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Old May 9th, 2010, 04:42 PM
cmeghna cmeghna is offline
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Question Invisible Fence for two small cats and a larger dog?

Hello!
I'm hoping for some advice on this. I currently have two small cats (around 12 lbs each), and we're moving from an apartment to a house in the country with a nice, large back yard. It is, unfortunately, also on a main street (not terribly busy, but still a main street). I do not intend for my cats to become outdoor cats, but they are very active and agile, and have a tendency to dart of out of the door when it's opened a crack. I would like to put an invisible fence in to prevent their leaving the property (and possibly getting run over) if they do happen to dart out accidentally.
We are planning to adopt a larger dog (border collie or something similar) in a couple of months, and I have the same concerns for the dog. Plus, we would like to let the dog out into the yard from time to time as well.
My question is: will the same invisible fence work for both the cats and the dogs, with the difference in size? Are there any brands that experienced members on the forum can recommend?
Thanks in advance!
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Old May 9th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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Personally - don't waste your money. If your cats or your dog decide that the squirrel running by looks like something it wants to chase - it is probably going to blow off that zap on the way out of your yard. That same zap will probably prevent them from returning to your porch since there really isn't anything interesting or quick moving to distract them from that zap. Besides that - an invisible fence isn't going to keep anything from coming into your yard to get said pet.

Your better bet would be to put a traditional fence around the backyard - or part of it - and teach your pets that if they must go out, the back door is acceptable.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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A neighbour of mine has an invisible fence and it does not stop their dog from running after foxes and deer.

I do allow my cats outside and feel that training them on their boundaries is very important. Do you have something to put on your side yard that you can put up to show them the boundary of the back yard so you can train them that they are only allowed out back? Training them may alleviate the fear of them getting free and not knowing the area or where they are allowed.

I have trained my cats on a leash and harness and their boundaries. I live in a rural, wooded area with lots of temptations to run after wildlife. During training, I attached a harness with a long string attached and would not allow them to venture passed the mowed area of the lot (they are stopped dead when they try to venture farther). It did take a lot of patience and my time walking them, but has paid off for the most part. One will stop on command when I clap my hands and say "no" and the other is pretty good about stopping. Both these cats were trained as adults, not as kittens. The only thing is you need to have something that will show them the boundary. For me it is unmowed grass.

I do want to point out that they are NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE WITHOUT 100% SUPERVISION.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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I can't tell you how many dogs I've seen in our local paper that are "lost" that say they have a fence collar on, so I agree if a dog is determined, nothing's going to stop it.

As far as cats are concerned. Personally I would not take the chance at all. Over many years, I've had both indoor and outdoor cats, and cats I thought were trained to stay on our property, but occasionally they did leave on adventures. One old girl in particular who never ventured off the property one day decided to go AWOL for 4 days. We looked everywhere and could not find her at all. She was 16 y.o. at the time and I thought maybe she had died somewhere, but then she managed to drag herself altho she was very weak and tottering back to the house, immediately headed to the waterbowl and drank half of it. It was also obvious she'd had nothing to eat as well. She never really did recover completely and suffered serious kidney damage as a result and died 6 months later. The only way my 2 strictly indoor cats get outside now is in a pet stroller. They love a walk through a nearby park to see what's new and will actually get in the walker when I say "who wants to go for walkies?" Most pet stores sell them, and I find it's a good solution to give the cats some outdoor time and be safe at the same time. It's a win-win situation!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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I agree with what's been posted about the invisible fence. Dogs will still get out of the area , but won't get back in , in fear of getting zapped.

For your cats darting out , you could place baby gate inside your front door to deter them from doing it. Yes they can still jump it but it's easier to stop them.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:37 PM
cmeghna cmeghna is offline
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Thanks!

