Best Invisible Fences For Cats Reviewed (Do They Work? Should You Even Use One?)
One of the worst things for any pet parent out there is losing their beloved furball. Even if you’re keeping your feline friend strictly indoors, there’s no guarantee it won’t accidentally end up outside.
But for pet parents who allow their kitties to roam the outdoors, things are even more complicated.
Each time your kitty is wandering around the yard, it can bolt towards your fence and get lost. Why would a cat want to leave the safety of your yard or loving home?
- Curiosity about scents, sights, and sounds
- Heat cycles
- Fear, anxiety, or other emotional distress
A cat’s inborn curiosity and hunting instincts, as well as its whimsical mood swings and adventurous side, can send it off exploring. Of course, kitties don’t consider the possible consequences of such impromptu adventures.
Road accidents are probably among the first things that come to mind when you think of outdoor disasters. However, even if your house or apartment isn’t located on a street with busy traffic, that doesn’t mean your pet will be safe if it escapes your home.
One way to keep your feline pal safe is to invest in invisible fences. Many people use them, even for apartment cats.
What Are Invisible Pet Fences And What Do They Do?
The way invisible fences work is quite simple. An invisible fence is basically a combination of two or more devices – transmitters and receivers. The transmitters can be placed indoors or outdoors and they outline a safety zone or create an invisible threshold. When the boundaries are crossed, the transmitter emits a wireless signal to the receiver in order to alert it about the trespassing.
The receiver is located inside a collar.
When your pet tries to cross the invisible boundaries set by the transmitter, motion sensors are triggered. Then the receiver inside the collar will act upon the warning settings you’ve selected. There are three types of warnings:
- Electric current (shock)
As such, whenever your cat attempts to cross the line, it will either be warded off by an electric current, a sound, or a vibration.
Will It Work On Your Cat?
Depending on your cat’s temperament, the results will be different. Invisible fences can indeed scare any cat away from the idea of crossing any boundaries. Unfortunately, they may also inflict emotional trauma on your pet. They might cause anger, stress, anxiety, or other kinds of harm.
What’s more, they also hurt the cat physically.
Cats have extremely heightened senses. The electric current in invisible fencing systems isn’t that strong, but it’s still painful. If your pet has a problematic heart condition, invisible fences for cats or dogs must be off-limits! And even if your kitty is healthy, the sound and vibration warnings will still be too overwhelming for its senses.
So, yes, invisible fences do work on cats. But should you use them? I’m personally not a fan of any type of shock collars when it comes to using them on felines. The Humane Society regards even dog collars as “the least humane” form of training device. And a canine can withstand higher voltage than a feline.
If you really need to keep your pet from the outdoor world, invisible fences with no shocking are a good idea.
Even though the vibrations and sounds are still too intense for feline senses, they beat the alternative of electric shock. Fortunately, most cats out there won’t try to push their luck once they receive the sound and vibration warning. As such, there won’t be any necessity of administering an electric current.
Reviews Of The Best Invisible Fences For Cats
If you feel like you must get an invisible fence for your cat, you’ll find a list of the most efficient and humane ones possible below. They’re from acclaimed and certified brands.
Don’t ever shop for shock collars as training devices and don’t do it at your corner pet store! Those over-priced, good-for-nothing products often transmit inappropriately high voltage. What’s more, you probably won’t be able to find receivers suitable for cats in such stores. If you try to use a regular shock collar manufactured for dog training, it can easily injure your pet!
PetSafe offers a plethora of cat supplies that are not only safety regulated, but also durable, which is why I like this brand so much.
They offer an in-ground kit for invisible fencing for cats, which is more efficient than wireless pet fences. It comes with a set of flags as visible indicators of the confinement zone.
Why is this option humane? Because you can set it to use only sound warnings instead of electric current.
The shock feature is also still available if you have a problematic kitty, but I still wouldn’t recommend it. I also don’t recommend leaving the receiver (collar) on your cat’s neck for longer than a few hours. The collar isn’t that heavy, but your pet will be more comfortable without it when it’s indoors.
Let’s talk some more about the actual receivers. Even though you can buy an entire fencing kit, you should still focus on individual receivers, especially for multi-cat households.
You can get a standard receiver for cats with a neck size of 6 to 11.5 inches.
It’s waterproof and works with replaceable batteries. My favorite feature is that you can opt for the ultralight collar instead of a standard cat collar, and it weighs only around 40 grams, so it won’t interfere with your cat’s playful and energetic daily activities.
The ultralight option works for pets with a neck size of 6 to 26 inches.
You can select only the sound warning and forget about the shock factor altogether. As such, you should definitely invest in this collar if you’re thinking about getting PetSafe’s in-ground invisible fence system.
This is the most high-tech invisible fencing system for pets and is ideal for multi-pet households with cats and dogs.
Apart from the fact that the collars are waterproof, the fence itself is lightning-proof, so the kit won’t be damaged by harsh weather conditions. What’s more, there’s a built-in indicator that activates in the case of cuts or breaks in the in-ground wire. And there’s no limitation on how many receivers (collars) you connect to the kit! Furthermore, there’s a feature which prevents your pet from wearing down the battery by wandering too often around the invisible boundaries.
Lastly, it features three types of warning signals – sound, vibration, and shock.
I do need to point out two serious disadvantages, though. Firstly, the shock factor is designed for dogs – not cats. Secondly, the entire kit is much more expensive than similar products manufactured solely for cats.
However, it’s the best invisible fencing kit for pet parents who own both a dog and a cat.
This is my top option for cat owners who don’t want to deal with the hassle of installing in-ground wires.
Paws Away is totally wireless, making it suitable for setting both indoor and outdoor boundaries for your cat.
I like the fact that it’s among the most affordable options on the market and is manufactured by a tried-and-trusted brand. What I don’t like, however, is that you can’t switch off the electric shock option on the collar’s receiver.
Paws Away produces beeping sounds whenever your pet is near the wireless transmitter. Then it starts applying low voltage current, which lasts between 3 and 15 seconds, depending on how headstrong your kitty is. It’s basically a wireless barrier, which can also serve as a threshold for strictly indoor cats.
For safety purposes the electric current automatically stops after 15 seconds if the cat doesn’t move away.
Regardless of the low voltage, positive reinforcement training practices are much more humane for setting indoor boundaries than any shock collar. I wouldn’t recommend using the shock feature on any invisible fencing system at all.
Electric shocks can harm your pet on a mental and physical level. So, it’s not only cruel, but also pointless to use shock training. After all, you’re getting a fencing kit for the purpose of your pet’s safety and well-being, right?