General Installation Instructions for McGregor Cat Fences
Note: If you have a kit, it is best to use the
instructions available on our website
(www.topcatfences.com) for that kit.
List of items shown above
A – poly fencing
B – metal fencing with pvc coating
C – post
D – sleeve
E – drive cap
F – extender arm
G – end cap
H – self-tapping screw
I – wall mount
J – zip-lock tie
K – ground stake
L– Bolt, nut and washer
List of Tools (not included)
Digging bar (optional)
Preparation: Use an electric drill to make a small indentation about a quarter-inch down on each sleeve, long end of the extender arm, and end cap where you want a self-tapping screw to go, giving the screw point a dimple to rest in. Next, use ground stakes or other objects to mark where each post will go. A post should be put at each place where the direction changes or the grade changes sharply, and no posts should be no more than 20 feet apart.
1. Place each drive sleeve at the place where you want to install a post. This should be at each corner; at any ends (an end being any place where the fence butts up against a building, wall, or other fence). Also, place two sleeves (one of which comes with each gate) at the chosen location for each gate; and then space out the remaining sleeves an equal distance (preferably not over 15 feet) from each other along the fence line. Drive each post sleeve into the ground with the drive cap and a sledgehammer, taking care that the sleeve remains as straight as possible and leaving half an inch of each sleeve above ground. NOTE: In hard or rocky ground prepare the way with a pry bar (a pry bar is like a crowbar without bends and is 4-5 feet long). Simply push or tap the pry bar into the ground a couple of inches, rotate it, and insert it down a couple more inches until you are down 20 inches. (Put a tape around the bar to mark the correct final depth of 20 inches.) ALSO, if your fence enclosure includes a building wall, see paragraph 4 and the Important Note at the end of these instructions.
2. Place each regular fence post (not the snow protection posts) flat on the ground (lawn is best, because hard pavement will leave scars on your posts). Place the long end of an extender arm (the end at the right in the photo of part F) over the post’s male end, making sure the arm is on all the way, and join the two with a self-tapping screw. Then place a post cap at the end of each extender arm and attach it to the arm with a self-tapping screw.
3. Slide each post, with arm and end cap attached, into a sleeve so that the arm faces inward into the enclosure. At turns and corners position the arm so that it points into the middle of the turn or corner space. For example, if the turn is 90 degrees the arm should be set at a 45 degree angle.
4. If one or two posts are up against a building, use two wall mounting brackets and wood screws or other fasteners to secure each post to the building.
5. If you are installing a snow protection fence (see photos at the top right of this page), attach a cap to one end of each snow protection post with a self-tapping screw. Then insert each drive sleeve into the ground just below the end of an extender arm. Arrange things so that when the snow protection post is inserted into the sleeve its cap can be attached to the extender arm’s cap by putting a bolt through the holes in the two end caps, applying a washer and nut, and tightening the nut.
6. Once all the posts are in place, start to apply the polypropylene fencing to one end or corner of the fence by stringing a zip tie through the edge of the fencing and the hole in the extender arm’s end cap. Arrange things so that the fencing material is on the outside of the extender arm’s post (the side away from the enclosure) and also so that, as you start unrolling the fencing, you have plenty of fencing material (at least 6 inches) to wrap around the full length of the extender arm and post.
7. Next, attach this end of the fencing to the top and base of the extender arm with two more zip ties, and to the upper part and mid-section of the straight post with two more zip ties.Then unroll the fencing and attach it similarly to each end cap, arm, and post until you come to a turn or corner. At that point attach the fencing to the turn or corner post.
8. Now, BEFORE CUTTING THE FENCING, see whether the fencing is running straight. If you are not a professional installer, you will probably find that not all your initial zip ties are positioned correctly. In that case, start with the initial post, cut off any misplaced zip tie with a wire cutter, and replace it with a correctly positioned tie. Do this at each post, repeating as necessary until the fencing is running straight and reasonably tight (but not drum tight). Once you are sure of the fencing’s final position on the turn or corner post (the last post in the section), you should cut the fencing, being sure to leave at least 6 inches of material beyond the post all up and down the length of the post and arm. Repeat this procedure for attaching the polypropylene fencing to each succeeding section of your fence.
9. Once all the fencing is attached and running straight, shorten the gaps between zip ties by applying zip ties to the posts at 18-inch intervals. Also, anywhere the fence has been cut or two sections come together, apply zip ties at 8-inch intervals or less in such a way as to make the edges of the overlapping sections flat, secure, and tight.
10. The polypropylene fencing will not come all the way to the bottom of the fence. Instead there will be a fair-sized gap between the ground and the bottom of the polypropylene fencing. Depending on how you designed your fence, this gap will range anywhere from about 18 to about 30 inches.Your metal hexagrid fencing will be placed so as to overlap the poly fencing by at least 6 inches, fill the gap between the poly fencing and the ground, and (if there is sufficient material) create a 6 to 12 inch bottom fold on the ground to discourage digging..
11. Unroll the metal hexagrid fencing and overlap it with the existing fencing, attaching it to one post with two zip-lock ties and pulling it reasonably tight (not drum tight) as you proceed to the next post, leaving enough material at the bottom of the fence to reach the ground or create a bottom fold, depending on the design of the fence.
12. Deal with corners and significant grade changes as you did with the polypropylene fencing (by cutting the mesh fencing a few inches beyond the post where the corner or grade change occurs, attaching the end of the mesh to the post with a few zip ties, and continuing beyond the post with a new length of mesh fencing aligned with the new grade).
13. Proceed in this manner until the wire mesh fencing is attached to all the posts and is running along the bottom of the entire fence. Now join the two types of fencing. Do this using about one zip tie per foot of fence, making sure that the two kinds of fencing are flat against one another, removing and replacing zip ties at some posts as necessary in order to ensure a firm and smooth join.
14. If you have a bottom fold, this fold is now pointing outward (away from the cats). If you are seeking to discourage outside diggers like dogs or coyotes, that's fine. But you also have the option of directing it inward (toward the cats). Accomplish this change by taking a wire cutter and cutting a slit in the bottom fold at each post, so that you can turn the entire bottom fold inward toward the cats. Whether the bottom fold is directed outward or inward, once it is in position stake it down with ground stakes, using one stake every 2 to 3 feet along the entire fence.
Important Note: If your fence ends at a building wall but you cannot attach posts to the building, get as close as possible to the building wall with the posts and arched extenders, and leave plenty of polypropylene and wire mesh fencing between the post and the building wall to span the gap. If the gap between the post and the wall is much too narrow for a cat to get through, well and good. If the gap is wider, span it with the polypropylene and wire mesh fencing, attaching both the polypropylene and wire mesh fencing to the wall in a way that prevents any cat from getting through.