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outdoor security enclosure

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am furious with myself for not doing this earlier. Now I have lost another little friend and can’t stand to lose one more.

I am very interested in cat fencing. I don’t care for the shorter, weaker units, but this company makes a tall fencing product that not only should keep my cats out of the woods, but would be a big deterrent to any animal trying to get in.

http://www.purrfectfence.com/photo_gallery.asp

I was curious if anybody had any experience with this product.

I realize that there are a few of you that don’t feel this is 100% adequate for the cat’s safety, but it sure seems like a great compromise to me. They still get to enjoy the (back) yard, but they can’t go near the woods where we have had predator problems. I don’t really care if the neighbor cats find their way over the top…they were all interacting before anyway and I can just let them back out the gate. Our cats still won’t be allowed to go outside unless one of us is home, so there is still supervision in case there is a tussle. We also try to get them in every night except Panda loves to stay out late in the summer weather. I usually gotta go find her in one of her regular hang-outs. With this system, I already know where she will be so I can bring her in at dusk.

I can see that a coyote could still get over top if he was desperate, but it would be the most difficult target in the area. Few in my neighborhood have fences this tall, yet there seem to be a lot of cats around. I am more concerned about the raccoons and opossums. They will still climb in easy to get to our fig tree, but might have difficulty getting out. No biggie…I could just leave the inside gate open for them to escape during the day when there are no cats out back. I’m more concerned about them damaging the fence than attacking the cats.

Obviously, something could dig under, but I think if I stay vigilant and inspect the perimeter quite often, I can make repairs whenever necessary.

I really would prefer to avoid having to assemble a large cage in the backyard, but if I have to, I will.
post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 
I went ahead and ordered two units of the Purrrfect fence. I will have the backyard secured before spring is official. It will take a lot of work and I'll have to clear some debris away from the existing cyclone fencing, but I am motivated.

I will ask my wife to take some pictues of the process and I will give a review of the finished product perhaps with some occasional updates. I guess I can post some links to Photobucket or from my Comcast Photoshowâ„¢.
post #3 of 25
Especially if you are letting your cats out in the enclosure/fenced area under supervision, I think that looks like a great solution. I didn't look real closely, but my main concern with raccoons and possums would be chewing through the fencing itself. Please, let us know how this works for you!

I'll move this to Care & Grooming, since this isn't so much about cat behavior.
post #4 of 25
I'm not familiar with that type of fencing, but I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I have an outdoor enclosure for my crew. It's not nearly as large as those, our enclosure is about 8ft x 7ft. I had a simple little cage in mind, but my husband insisted that we use lots of wood & build it strong. He made it so strong, that think that we can actually house a tiger in there! For access, we mounted a doggie door on a piece of plexiglass. During the day, I open the my window & pop in the doggie door & at night I take it out & lock my window.

He's a link to my album, if you want to check it out... our cat enclosure.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnes
I'm not familiar with that type of fencing, but I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I have an outdoor enclosure for my crew. It's not nearly as large as those, our enclosure is about 8ft x 7ft. I had a simple little cage in mind, but my husband insisted that we use lots of wood & build it strong. He made it so strong, that think that we can actually house a tiger in there! For access, we mounted a doggie door on a piece of plexiglass. During the day, I open the my window & pop in the doggie door & at night I take it out & lock my window.

