We all know that cats love to explore and can often be found climbing trees, scaling fences, and venturing into places they often shouldn’t go. So it’s no surprise that some pet owners have turned to hidden or underground dog fences as a way to keep their felines safe at home. But do these types of hidden fences actually work for cats?
Here’s a look at what you need to know about hidden fences for cats, including how they work and whether or not they’re effective.
How do hidden fences for cats work?
Hidden or wireless fences work by using a buried wire that emits a radio signal. This signal creates an invisible barrier around your property that your cat cannot cross. If they try to go beyond the boundary, they will receive a mild stimulation that is not harmful but will deter them from continuing.
Hidden fence systems also come with a collar that your cat must wear outdoors in order for the system to work. The collar will pick up the signal from the buried wire and activate the stimulation if your cat attempts to cross the boundary. Additionally, indoor pet containment systems can keep your cat away from certain areas inside your home by using a similar setup.
There is no denying that hidden fences can be effective at keeping cats contained. In fact, many pet owners have found them to be the only way to keep their feline friends from roaming off and getting lost. However, it is important to note that these fences are not foolproof and there are a few things you need to take into account before making the decision to install one.
The Hidden Fence Training Process
If you’re considering a hidden fence for your cat, it’s important to note that the system will not work unless your cat is properly trained to stay within the boundaries. This training process can take some time and patience, but it’s essential if you want the hidden fence to be effective.
Here are a few tips for training your cat to stay within the boundary of a hidden fence:
- A cat should be at least 4 months old before you start training with a hidden fence. For kittens especially, owners should closely monitor the fit of the collar on their growing cats, and adjust accordingly.
- Start by creating a small boundary area for your cat to get used to. This can be done by burying the wire around a small section of your yard or property.
- Put the collar on your cat and let them walk around the boundary area. If they attempt to cross the line, they will receive a shock.
- After a few days, gradually increase the size of the boundary area until your cat is comfortable staying within the entire perimeter.
- Be patient and consistent with your training, and keep in mind that it may take some time for your cat to learn the boundaries.
- Remove your pets’ hidden fence collars regularly when not in use to prevent skin irritation.
DogWatch® understands that cats need to be trained differently than dogs. For example, most cats don’t use leashes nor do they respond to verbal commands in the same way as dogs do. Furthermore, cat training always begins indoors. When installing an outdoor system for a cat, one must be mindful of their climbing abilities and take measures to prevent escape (e.g., by avoiding tall tree branches).
The Pros and Cons of Hidden Fences for Cats
As with anything, there are both pros and cons to using hidden fences for cats. It’s important to weigh all of the factors before making a decision on whether or not a hidden fence is right for your feline friend.
Pros of Hidden Fences
- Allows your cat to roam freely without the worry of them getting out onto busy roads and getting lost.
- Can be an effective way to keep your cat safe and contained.
- Protects local wildlife populations by restricting cats (and their strong prey drive) to smaller, designated areas.
- Does not require a lot of maintenance once installed.
Cons of Hidden Fences
- Cats are known to climb trees. Your feline may eventually learn that he/she can climb a tree high enough to ultimately “jump” over the hidden fence boundary to freedom on the other side. This is not a common outcome, but it is possible.
- The cost of installation and training can vary greatly from brand to brand.
Indoor Cat Boundaries
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of a hidden fence, there are other options available for keeping your cat contained. One option is to create indoor boundaries for your cat using pet fences or collars.
Indoor boundaries will not allow your cat to roam freely outdoors, but they can be an effective way to keep them safe and contained off kitchen counters, away from the new sofa, or out of bedrooms. Plus, they’re often much cheaper to install than outdoor hidden fences.
Here are a few tips for creating indoor boundaries for your cat:
- Choose an area of your home that you want your cat to have access to. This could be a single room or a series of connected rooms.
- Set up your DogWatch® transmitter inside an area within your home and create an immediate hidden fence.
- If you have multiple pets, a DogWatch® dealer can install a fully wired indoor system.
Cat parents can use the same collars used for outdoor cat fences to set up indoor “no go” areas using DogWatch® Indoor Cat Boundaries.
Trust DogWatch for Your Cat’s Hidden Fence Needs
No matter what type of containment solution you choose for your cat, the experts at DogWatch® are here to help. We offer a wide variety of products and services designed specifically for cats, including our specially-designed hidden outdoor and indoor pet fence products.
DogWatch®’s smaller R7mini receivers are small enough and light enough for all breeds of cats and can help ease cats into the habit of wearing a containment collar.
If you have any questions about how a wireless fence works or choosing or installing a hidden fence for your cat, we invite you to contact us today. Our team of experts would be happy to help you find the perfect solution for your furry friend!
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