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Question DetailsAsked on 1/7/2016

I want to attach some sort of deterent barrier to my cinderblock patio wall to keep my cat from jumping over it.

Fencing cannot be visible from outside wall. I was thinking the barrier should be angled to keep the cat from even trying to climb over like they use in zoos. Person installing this will have to be creative. The whole thing should be easy to take off when selling the property.

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Not addressing the issue of the cat getting onto/over the wall (or even using the wall barrier as a landing spot) by jumping off patio furniture, house roof, vegetation, powerlines, etc - because if it can get onto the roof then unless the cinderblock wall is a full perimeter wall well away from the house (all the way around the house including an unclimbable gate) then you may have a lost cause. Also look at under the wall exits- drain holes, drain pipes, downspout drains, etc. Very few houses will meet that criteria - so before spending money on the wall, look at all the ways the cat can climb up and out - the wall may be far from the easiest way out.

Since most cats with claws can go up a substantial height cinderblock wall, especially if they have a running start, you probably have a couple of choices - a smooth unclimbable surface on the inside of the wall, probably for about 2-3 feet below the top, a covering all the way over the patio like a bird net, or as you say, an inclined surface projecting over the patio that it cannot climb. I am not a cat climbing ability expert, so you will have to do some web research on how far the barrier has to project from the wall for the cat to not be able to grab the edge and pull itself up and over - I would think 2 feet certainly, maybe 3. You can google a search phrase like this for info on stopping cats from going over fences and walls - ways to keep cats from climbing over walls

Possible solutions - a smooth surface on the top 2-3 feet or the wall so it cannot climb to the top, and extending down the wall enough that it cannot launch itself up and grab the top of the wall, or a cantilevered over-arching surface it cannot go out and around.

One thing I do know - at least with some cats, do not believe it when they say they cannot climb upside down or over upwards-sloping overhanging items - I have seen cats climbing across the underside of netting to get to birds, up window screens, upside down from powerlines, and so forth. And barbed wire does not stop them - they can slip though easily.

Materials - it would have to be smooth on the underside to not give any claw purchase - and while nylon netting or metal window screening might stop most cats, especially if loose so it feels unstable to them, tenacious ones wanting out would just hang upside down from it to climb out and over it unless it was a ned that totally covered the patio area and was tightly secured all around, so needs to be something smooth.

Wall surfacing materials - acrylic sheeting like greenhouse roof plastic (grooves aligned up and down) attached with expansion anchors like drywall anchors into the mortar joints that could be removed and the holes patched come sale time. Smooth acrylic sheeting would work too and be perfectly smooth but a lot more expensive.

One other possibility that would stop most cats would be an extremely smooth self-bonding cementatious coating system or sprayed epoxy or thick-bodied hole-filling concrete block paint like is used in gyms and locker rooms and such - one that is high gloss so hard to dig into with the claws, and probably two coats to fill the holes the claws could get into. This is what I would try first - in a pleasing color (some brands can be colored). Might not have to cover the entire wall either - perhaps a 3-4 foot or so strip along the bottom would be enough to work.

A less long-lived method would be just putting a strip of thick (like 20+ mil) UV protected plastic sheeting hanging down from the top of the wall - 2x2 strip bolted down across the top to hold it, and intermittent fasteners or anotehr 2x2 wrapped around the botton edge and fastened to the wall along the bottom so it does not blow in the wind. Pond liner or such - at probably about $0.10-0.15/SF for the materials.

Overhanging - wood struts expansion anchor bolted down into the top of the wall (into grout filled cells) and sticking out over the patio, with a smooth material like acrylic or plywood on the underside so there are no supports to be grabbed onto the the cat. Even a fabric cover like awning material might work - but a real tenacious cat might sink its claws in and walk out under it upside down, or claw/bite through it.

Any of these could be mounted on 2x2 cedar pieces to minimize the number of anchors needed to go into the wall, because the sheeting itself would need pretty close fastener spacing to make it windproof, especially if in a high wind zone, so those could go into the 2x2's.

Another alternative (other than a Doberman or Rottweiler patrolling outside the patio) would be removing the front paw claws.

Remember whatever you do, figure where the rain and snow and leaves will go - should not dump onto top of the wall because the wetness will weaken the wall, especially in areas with freezing conditions, so the overhanging part (if done that way) should probably slope downward toward the patio to shed rain/snow/debris.

Obviously would take some thinking about what will work best, but it seems a Handyman who "gets it" in discussions with you, or a Fencing company would be your best bet.

One other approach - deterrence - might take a bit of experimenting to see what works, but putting lemon scent or cat repellent along the top of the wall (though smell might be enough to keep it out of the patio too, if that is a concern), or putting a few fake snakes along the top of the wall visible from inside.

A cord strung along close to the wall with tin cans handing from it with a few pebbles in each might work too - put right distance from the wall so the cat has to hit it whnile climbing, and the pebbles in the tin cans make a lot of noise when hit. Old Army defensive perimeter trick to let you know when you have visitors and ruin their surprise. Just depaper the cans (paint if it works as desired), and hang from the cord (clothesline or parachute cord or even heavy fishline works fine) by folding the lid (not cut clear off) down over the cord. Punch a couple of holes in bottom for drainage. Even just a few rows of fishline spaced about 3 inches from the wall might work - something to deter the climbing and cause consternation - would probably work better if clear fishline. Some risk there with possibility of cat chewing and ingesting a ball of it, though.

One other though which might or might not work - 6 foot lath or 2x2's driven into the ground at the base of and close to the wall to a 3-4 foot height from the ground, with deer netting hung over and fastened to them loosely - loose flimsy support like that will stop a lot of animals, but a true roamer would consider it no more difficult than going out on a flimsy branch and be up and away off of it. Would need to be weighted or buried at the ground level to keep the cat from going in under and up behind it. Might be a cheap initial try though. Ditto with heavy visqueen - though it makes a lot of noise in the wind, - unless it is a heavy (like 50 mil plus) UV resistant plastic like HDPE landfill liner.

One other possibility, though involves risk of the cat hanging itself on the collar - a wire pet barrier along the bottom of the wall, which zaps the cat when it starts up the wall. Just like a dog invisible fence - works for cats too.

A lot of these are possible DIY possibilities - depends of course on how concerned you are about a few possible escapes while you find if the simpler ones will work.

Your Vet might have suggestions too.

Here is a link to one of several commercial products out there for this -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


Three after-thoughts:

1) be aware of whether your system (especially since it cannot be visible from the outside) may risk trapping "visitor" cats in the patio - if an inquisitive stray comes in over the wall and gets trapped and cannot escape, might make for a far more serious catfight than otherwise.

2) additional possible variation on the plastic sheeting or netting along base of wall to prevent climbing - possibly putting a netted or plastic sheeted greenhouse/hotframe along the bottom of the wall - you get plants as well as possibly cat control. Again, thin poly sheeting might well stop jumping up, but cat might decide to use its claws on it too.

3) some people recommend lemon or orange oil or vinegar to drive cats away - note these are acids, particularly the vinegar, so will damage the mortar in the wall if applied directly to it or drips/runs into/onto it

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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