He's a link to my album, if you want to check it out... our cat enclosure.
Dont really have anything to add about the actual topic, but your enclosure is sweet! One question, why is there one kitty that's allowed outside of it? hahaha, all the others are looking at him like "hey! no fair!"
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
Dont really have anything to add about the actual topic, but your enclosure is sweet! One question, why is there one kitty that's allowed outside of it? hahaha, all the others are looking at him like "hey! no fair!"
Thanks! Well, that's Peanut & she has special privileges. She was my 1st cat, also the alpha of the family & was an indoor/outdoor kitty when I got her. I've tried keeping her indoors only, but she won't have it. She never really accepted the other cats & just keeps her distance from them. When she wants to go outside, she gets aggravated & turns into an evil witch (feel free to interchange the "w" with a "b") & and will attack everything in site... the other cats & me included!
So... when Peanut wants to go out... we let her out. Thankfully, she stays in the back yard & doesn't go near the street & she sleeps inside every night... in my bed on my legs. My other 5 are indoor only.
post #7 of 25
I'm so sorry you've lost a kitty. I definitely have been there. The last one of ours got let out in the night by the dog! Around here, they don't even last one night with the coyotes. Anyway, we have a privacy fence (6') that we have had a system put on - I think it's called the Cat Fence. The man who installed it also came back many times to fine tune it. (AND he made a donation from our payment to the local no kill shelter.) At the base of the fence, he put the chicken wire stuff into the ground so they couldn't get under.

Let us know how it goes - because a 6' privacy fence is really expensive, and a prerequisite for the type of cat fence we have, so it would be nice to be able to recommend something not so prohibitive.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I was reading about another enclosure and I thought it was from the ‘behavior’ forum so I started this thread there as well. I’ll learn my way around soon enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
... my main concern with raccoons and possums would be chewing through the fencing itself.
Mine as well. Actually, I don’t see this fence stopping them from climbing INTO the enclosure, but they would have trouble leaving. With my cats inside at night, I think I’ll leave the gate open so they can get out. There’s another gate big enough to keep a big dog out still, but not the raccoons and possums. They love figs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnes
He's a link to my album, if you want to check it out... our cat enclosure.
That’s great! I wanted something a bit larger without having to build a zoo habitat display lol. Your kitties are all gorgeous and healthy!

Panda is our oldest (8) and she will have special privileges too. She has never shown an interest in those woods. Prolly how she got to be 8!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta
...they don't even last one night with the coyotes....(snip)....

Let us know how it goes - because a 6' privacy fence is really expensive...
That sounds like a dangerous neighborhood, but I imagine you are in a more rural setting. No one around here would guess that there is a coyote problem; we’re 15 minutes from downtown Portland in a heavy residential area. But there is a large swath of woods that runs around a butte and down the hill. I like the woods; I just wish there weren’t any coyotes there. They are not really indigenous to this area. They’ve multiplied more as the wolves have been pushed out from the rural perimeter.

It will be expensive. But if I can spend 2k on a guitar, I can spend it on my cats. Just put it on the mortgage loan.

My wife and I discussed getting a new kitten today from a shelter. Gibson is only 2 years old and needs a playmate and Panda won’t have anything to do with him. Gibson and Linus wrestled for long periods of time. I have some video of them playing together, it’s so much fun and I hope the new kitty will play with him the same.
post #9 of 25
I have looked at this fencing system and plan on trying it alsowhen I can afford it. let us know how it works for you.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnes
I'm not familiar with that type of fencing, but I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I have an outdoor enclosure for my crew. It's not nearly as large as those, our enclosure is about 8ft x 7ft. I had a simple little cage in mind, but my husband insisted that we use lots of wood & build it strong. He made it so strong, that think that we can actually house a tiger in there! For access, we mounted a doggie door on a piece of plexiglass. During the day, I open the my window & pop in the doggie door & at night I take it out & lock my window.

He's a link to my album, if you want to check it out... our cat enclosure.
I love your enclosure!!!!! That is exactly what I want to do for mine!!!
I also love the wood. What did you use for wood and screen?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by snosrap5
I love your enclosure!!!!! That is exactly what I want to do for mine!!!
I also love the wood. What did you use for wood and screen?
Thanks! We used regular 2x4 studs (not treated) & redwood planks for the shelves. It's pretty much protected from the elements since it under a covered patio, but I did go ahead & seal the lumber with a deck type stain/sealer. The wire is a rubber-coated small livestock type wire that we got a Lowe's. I think it came in rolls of 50 ft long x 4 ft high.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
it took a lot longer to acquire the materials than was advertised, but we're in business. I claimed that we'd be done before spring but we just got started. Both the weather and some less-than-purrfect communication by the folks at the cat fence company sidetracked this project for a month.

