My cat enjoying his outside cat enclosure
This is a smartphone (cell phone) photo of my cat enjoying the garden cat enclosure I built for him. It is not a large space but when combined with the house it makes for an adequate amount of space. He gets lots of interaction and play so I think it is a fair compromise between safety and an decent life. I live in a built up area and there is a considerable amount of traffic although my road is quiet.
The great fear for my cat is being killed on the roads. My neighbors let their cats roam on the road which I dislike and believe is irresponsible. Although my next door neighbor has 9 full-time indoor cats. She likes to go to cat shows.
My cat is a random bred spotted tabby raised from feral.
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Gabriel is a fine spotty lad. Could there be a touch of Bengal in there? His spots are very well defined. I have always loved the tabby patterns.
We have the same fence methinks. It’s been in situ since October 16 and it has been life changing for both cats and both humans.
How does Gabriel respond to seeing neighbourhood cats Michael? Do the visiting cats ever mince provocatively along the top of the fence panels annoying Gabriel? We have had to erect a trellis partially covered with fake Yew hedging (yes, it’s as beautiful as it sounds ha ha) to stop both of mine going berserk when they see visiting free ranging cats.
They are both furious that they can’t make the decision to greet/chase off/play/run off to play I think. This has resulted in a fair few redirected aggression sessions, hence the hideous but effective fake yew hedge et al.
One of the visitors (has a nice home to go to) has been seen trying to squeeze between the bolt/washer wall fixings, using his bulk to really stretch the mesh. Giving the product its due, the intruder puss did not get in!
It is interesting that you ask whether Gabriel becomes involved with neighborhood cats outside the enclosure. There is one cat with whom he has formed a relationship. They meet at the back of the garden on either side of the fence. At the back of the garden there is a right of way, about the width of a car and cats and foxes walk up and down it. It is overgrown. Gabrielle loves this cat. He greets her when she turns up and the affection is reciprocated. I have let the relationship developed because it entertains him. I have even considered trying to let her inside the enclosure so that they can play but so far this has failed because she is too nervous. It also may cause complications, unforeseen complications which I want to avoid. There are no other cats involved in his life. He likes to watch the fox come and go.
Gabriel has a fine tabby coat but no Bengal genes. He looks like an African wild cat when outside hunting. He has caught 2 pigeons which I don’t like but he likes it.
That’s so nice that Gabriel has an affectionate visiting friend. It becomes something else entirely once you let her inside. With cat keepers being ever more wary, I understand your reticence.
Might be good if more cat owners were wary enough to say goodbye to the practice of allowing free ranging companion felines. It just isn’t safe anymore.
Epiphany in less than 5 years. Stopped allowing them out at night 20 years ago.
To me it’s one of the saddest changes that has happened in the modern UK, “no longer safe” I wonder, was it ever that safe? I think it was, but I’ve lived in a village since 1989. I do remember thinking twice about letting cats out when I lived in London, where I helped a group with TNR. I saw a lot of the consequences for cats who had strayed. Not good, but the prevailing culture was that the domestic cat needs to roam. I still believe that they do and it’s only with a bit of time are we starting to see an odd challenge, with new containment systems, that other environmental circumstances may well have a hand in.
Since the fence went up, wildlife can’t get in (walls) which concerns me a bit but I have hedgehogs feeding elsewhere now. Mungo has managed one Blue Tit and one Wren since the fence went up. I think it was revenge for his containment. We weren’t happy, but he is a cat and it is our place to feign gratitude for generous if gory gifts
Birds learn how to exit the garden quickly. The garden is very small, so getting the launch line right is essential.
For me cat containment is all about compromise. Safety versus a completely free life. I think it is a fair and wise compromise. Most of what humans do is a compromise too.
Letting cats roam is not only dangerous it’s a great way to spread disease. I wish my cats had an outdoors but they have all the windows with pet screen and hardware cloth inserts. Possibly living in the country with the desert right up to the door gives them a feeling of being outdoors when all the windows are open. They seem happy.
Your cat is beautiful I never appreciated the pure beauty of a tabby till i got two.
Thanks ME. He looks like a wild cat sometimes. He acts like one too 😉
When discussing cat behavior in honest terms they are brutal hunters. Most often even the fluffiest one that owns every soft seat in the house can become near feral in the hunt. I’m really advocating that people start understanding cats are not weird and their behaviors are normal and almost always have an explanation that is directly related to normal house cat behavior.
Yep, the domestic cat is a terrible predator. Everything they do is underpinned by hunting. And it is completely normal. I am not some cat owners really get that.