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How to Keep a Cat in a Chain Link Fence

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Tree guard

  • Fence extensions

  • U-shaped bolts

  • Invisible fence

  • Tin/metal sheet

  • Nails

  • Netting

Cats need to spend time outdoors to function at their best, yet there’s a high risk your cat will escape your fenced-in yard, especially if your fence is chain link. Cats need exercise, but cats allowed outdoors have an average lifespan of only five years. Outside cats can be hit by cars, injured or killed by dogs or wildlife, ingest rat poison, and catch diseases by fighting with other cats. Keeping your cat inside your chain link fence is crucial if you want to keep your cat as safe as possible while outdoors.

Remove trees and objects that cats can use to help them climb over a chain link fence. If removing trees from your property is not an option, place tree guards onto your trees. Tree guards are made of durable metal or plastic and prevent cats or other critters from climbing trees. Tree guards are sold at gardening stores.

Install a fence extension system onto your existing chain link fence. Fence extension systems work by attaching to existing fences horizontally to prevent cats from climbing over the fence. U-shaped bolts are required to successfully secure fence extensions to chain link fences. Purchase a fence extension kit at pet stores.

Install an invisible fence a few feet from the chain link fence to prevent your cat from squeezing through the openings prevalent in chain link fences. Invisible fences transmit radio waves to an underground wire that will produce a little shock or jolt to your cat, via the collar he's required to wear, once breached. Choose an electric fence that elicits a clicking noise before the shock, so that the cat can learn to stop when he hears the clicking instead of when he experiences the shock.


  • Keep the invisible fence transmitter and collar dry and either regularly charged or updated to keep both in good working condition.

    Chicken wire or netting can be used as fence topping designs instead of store-brand extensions or fence toppings.

    If you don't want to purchase a metal or plastic tree guard, nail a tin sheet around your trees. Cats will not be able to grasp or climb a tree covered by a tin or metal sheet.

    If you don't want to use an invisible fence, place and tightly secure netting over the entire length of your chain link fence to prevent your cat from escaping.


  • Use caution when cutting trees down near your fence as one of the trees may fall onto and possibly damage your chain link fence.