Saturday, December 29, 2007

Letting Cats Outside Safely

I just have to plug this thing for a moment. . .

I wish we'd discovered it years ago. We have two cats with litter box issues. Bob - who has a broken spine, so he can't really help his problem, but it still causes messes for us to deal with, and Sheeba - who has some misfiring brain wires or something. She doesn't act like any other cat I've met, and she likes to pee all over the house.

We've arranged our lives around the problems of these cats. Litter boxes everywhere that are cleaned out all the time. We don't have a sofa or soft chairs anyplace because Bob would ruin them. All bedroom doors stay shut at all times to prevent furry intruders doing their thing on our beds.

We've seen cat behaviorists, we keep the laboratories in business with how often we send in urine samples, an acupuncturist (for Bob) etc. But I don't believe an elimination issue should equal a death sentence, and so we have lived with it (and cleaned up after it) - for years.

Our other problem was that we don't live in a safe area for the cats to go outside. We live in a townhouse with a parking lot out front, and another one behind it. These cats have been indoor cats their whole lives, I don't think they'd stand a chance out there. I know the neighborhood cats pretty well (better than I know our neighbors, my husband would say) and few of them stay around for long. It just isn't a cat-friendly environment.

After we lost Magic, we also kinda lost the heart to keep dealing with these other two troublemakers. I'm sad to admit it, but we loved Magic, and tolerated the others. Well, I love Bob too - and my husband tolerates him for my sake.

So we made the decision to start letting them outside, and I was torn up about it. I couldn't emotionally handle them anymore either, but was frightened for them. So I began to research if there were any safe ways to teach older cats some street smarts, with the goal of making a safer transition to being outdoor cats.

I found the Cat Fence-In System.



I've worked with animals for about 13 years now, longer if you count my earlier SPCA volunteer time, and I'd never heard of such a thing. It's great!! It's a netting system that goes around the top of your fence, and keeps the cats from being able to climb out. They stay safely in the yard. They still have the elements to deal with (but for now we're only putting them out on nice days) but no cars, no dogs, no cat-hating people who mean them harm. They get to sleep in the grass, chase bugs, and lay in the sun without dying.

It also keeps other cats out of the yard too - for anyone who has a problem with that. We've had our system up for about a month now, and it really works.

I have my house back.

Bob loves playing outside during the day. Sheeba doesn't love it, but, like I said before, I'm sure she has mental problems. No matter what she thinks, it's better than being locked in the bathroom the rest of her life, and that's her other option at this point.

I just had to share, because I would have loved to have known about this earlier.

2 comments:

LK Hunsaker said...

Ah, nice idea! :-)

Shell Mitchell said...

OMG - This is amazing! My kitties are getting older and I worry about them more and more when they go out. Thanks for sharing.