Fireball and the Invisible Fence

I called the folks at Invisible Fence when Fireball came home to ask if cats could be trained on the fence. The answer was yes, but the training was more complex than with a dog. We decided to wait and see if FB showed any interest in going outside first. Well, we learned the answer to that question New Year’s Eve when FB bolted out the front door when Rahul cracked it to check on the kids playing outside. Needless to say we freaked out. Because it was dark, we searched for flashlights and could only find one decent one on Rahul’s key chain. Sigh. We found him under the steps, and I vowed to call the Invisible Fence Co on Monday. We already have the fence and want to make sure we are doing all that we can so that FB can explore inside and out, but just in our yard.

Our initial appt was today. A brief summary of the training steps –
step one: introduce a harness (so you can “walk” your cat outside later on)
step two: set up an indoor training disc in an area that your cat likes and put training flags around the area.
step three: put an enticing treat inside the training area and call your cat to the area.

The harness training step was easier than I thought it would be. The training disc…another story. FB needed the smallest collar and his initial tries with the training disc resulted in the collar beeping (i.e., he was getting shocked) and he sat and ate the salmon treat. The collar was tightened, the settings were increased and still FB went for the salmon.

When the technician said he was not comfortable raising the correction beyond the next level, I started to worry that FB was not trainable. What happened next was a relief/sad/hilarious all wrapped up in one. FB went for the salmon but after hearing the beeps, jumped back and started smacking his collar. He did try again, a few more times, but seemed more irritated than afraid that he could not get the salmon.

Here is FB post-training. He looks super happy, right?

Our job over the weekend is to use the harness and add in the leash for brief walks on the deck, etc. We also need to set up the inside training disc in another area of the house. Check back in next week to see how things are going 🙂

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