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How to Keep a Cat From Jumping Over a Gate: 8 Expert Tips

cat leaping over fence
Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jordyn Alger
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We love our cats, and their safety is our number one concern. Sometimes, it may feel like we care more about their safety than they do.

You have probably heard the phrase curiosity killed the cat. There is a kernel of truth to it, as cats are notoriously curious and often find themselves in trouble. Although the behavior is usually limited to silly things such as getting their head stuck in a paper bag, there may be times when your cat finds himself in danger if he wanders too far from home.

In these instances, keeping him in an enclosed area, such as a fenced-in part of your yard, is essential. So, how can you keep him from jumping over your gate? We have gathered eight ways to help you keep your frisky friend where he is supposed to be.

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The 8 Tips to Keep a Cat From Jumping Over a Gate

1. Build a Taller Fence

Cost:Moderate/high
DIY Difficulty:Medium

As simplistic as it may sound, building a taller fence may be the solution to your problems. After all, if the fence is too high for your cat to jump over, then he is not getting out anytime soon. Just be sure that there are no secret tunnels your cat may be able to squeeze under.

A higher fence will also help keep other wild creatures from getting in and give you more privacy in your outdoor area. Although a fence may take significant time to build, it can be a worthwhile investment for its many benefits.

cat on the fence
Image Credit: katya-guseva0, Pixabay
Pros
  • Prevents cat from jumping over
  • Keeps other creatures outside
Cons
  • Time-consuming to build

2. Construct a Roller Bar

Cost:Low
DIY Difficulty:Easy

A roller bar is a practical, easily installed device that can keep your cat in an enclosed area. The bar is installed at the top of the fence and works by rolling whenever the cat comes in contact with it. This prevents your cat from being able to pull himself to the top of the fence and jump over.

Roller bars can be purchased for a relatively low price or made with inexpensive materials, whichever you prefer. However, if the fence your cat is jumping over is low enough, he may be able to jump over it without landing on it, making the roller bar ineffective.

Pros
  • Helps to keep cat inside
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Cat may be able to jump over it

3. Use an Oscillot

Cost:Low
DIY Difficulty:Easy

An Oscillot is similar to a roller bar but has a unique added feature. The Oscillot is a rolling bar with paddles, providing extra security to keep your cat within the borders of the fence.

Although the Oscillot has added features to provide more protection, it still has the same downfall as the roller bar. If your cat can leap over the fence without touching it, the Oscillot may not work until you get a higher fence.

Pros
  • Helps to keep cat inside
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Cat may be able to jump over it

4. Place Scat Mats Around the Fence

Cost:Low
DIY Difficulty:Easy

Scat mats are helpful tools to teach your cat boundaries. Whether you want to keep your cat off the countertops or away from the fence, placing a scat mat down can teach your cat to avoid the areas.

Scat mats are harmless, spiked mats that cause your cat discomfort when he walks on them. They do not cause any pain, but they cause enough discomfort that your cat will eventually learn to stay away from the areas where the mats are placed.

To put them around your fence, you can either lay them on the ground or attach them to the top of the fence. Either drilling the mats into the wood or using zip ties is enough.

However, some pet owners report that scat mats do not deter their cats at all. Some cats grow accustomed to them and are no longer put off by the spiky sensation. So, if your cat adapts to the scat mats, you may need to try something else.

cat sitting on a balcony with net protection cat fence
Image Credit: cabuscaa, Shutterstock
Pros
  • Available in different sizes and shapes
  • Affordable
  • Helpful training tool
Cons
  • Does not deter all cats

5. Invest in a Catio

Cost:High
DIY Difficulty:Difficult

A catio can be an effective and adorable way to keep your cat enclosed. Plus, depending on the flair you add to it, it can be an entertaining encloser for your feline friend!

Catios are enclosed outdoor spaces designed for your cat to enjoy some fresh air safely. They can be as small as a simple box attached to an outdoor window or as large as a greenhouse full of toys and perches to climb onto.

If you are planning on making a catio, it is important to know that it may take a lot of time, depending on how elaborate a catio you want to construct. The larger and more detailed the catio, the more time and money it will require to be made.

Pros
  • Prevents cat from wandering
  • Keeps other creatures out of your cat’s space
Cons
  • Time-consuming to build

6. Place Overhead Netting Around the Fence

Cost:Low
DIY Difficulty:Easy

Overhead netting is an effective method for keeping your cat caged in. It is cheap and simple to install, making it a go-to choice for many cat owners. As an added benefit, the net helps to keep wild critters outside of your space just as much as it helps to keep your cat inside.

However, some pet owners may find that the overhead netting blocks their view of the outside or makes their outdoor space look unappealing. If you don’t want to deal with the obtrusiveness of overhead netting, another option on this list may be right for you.

Pros
  • Prevents cat from jumping over
  • Keeps other creatures out
Cons
  • May look unappealing

7. Spray Cat Repellent

Cost:Low
DIY Difficulty:Easy

Spraying cat repellent around your fence is an excellent way to keep your cat from escaping, and it could also help keep wild cats away from your property.

You can purchase commercial repellents or make a homemade concoction. Regardless, it is simple to use and only requires a few sprays around the area to dissuade your cat from wandering.

However, remember that cat repellent does not physically prevent your cat from leaving. If your cat can withstand the scent of the repellent, he may ignore it entirely and continue jumping over the gate.

Bleach Bottle Spray
Image Credit: JumpStory
Pros
  • Reduces desire to approach scented areas
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Does not physically prevent cat from leaving

8. Spay and/or Neuter Your Cat

Cost:Moderate
DIY Difficulty:N/A

If you have not already done so, spay or neuter your cat. It is an essential procedure for many reasons: one of them being that it minimizes your cat’s desire to wander.

By reducing your cat’s need to wander, you may be able to keep them from jumping over the fence. They may become content to lounge around at home, where they are more comfortable, rather than explore the unknown.

However, this procedure does not guarantee that your cat will never escape again. If your cat continues to wander, you can supplement the surgery with another option on this list.

Pros
  • Reduces desire to roam
  • Combats various health concerns
  • Prevents unwanted pregnancy
Cons
  • Does not physically prevent cat from leaving

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Conclusion

When our cats wander, we become understandably frightened. It’s scary not knowing where your furry friend has run off to! If you want to take steps to remedy the behavior, any one of these options could be a great start. Perhaps, a single deterrent will work, or maybe you need to use several methods to keep your feline safe.


Featured Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay

About the Author

Jordyn Alger
Jordyn Alger
Cats are Jordyn’s passion. Whenever she has the opportunity she loves to learn about animals and share her knowledge with everyone. She is devoted to her sassy tabby cat named Jack and works hard to buy him his favorite treats and toys. Discovering new ways to better care for her cat is always on her to-do list, and she is eager to help pet parents everywhere. In Jordyn's spare time, she loves to write, read, and take long walks. She has a creative spirit, which often helps her to come up with funny cat names.

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