Should I let my cat explore the great outdoors, or should I keep him inside where I know he’ll be safe? This is a question for many cat owners particularly if you live close to a busy road. According to the PDSA, 24% of cats live permanently indoors in the UK. However, the garden offers adventure and enrichment unrivalled by a life indoors and many vets, welfare organisations, and charities suggest that outdoor access is imperative for a cat’s mental and physical wellbeing. Cats are natural hunters and roamers, and it is essential for every cat to be able to express natural behaviours such as climbing and exploring.
If you’re keen to allow your cat outdoor access, but are worried about the dangers of free-roaming, you could consider enclosing your garden with cat proof fencing – either in its entirety or by sectioning an area off – creating a cat enclosure. If you secure your garden, your cat will have the opportunity to enjoy being outside to explore, whilst being contained in a safe environment.
The solution of a cat safe territory is close the hearts of Simon and Eve Davies, founders of ProtectaPet. ‘We lost our own cat Lola in a road traffic accident in 2009. Devastated by our loss, we were determined that her brother, Leo, wouldn’t share the same fate. Simon designed some fence top brackets, which we used in our garden for years and I didn’t think any more about it. It was only when friends and family started to ask us to install the same brackets in their gardens that there was a real desire among cat owners to control their pets’ territories and experience our peace of mind. We’ve come a long way since then.’
There are many benefits of cat containment including preventing road accidents, pet theft, territory disputes. Eve says, ‘First and foremost, your beloved cat is safe and you’ve got total peace of mind. Nothing beats that! I think many cat owners experience lots of additional benefits: no more ‘presents’ left on the doorstep, a reduced risk of picking up ticks and fleas, enjoying better relationships with your neighbours, and reduced vet bills. A cat-proof fence can also deter cats from coming into your garden which can be a source of stress for many outdoor cats.’
ProtectaPet have developed a flexible system which can accommodate all garden boundary types: using freestanding enclosure fencing where there is privet hedge or an overhanging barrier on existing fences or walls. They can cat-proof sheds, garages, conservatories and trees using the inward facing bracket which cats cannot climb over. Eve says, ‘Our British-designed and manufactured system has been optimised for agile breeds such as Bengals and Orientals. Our patented products are precision-manufactured using the latest laser-cutting techniques and the matt black powder coating provides the least intrusive aesthetic finish and has the additional benefit of prolonging longevity in use. Our high tensile mesh has been selected as a result of seven years of testing and development because it is fine and unobtrusive, UV-stable and extremely strong under the weight of snow. Finally, there are no moving parts which can break or require maintenance, so the customer and their kitties can sit back and enjoy!’
How to cat proof your garden
A. DIY or Expert Installation?
ProtectaPet® offers cat containment solutions which enable cats to explore the outdoors without exposure to the risks associated with ‘free-roaming’. We offer cat fence brackets, cat enclosures, cat runs and ‘catios’, which enable the cat owner to control the territory with the assurance of their cats’ safety. DIY Kits are available in our online shop and installation requires a moderate degree of technical expertise. Before ordering, watch our video tutorials to see if it is for you. For more complex gardens or if you don’t fancy a DIY project, our expert installation team can design bespoke solutions around cat owners’ needs and the layout of the garden. Cat enclosures can be built around mature trees, privet hedges and garden features such as sheds, arbours and conservatories.
B. What do I need for a DIY project?
1. Measure the height of your garden boundaries to determine the types of cat barrier required. You can order any combination of ProtectaPet® products to accommodate the different boundary types around your garden's periphery. Not sure what to order? Send us photographs of your garden for advice.
2. Calculate the length of your garden boundaries to determine which ProtectaPet® products you require: we can accommodate any height of wall or fence from or boundaries where there is no pre-existing fencing. We use freestanding fencing to section off parts of your garden or to put in front of privet hedging.
3. Account for garden features such as trees or sheds, which will require extra mesh and brackets.
4. We recommend ordering 10% surplus to requirements to ensure you have enough materials to complete the job. Place your order online or ring our team of experts on 01782 900117.
C. How do I book an installation?
Some complex gardens require specialist installation skills and mesh roof catios are also exclusively available through our installation service. Our installation team also undertake commercial cat containment projects for catteries, breeders, adoption centres and vets. To find out more, please ring us on 01782 900117 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
• Measurement around the edge of the garden boundary
• Type and height of existing garden boundary (including photographs of the whole garden)
• Details of features such as trees, sheds or conservatories
• Your full address including postcode
We will then undertake a pet and garden assessment in consultation with you. This will involve discussing you and your pets' requirements.
D. How much does it cost?
Our cat containment solutions are available to purchase for DIY enthusiasts in our online shop or customers have the choice to have them professionally fitted by the ProtectaPet® installation team, who travel the length and breadth of the UK. DIY cat fence barriers start at £139.99 for a 10m Kit while the average 30m perimeter garden costs £399.99. Professional installation starts at £1,000.
Our product’s success has been based on a passionate commitment to intuitive design for pet owners, high specification UK engineering, intelligent innovation and outstanding service. We provide the best combination of quality and value for money. All our clients will have peace of mind that after the initial cost of the installation, their pet will be safer and future vet bills will be minimized.
E. Promotions Exclusive to Completely Cats Supporters
Are you a cat breeder? We can provide you with pamphlets and referral rewards but – best of all – peace of mind that your kitten is going to a safe home. Are you a cat owner? If you would like any advice on cat containment, please call the ProtectaPet® cat containment experts on 0800 999 4008. ProtectaPet® are offering supporters of Completely Cats 10% off the online shop and £50 off installations with discount code ‘completelycats’. Expires 31st October 2016.
Hello, we thought it might be helpful to give the animal and especially cat lovers among you a regular update on where we are with project: 'Completely Cats book of short stories'. Every Thursday we'll bring you a snippet and here's the first. It's pretty exciting.
Following our launch we immediately had several people contact us with pledges to contribute stories, and they're already coming in. We can't thank them enough for these offers and can't wait to read them.
We have also launched our logo which was produced by the wonderful Maggie Raynor, who illustrates Beth's books. We love it and feel it represents Completely Cats purrrrrfectly.
The Completely Cats Twitter and Facebook accounts are updated on a daily basis and we are now getting partners of International Cat Care coming forward with kind offers of help. But we still have a huge amount to do to spread the word.
One of our main worries is that there may be people out there who have super stories to share but are nervous of putting pen to paper. Our challenge is to try to allay those fears, and emphasise that this should not stop them from coming forward because we are able to help with the crafting/editing process. If anyone can think of ways we can spread the word further and provide the necessary encouragement to would-be contributors please do let us know.
Have a super day everyone!
Every month, International Cat Care's Keeping Cats Safe campaign features specific risks to cats with fantastic advice on how to keep your own cats safe. This month they're discussing the potential risks that DIY products can pose to cats. Do give the article a read here, it's full of great info to keep in mind next time you're involved in a DIY project. As you can see below, Socks loves to be involved when the decorating ladder comes out, so we have to be extra vigilant to keep her away from harmful products.