DIY Cat Fence (Build Your Own)

Free-standing Cat Fences

Introduction

Rather than buy a kit, or browse our catalog, or get a free quote, you’ve decided you’d like to assemble the parts for a DIY cat fence (build-it-yourself outdoor cat fence) with our guidance. So by all means let’s do it. The short subsections on these pages provide everything you need to assemble your own parts and make a purchase. They are organized as follows:

Post Assemblies and Gear
Braces
Fencing and Attachers
Gates

The pages in this section take you through all these items one by one, setting out your options and explaining what different sorts of fences need. Make selections as you go, placing the selected items in a shopping cart. When you are done you will have everything you need listed in the shopping cart. You can then make a purchase; or, if you aren’t ready to buy, copy the shopping cart into Microsoft Word and save the file so that you can use it for planning.

Please note that in addtion to providing guidance for creating stand-alone cat fences these pages also cover conversion fences — in which an existing fence is converted to a cat fence.

Post Assemblies for DIY Cat Fences

cat fence post assemlyOur two main posts systems for cat fencing follow the same plan. First comes a sleeve that gets driven into the ground with a drive cap and heavy hammer. Then comes the vertical post (either 73 or 86 inches long, depending on whether the fence will be 6 or 7.5 feet tall) that gets inserted 2 feet down into the sleeve. This round metal post, 1-3/8 inches in diameter, is galvanized and coated with black pvc in a manner calculated to make it last just about forever. The last few upper inches of this post narrow to form a male end, onto which the extender arm fits. The extender arm (round, black, pvc-coated, and about 4 feet long) extends upward, sideways, and then downward, projecting about 2 feet into the enclosure. When used to support fencing, this extender arm creates an arched fence that cannot be navigated from within without climbing upside down. And since cats won’t do that, they stay inside. To keep out rainwater, the extender arm’s opening is capped with a so-called “rail end” that terminates in a small round hole, and this rail end is attached to the extender arm with a self-tapping screw. To find out how many of these post assemblies you need for your DIY cat fence, draw a rough layout of the fence. Mark each corner, gate, and end—an end being a place where your fence will butt up against a building, wall, or other fence. Then get one post assembly for each corner, end, and gate. (Yes, that’s right, you will need one post assembly for each gate in addition to the gate itself). Then, for each side or curve where the distance exceeds 15 feet, get enough post assemblies to space them no more than 15 feet apart all along the fence. The specific type of post assembly to get will depend on whether you want a 6-foot or 7.5-foot cat fence. In the former case get the 6-foot post assembly, and in the latter case get the 7.5-foot post assembly.

Post Assembly Gear: Drive Cap, Self-tapping Screws, and Wall Mounts

The Drive Cap: Put a drive cap atop each post sleeve as you drive it in with a hammer, in order to avoid damaging the sleeve. These caps can wear out in hard soil, so get one cap for every 20 posts. This drive cap is the only unusual tool that you will need to build your own cat fence. You can of course put each sleeve in with a post-hole digger, but that is quite a lot more work than driving it in with a drive cap and heavy hammer.

Self-tapping Screws: Anyone engaged in cat fence planning should be sure to get enough of these self-tapping screws. Each post assembly comes with 1 self-tapping screw to attach the cap to the end of the assembly. In addition, you may wish to use one self-tapping screw at all joins between posts and sleeves, and also at the joins between posts and extender arms, in order to prevent any element in these post assemblies from turning. If so, get two self-tapping screws for each post assembly. Sold in bags of 16.

Wall Mounts: These wall mounts sometimes play a significant role in cat fence planning. Get them if you  need to secure apost assembly (post and/or extender arm) to a wall or fence. Screws not included. You will need 2 screws per wall mount.

