9th January 2011, 08:39 AM
"Cat Proof" my decking
For later this year, once my three boys have been neutered (Aug/Sept), I would like to make my decking a cat run / cat proof so that they can go in and out of the house while I am at work. Advice appreciated.
The deck currently has a partially embedded staircase but I am asking the original fitters to quote to have it rebuilt so that it starts at the edge of the deck and gives a single, large flat area that could be gated / netted easily.
Because the garden itself is sloping away from the house, the level of the deck near the house means that what was the old 6' fencing is now about 4' high either side of the decking and there is a garden gate at the side with two small downward steps but no gap underneath.
Luckily, I got the company to install tall posts as part of the handrail - originally for hanging shades / curtains etc. But will now be really good for any netting etc. Just need to put something up at the side gate I think and there are mounting points all the way around. Maybe.
So, I'm thinking a little additional trellis / fence on the sides and then netting of some suitable type coming up to a height and back over to stop the little bundles of joy.
Questions for you experienced cat herders:
What type, if any, netting actually works for large areas ?
Is there anyway to solve the problem of controlled human access to the garden without moving lots of netting *and* not looking out of place ?
Ditto the side gate ?
Any comments / warnings / advice appreciated.
Oh, and I do no want to build a "cat trap" for other neighbourhood cats to be able to get into but not out of
9th January 2011, 08:51 AM
Replying to my own post, I have been googling and read this: Enclosures For Cats
Not a great story of fabric netting but further down I like the idea of wrapping deck posts with sisal rope as scratching posts... More reading required.
9th January 2011, 12:07 PM
Hi Peter, nice deck and sizeable garden you have there! Obviously it depends on your budget. We had a minimal budget so ours was a DIY job using several metres of garden netting which we bought off a big roll in Homebase. We bought 6ft metal garden poles and attached them to our perimeter wall (it's one of those 70's decorative concrete walls, so it's got plenty of gaps in it to thread the cable clips through). We cut sections of netting to size and attached it to the poles using more cable clips. We have a small L-shaped garden with several tall conifers around the edge, close to the wall, so we used these to our advantage, and attached netting to them, after trimming off a lot of branches to get access. We then cut more netting to create a canopy in the trees about 8ft high, so that the lads can still climb the trees, up to a point, but can't escape. We built a couple of tree platforms too so that they've got somewhere to climb to, and survey the scene. We have an ordinary gate for access, so we built a tall extension to the gate using some flexible tree branches, and netted that. Then we added a sign saying 'please keep the gate shut'. Luckily we can see the gate from the house so we can check that it is shut before letting the lads out. And our letterbox is on the other door around the side, so the postman doesn't have to enter the netted area.
The netting is lightweight and from a distance you can't tell it's there, so it's quite discreet. They don't try to climb it because it feels flimsy to them and they know it won't hold their weight. And they've got plenty of trees to climb anyway. We only let them outside if we are in the house or garden. We never leave the house with them outside. If we're out, they're in, that's the rule!
For absolute peace of mind you can get professional cat-proof fencing installed by Purrfect Cat
Cat Fence: Purrfect Cat Enclosures and Cat Fences
Have you considered enclosing a part of your lawned garden as well as your decking? I'm sure your new crew would love to get into the grass and earth, and maybe you could plant a few cat-friendly shrubs for them.
A netted gate would give you access to the rest of the garden. If you are worried about them nipping between your ankles to freedom, you could have 2 gates a few feet apart.... or just be vigilant and make sure you know where they all are before you open the gate.
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Peter Galbavy (10th January 2011)
10th January 2011, 04:01 PM
Wow, that’s a pretty big garden... I wish ours was like that.
If you plan to let them outside while you’re at work, I think you need something very secure and entirely covered. More like a big cage. If you leave the roofing open, you have to keep an eye on your guys in case there’s escape attempts, or other cats getting trapped inside. (Although I noticed none of the neighbourhood cats come near our garden anymore… I guess they got the message that this territory is taken.)
Your garden does have some tricky spots, like the gate at the side and the staircase. If it was my garden I wouldn’t include that section in the catproofed bit. Perhaps you can put up a fence across the deck, running from the pole next to the staircase to the corner of the house.
We used such a fence with a door in it to divide our tiny plot in two. The garden gate is behind the fence in the non-catproofed part. Hubby has started fitting supports that bend inward. There will be wire mesh panels on top of the supports. Unfortunately he stopped working on them when the weather turned bad, but now that it’s getting better I can start nagging him again to finish it.
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Peter Galbavy (10th January 2011)
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