Missy, your cat, only thinks she could brave the great outdoors, but you've consistently ignored her pleas to venture outside. An outdoor cat enclosure could be the answer for you both. Constructed with an appropriate screen, it will keep her safe while allowing her to experience the sights, scents and sounds of nature.
Screen Door Screen Won't Do
The fine-mesh nylon or plastic screen used for window screens and screen doors can be purchased by the yard at a lumber or home store, but it's not sturdy enough to stand up to Missy's claws and teeth. She could inadvertently tear the screen or push it out of the frame just by leaning against it. If she wants to get to the other side badly enough, though, she'll shred and tear and make short work of flimsy screen door screening. Additionally, this lightweight screen will snag or catch a claw, and once a small hole is made, your industrious and curious kitty could work it into a size suitable for an escape hatch.
In response to the need for screening that is sturdier than traditional products, manufacturers have come out with screen products that are heavy duty. They're understandably a bit more expensive because they incorporate materials that make these specialized screens claw- and tear-proof. They're just as lightweight as traditional screening, but they stretch more and are more durable. This screening is just as readily available as screen door and window screening at your local home supply or lumber store.
Give Wire a Shot
Wire is a hard-wearing material that won't give in to Missy's claws or insistent gnawing -- so much so that it may even be a deterrent for her escapee antics. Wire mesh of almost any size or chicken wire are useful alternatives to screening for an outdoor cat enclosure. If you've already got some less-substantial screen in place and are looking to replace it with wire, don't tear the existing screening out just yet. Another option is to cover the screen with panels of security grille. The bars are spaced a bit further apart than the wires in mesh or chicken wire, but they still keep Prissy safely ensconced in her enclosure while keeping her from pushing or clawing through it.
Once you've decided on which type of screening you'll use for Missy's enclosure, take care to attach it securely to the framework and don't leave any corners or edges loose. Kitties are agile and flexible. When your cat's on a mission, she can wriggle through surprisingly small openings. Also, make certain that no nails or screws used to attach the screening have been left sticking out to cause accidental injury.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.