How to Make an Electric Fence for Cats

Thinking of ways to keep your cat from getting over your fence? Considering adding an electric fence element to help? In this quick article we’ll cover how to make an fence for cats. You can easily add this to any fence or balcony.

Make an Electric Fence For Your Balcony for Less than $25

These instructions come to us from our gardening friend at Scott’s Place. You can watch his full video below. Based on his plans and the plans we used for our electric dog fence we’ve put together this quick step by step on how to setup your own electric cat fence.

Scott in the video below created his fence to keep squirrels off his balcony. You can do the same thing to keep cats in if you have a solid fence.

Both the fence we describe for dogs and this patio fence operate on creating an electrified wire to prevent your pet from crossing the fence. The main difference for cats is the fence needs to be solid or they can just squeeze through.

Editor’s Note – Check your local regulations on warning signs and installation of charged fences. The setup in this video is for information purposes only.

  1. Again, check your local regulations first to make sure you can do this and a permit isn’t required.
  2. You’ll need wire, wire cutters, a low-power electric fence charge controller suitable for pets (e.g. Power Wizard Low Impedance PW 100), insulators to hold the wire on top of your fence, and warning signs. Wire should be 10 or 14 gage. Check the instructions on your charge controller to see what gage is required.
  3. You can buy insulators that are meant to attach to your specific type of fence (e.g. nailed into wood, clip onto metal, etc.). In the example below Scott uses Popsicle sticks with holes as insulators (he eventually used stakes as the popsicle sticks were too flimsy). These are inserted into his plants. Again, his goal is to protect is balcony plants from squirrels but the tech and theory is the same for all pets.
  4. Install the wire using insulators along the top of your fence.
  5. Install warning signs.
  6. Connect the one end of the wire to the positive terminal on the charger.
  7. Connect the negative terminal on the charger to the ground or
  8. Plug in the charger.
  9. Use an electric multi-meter to test for current. Don’t touch the fence yourself.
  10. Train your cat to use the fence. This part is important and takes patience. Electric fences are not an instant solution and require training to use them humanely.

Also consider using a wireless fence for your cat if you don’t have the right type of fence for electric.


How Do I Ground an Electric Fence?

Grounding is key for your electric fence. Without it your fence won’t deliver a strong static correction. With it, and with it done safely your fence will work just as expected.

The simplest way to ground an electric fence is to use grounding rods (preferably galvanized steel) hammered into the ground. Most electric fences require at least 3 grounding rods.

To ground your electric fence, hammer 3 galvanized steel rods into the ground. Use a wire to connect them in series to each other. Then connect the wire to the negative terminal of your electric fence charger.

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How Strong Should an Electric Fence be for Dogs?

Safe pet voltage is 700 – 1000 volts.

How Strong Should an Electric Fence be for For Cats?

Similar to dog fences, cat and pet electric fences should provide a voltage of 700 – 1000 volts.

How Do I Safely Test an Electric Fence?

Test your electric fence using a multi-meter. Set the multi-meter to check voltage. Voltage should match your expected voltage based on your fence charge controller. Most controllers for pets range from 700 to 1000 volts.

How Do I Train My Cat to Understand an Electric Fence?

Most animals naturally understand electric fences.

The way farm animals are trained is by installing the electric fence on the inner side of a physical fence first. This prevents them from running through and damaging the electric fence.

Then when they are used to that you can put them inside a movable electric fence pen.

That’s for farm animals though. A cat would simple go under a movable electric fence.

When building an electric fence for a cat you must use a solid non-metal fence. It must be a fence they can’t squeeze through.

This is very similar to training goats to understand an electric fence.

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Once the electric wire is installed on the top of a solid fence the only way for your cat to escape is to go over the top of the fence. Once they touch the wire and receive a static correction they’ll quickly learn not to go over it.

It’s very important to install this type of fence correctly. Cats are smart and need to be respected as such.

You don’t want them trying to go over or under the wire and getting caught.

If you’re concerned about installing it correctly we recommend looking at invisible fence options instead or possibly using other options like PVC pipe (see video below on PVC).

Cat Proof Fence Using PVC Pipe – DIY How To