Cat Fences

Written by Sarah Provost
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Cat fences: now there are two words you don't find together very often. I had always thought it was impossible to fence in a cat, until I did a little research. Then I discovered that there are cat fences designed to keep your cat in the yard, cat fences that will keep your cat in and other cats out, even barriers to prevent cats from climbing trees. There are also "invisible" fences to control your cat's access indoors.

Electronic Cat Fences

If you can convince your cat to wear a collar, you can use the same kind of underground electronic fence that is used for dogs. A wire is buried underground to define the perimeter of the permitted area. You cat wears a collar that emits a signal when the animal nears the border. If she attempts to cross the border, she gets an electrostatic shock. Do not use a dog fence unless you can adjust the level of shock; cat fences are designed for the smaller animal.

Cats can jump straight up a distance of about five times their height, so conventional fences don't faze them. But there are barrier systems that can be erected on top of a wooden, chain-link or masonry wall to prevent your cat from jumping over it. The barrier consists of a fine polypropylene net, which is angled inward in such a manner that the cat would have to hang upside down to hold onto it. You can also add a straight piece of netting at the top to prevent other cats from entering your yard.

Indoors, radio transmitters are available that interact with a receiver on the cat's collar to keep her a prescribed distance away from wherever the transmitter is set. This works similarly to the outdoor electronic fence, by using a shock as a deterrent. Again, you must be certain that the level is set for a cat and not a dog.

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