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Some felines can be very stubborn, and owners may feel like they need more help. This can lead them to look into shock or electric collars, also called e-collars. This is an extremely sensitive topic, and owners will want to do their research before trying any shock collar for cats.
A shock collar is a tool that can sometimes help train cats and dogs. These come in several forms, including remote control and invisible fence. The invisible fence kind may be one of the more well-known varieties, though these are most often used with canines, not felines. For cats, shock collars sometimes discourage aggressive behavior or keep an investigative cat away from dangerous areas.
There are pros and cons to using one of these devices. All cats will respond differently, and there is no way for owners to know how their cats will fare with one of these products until they try them. In the long run, owners must make the decision they feel is best for their pets. Consider the distinct reasons why this tool might be helpful, as well as what some alternatives are. As always, consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s behavior. The information we provide is to educate and inform. This is to familiarize owners with these training tools, not intended as a substitute for advice from a veterinarian or feline behavior specialist.
At A Glance: Best Cat Shock Collars
Best For Indoor Cats
PetSafe Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier
Best Remote-Controlled Collar
eXuby Small and Gentle Cat Training Collar
Best Electric Training Alternative
SEERWAY Scat Pet Shock Mat
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What Is A Shock Collar?
Though they are called shock collars, these devices do not only work to deliver an electric pulse. Many of today’s products come with the option to use sounds or vibrations to guide behavior modification.
A traditional shock collar consists of a collar that is similar to a conventional collar but contains a microchip that will deliver a small electronic pulse to the cat through the collar. The pulse can be controlled by remote or sometimes using motion detection when a cat crosses an electronically marked boundary. Another variety can be programmed to respond to noise and is used to help deter loud barking or meowling.
Are Shock Collars For Cats Safe?
These devices should only be used under close supervision from owners who are familiar with how the product works. This is especially important when using any product that delivers an electric current to an animal. Many owners choose to use these training aids and do not use the shock option. These owners instead turn to vibration and sound training to help deter and retrain their cat’s problematic behavior.
There are some pet experts and owners who disagree with the use of these kinds of products. Some may even view them as a form of animal cruelty. One of the main arguments against using shocking collars Is that they use a fear-based approach to change a cat’s behavior. The collars that use vibration and sound are more humane.
Some owners may have no choice but to try one of these products. This can come after many different approaches to changing troublesome feline behavior. For example, an indoor cat that keeps escaping outside and putting itself in an unsafe situation or a cat that is causing damage to an area of the home. Owners who do choose to use these products should always read the instructions in full and never exceed the recommended usage. Always look for products that clearly say what they do and how strong they are.
What To Know Before Using A Shock Collar
There are a few things that feline owners should know before investing in or using a shock collar. Always consider those that offer alternatives to electric currents, like sound and vibration response.
Using a training collar is always something owners should start with slowly. Feline owners should consider a few things before using one of these devices with their cats.
- Keep in mind that even though these devices are referred to as shock collars, most reputable products available offer more options than electronic pulses. There are also a few different kinds of e-collars for cats. Some are remote-controlled, and others are triggered by motion or sound. There are even some products that are weather or water-resistant.
- These products are not intended to be worn around the clock. Only use these products in moderation. You do not want to injure or permanently scar your cat emotionally. Allowing your kitty plenty of time without the collar prevents them from developing sores or receiving too much of a snappy jolt.
- Owners should know that most of the products available today allow owners to adjust the intensity of the current, sound, or vibration an animal will feel.
- Sometimes these options can be more affordable than hiring a trainer or making physical changes to your home.
- Some owners have reported that using e-collars has resulted in their cat changing their behavior quickly. While this is certainly not something that all feline owners should expect, sometimes the surprise and discomfort a kitty feels from an electric collar is enough to turn them off the behavior very quickly.
- Electric collars can be more convenient, especially if they are being used on outdoor cats. Some products, such as those that are used as electric fences, do not require an owner to be fully present. That being said, we do not advise using any of these products when a kitty is alone or leaving an e-collar on an unsupervised cat.
- Owners must remember that regardless of the methods they are using to train a cat, training will take time. Always read the instructions and product guidelines before using an electric collar on your pet. Start with small doses and extremely low intensity. Hopefully, your pet will understand quickly that the actions they are engaging in are eliciting this negative response, and it will be enough to stop their behavior quickly.
- Always stick with the lowest effective setting.
Things To Consider
There are a few things owners should consider regarding the effect these products may have on their pets. One of the biggest concerns is that these products have the potential to cause pain and fear to the cat. Most owners and feline behavior professionals would prefer to use a more positive training method rather than something that forces change through the use of fear.
Sometimes, these products can trigger more undesirable responses rather than fixing the original problem. Felines with a fear response may become more aggressive, destructive, or restless. Additionally, they may feel betrayed or like their trust in their owner has been broken.
