Have you got a patio, a terrace or even a small piece of garden with shrubs and also have a dog and/or a cat? In this case, taking care of your pets’ security can become a true challenge.
In the case of a dog, the situation is a bit easier – you should mostly just plan a resting place for them: a basket, a cushion, an armchair from, a doghouse. They need a landmark where they can take refuge when they want a little peace or when you decide (when you are at the table, for example ). They should not have access to that part of the patio or terrace where there are toxic plants or gardening tools and liquids. For this, you can opt for expandable barriers, which are very practical and quick to install. For a cat, of course, it’s more complicated, because they tend to escape and get everywhere they want to, overcoming all kinds of barriers!
Let us first specify that a cat living indoors is in no way disadvantaged. Even if the cat has no access to the outdoors, if the owner provides it with the necessary food, entertainment, and a wellness program, it can lead a happy life in an indoor territory.
A patio, however, is a real asset, offering all sorts of added values for a cat:
- Noises: the chirping of birds and the noises of children in the playground are exciting stimuli for the cat’s ear.
- Weather conditions: wind, hot sun, snow – variations in weather spice up a cat’s life.
- Smells: with our poorly developed sense of smell, we humans can hardly imagine the smells that reach the cat’s nose in the open air.
- Observing objects like birds, leaves, passers-by and cars is like going to the movies for cats. If the patio offers a good view, the cat’s brain is also intellectually stimulated.
- The hunter’s instinct: a fly passes or the wind plays with a dry leaf? The unpredictable movements of things outside are more exciting than any stuffed mouse, especially in pets such as a sphynx or laperm cat.
The main detail is that safety is the top priority. A security device on the patio is mandatory for homes with cats.
Why do I need to secure my patio?
The purpose of the cat protection is to enclose the patio for the safety of the animal. This prevents spontaneous evasions. Indeed, even though cats have amazing physical dexterity in terms of sure footing and jumping power, climbing over the fence or up to the roof is still a dangerous adventure.
Depending on the layout of the house, the cat protection also serves as a boundary to neighboring homes, so that the cat cannot enter other people’s property without permission.
However, the most important function of cat protection is to prevent spontaneous accidents that can occur if the cat gets frightened and runs away, or if it tries to jump after a bird or a butterfly. Patio railings or fences with too large gaps which the cat could squeeze through, and tilt-and-turn patio windows, are, for example, further weak points.
Patio accessories and protection for cats: what should you take into account?
The means you use to secure the patio will depend on the specifics of the location. First, clarify with the trustee of the building if the installation of a cat protection is authorized in your home. Sometimes the configuration of the building limits the possibilities, for example if no hooks can be attached or if the external appearance of the facade must be uniform.
Once this has been clarified, you have the choice between different pet protections:
- Pet net: these nets are available in different sizes and even by the meter. Pay attention to the spacing of the meshes: 2 in for corpulent animals and seniors, but 1 to 1.5 in for agile and slender pets. The net should be fixed in such a way that it completely closes the patio or outlines the loggia. Installation is usually done using hooks and fixing straps.
- Visual protection: If your patio has a lattice fence with wide gaps, you can attach a bamboo mat as a barrier, for example.
- Window security: often a window opens onto the patio. Install a window net to prevent the cat from trying to escape through a cracked window. Tilt-and-turn windows are extremely dangerous anyway – never leave the animal unattended while they are open.
- Pet flap: With the help of a glazier, pet flaps can be installed even in glass doors. For a patio, a simple mechanical model is sufficient, thanks to which your furry friend can enter the patio without you having to open the door.
It’s not only about technique, but also safety on the patio. The same applies to the equipment and use of this space: do not place plastic bags, garbage cans, cleaning products, fertilizers or breakable objects where the pet can reach them and interact with them.
Pet on the patio: the ideal outdoor space
To create a beautiful oasis of well-being for your pet on the patio, let yourself be inspired:
- Observatory: a high vantage point on the patio is very important: An outdoor cat tree or a visually appealing piece of natural trunk is the ideal solution. But make sure it is securely anchored to the ground!
- Plants: please only use plants that are not toxic to pets on your patio. Opt for annual climbing plants for which the protective net will serve as a stake (for example, for nasturtiums or hops) and perennials such as bamboo or fruit shrubs. In small patio containers you can grow aromatic herbs, non-toxic flowers and maybe a little catnip. Pesticides and artificial fertilizers are prohibited if you have a pet.
- Meadow: your pet will be delighted to have a small “pasture”.
- Small places in the shade: on a sunny patio, the pet must be able to choose between a sun bath and a corner in the shade.
- Scratching post: a scratching bed or a surface covered with sisal dedicated to the maintenance of the claws must be available on the balcony.
- Flooring: Perhaps cover a corner of the patio with wooden or cork tiles. These absorb the heat and will make the pet willing to lie on them.