One of the worst feelings for every cat owner is being unable to let the beloved pet run free and safely and explore nature in a yard as one would wish. As a great solution to this situation, I want to share my insights about the best invisible fences for cats.
How do invisible fences for cats work?
Invisible fences for cats work the same way as an invisible dog fence. There are wireless and wired electric fences, which perform in a combination of two devices – transmitters and collar receivers.
If you choose a wireless fence, then the transmitter is a portable device that can be placed indoors or outdoors. And by sending radio signals outlines the invisible safe zone for your pet. When your cat crosses a boundary, the transmitter emits a signal to the receiver, and your pet receives the alert. The motion sensors are triggered, and depending on the system you have, your cat can be warned by vibration, sound alert, or electric correction.
To set the boundaries with an in-ground/wired fence, you will have to dig up your yard and install the wires. It works in the same way as wireless. But the transmitter is now connected to the wiring, which sends radio signals throughout the underground wire.
Are invisible fences for cats effective?
Cats are territorial animals, and they tend to wander not only in your house but also around the neighborhood. Every cat’s owner knows that they act how they want, usually leaving their owners unable to control their behavior. Yet, cats and dogs can be trained to get used to the new containment system, and you should be prepared to pay some time for it.
Besides this, you should also consider your cat’s temperament and health conditions before choosing a fence. Cats are extremely sensitive, and electric stimulation sometimes can cause too much stress. Even if it’s only a mild sensation, it can be painful and even harmful for your pet if he has any problems with the heart. So before buying an invisible fence, you should make sure you can choose the level of correction strength or have a possibility to switch it off.
Benefits of invisible fence for cats
When it comes to fences, I suppose the main reason for getting one is to contain your pet safely in your area. Besides, invisible fences are much cheaper than traditional fences. They are flexible and portable (wireless electric fences). They are a good choice when you have specific neighborhood regulations for building up the fence. What doesn’t need much effort and knowledge to set up?
Besides these main advantages, with invisible fences for cats, you can set the invisible barriers and boundaries for specific areas such as flower beds, bird feeders, or even use them indoors. You can also set the boundaries for them to enter certain rooms or keep other pets away (if they don’t go along). A smaller version I used in my own house helped me to keep my cat from peeing and scratching my new furniture in the living room.
Things to consider when choosing the best invisible fence for a cat
To choose the best invisible fence for your cat, you need to pay attention to a couple of things:
- Correction level. Most pet owners don’t approve of electric correction or choose it only for training purposes. To make sure you can pick this option, always check for a collar to have different correction levels. Mode to turn the electric alert off or other warnings such as sound or vibration.
- Collar. One of the most important things to choose is the collar designed for your cat. Manufacturers, most of the time, provide information about the size of the recommended size of the cat that can use a collar or offers adjustable collar length. What is more, you should never let your cat wear the collar the whole day.
- Fenced area. Whether you choose the wireless or wired fence for a cat, make sure it covers the exact size area you want to. To add more space, you can buy extra wires or transmitters.
- Installation. Digging a yard and burying wires might take some time. If you want an easy and quick installation, you should pick a wireless fence.
- Transmitter. Be aware that the wire transmits through walls, and sometimes the boundaries you set outside might affect your cat’s movement inside.
Best Invisible Fences For Cats
PetSafe is one of the most know brands for pet supplies, and I love them for durability and reliability. Talking about this fence specifically, one of the best things here is that it is designed for cats. You can choose between sound warnings only. Also, electric shock and customize the strength of the signal. I always put my cat’s safety first, so this is a massive advantage. The fence covers up to ⅓ acre only, but it can be expanded with extra wire up to 25 acres.
- Durable collar battery life – lasts up to 2-3 months if it’s not being used daily around the clock (not recommended to leave the collar on the cat’s neck for more than 12 hours).
- A Low battery indicator installed in a collar receiver reminds you when battery replacement is required.
- The fence has an adjustable waterproof receiver collar that fits cats with neck sizes from 6 to 11 1/2 inches.
- Training flags are included with purchase.
- You can adjust the signal intensity level and choose the warning type (sound or electric).
- You can expand the boundaries with extra wires (you have to buy separately).
- The installation is easy but time-consuming (it might take a day).
- Effective for cats over 6 lb, the collar might be too bulky for little ones.
- The collar isn’t heavy, but prolonged on the neck seems uncomfortable for a cat to wear.
- On and off options on the collar are very difficult to read and recognize when choosing one.
- A little bit pricey.
One more great PetSafe wired fence option – designed for dogs but can be used for cats too. This wired fence covers up to ⅓ acre around your yard and is great for bigger pets that weigh 8 pounds and more. This fence offers a ⅓ acre wire boundary with the possibility to expand it to 5 acres using additional wires. The good thing about this product is that the manufacturer provides a one-year warranty if you feel it doesn’t work for you.