There is always the concern that the electrical current, sound, or vibration may be too strong. Sometimes this can lead to an overcorrection. This means that your kitty may receive the redirecting signal too often or even when they are not misbehaving. This can cause them to think healthy, acceptable behavior is wrong.
Shock collars do not allow animals to feel the positive reward and interaction they get from owners for a job well done. When traditionally training an animal not to do something or to learn a trick or game, the use of treats, verbal rewards, and cuddles tends to be far more effective than negative reinforcement. We do understand that, in some cases, owners may have already tried positive reinforcement and need something that has a stronger impact. Always use any kind of e-collar with caution and great care.
Can You Use A Shock Collar On A Kitten?
We would not recommend using an electronic collar with a kitten. Kittens are incredibly young and still going through the developmental process both mentally and physically. They have not yet learned proper behavior. It is far preferable to start training your kitten early and reinforcing it with positive behavior than to turn to an electric training collar for kittens.
Along with kittens being too young to have been fully trained yet, there is also concern that these products are simply unsafe. Kittens should always have breakaway collars that are made specifically for kittens. It is better to wait and try other methods until your cat is at least a year old before trying an electrical one. If you have extreme behavior concerns, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian. They can do a physical exam, as well as run blood and other tests to rule out disease or hormonal imbalances.
Your veterinarian is also a wonderful source to connect with feline behavior specialists and trainers. These professionals can help you work through a behavior issue, especially with a kitten, in a far more effective and less scary way than using an e-collar, especially those that use electric stimulation.
Best Shock Collars For Cats
Below we have reviewed a few of the top-quality electric cat collars, also called cat shock collars, on the market. One thing to point out is that it is essential to look for products that specifically say they are safe to use with felines. Many products, even those intended for small dog breeds, are unsuitable for felines. Several products will say this directly in the description. Please pay heed to these warnings and only use electric collars that have specifically been marked safe for feline use.
PetSafe Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier
- Battery operated.
- Adjustable barrier.
- Designed for indoor pets over 5 lbs.
- Beeping, followed by a soft static burst.
- Can expand boundary with additional barrier device.
PetSafe Pawz Away Indoor Pet Barrier is a reliable product to start with. This one is intended for indoor cat use. This product consists of a wearable receiver collar and a barrier device. This will set a boundary area. When pets enter the boundary area wearing the receiving collar, they will first hear a series of high-pitched beeps, followed by a startling burst of static.
This product allows for an adjustable boundary range. Boundaries can reach six feet in radius or twelve feet in diameter. Additional boundary extension kits are available for owners who need to protect more than one area of their home or set a larger boundary.
We love that this product is battery-operated and easy to use. The collar is adjustable and fits cats and dogs that weigh five pounds or more and have a neck size of 6 to 28 inches. This is also a waterproof product, which provides a gentle static burst rather than a powerful jolt. PetSafe also makes several options for invisible outdoor fences.
eXuby Small & Gentle Cat Training Collar
- Remote controlled.
- Designed for felines.
- Small and portable.
- 3 modes.
- 9 intensity levels.
The eXuby – Small & Gentle Cat Training Collar is a feline-specific product. This has three different correction modes and nine different intensity levels. Owners can create a mix of stimulation to help redirect unruly and unwanted behavior for each specific animal. Sound, vibration, and shock modes. Always stick with the lowest effective setting. This is a remote-controlled collar, so owners can work directly with their pets on specific behaviors.
This one comes with two different faceplates, so owners can pick which look they like best. The product is designed to be durable and last for a long time. Though it is small, it may not be small enough for every kitty and should not be used with kittens.
We love that this is designed specifically for felines and is gentle. We also appreciate the remote-control option, as well as the many different options for feedback and intensity.
SEERWAY Scat Pet Shock Mat
- A mat, not a collar.
- Battery operated.
- 3 modes.
- Gentle redirection.
- Designed for feline use.
Seerway Scat Pet Shock Mat is a safe e-training pad for cats and dogs. Though it is not a collar, it is one of the few products that is specifically made for feline use. It comes with two mats and has three training modes. This one can beep, beep, and safe static, or just safe static.
This one works for kitties of all sizes but should not be used with kittens. Battery-operated so that it can go just about anywhere in the house. This can be extremely helpful for keeping kitties off tables, counters, and couches.
We love that this is not a collar, so it is not restrictive. With the three different modes, kitties can be gently redirected from a specific area. This is a suitable alternative to a collar and a little stronger than simple verbal redirection.
Alternatives To Electric Cat Collars
Along with positive behavior reinforcement and personalized training, owners have a few other options than using an electric or shocking training tool. These include calming collars that use pheromones, as well as motion-activated cat sprays.
PetSafe SSSCAT Motion Activated Spray
- Motion-activated spray.
