Some cats confine their territories to the back garden, and other cats develop awareness for traffic and avoid the rush hours. But it’s difficult to be sure of your cats abilities because even quiet streets can be dangerous, therefore its worth having some control over your cats freedom to roam.
Cat flaps are about 15cm and fit in the base of a door. The best design is gravity loaded so it automatically closes, and with a clear window so the cat can see in or out.
Cat flaps allow a degree of independence, the main disadvantage is that neighbour or feral cats will be able to get in and steal your cats’ food. This can lead to disease being brought in to the home. An electronic flap will stop this, only the cat wearing the right collar will be able to get it.
You could also only use it at certain times by locking it when you cannot keep an eye on your cat.
When you introduce a cat flap, spend time encouraging your cat to use it. You may want to put some food on the other side to encourage your cat to go through. Put the cat on one side and call to it. After a few tries it will know what to do. Although, some cats refuse to use a cat flap all together.
Indoor living can be supplemented with a secure outdoor space. An area of the garden can be fenced off with chicken wire, or a purpose built pen.
A cat pen should be sturdy with wire mesh stretched between a wooden frame and roofed. You could include a covered shelter, an outdoor play area with logs, shelves and toys. Cat pens like this are widely available.