Braces for a DIY Cat Fence

Corner Braces (Snow Protection) Braces protect your fence against sideways stress. They’re a bother to install because they need to be put into cement footings or up against “dead men” (cinder blocks in the ground that keep them from moving). However, if you anticipate sideways stress from heavy snow loads or falling tree branches, braces are worthwhile. We recommend bracing the corners and ends of your DIY cat fence in all cases where sideways stress is anticipated. And if the fence is long (over 200 feet) it is wise to brace your gates as well. These braces are sold in a curious fashion. First, they are sold in pairs, with one pair of corner braces being sufficient for two corners and one pair of end/gate braces being sufficient for two ends or one gate. Second, they do not include the central post assembly that they support. That is, these braces consist only of the angled side-posts and the hardware needed to attach them to the vertical post in the post assembly.

Fence Rolls and Attachers for DIY Cat Fences

 

Choosing Fence Rolls for a DIY Heavy Duty Reinforced Polypropylene FencingCat Fence

The best choice for the upper reaches of your cat enclosure is strong polypropylene fencing. It’s affordable, effective, long-lived, widely used, and really good at containing cats. But at the bottom of the fence it’s vulnerable—not just to aggressive cats that might chew through its lower reaches to get out, but also to critters like rabbits, woodchucks, foxes, and coyotes that might chew through those same lower reaches to get in. So, to protect the enclosure and your cats, put a 2 or 3-foot width of metal hexagrid fencing around the bottom. This is black low-visibility fencing like the poly, but it’s much stronger than the poly and stops would-be chewers cold.

At this point you face a choice. You can plan for a 6-foot cat fence with extender arms, in which case a 7.5-foot width of poly and a 2-foot width of metal hex will (or a 6-foot width of poly and a 3-foot width of metal hex) will do the job. Or else, if you opt for a 7.5-foot fence, an 8-foot width of poly and a 2-foot width of metal hex will suffice.

Fence Roll Length

All the poly fence heights referred to here come in rolls of 100 and 330 feet. The 2-foot metal hexagrid comes in both 100 and 150-foot rolls, while the 3-foot metal hexagrid comes only in 150-foot rolls. Get enough of both the poly and the metal for each to go all around the fence perimeter (including across gate openings). Allow an extra 5 feet (more if the fence is long) for cutting and overlapping the fencing at corners, grade changes, and such.

Metal Hexagrid Fence Rolls for Cat Fence Skirts

Fence Roll Attachers: Zip-lock Ties and Ground Stakes

Zip-lock Ties: Essential in cat fence planning, these ties serve to connect fencing to your cat fence posts. Our black 8-inch nylon zip-ties have a breaking strength of 120 pounds and an expected life of 5-6 years. Our more expensive black stainless steel zip–ties will last the life of your fence. Use about 10 zip-ties per post assembly. DO NOT use the stainless ties for joining fence sections because they will not close completely. Ground Stakes: These stakes are important to cat fence planning because they are used to secure the fence’s bottom fold to the ground. Use one ground stake for every 18 inches of cat fence. These ground stakes, made of galvanized steel, are a foot long, sport a kink to help keep them in the ground, and have a hook on the end to grasp the fencing. They come in bundles of 30.

Build Your Own Cat Fence Gates

Gate 3 Feet Wide for a 6-foot Cat Fence Our gates come 6 and 7.5 feet tall and 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 feet wide.  Please note that each gate comes with only one support post assembly, and so you will need another post assembly to complete the gate. For more information about each gate and a complete parts list, click on the product picture and scroll down.

Gates for 6-foot Cat Fences

Gates for 7.5-foot Cat Fences

Installation Instructions

You can find general installation instructions suitable for all our cat fences by visiting our installation pages.

Purchasing Your Fence Materials

You can use the list in your shopping cart for cat fence planning purposes. Or more directly, if you have gone through these pages selecting appropriate items and are satisfied that you have all the materials needed to create your cat fence, you are ready to complete a purchase by checking out.
Shopping Cart

Quote Form

To get a free quote and parts list, simply fill out the form below and press the “submit” button. You should receive your quote within two business days at the email address provided in the form. If we have questions, we will use the email address or phone number you provide to contact you. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 508-888-8305 (9-5, M-F, Eastern time).

An end is a place where the fence butts up against a building, wall, or another fence.