Are electric fences safe for cats?


Our cat loves the outdoors but we recently moved
and our backyard extends into a green belt.
According to our neighbors, there are wild coyotes
in the green belt that have eaten a few cats, and
so we need to keep our cat in our backyard. We
have put up a fence, but of course, that only
stops the coyotes from getting in.

Is it safe and effective to contain a cat to your
backyard using an electric fence?

Location not disclosed

In a word, no. Electric fences cause shocks, which might not be safe for your cat. And I suspect that an electric fence would not be effective at keeping your cat in your yard.

Cats are remarkably agile creatures, and they are incredibly hard to restrain. Without installing zoo-quality fencing around your yard, it will be virtually impossible to guarantee that your cat stays in it.

Coyotes have been known to kill cats and dogs, so if your cat goes onto the greenbelt he will be at risk. As well, don’t forget the other hazards that outdoor cats face. These include fights with other cats (which can spread feline AIDS), being attacked by dogs, getting lost, being struck by vehicles or bicycles, and many others.

Unless you are able to install a high-grade fence that is designed to be cat- and coyote-proof, the safest option will be to keep your cat indoors.

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