I have an issue where a neighborhood cat seems to like to use my yard (particularly the rose bush areas) as its personal litterbox. This wouldn't be a huge problem, except that the cat seems to track fleas in, which then yet on my wife and young child. And it is a huge pain to get rid of recurring fleas in the house when almost anything you use is going to be crawled (and soon walked) though by a child who puts literally everything in their mouth.
So, this raises the question: what can be done to deter the cat and prevent fleas from getting in my yard? I put down some of those spicy-scent things that have pepper and other things that make cats (and me) sneeze a bit. This seems to deter it until it rains a bit, then the poop starts appearing. I'm thinking of putting up a fence for the yard anyway, so the question is: what kinds of fences or toppers would fit all the following criteria:
- Deter a cat from wanting to visit the yard as much (doesn't need to be 100% cat-proof like a prison, just enough to make it prefer to go elsewhere)
- Fine for a child to encounter and potentially touch
- Look quaint in a suburban neighborhood (e.g., things that could work with a picket fence no higher than chest level, since it's the front yard that is the issue)
Currently the kinds of ideas I have in mind are things like a picket fence with some twisty or mildly brambly ivy (e.g., cat feet catch on it or are unpleasant to the touch, but not something that would harm either a cat or a child), a fence or wall with a rotating top (e.g., something that would twist out of the way and mess up balance if jumped on), or even just a plain old picket fence that is thin enough to be hard to stick the landing on if a cat tried to hop on and then over it (maybe with some citrus or other smelly things to make it particularly aversive). Probably leaning toward a vinyl fence, which would make it harder to climb than wood, also. Not considering chain link because it tends to look horrible, but entirely open to suggestions of meshes. Pictures of examples highly welcome on this question.