I ordered the fencing materials from their web-site and the charges went through immediately. The site claimed that the materials would be delivered in 7–10 days. After a week, I got to thinking that I should have made the order over the phone. After all, it’s not like we were just ordering a CD from Amazon, it’s nearly 2K worth of stuff.

That was my mistake, but when I called, they were completely unaware of the order. Apparently no one was minding the web-site. The charges go through an automated system but it would appear they could be more vigilant about customer service.

Come to find out, they are behind in production and it will be a couple more weeks before delivery. Also they are on the east coast (Pennsylvania), and we are in Portland, Oregon. Since my wife and I go to work relatively early, we have to make the calls at 5am (8am east) and we can’t be here for any return calls.

They kept saying that they would leave a message with information and tracking numbers, but it took a few tries before we received a message telling us that we would be receiving our purchase soon. Still, no tracking number.

I was enjoying my day off a couple weeks ago when the UPS truck pulled up, out of the blue, and the guy started unloading these huge bulky packages. It was obvious what it was so I went out and helped the guy (ok…I just directed him where to put the stuff…lol…).

After inventorying the lot, I realized that we were still missing the gates. The next morning (at 5am), I called and the nice lady explained that the gates were on back-order and would be sent asap. On Monday afternoon, there was a message that we should expect a shipment this week. Still…no tracking number.

Thursday, I came home from work to find…………….wait for it…………….

…not the gates, but another complete delivery of fencing material. The same order of two fencing kits that we had already received the previous week.

We double checked, and we were NOT charged for the second order. Naturally, we called them the next morning and fessed up. In my youth I may have had delusions of dishonesty, but thankfully, maturity brings responsibility for most of us.

I asked them to make arrangements have this stuff picked up. It’s like, 300lbs of posts, rolled plastic and wire, and assorted accessories. We have since received the gates (again, no official communication with a tracking number), yet still no word about the other order.

Honestly, I don’t want it. I put two 70lb boxes in my garage, but the big tubes that the posts come in, and the rolled fencing, are still leaning on front porch. I’m not really concerned about it getting swiped…it’s too heavy (and tough to sell for drugs lol…). And I don’t care about it being left in the rain; it’s a fence for cryin’ out loud. It’s just in the way and the materials I ordered turned out to be precisely the correct amount for our backyard project. I’ll bet I’m gonna have to pay to have this stuff sent back, and then haggle with these guys to reimburse us, we’ll see…
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
enough negatives. The installation DVD is pretty good. It’s an hour long and not only explains how to assemble the fence (A LOT of assembly required), but tackles many of the on-site challenges you’re likely to encounter.

The initial sales pitch for this product is outstanding and would really strike a chord with members of this forum. If you’re an owner of an indoor/outdoor cat, you probably spend a lot of time wondering where your pet is, and are they ok. At least I hope you do because you should. I have stayed up all night waiting for one of my cats to return like a missing teenager and I have had the heartbreak of them disappearing. With this fence, they can play outside on a quarter-of-an acre, and I’ll always know right where they are.

If this product works as advertised (and I install it properly), I’ll never have to worry about anything except whether Gibson is taunting Panda. And since we adopted Kyra (what a sweety!) she has had to stay indoors and now she will be able to venture outside too. I’m sure she used to be an outdoor kitty because she keeps trying to slip out. Vigilance!


I will try to post links to some photos as we progress. Cynthia took some “before†photos of the back yard. We have had to clear a significant amount of brush and debris away from the entire perimeter of the yard and it will take several hours with a chipper-shredder to get rid of it all. I had to dig out a couple mid-sized stumps too…busted one of my shovels, dang-it.

