TOO nervous to let her have that much freedom- there areabout 50 houses in the street so because of the layout she'd have access to 100 gardens so the potential for her to get badly lost are immense. I think blush

She is microchipped and has contact details around her neck, yes.

ShinyPinkShoes Sun 01-Jun-08 21:06:32

Thanks Babies

Did you build a separate enclosure or adapt the existing fencing to your garden?

I will literally consider anything!

BabiesEverywhere Sun 01-Jun-08 21:16:57

We put the iron upright brackets which were screwed/drilled to the cement uprights of our wooden fence and used garden wire to safely attach the netting to the brackets.

What is your garden like ? i.e. How big is it ? What type of fencing to you have and how high is it ?

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 01-Jun-08 21:44:29

No advice specifically on rescue cats however, our cats used to go off for days at a time at our old house, I was worried sometimes that they had gone for good.

When we moved a couple of years ago it seemed to shock them, that they were somewhere not so comfortable. Since we moved, they have never gone off, they are back every night. I think now they worry that we might move when they are out grin

It's hard but you might just have to take the risk, make sure she is chipped and collared and tagged. Do you know your neighbours yet?

BabiesEverywhere Sun 01-Jun-08 21:54:17

Here are a few pictures of our cat fence, taken the day we finished the fence.

Here are most of our cats

Straight bit of fence

Corner bit of fence

This is the only day the cats tried jumping up the fence, after 5 minutes they just played in the sun and sunbathed.

Only one cat ever tried to get out the front door and sadly we have not seen him since The lovely ginger on the first picture, we miss Sandy a lot and it makes me feel better that the other cats are safe inside and outside in a secure garden.

LuckySalem Sun 01-Jun-08 22:04:50

My mum and dad live next to a busy road so they have made a BIG cage for them to sit in. They have toys and somewhere to sleep they seem to like it.

Is this something you would do?

ShinyPinkShoes Sun 01-Jun-08 22:49:48

Thank you so much everybody!

Garden not big at all, one side has a 3ft wall, then some wooden trellis with massive gaps.

Back wall has 6ft fence and other side has a 5foot wall.

Babies - what you've done would certainly be an option I think who did it for you? Is there a company who does stuff like that?

Lucky - I'd certainly consider an enclosure but am clueless as to where I'd get one from!

Lazy - she is microchipped and tagged. I know a few of my neighbours but not many. There is a very aggressive cat in the neighbourhood which is another reason to want to keep her within the garden. I know I am probably being more than a bit precious about her blush but after a hell of a year this cat is all I have.

(Reading that back our names read like the alternatives to the Seven Dwarves grin )

LuckySalem Sun 01-Jun-08 22:52:45

Shiny - They made their own. See if you can just get some mesh (garden centres are the best place) and my parents used those twisty food wrapper thingies to secure it around the edges. Remember you need 4 sides and a top but not a bottom.

You'll need to get something for them to lie on in it and also something to put over the top for shade if she requires it. You'll also need to put water in it if you're thinking of doing it for a couple of hours.

Lovesdogsandcats Wed 24-Sep-08 13:13:23

I just posted this on another thread, I think it looks good and you do it yourself so cheaper too :

i would try this if I wwanted to keep cats in the garden.

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