Cat Shock Collar | How They Work, When To Use Them, and Top 5 Reviewed

Wondering if you need a cat shock collar to better train your furry friend? Trying to work on some behavior problems like keeping your cat off the counters or getting your cat to meow a little less? In this article we’ll cover how cat shock collars work, why and when to use them to build containment systems or for training, and why they make such a great training device.

Plus we’ll review the top 5 electric shock collars out there and show you how to use them for behavior modification.

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How Do Cat Shock Collars Work?

Shock collars also known as electric collars or e-collars work by providing a beep, vibration, or static shock (electric shock via a micro electric current) either at the press of a button from a remote or when the shock collar crosses a boundary line set by a transmitter. When used properly they make a great training tool.

Each one comes with two parts, a receiver collar that applies one of three training forms (sound function, vibration or low voltage shock function) plus the remote or transmitter that sends an automatic or button-based signal. Most include the ability to fine tune the static shock level so you use the bare minimum needed to get the attention of your cat, small pets, or small dogs.

Note – Always set the collar to it’s minimum setting and increase the intensity level only enough to get your cat’s attention. That’s all you need for training. Never set it to the maximum level. It should never cause physical pain. We recommend testing it on yourself first.

Electric shock training collars can be used as part of positive reinforcement training and negative reinforcement training to remove negative behaviors. Both training methods work and both require the trainer to undergo some basic training before using these tools.

For a more in depth look at how they work as wireless fences see our article here. That article focuses on dog wireless fences but the concept is the same for cats. A common way cat owners use wireless fences is to keep indoors cats from using the dog door to escape.

Transmitters have a barrier range. When your cat comes to the edge of that range it triggers the receiver collar to send the sound, vibration, or electric shock. Use this to prevent your cat from leaving an area (e.g. your house) or from entering certain areas (e.g. forbidden rooms, counter tops).

Some transmitters, like the ones from PetSafe, allow you to adjust the barrier range. You can set it so it mimics the size of your house preventing your cat or small pets from going through dog doors.

Other transmitters has super small barrier ranges. These can be set to keep your cat away from certain areas. Use them to keep cats off counter tops, furniture, or out of rooms that you want your cat to avoid.

Cat owners use these shock collars for a variety of reasons which we’ll cover next.

eXuby - Small Cat Shock Collar w/Remote - Designed for Training Cats - Prevents Unwanted Meowing, Scratching & Roaming - Sound, Vibration & Shock Modes - 9 Intensity Levels - Waterproof - Teal/Pink

Why and When to Use a Cat E-Collar or Shock Collar

Here are some of the top reasons cat owners use e-collars or a shock collar:

  • Keep indoors cats or small pets from using the dog door and escaping
  • Reduce meowing
  • Prevent cat access to certain rooms or expensive furniture
  • Create an invisible fence to keep your cat in your yard

The Top 5 Cat E-Collars and Shock Collars (Reviewed)

Best Invisible Fence for Cats (E-Collar and Transmitter) by PetSafe – PAWZ Away Pet Barrier

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PetSafe Pawz Away Pet Barrier with Adjustable Range, Pet Proofing for Cats and Dogs, Static Stimulation
  • SET INDOOR BOUNDARIES: Keep your cat off the kitchen counter and your dog away from the shoe rack by setting off-limits areas with the wireless, Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier transmitter
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED: You’ll receive 1 Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier and a receiver collar for your cat or dog to wear
  • SAFELY CORRECTS YOUR PET: When your pet enters the boundary area wearing the receiver collar, they will hear a series of beeps and then will receive a safe yet startling static correction
  • ADJUSTABLE BARRIER RANGE: Protect specific areas throughout your home by adjusting the boundary up to a 6 feet radius or 12 feet in diameter
  • PROTECT MULTIPLE AREAS OF YOUR HOME: If you want to keep your pet away from more than 1 area of your home, simply purchase additional Pawz Away barriers and place them where needed

