Best Invisible Fences for Cats

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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.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

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Top Pick

PetSafe Deluxe In-Ground Cat Fence
  • Reliable performance
  • Receives primarily positive customer reviews
  • Has a small collar designed for cats
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Budget Pick

PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence
  • Has a relatively small collar appropriate for larger cats
  • In-ground setup affords flexibility
  • Comes with training flags
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Best Wireless

PetSafe Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System
  • Easy to set up
  • Has several intensity settings
  • Good value for money
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Best Indoor

PetSafe Pawz Away Threshold Indoor Pet Barrier
  • A good option for indoor use
  • Appropriate for small cats weighing as little as 5 lbs
  • Many reviewers say it works well
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Best Indoor—Upgrade Option

PetSafe Deluxe Indoor Pet Barrier Containment System
  • Has multiple shock intensity settings
  • Flexible, wide-ranging protection area
  • Features a tone-only mode for well-conditioned cats
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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

Best In-Ground: PetSafe Deluxe In-Ground Cat Fence Review

PetSafe Deluxe In-Ground Cat Fence Review

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Most invisible fences are made for dogs. They’re paired with clunky collars and are often rated for pets weighing 10 lbs and up.

This invisible fence is among the very few designed and marketed for cats weighing 6 lbs and up.

It’s an in-ground invisible fence that covers up to one-third of an acre out of the box. If you need to cover more ground, you can buy more wire for up to 25 acres of coverage. Installation is flexible. You can attach the wire to an existing fence, bury it a few inches underground, or thread it through expansion joints in your driveway. You can create any shape you want—from tracing the perimeter of your backyard to wrapping around your vegetable garden.

The receiver gives a warning beep when the cat gets close to the boundary. If the cat doesn’t back off, she’ll receive a static shock. After training, many users switch to the sound-only mode, relying on conditioning alone.

Most reviewers say their cats weren’t hurt or intensely bothered by the static sensation. The collar itself, according to customer reviews, is harsh and abrasive with a tendency to rip cats’ hair out. It’s not a breakaway collar, but it has a stretchy section that provides a little more peace of mind. One reviewer said they pulled the collar apart, replaced the band with a normal cat collar, and re-attached the electrodes from the receiver.

Overall, this appears to be one of the most effective and cat-appropriate invisible fences on the market. PetSafe is a trusted company and appears to provide excellent customer service, providing consultations to help customers get the invisible fence set up and working smoothly.

What We Liked:

  • Reliable performance
  • Allows you to adjust the placement of the fence to suit your needs
  • Receives primarily positive customer reviews
  • Has a small collar designed for cats

What We Didn’t Like:

  • You may have to shave a spot on your cat’s neck so the electrodes can make contact
  • Collar is made from uncomfortable nylon webbing

Best In-Ground—Budget Option: PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence

PetSafe Basic In-Ground Dog and Cat Fence

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At about $70 less than our first pick, this in-ground invisible fence is a little bit easier on the budget. It’s a good option if you only have $150 to spend.

The premise is the same—this is an in-ground fence that you bury in a boundary line around your yard or another area of your choosing. Like the Deluxe fence, it covers one-third of an acre straight out of the box. While the Deluxe can expand to cover up to 25 acres, additional fencing and flags will only buy you up to 5.3 acres of protection if you opt for the Basic model.

As one of the few invisible fence kits that’s recommended for both dogs and cats, it comes with an exceptionally lightweight collar that PetSafe says will fit pets weighing 8 lbs and up. Though it will fit a cat, comfort is not a guarantee—most of the few reviewers who used it for their cat said the collar was too clunky for their cat’s neck.

The collar is equipped with a receiver. You can program it to one of four correction settings or a tone-only mode for fully-trained cats.

What We Liked:

  • Has a relatively small collar appropriate for larger cats
  • In-ground setup affords flexibility
  • Has four correction settings plus tone-only mode for training
  • Comes with training flags

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Relatively limited range
  • Collar may be too cumbersome for most cats

Best Wireless: PetSafe Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System 

 PetSafe Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System

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If you prefer the easy setup of a wireless invisible cat fence, this product from PetSafe might be what you need. The wireless fence covers a radius of five to ninety feet from the location of the transmitter.

The wireless transmitter definitely gives you some freedom, but it’s also finicky. You must place the base unit near a power outlet and at least 5 feet away from large metal objects. It works best in flat yards—slopes can interfere with the signal.

The system is appropriate for cats weighing 8 lbs or more. You can select from 5 different intensity levels. Each shock is preceded by a warning tone, helping you to train your cat. The collar also vibrates, so it may be appropriate for deaf cats.

What We Liked:

  • Easy to set up
  • Good value for money
  • Has several intensity settings and a warning tone or vibration

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Primarily designed with dogs in mind—the collar is a little bit too large for most cats
  • Less reliable than an in-ground invisible fence
  • Only creates a circular protection zone

Best Indoor: PetSafe Pawz Away Threshold Indoor Pet Barrier Review

PetSafe Pawz Away Threshold Indoor Pet Barrier

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Want to keep certain areas of the home off-limits or block off the front door to prevent nerve-racking door dashes? You might try this indoor pet barrier from PetSafe.

The device emits an electrostatic charge in an up to 31-inch radius around the barrier. As your cat approaches the barrier, she’ll hear a series of warning beeps before receiving repetitive shocks that intensify as she continues to approach.

According to customer reviews, the collar is small and comfortable enough for most cats. It receives primarily positive reviews. The most common complaint is that the device isn’t intense enough to deter cats. Some people said they had to shave a spot on their cats’ neck to get a better connection. Other reviewers said the barrier was unreliable, malfunctioning repeatedly.

What We Liked:

  • A good option for indoor use
  • Appropriate for small cats weighing as little as 5 lbs
  • Many reviewers say it works well

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tends to malfunction
  • Some cats are unaffected by the static charge

Best Indoor—Upgrade Option: PetSafe Deluxe Indoor Pet Barrier Containment System Review

PetSafe Deluxe Indoor Pet Barrier Containment System

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This indoor cat barrier is more flexible and functional than the slightly cheaper one reviewed earlier on this list. It has a larger range, with a signal reaching from two to ten feet around the transmitter. When your cat nears the transmitter, she’ll hear a warning tone before receiving the static correction. The collar has four levels of intensity.

While the collar is more popular among dogs than cats, some customers have had success using it with their cats.

The collar is on the larger side, so it’s best for bigger cats who don’t mind wearing a collar. If you’d rather use a smaller collar, you can. The device is compatible with any PetSafe, Radio Fence, or Dog Guardian collar.

The unit plugs into a wall outlet, limiting your placement options.

What We Liked:

  • Has multiple shock intensity settings
  • Features a tone-only mode for well-conditioned cats
  • Flexible, wide-ranging protection area

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Uses an electrical cord, so you can only place it in areas close to an outlet

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.

About the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

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