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Because it receives positive customer reviews, has several features for effective training, and is specifically designed for cats, I’ve chosen the PetSafe In-Ground Cat Fence as the best invisible fence on the market.
After breaking down the types of invisible fences and reviewing the top 5 best invisible fences for cats, we’ll talk about whether or not they’re a good choice for your cat and what you can use instead.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Invisible Fences for Cats
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Has multiple shock intensity settings
- Features a tone-only mode for well-conditioned cats
- Flexible, wide-ranging protection area
Types of Invisible Fences for Cats
In-Ground Invisible Fences
These fences take a couple of hours to install and will usually require a little digging, but you’ll be rewarded for the extra effort. You can create any barrier shape you want and, if you bury the wire underground, it won’t shift in the wind or if touched. They’re a good option for people who want maximum control over their invisible fence.
Wireless Invisible Fences
These fences are easy to set up and make maintenance a cinch, but they don’t perform as well as fences with wires. These fences create a predetermined circular protection zone, which is great for RVs and others who can’t or don’t want to dig a trench for their boundary wire. It also means you can’t customize it to follow the lines of your home or yard. Dead spots are another common problem among wireless fences—the signal may be inconsistent or obstructed, potentially allowing your cat to slip through the gaps.
Indoor Invisible Fences
Compared to in-ground or wireless invisible fences, indoor fences are smaller, cheaper, and cover less territory. When used as a complement to other training methods, they can help keep your cat from exploring counters, entering certain rooms, or darting out of the door.
Top 5 Best Invisible Fences for Cats Reviewed
An invisible fence is not the most effective, humane, or economical way to keep your cat safe outside.
In the best-case scenario, an invisible fence might stop your cat from running away and keep him out of the street. While it might be—if training is successful—able to keep your cat away from unsafe areas, an invisible fence does nothing to protect your cat from the other dangers of the outdoors.
An invisible fence doesn’t protect your cat from predators, illness, cat fights, or cruel people. It doesn’t help wildlife, either, allowing your cat to run rampant killing birds, squirrels, and rodents.
Are Invisible Fences Humane?
Invisible fences are shock collars. Some shock collars are triggered by remotes, some are triggered by barking. An invisible fence is a shock collar system that transmits energy from an electrically charged boundary to the receiver on your cat’s collar.
It’s impossible to completely understand how your cat experiences a mild shock, but for humans, the sensation is equivalent to a static shock from touching metal on a dry day. Most cats appear startled, but not traumatized, by this mild jolt.
Never use an invisible fence or shock collar inconsistently or in a way that might confuse your cat. If you use it without clear, precise training, you’ll cause confusion and distrust. Ideally, your cat will only be shocked once or twice before she learns to associate the boundary line with the sensation and doesn’t have to feel it anymore.
Some invisible fence companies, like the original Invisible Fence company, offer professional training with the purchase of one of their fences. An animal trainer will go to your house and use a scientifically-based method to safely and humanely train your cat.
Even if the training is successful, your cat will still have to go around wearing a clunky shock collar. Some don’t have breakaway closures, putting your cat at risk of being strangled.
Invisible fences might be a good option for some cats and some situations, but in most cases, they’re far from ideal. Before you invest in an invisible fence, consider alternatives like an outdoor cat enclosure, cat fence, electronic cat door, or taking your cat out for supervised outdoor adventures on a harness and leash.