What is the invisible fence?

How can I keep my cats in my garden when a fence is impractical? The invisible fence could be the answer.

There are a number of options for enclosing gardens to keep cats safe inside - and of course to keep feline intruders out. If you are skilled at DIY, wire panels can be mounted on brackets and added at an angle to the top of existing fence panels and should successfully keep your cats contained.

Otherwise, there are a several companies who can supply panels or who will come to your home and fit new boundaries or enclosures. There are even steel fence panels being marketed to cat owners - these work because the cat is unable to climb them.

The electronicic fence system uses a wire buried underground, or attached to walls or fences, which carries a light electric current and works in conjunction with a receiver attached to the cat's collar. When approached, the wire sends a signal to the cat's receiver and this emits a warning sound. If the cat continues as if to cross the boundary, he receives a small 'correction', similar to static electricity.

Some cat owners, particularly those in properties for whom a conventional fence would be impractical, have found it has worked and their cats have adapted to wearing the receiver and to the boundary imposed. However, there are mixed views about their use and DEFRA is currently in the process of reviewing the use of electric in association with controlling domestic animals. All such systems have recently been made illegal in Wales.