What We Like

  • Petsafe is a trusted brand for e-collar products (along with Dogtra and SportDOG)
  • Best to keep cat off kitchen counters, furniture, or out of certain rooms
  • Very customizable – You can attach Petsafe “barriers” to specific items. The shock collar then beeps and tingles when they get near these forbidden areas
  • Need to cutoff a new area? Just move the transmitter, train your cat, and they will start avoiding that place as well
  • Good for smart cats that outwit barriers or automatic spray training devices
  • Beeps first as a warning then does a shock if the shock collar/receiver gets to close to the transmitter – our favorite type of training collar always uses beeps first and has multiple shock settings so you can set it super low
  • Great battery life

What We Don’t Like

  • Not a small device – Receiver is a bit big for cats (you can swap out the shock collar portion to make the overall collar/receiver a bit smaller)
  • Thicker hair can prevent the receiver from working. That happens when the contact points can’t touch the skin consistently. You may need to trim the hair while training your cat so it gets used to the electric shock collar. Long hair doesn’t work well with training collars.

Remember – training collar work should be active and you should be involved to make sure your cat is learning!

Runner Up – Next Best Invisible Fence for Cats

PetSafe Stay & Play Dog and Cat Wireless Fence – Above Ground Electric Pet Fence
  • 5 LEVELS OF CORRECTION: 5 levels of static correction plus a tone-only mode help keep your pet secure inside the yard
  • WATERPROOF: The waterproof collar comfortably fits dogs 5 lb and up and adjusts to fit neck sizes 6-28 in
  • RECHARGEABLE: A low battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to charge your pet’s collar; collar quickly recharges in 2-3 hours
  • CONTAIN ALL YOUR PETS: With the purchase of additional collars, you can safely contain an unlimited number of pets with your compatible PetSafe wireless fence
  • CUSTOMIZABLE COLLAR STRAP: The interchangeable design of the receiver collar allows you to use any non-metallic, 3/4-in collar strap of your choice

What We Like

  • Again, trusted brand PetSafe – they have been around and have been working on invisible fence technology since 1991.
  • Good general transmitter for creating a larger fenced area. This will work to keep your cat in the house or yard but not good for keeping them off specific pieces of furniture. See the PetSafe Pawz away pet barrier to keep cats off smaller things like counter tops
  • Good for travel – easy to setup transmitter and barrier so you can take your cat RV camping.
  • Adjustable barrier range

What We Don’t Like

  • Transmitter signal gets interference from dense metal objects easily. Signal at edge can be spotty for some houses and setups
  • Signal makes a large circular sphere – does not work well for long rectangular yards.

Best Small Shock Collar for Training

eXuby - Small Cat Shock Collar w/Remote - Designed for Training Cats - Prevents Unwanted Meowing, Scratching & Roaming - Sound, Vibration & Shock Modes - 9 Intensity Levels - Waterproof - Teal/Pink
  • FIRST SHOCK COLLAR FOR CATS - Until now, cat owners had to use dog shock collars that didn't fit right. The eXuby small cat shock collar with remote is the first shock collar tailored to the size and shape of cats.
  • STOP MEOWING, SCRATCHING, AND MORE - Tired of your cat's loud meowing, furniture scratching or jumping on the counter? Quickly correct these bad behaviors with this collar. You can even keep your outdoor cats from roaming off your property.
  • LOOKS AS GOOD AS IT FUNCTIONS - The eXuby small cat shock collar with remote includes blue and pink faceplates for customization. Even better, the sleek modern, design of the remote control means it won't look clunky in your home.
  • 3 CORRECTION MODES & 9 INTENSITY LEVELS - Cats respond differently to different types of corrections, which is why the eXuby collar comes with sound, vibration, and shock modes and nine intensity levels so you can find the lowest effective setting.
  • PERFORMANCE & LONGEVITY - eXuby Cat Shock Collars are developed with quality in mind for dependable performance - And they are made to be durable ensuring longevity

What We Like

  • Great remote collar for manual training where you actively work with your cat on new habits while using the training collar. Note – this is not an automatic sound, vibration, or shock collar
  • Reasonable price, great packaging
  • Uses tone mode, vibration, or electric shock to get attention for training purposes – See training collar video below
  • Can be used with positive and/or negative reinforcement training
  • Multiple intensity levels

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit bulky (most e-collars for cats are bulky as the tech isn’t advanced enough to make them super small – they need a sizable battery and it is what it is)
  • Shock collar buckle is a little loose and can fall off at times

Best Automatic System to Reduce Meowing

How about an automatic training collar to help reduce meowing? When done well it gives your training a huge advantage.