- You can add an unlimited number of pets to the system (it works for cats and dogs).
- It features a few types of warning signals and has different intensity levels.
- The collar is lightweight, waterproof, and adjusts to fit neck sizes between 6-and 26 inches.
- It includes electric surge protection.
- The receiver collar has a low battery indicator and a long battery life (up to 2 months).
- It comes with training flags and instructions.
- It’s an affordable option for basic needs.
- Plastic pieces on the collar don’t serve well and might break easily if you have an active pet.
- The sensor might have some problems as it’s not accurate enough to react to a pet’s movement.
- Collars are not built to last long enough – you might have to replace them once in a while.
Another PetSafe product and another invisible fence that fits both cats and dogs. The main difference here is that it’s wireless. It’s designed for smaller pets and is easy to set up. It fits pets that weigh 5 pounds and more and covers up to ¾ acres. Take it when traveling or changing fenced area boundaries.
- Multiple pets can be added to the system with different collars (you can choose to purchase different collars matching your pet’s personality, including stubborn ones).
- It comes with a chargeable collar and the charger included in the kit.
- The receiver collar is waterproof and has an adjustable neck size (from 6-28 inches).
- You can adjust the collar as it has short and long contact points for short or long-haired pets.
- There is a battery indicator on the collar to notify when the battery is low.
- There are adjustable five levels of static correction on the collar, and sound is the only mode for training purposes.
- The manufacturer provides a one-year warranty.
- Compatible collars and accessories with different features can be bought separately.
- It only works for small properties and flat landscapes (hills and slopes interfere with the signal).
- It features inconsistent signals and conflicts with boundaries.
- The price is not low-budget-friendly.
- The transmitter always has to be near the outlet of power.
- The collar battery only serves up to 3 weeks.
This PetSafe in-ground fence is also suitable for cats and dogs, but it stands out from the crowd by having rechargeable batteries for collar and protection from lightning and other weather changes. Also, it’s a good pick for cats as it’s designed to fit pets 5 pounds or more. It covers up to ⅓ acres, and you can expand it up to 25 with additional wires sold separately.
- You can choose and adjust four different levels of static correction plus sound-only mode for training purposes.
- Rechargeable, waterproof and adjustable receiver collar – charges in 2-3 hours, lasts up to 2 months, and fits pet’s neck sizes from 6 to 26 inches.
- You can add more pets to the system with additional collars.
- It features an additional surge protector that helps to protect the transmitter from heavy weather conditions and power surges.
- You get the manufacturer’s warranty (valid when purchased from an authorized retailer)
- It’s quite an easy installation – basic DIY skills are needed.
- The price is lower than any similar product.
- Weak contact points on the collar and the signal are not consistent.
- Even though there is a surge protector, the signal might be affected during cold seasons as the strength changes.
- The nylon collar is not durable – eventually, it starts pulling apart.
- The fence boundaries can affect pets while they are inside.
- The installation can take a couple of days.
This Petsafe wireless fence is perfect for those who have a smaller property as you can create a secure 1/2 acre circular boundary around your yard for your cat to roam around. However, even though it’s designed to fit both dogs and cats, I would only recommend it for bigger cat breeds like Siberian or Main Coon.
- It’s simple to handle – you can set up the whole fencing system in 1-2 hours.
- It comes with a one-year warranty (valid when purchased from an authorized retailer).
- Short and long contact points for short or long-haired pets.
- The transmitter is lightweight and easy to carry around.
- It is suitable for unlimited pets numbers (you will have to buy additional collars).
- Waterproof and adjustable collar size (from 6 to 28 inches).
- The collar battery lasts up to 2 months, and there is an indicator alert to notify you to replace the battery.
- It features five different levels of static correction with an automatic safety shut-off option.
- It’s designed to fit in only weatherproof locations- the transmitter must be located indoors.
- It’s designed for pets who weigh 8 pounds and up.
- Even though it’s wireless and portable, the transmitter requires a dedicated place in your house as it’s not very compact.
- The cost is pretty high.
- It works with flat yards only.
It’s unfair to have a cat in a private house and not let it outside. Yet, cats are so curious and fearless that it’s almost impossible to keep them in a safely contained zone. You can build the highest and the strongest fences around your yard – it won’t keep them from climbing up if they are eager to run away. This is when invisible fences for cats come in handy. They are a perfect choice if you give a little bit of time and patience for both you and your cat to adjust to the new system.
If I had to buy a fence right now for my own house (unfortunately, I don’t have one yet), I would go ahead and choose PetSafe Stay & Play Dog and Cat Wireless Fence. It’s a good pick for those who are exploring their options and are reliable enough to see be able to see the result. The best thing- is it’s wireless, meaning it’s compatible and portable. I also like the idea of a simple installation. Their collar is the best one to fit the cat’s neck size, and it wouldn’t be too heavy or big for a small house cat.