In a perfect world, the cat proof fence would be the focal point. Other than the cat-proof fence, there are many other factors you should consider. Cat proof fencing is a dynamic science. You must think like a cat to do it correctly and effectively. Consider what items could be used to escape from your yard, and then work to reduce their use.
There are many ways cats can escape. It includes your yard’s layout, the proximity to your house, garage, or any other building, as well as nearby items such as AC units and benches.
Tree climbing is a problem because cats can climb trees. Even though utility poles are not as common as trees (at least in fenced yards), they are still something cats could climb. There are many options for cat-proofing and tree types depending on the distance to fences or other buildings. You need to think like a cat trying to escape from your trees.
It is important to determine if your cat can climb on a tree, then drop onto or jump onto a fence topper or roof. Trees and branches that extend beyond the boundaries of buildings or fences should not be considered dangerous. It is worthwhile to check out all the other trees.
Steps, Decks, and Porches
Anything that encourages cats to jump higher (roofs or fence toppers), can help them escape. You should think like a cat when you are evaluating backyard structures. It is impossible to predict where your cat will go if they climb on a structure in your backyard. Some cats can leap as high as 5ft. They will also be able to climb onto objects that they can use their claws to dig into, paw on, or hook their claws into. Each structure in your backyard needs to be assessed thoroughly.
Utilities (AC Units, Utility Meters, and Utility Access Covers)
These items are vital to the house’s functions/systems. They were placed exactly where they were meant to be used, without regard for future cat enclosures. AC units are large and obvious. Cats can jump onto them if they can get past the fact that they emit noises when they turn on. This could include the top of cat-proof fences, shed roofs, or low houses roofs. Although small items like a gas meter or utility box can be hidden, they are still easily visible. A utility box or gas meter, mounted to your home, can be something a cat could jump to. This can be used as an escape plan.
Window Screens & Sills
Cats can jump on window sills. Cats will jump on sills that are close to objects. This type of window may need to be repaired. Cats can also climb onto screens. There may be a screen on a window that cats can climb to and jump to even though there’s no place for them to jump (window sill). They may also be able to climb the fence topper or another object through the screen. If fences are placed against a screened room, it is called a screen problem. Cats can climb screens so this is not a good idea. If you have a small screen room, there are alternatives.
Climbing up to the Exterior of Buildings
Some buildings can be climbed by a cat. A determined cat can climb wood siding like cedar and log homes. Brick and stucco can be climbed by even the smallest cats. Your cats and the exterior surface of the building may require more work to ensure your cats don’t escape.