I have set almost all of the posts in place, only the gate posts are left but they will require precise measurements and probably some trial and error. Like I said, I’ll try and take some pictures before I continue so you can see the project progress and I’ll post links to them here in chronological order. Except for the order screw-ups; so-far-so-good. Wish us luck!
post #14 of 25
I know there are totally enclosed (top too) fencing for dogs. Wouldn't that work for the cat?
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Sure. Folks have posted photos of their enclosures of varying sizes here. Usually cyclone fencing and 2x4's. They always end up looking like a zoo display and are generally the size of a room in your house. If this fence doesn't keep my cats in the yard, that's next, but I would prefer they get as much running room as possible.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
I worked on this for 5 hours today and made good progress. Unfortunately, I didn't take anymore pictures yet.

That's ok, I'll show you the 'before' photos.

We had to clear a lot of brush away from the perimeter so we could roll the poly-urethane mesh by there. I’ll have to be more vigilante about keeping the hedges and blackberry bushes off of the new fencing, but the material is surprisingly strong.

Here’s a look at the back row. That’s big Gibson checking out the commotion.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...4-18-06062.jpg


Here, I’m installing one of the “arch arms”. This helps keep the kitties from getting over the top of the fence.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...4-18-06044.jpg

I’m starting to install one of the two gates. Kinda tricky, but I got it right the first time.


http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...4-18-06071.jpg

I’ll try and remember to take some more photos before I continue. I have most of the mesh material hung; 3 of the 4 corners completed and one of the gates completely functional. I’d like to think I am 2/3rds done with the fencing project. The yard work is another story….

Marc G.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
On a side note, we were able to have UPS remove and return the duplicate order of fencing at no charge to us
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opposable Thumb
On a side note, we were able to have UPS remove and return the duplicate order of fencing at no charge to us
That's great - and the enclosure looks great. Your kitties are going to be so happy.
post #19 of 25
A friend of mine installed purr..fect fence and loves it. The only drawback is that it doesn't stop air predators from coming in, She lives in the desert so this is a concern. She finally took some fisherman netting and put over the top of it to keep the hawks out.

It is difficult to keep cats outside safe, last year this was slammed home with us several times, so we built our enclosure

Our feral home


Good luck with yours!
post #20 of 25
Good luck with it!!
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 


We were blessed with a stretch of nice weather this week so I got motivated and finished it. Actually, there some cosmetic touches still required, but the enclosure is 100% functional.

The reaction from our cats has been mixed. Panda has always enjoyed a lot of freedom. We just bring her in at night, but as long as we’re home, she can come and go as she pleases. She likes to roam the neighborhood and sniff around everyone’s backyard. This will change starting now. Cold turkey.

During her 8 years here, she has had to go to the vets for various emergencies several times. She has suffered abscesses from fighting with the neighbor cats and she has gotten into some kind of poison at least twice. Probably slug bait. Scary and costly visits.

On nice nights she simply refuses to come home. We have to go find her in one of her usual haunts. Sometimes, even then, she will hide behind a neighbor’s fence knowing we will not trespass.

I worry about the coyotes and I worry about the traffic and I worry about everything…

Panda is visibly disappointed with the new arrangement. Time will tell if she makes an adjustment, but she has spent a couple hours the last two days attempting to escape to no avail Cynthia used the video feature on her digital camera to record Panda failing to scale the fence twice. I wish I could host it somewhere (I don’t even knew how…). The clip is at once pathetic and hilarious. I didn’t know she was so athletic! I hope she gives up soon. There’s no chance, but it’s an impressive effort for an old girl.

Gibson is only 2, but he has enjoyed the same freedom as Panda. The difference is, he demands to be let out in the morning before Cindy and I go to work. Every single day at 4am. Ugh.

He will torment Panda, knock stuff over (lamps, etc), use the mattress as a scratching post and go all Tazmanian Devil until someone lets him out. We used to just open the door and let Gibson and Linus run around for an hour before we had to leave for work (they’re good boys, they didn’t go too far), but since Linus disappeared I have been going out there with Gibson every morning (It’s been sad without Linus ) I fix a cup of tea or cocoa and watch him leap after bugs and scan for other cats. I have to admit that I have enjoyed it.