Thanks so much to everyone for their advice.
I do need to clarify something, though (sorry, I obviously wasn't as clear before as I meant to be): I really don't mean for the cats to go outside at all unless it's with a harness and leash on in the backyard when someone else is there. My problem is that they lie in wait and dart out the door when you open it, either to go out yourself or for someone to come in. We're usually really good about commanding them (insofar as cats can be commanded) to stay put or by blocking the space with a foot, but every so often they do manage to scramble out, or a visitor accidentally leaves the door open.
They're both also really good jumpers: I've seen them do a standing 5.5 foot jump: scared the living daylights out of me! So I don't imagine the baby gate will work, unfortunately.
A friend of mine who is studying to be a vet just told me that I can have an electric fence put in, and what matters is the strength of the collar put on the animal. So I can put collars of a different level onto my cats than I do the larger dog. I'm hoping this will work, and will return and post again with what I find.
PS: there's no back door: there is a side door, but it doesn't lead to the backyard. We actually have to take a little path to get to the back yard from the side door!
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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmeghna View Post
Thanks so much to everyone for their advice.
I do need to clarify something, though (sorry, I obviously wasn't as clear before as I meant to be): I really don't mean for the cats to go outside at all unless it's with a harness and leash on in the backyard when someone else is there. My problem is that they lie in wait and dart out the door when you open it, either to go out yourself or for someone to come in. We're usually really good about commanding them (insofar as cats can be commanded) to stay put or by blocking the space with a foot, but every so often they do manage to scramble out, or a visitor accidentally leaves the door open.
They're both also really good jumpers: I've seen them do a standing 5.5 foot jump: scared the living daylights out of me! So I don't imagine the baby gate will work, unfortunately.
A friend of mine who is studying to be a vet just told me that I can have an electric fence put in, and what matters is the strength of the collar put on the animal. So I can put collars of a different level onto my cats than I do the larger dog. I'm hoping this will work, and will return and post again with what I find.
PS: there's no back door: there is a side door, but it doesn't lead to the backyard. We actually have to take a little path to get to the back yard from the side door!
One thing before you put in this electric fence. Can you try out the collars on yourself? What will work with your dog won't work for your cats. It will be too strong and may kill them. If it is an electric fence per se you can not adjust strengths. Then you will be able to see what the animal will feel like to have that done to them.
As others have told you - the zap getting through the fence probably won't stop them from getting out if they see something they want to go after. It will make them hesitate to come back.
There are many ideas out there that will work to keep your cats in. Maybe you can build a small enclosed porch on the side of the house so people have to come in there and one door is closed before the other to your home is opened. If you rent it is as simple as putting up a "room" of posts and chicken wire so if kitties run out you can have time to grab them and put them back in. If it is completely closed off, even the top, cats can't get out. May not be attractive, although you can make it so, but it would be very effective. Just a thought.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:56 PM
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Here's some ideas for you. Doesn't have to be this fancy but may help.

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm

http://www.cat-world.com.au/cat-encl...ade-enclosures
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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:56 PM
cmeghna cmeghna is offline
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I would definitely try the collars out on myself before letting the cats get anywhere near them. What my friend said - and of course I'll validate before buying them - is that there are different strengths of collars for different animal sizes: it's not the fence itself that shocks, rather the fence sends the signal to the collar which then beeps and then (if the animal keeps running) shocks.
Having said that, I really like your idea of building porches for both doors: that should confuse the cats long enough to allow - as you said - one of us to grab them. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
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Old May 12th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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NoahGrey NoahGrey is offline
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Invisable fencing do not work. I can not tell you how many dogs I have picked up running at large, with a invisable fence collar on. Wear a collar for a day, and see how it feels getting shocked, when getting to close to the fence. It is actually quite painful. Also, I know like you said there are different settings on the collars. The problem with this is that, alot of owners (once there pet gets through the fence) they will turn it up, in hopes of there pet not getting through a second time. (Actually one of our adoption staff put on a collar and turn it on the highest setting that they collar had, and it pretty much threw her out of her chair) Please think of another alternatlves.

Last edited by NoahGrey; May 12th, 2010 at 02:26 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Hey I've used invisible fence once. It's certainly not 100%. If the animal is supervised it may be o.k. Don't rely on it. I did hear once about a cat door dodger type thing. It zaps only if the cat tries to leave the house. It's totally designed to stop your cat escaping. That was many many years ago and made by the original "Invisible Fence"
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Old May 12th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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I personally would never use an electric fence or collar for any of my pets. Not the fencing, not the bark collars, nothing. It's cruel and uncalled for. I'm sure if you put your mind to it you can figure out a way to control your cats and future dog. It sounds like it's just an easy way out rather than training training training. Don't want to offend you, just want to say I think they're horrible. Electro shock therapy comes to mind.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmeghna View Post
I would definitely try the collars out on myself before letting the cats get anywhere near them. What my friend said - and of course I'll validate before buying them - is that there are different strengths of collars for different animal sizes: it's not the fence itself that shocks, rather the fence sends the signal to the collar which then beeps and then (if the animal keeps running) shocks.
Having said that, I really like your idea of building porches for both doors: that should confuse the cats long enough to allow - as you said - one of us to grab them. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
That is good to know. So many people have changed their minds after finding out how much those things really do hurt. I would be petrified of hurting one of mine.
There are so many options on those sites I gave you. I'm sure you will be able to find something that will work. Thank you for taking my suggestion so well.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 08:24 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
A friend of mine who is studying to be a vet just told me that I can have an electric fence put in, and what matters is the strength of the collar put on the animal. So I can put collars of a different level onto my cats than I do the larger dog.
This is interesting. My neighbours have two, well one now, small Beagle size dog and she is contained by the invisible fence. Apparently they cannot make it strong enough to also contain their Bullmastiff so she has to stay in the house. The Bullmastiff doesn't seem to even know there is a fence, she has no reaction at all. Do you know what brand it is that allows you to vary the strength by the collar?

Just to add, the fence does not keep other animals out and when we came back from a bike ride yesterday my dog went over for a visit and then both dogs, even the small one, were lured out by mine, zap or not.
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