"caring for cats"
Those of us with free-spirited ‘outdoor’ cats are only too familiar with that awful feeling which besets us when our cat decides to venture outside our garden and refuses to come home when called for. There we are, searching the streets calling for our mischievous bundle of fur, and worrying ourselves into an early grave.
Feline Friends has tested some pet tracking/locating devices, and are reporting our opinions of these to you elsewhere on this website. However, when considering that some 300,000 cats are killed on our roads in the UK every year, we decided that the ability to locate our cats was possible of lesser importance to us than being able to confine them to our garden. We, therefore, considered methods of containment which would not smother our cats’ love of the outdoor life.
There is a massive range of both wire and wooden fencing tall enough to keep our cats in the garden, and numerous of them are ideal for this purpose. There are also many purpose-built enclosures, and fence topping devices such as ‘Katzecure’ and ‘Purrfect Fence’. However, many of us have gardens for which this type of fencing or enclosure is simply not suitable for a wide variety of reasons. We example just a few of the problems:
Therefore, for these and/or other reasons a conventional fence or enclosure might not work for you.
Designed to keep a range of four-legged pests away from your garden, different ultrasound frequencies are used with various pest repellers to deter the type of animals you wish to repel – be they small cats or dogs, or large foxes or dogs.
Feline Friends reversed the role of these repellers, and encircled a garden boundary with the repellers facing inwards, hence endeavouring to dissuade two rather free-spirited cats from leaving the garden.
The repellers can usually be battery operated or connected to a power source. In our test case, we used batteries. The results were not very promising when applied to a containment use:
The use of these particular fences can be controversial, primarily due to the fact that the collars worn (known as E-Collars) are similar to those used by people to correct bad or unsuitable behaviour in their dogs.
Feline Friends believes that this controversy is largely based upon a widespread lack of knowledge of how containment fences work, and how our pets are quickly trained to benefit from the safety which they afford. We are therefore dedicating a separate page to our investigation into these systems.
Photography: www.gbcproductions.co.ukMarch 2011
"There is no more intrepid explorer than a kitten"
Champfleury (Jules Fleury-Husson)