Fence Me In

If you share your life with a cat, you know how wonderfully playful, intelligent, independent, and affectionate felines can be. However, you may have some questions about how to care for Fluffy, keep her happy and safe indoors, or identify potential health problems. This section will address these and other issues that face those who enjoy the companionship of a cat.

If you want to allow your cat outside in the privacy of your backyard, you can purchase or build a specially designed fence or enclosure that will prevent your cat from leaving the yard. However, a fence may not prevent animals from entering your yard, so you should always be present when you allow your cat this opportunity. And be sure to cat-proof the yard by checking that the fence has no escape routes and by making toxic plants, garden chemicals, and other dangerous objects inaccessible.

Several companies manufacture ready-made cat confinement systems that enable your feline to experience the great outdoors yet remain safe. Other companies and organizations have developed similar plans for do-it-yourselfers. Here's a sampling.