Now I can just let him out the back and go back to bed.

We adopted Kyra (pronounced Keerah) a couple months ago. Gibson and Panda are like oil and water and Gibson needed a new playmate. Kyra has fit in great around here and she plays with Gibson all day. But she has been restricted to the house until now.

I went out to put the finishing touches on the enclosure Wednesday afternoon and went ahead and left the backdoor open so everybody could just wander out. Kyra stood in the doorway for a while kinda looking for additional permission to come out. Then she stepped out on to the patio a few feet and stood still for a while longer before succumbing to the sunshine and began a perfectly executed cement roll-over move.

I have created a monster. I’m having difficulty getting Gibson and Kyra to come back inside now. With the nice weather I can just leave the door open while I’m home.

The back screen door is actually a security door with decorative bars and Cynthia has discovered that if we lift the glass at the bottom they can all fit through the bars (Gibson just barely). Now we can lock the door and they can come and go into the back yard enclosure as they please. Have I mentioned that we spoil our cats?...
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
There’s no razor wire, but the fence does resemble the outdoor area at a JDH.

Here’s a photo of one of the two gates.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...-06024gate.jpg

This picture was taken from the deck above before the bottom wire was attached. The new fence is not touching the wood fence. There is about a 6 inch gap between them as per installation instructions. The neighbor cat can actually walk outside the entire perimeter, in between an assortment of different fences. Wood; chicken wire; cyclone etc. The wood fence has another gate just out of sight in this photo, so there is kind of an air-lock with two gates on each side of the house (the other side is cyclone)



http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...-06025deck.jpg

From the gate down to that corner is about 60 feet. The yard goes about 45 feet across the back. Just a little postage stamp, but it’s perfect for the kitties! I pulled out my trusty mower to cut that grass and old trusty died. I broke the rope trying to restart it so off to the shop it went.

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e2...6012stakes.jpg

This is a close-up of the wire at the bottom of the fence. You can see that it is attached to the upper plastic mesh with ‘zip-ties’. You have to look closer to see the tent stakes that are holding it into the ground. Also note the weed fabric that is between the fences. This fabric goes almost all the way around in an attempt to keep the weeds under control. I don’t want to have to spray weed killer back here.

They use the wire at the bottom because rodents might be able to chew through the plastic mesh.

The entire fence is connected with those ‘zip-ties’. There must be 2500 of them. I didn’t snip off the ends as I went, so now I have to go back and double-check all my fasteners and cut off the ends. I did about half of them yesterday.

Gibson and Kyra played out there until after 11 last night. I sat on a lawn chair for a while and watched them just go crazy. I tried every 20 minutes to get them to come in, but they were having too much fun. I had to finally pick them up one at a time and throw them in so I could go to bed.
post #23 of 25
Looks great, you will have to let us know how well it goes over time.

Just want you to be aware of birds of prey as well, they should not be forgotten in your safety equation.
post #24 of 25
Awesome job, it looks great! And I'm glad to hear that it passed the test & is Panda proof... I'd love to see that video!

I've seen some similar to yours, but with a double arch where outside cats can't get in. You may find a strange cat trapped in your yard one day.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Just want you to be aware of birds of prey as well, they should not be forgotten in your safety equation.

My vet mentioned Great Owls, but I've never had a sign of them. I’ve never seen a hawk around here either. I think this has reduced the predator problem to almost zero. The most important thing was to keep the cats from going near the woods across the street. Their survival potential has just increased immeasurably. I couldn’t be happier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cagnes
….You may find a strange cat trapped in your yard one day.
I’m almost certain I will, and it won’t be a strange cat…it’ll be one of my next-door neighbors cats (GK and Shadow). Perhaps raccoons and possums as well.

When we let Gibson out every morning, it will be standard procedure to check for intruders everytime. Easier said than done in the dark, but like I’ve said, they can’t go out unless we are home. If there is a tussle, we’ll be right there. I’ve broken up a lot of cat fights over the years. This should nearly eliminate that as well.
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