Cats and roads(9 Posts)
Just typed out a long post and promptly lost it so will try to keep this one shorter!
I have two cats who have started going outside in the last month. We have a fairly large back garden which backs on to extensive woodland. There is a 30mph road outside the front of our house. It's generally quiet except at 9am and 5pm ish (there is an office block close to where we live). We have a front garden so the house is set back from the road.
I thought a lot about the risks posed by the road before getting the cats. Ultimately I concluded that the road, whilst a risk, was an acceptable one as it is generally quiet and the cats have plenty of garden and woodland to explore so would hopefully not find the road very interesting anyway. Additionally, it's not easy for them to get out onto the road (no access from our back garden and they have to go through a number of neighbours' gardens to get down to it).
However, a neighbour has just called round to tell me that she saw one of the cats at the front of the houses and that she wanted to let me know "to prevent a tragedy". She explained that she had a cat (not here but when she was living somewhere else) and it was run over. It was well meant and she was being kind in letting me know but I am now seriously questioning my initial risk assessment. I didn't think the cats would never find their way to the front of the houses but had concluded that there is always some risk with roads wherever you live and this was a fairly low-risk environment. However, I'm now worried I have been too blasé about my cats' safety.
I don't think it would be fair to keep the cats in all the time. I already keep them in between dusk and dawn. The only solution I can think of is cat-proofing our garden to stop them getting out. I am not sure how effective this would be though - it's a mature garden on several levels with a number of trees. Some is fenced but the border with the woodland and one neighbour's garden is a hedge. Does anyone know if a garden of this nature can be successfully cat proofed and am I being OTT to consider it?
Thanks in advance.
It's a difficult one - roads which are often quiet but can have the odd car going like a bat out of hell. It's why my mother brought up Seniorboy as an indoor cat. (She had a very similar house.)
Keeping your cats in under curfew should help. As to cat-proofing? I'll leave others to advise on that.
I have the same situation, I couldn't keep my cat in if I tried. It's a risk I'm willing to take tbh.
Is it possible your cat may have gone out through an open front window to get to the road?
Thanks for all your responses. It is a difficult one - they love going outside but I want to keep them as safe as possible!
RubbishMantra - no, we don't open any of the windows at the front of the house and we have a strictly enforced "door protocol" to ensure that they can't sneak out the front door! I think the cat must have gone at least two gardens over to get out to the front (the house two gardens over is the first one with a side return).
Securacat/ protectapuss cat proofing sits on top of other fences I think felisafe has free standing fences.
Some of my friends have created a large aviary for the cats but I'm not keen on that
My car proofing goes through a lot of trees- it depends how near the fence they are you either want very close or very far.
Thanks Robot. Felisafe looks good in particular and based on their FAQs they can find workarounds for trees/hedges. Our trees are all pretty close to the hedges. Do you put something on them so they can't climb high in the tree? I think I'll give Felisafe a call to see what they might be able to do. It would be lovely if the cats could go out when they wanted without the worry of them getting out onto the road.
I considered an aviary-type enclosure too but I don't think the cats would think much of that now they have experienced the big wide world . It would be a shame if they couldn't go out into the woodland but the garden is hopefully big and interesting enough to keep them entertained!
The tree (if closevto the hedge) goes through the netting, otherwise something like dog vet collar can be out round the tree to stop the cat climbing up, or you can actually fully cat proof it by fixing brackets and netting to the tree itself.
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