No, in general, an electric fence shouldn’t kill a cat. Any cat that came into proximity to one would normally just leave. They avoid electric fences like the plague because they can sense the electromagnetic field these devices generate. Cats have a great sense of what professionals call induction and electrostatic energy.
When they feel it, cats get scared and go away. That doesn’t mean that it’s actually safe to use electric fences around our feline friends, though, because any electrical shocks could be unsafe for animals.
A cat who did come into contact with an electric fence could get fracked and then die of a heart attack. If the amperage were strong enough, then they could potentially even be fried.
The only reason that this doesn’t happen very often is that cats don’t like to go near them and the electrified parts of fences are usually tall enough that most cats won’t want to climb up to try and reach them. If they start to climb, then there’s a good chance that they might sense something is wrong and jump off.
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Are Electric Fences Safe for Cats?
Even though cats shy away from electric fences, they’re not safe to use with them. There’s always a risk that a cat or other domestic animal might come into extended contact with an electric fence and end up taking a sizable shock in the process.
You may have seen some relatively low voltage marketed as safe for use to control animals. The animals that these are supposed to control usually belong to big livestock collections!
Cats are obviously not cattle, so it’s hard to imagine that this is a particularly safe situation. Some manufacturers do make low-grade electric fences that are apparently certified safe to use with small domestic animals.
While you could theoretically use these around cats, in practice it might not be that good of an idea because a wet or dirty cat might be a great conductor of electricity. There’s also the risk that a cat might inadvertently come into contact with a fence, which might lead to some pretty unfortunate circumstances.
What are the Dangers of Having an Electric Fence and Cats?
The biggest danger is to a cat’s cardiovascular system. If a cat were to get a strong jolt from a fence, then there’s a strong chance that it could stop their heart.
When the voltage is strong enough, cats experience muscle contractions that make it hard for them to get away. That could make them take an even bigger dose of electricity.
Wall-top electric fences are normally seen as safer, but cats like to climb. There’s always a danger that curiosity might literally kill a cat who wants to explore the top of an electrified wall.
Stun-lethal fences are probably the worst offenders. These are set to deliver a shock if touched and then a more powerful jolt the second time.
A cat might not be affected the first time but get a fatal shock the second. While you don’t normally don’t see this outside of very locked down areas, one model has become popular on certain types of farms so cat owners need to watch out.
What Can I Put On My Fence to Keep Wildlife and Neighbors Pets Out of My Yard Without Injuring Them?
Rollers are your best bet. These are rotating metal cylinders that screw into the top of your yard and make it hard for any animal to climb over it.
If a cat or dog tried to scale your fence, then they would lose their footing as soon as they got to the roller. Since it’s slick and spins around, there’s no way to get a good grip on it.
Unlike electric fences, rollers don’t use any sort of pain deterrent to discourage animals from climbing fences. They simply make it more of a challenge and most animals will just lose interest once they find that there’s no way for them to get over the top.
Noise-makers might be another good choice, especially if you’re dealing with local wildlife as well as neighborhood cats. Several devices make enough noise to scare off animals but not so much that it starts to irritate property owners.
Another option is a simple homemade repellent spray. You can safely keep stray cats and some other animals with a combination of:
- 1 cup of distilled vinegar
- 1 cup of plain tap water
- A squirt of dish soap
Spray this around your property where strays tend to congregate. The smell of it isn’t bad to humans, but certain other mammals may not like it one bit.
What is the Deadly Amperage for a House Cat?
Around 0.01 amps of sustained 110-volt house current are enough to kill an average-sized house cat. Twice this produces severe burns even in big animals like humans.
That means even 0.02 amps could be enough to actually fry a cat, though some animals can survive shocks like this if they’re immediately rescued or find a way to drop the electric line before it’s too late. Anything approaching a full amp would undoubtedly kill a cat in just an instant.
At lower voltages, cats could take 1-2 amps, but this depends somewhat on their weight. Very small cats wouldn’t be able to take this much of a shock at even a modest voltage.
If you’re installing an electric fence and are trying to consider the safety of any animals that might come into contact with it, then you’ll need to run less than this level of current through it. Keep in mind that even 0.01 amps are enough to seriously harm a human.
That’s why wall-top electrified fences that provide more than enough height to keep them safe have become quite popular. Even these should have a reduced amperage if safety is a consideration, however.
My name is Ken and I’m one of the staff writers at Petloverguy.com. I’ve cared for pets most of my life starting with hamsters, turtles, and snakes. Then moving up to parakeets, guinea pigs, and even ducks.
I currently live with two yorkies and a chihuahua mix.