- Non-toxic and safe for cats and dogs.
- Easy to use.
- No electric shock.
- Highly effective.
PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Motion Activated Spray Deterrent is a motion-activated spray deterrent. If your kitty walks within three feet and activates the motion sensor, this odorless spray will blast out, causing most pets to go in the other direction.
This one is amazingly simple yet effective. This spray is odorless, harmless, and safe for cats and dogs. It is easy to replace the can, and each can contains between 80 and 100 sprays. This is battery-operated and very portable so that it can go anywhere.
We love that this is a highly effective way to deter feline behavior without subjecting them to an electric jolt. The spray will startle them and spook them enough that they will stay away from that specific area. This one is particularly good for doorways, hallways, corners, and even countertops.
TCLLKA Calming Pheromone Collars
- Calming pheromones.
- Wearable for 4 weeks.
- Safe for kittens and adults.
- No shock.
Pheromone Calming Collars like these can be extremely helpful in calming cats down and easing hyperactivity. They can be very helpful for kitties that have bad behaviors. Often a cat’s unruly behavior may be triggered by fear, anxiety, or stress. These combine natural plant essential oils, are hypoallergenic, and are non-addictive. These pheromones work to help ease tension and eliminate aggressive behavior.
One thing that really stands out about these is that they are suitable for adult cats and kittens. This is especially helpful when training kits, who are often scared easily and may not like to be left home alone. Pheromone collars can help relieve stress and anxiety caused by various triggers and are very noninvasive.
We love that these calming collars are effective for up to 30 days. They can be worn 24 hours a day and should be changed out about every four weeks. They are also waterproof so they can stand up to an occasional bath or dunk in the water bowl. This product is flexible and can work for cats of all sizes.
Another option that owners can investigate is using clicker training. This is a process where owners train cats to respond in a certain way to a click. This can be a way to redirect them from unruly behavior. This method can also incorporate positive behavior rewards, like tasty treats and cuddles. These are far more enjoyable for cats and often more effective.
Always remember to use caution when using any kind of electric training device with your feline. Make sure only to use products that specifically state they are safe for use with cats. The strength of electric pulse given in products designed for canine use, especially for larger dogs, may be far too much to use safely with a feline. This can cause injury and even death, which is a particularly important consideration. Always use caution when using any products that require a battery or electric power with your pets. Your pet should always be supervised when using these training tools. Safety should always be the top priority.
Even though products like electric collars and shock collars for cats may claim to remedy all bad behavior, many of these claims are not always true. Every animal will respond to electrical stimulation differently. Always start out with the sound or vibration option unless directed otherwise by a product. Remember to use the lowest possible intensity to start out with and always stick with the lowest effective frequency. You do not want to scare or harm your pet. Remember, these tools are used as training aids. Pet parents must put in the work to make sure cats are safe and that these training methods are effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a shock collar for a dog on my cat?
No, you should not use a shock collar intended for canine use on your cat. Only ever use products that state they are safe for feline use. There are some on the market that are specifically labeled for both dog and cat use. Stick to these or feline-only products. The level of shock and intensity from dog products may be far too much to use with your kitty safely.
Are shock collars effective for cats?
This question is hard to answer because every cat is different. It all depends on your specific cat, the behavior you are trying to change, and the product that you use. Not all products are created the same, and they do not all do the same things. Some may be more effective than others in general, or your pet may be simply more sensitive than others. It is hard to say whether these always work or how well they work. Additionally, many people disagree with their use. Because of this, it is always best to consult your veterinarian before trying any kind of product on your pet that distributes an electric shock.
Do vibration collars work better?
Vibration collars may work better, depending on the specific kitty. They are less scary and intrusive than shock collars. This may be helpful in training your cat. However, some cats, especially those that are outdoors and escaping, may need a stronger sensation than a vibration. So, there is no definitive answer to that question, as all cats are different.
Does the vet recommend a shock collar for cats?
Most veterinarians will not likely recommend using a shock collar unless it is for very extreme behavior. This all depends on the specific cat, the behavior, your veterinarian, and the product you want to use. It is always best to start this process with a conversation with your veterinarian. Even if they disagree with using a shock collar, they can provide you with recommendations on how to do so safely, as well as alternatives.
For some cat owners using an electric collar, also called a shock collar for training cats, might be a necessary step. While not everyone agrees with this training method, sometimes cats may need stronger redirection of behavior. Electric collars often do more than offer a shock. They also can provide a noise or vibration response. There are several different options here, some collars will set a specific boundary within the home, and others can be used outside for bigger spaces. Additionally, other options like shock mats, calming collars, and motion-activated sprays can help redirect and deter unruly behavior. Hopefully, our reviews and information have helped you understand more about how shock collars for cats work and what some of the better-performing options are.