This is one of the first models we could find that’s tuned to a lower frequency of meowing. Most bark collars are made for dogs.

The best of the best are triggered both by vibration and by sound. This one appears to be a sound-sensitive collar only.

Note – This may not work for all cats. It’s a new model and you should plan on actively training with it at first before just leaving it on. That’s true of all bark or meow collars.

Paipaitek Cat Shock Collar,Automatic Trainer Collar for Cats Prevent Meowing Designed,Sound Vibrate and Shock 3 Working Modes for Cats and Kittens - Waterproof & Rechargeable
  • Why Training Cats? Have you ever experienced a cat meowing at night, affecting your family’s sleep and receiving complaints from neighbors? Paipaitek automatic electric shock cat collar can effectively prevent cats from unnecessary meowing,and make our cats more calm and smart.collar without remote control
  • How Does The Collar Work? The cat collar automatically detects the meowing frequency of the cat according to the induction device.When the cat meows,the collar will automatically trigger sound,vibration,and static shock signals to stop the kitten from continuing to meow.
  • What's the difference with the dog bark collar? The induction device of dog stop bark collar can only detect the dog bark frequency,but not the cat meow frequency,so please stop using the bark collar for your cat,because the bark collar is not only ineffective for cats,but also may hurt your lovely cat due to strength.
  • Fashion and Smart Design: Blue matte material panel,U-shaped design increases the comfort of the cat's neck,1oz lightweight device will not burden your pet.Our personalized breakaway cat collar are designed to quickly release the cat when caught by the cat collar through the safety buckle,Great for cats of all sizes,small to large, female and male cats.
  • Buy With Confidence: Paipaitek only focus on the pet training.We are a research and development,manufacturing,sales and after-sales as one of the enterprises,product design unique,stable quality,after-sales worry free.

What We Like

  • Automatic shock collar training – Still provide some active training in the beginning to help your cat understand how to turn off the beeping or vibrating. After that you can let the automatic sensing system do the training
  • Multiple stimulation levels – Uses beeping/sound, vibration, or static correction (electric shock) settings – Lots of options to use the lowest setting to get results
  • Additional features – Tuned to a meowing frequency of sound.

What We Don’t Like

  • Only comes in blue
  • Relatively new product. We wish PetSafe, Dogtra, or SportDOG would work on this but this will do for now

Best No Shock Collar (Uses Scents and Phermones) to Calm Cats and Reduce Meowing

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Sentry Behavior and Calming Collar for Cats, 1Ct
  • Scientifically proven: Sentry calming collar for Cats reduces excessive meowing, marking and scratching.
  • Less stressful lives: the Sentry calming cat collar reduces excessive meowing in cats and kittens.
  • Eliminate unwanted behavior: Sentry cat calming collar helps stop inappropriate marking and unwanted scratching.
  • Safe & effective: calming feline collar is safe and effective when used as directed, without long-term side effects.
  • 30 day release: Sentry calming collar for Cats and kittens releases pheromones for up to 30 days.

What We Like

  • Scent based – doesn’t use vibration or shock
  • Intended to reduce meowing, scratching, and marking
  • Helps calm cat from loud noises, thunder, fireworks
  • Uses the same pheromone that mother cats put out when calming their kittens
  • According to TIME magazine, this has been called a kitty Prozac without the pill (source)

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t work for all cats – consistency issue
  • Could get stuck in cat’s mouths – watch this when you first use it. If your cat fidgets with it too much then it might not be for your cat. You can also attach this to their normal collar via zip ties to make sure they can’t get at it with their mouth.
  • Don’t use outside – Only use breakaway collars outside so you cat can’t get stuck on things

How to Train a Cat on an Invisible Fence Using a Training Collar (E-Collar)

We cover boundary training for cats and dogs more thoroughly in this article. You can watch the video below to get a quick overview.