Pros and Cons of Invisible Cat Fences
Invisible cat fences (“shock collar” fences) put a collar on your cat. They then use radio waves to tell the cat when it is too close to a pre-set boundary by administering an electric shock or some other disciplinary message.
Those seeking such systems will find two types: “Wireless” invisible cat fences that create a circular boundary and “wired” fences that send the radio signal from a wire usually buried underground. The wireless type is cheaper because no special team is needed to install the buried wire. However, the circular area it defines is often inconvenient.
These invisible cat fences have two advantages: They typically cost less than comparable stand-alone cat fences, and they are indeed invisible. Also, unlike their barrier cat fence cousins, they are readily available at pet stores.
However, they also have disadvantages. Among them: (1) The effects aren’t automatic. You need to train your cat to respect the boundary, and cats can be difficult to train. (2) You need to be willing to shock or administer some other strong disciplinary signal to your cat—which can adversely affect your pet’s behavior and which is clearly inimical to the cat. (3) The radio “fence” provides no protection against predators coming into the enclosure. (4) Cats don’t take well to collars — sometimes getting hung up on them or harming themselves trying to get the collar off — which is why many cat owners refuse to put collars on their pets. And (5) success depends on training, the setting, and your cat – because some cats, intimidated by the shock or other signal, will stay indoors and refuse to go outside, while others will be so intent on hunting mice or birds that they run right through the signal – a fact which calls the reliability of these invisible cat fences into question.
Should You Get Any Outdoor Cat Fence?
If you want to give your cat at least a taste of the outdoors and also keep it safe from cars, dogs, predators, and poison baits, then some sort of outdoor cat enclosure is worth considering. This is especially true if you have more than one cat. So we invite you to browse through the various non-shocking fences available to find a cat fence truly suited to your needs.