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Preventing Kittens from becoming Road Kill

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi,

We have two kittens, Calvin & Hobbes, who are litter-mates at 4.5mo. We take them up to the cottage with us where we are boat access only and the play outside for hours on end.

At home, however, we are worried about them introducing themselves to a car or truck on the road. Our previous cat had free reign of the outdoors, and although in her later years she just hung out in the back yard, in her younger days she used to romp all over the neighborhood, but thankfully never managed to meet a car.

We don't have the means to enclose the kittens in our backyard, but at the same time we are loathe to make them indoor cats for the 8 winter months of the year, only letting them outside at the cottage.

How can we teach them to avoid the road and/or to be afraid of cars and trucks on the road?

-Scott
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmitageS View Post
How can we teach them to avoid the road and/or to be afraid of cars and trucks on the road?
I honestly don't believe there is a way to do this. If cats were motivated the same ways as dogs, I could give you a great many ideas, as you can teach a dog their boundaries. Cats on the other hand are motivated to please themselves and will go where they want to go. I know that people can be successful keeping them off counters and tables in their homes, but that is only with constant and persistent reinforcement. That's an impossible task in open areas outside.

I'm glad you are aware of the dangers. When I managed a feral cat colony in a deep rural area, we got about 5 cars a day that drove past our house. In spite of that amount of traffic, we still lost 2 of the feral cats to cars over the years. One of those cats was hit when the driver left the road and drove across the lawn to purposefully hit it. So even if you train your cats to stay off the road, there are idiots out there that will leave the road to kill a cat. It's just not safe out there.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I honestly don't believe there is a way to do this.
We agree with Momofmany. We have 8 indoor cats that we let out in an enclosed backyard. They do stay inside for the winter months & they are just as happy inside. There must be a way you could have your kittens out & have them be safe at the same time...you shouldn't have to worry whether your kittens will be safe or not. Isn't there some type of enclosure (whether its small or medium) that you could put your kittens in? Or keep them in the cottage & open some windows or something...

You can try to teach a kitten to be afraid of cars & trucks, but it just isn't safe. If you are going to let them have free reign, at least wait till they are older...but you know what is best for your kittens, so hopefully you come up with the right decision

Good Luck with Everything! Have fun with Calvin & Hobbes at the Cottage
post #4 of 12
IMO you can't! Best way is to either:

1. Build or have a cat enclosure (if you use the tent ones they can be transported); or

2. Train to harness/leash and take them outside several times a day (weather permitting).

We had barn cats. We lost some to the highway. The ones that survived did so cause they just kept away from the highway. The others didn't. Hard to teach a cat to NOT go by the highway like you could for a dog.

As far as the cars - we would teach the kittens that when you blew the horn, you'd better get out from under the car. We'd tell friends/relatives to do the same just in case.
post #5 of 12
Today, I came accross a white/grey kitty that was roadkill.
post #6 of 12
Living in the middle of farms around here, we see cats on the side many times. However other morning a little calico made it across in front of me But I had high beams on and she kept going to the other side fast - not stopping. But next time she does it, may not be so lucky
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Living in the middle of farms around here, we see cats on the side many times
That's so true here too, and it breaks my heart. Just the other day going to town (6 miles away), we saw 5 cats on the side of the road. Also went out the other morning to one laying in the road next to our driveway... he was one of the neighbor's many outdoor kitties.

One of my cats gets supervised playtime outside, the rest of them are indoors all the time (except for out on the back steps to get pictures).
post #8 of 12
Please rethink letting them roam the neighborhood. We have two on our street that do that and it really angers the neighbors. IMO, you have no more right to let your cat onto my property than to let your dog roam around (if you had one).

I think the cat enclosure sounds great and a worthwhile investment to keep your precious kittens safe.
post #9 of 12
Yikes don't let them roam the place! Cars aren't the only thing you have to worry about. People put out poisons (especially anti freeze that often leaks from cars), other animals such as dogs and other cats that can pass on FIV, and other dangerous things!

I have checked out the purrfect fence that has been advertised on this page. Consider using it. I am moving and feel my kitties deserve to go out and play in our huge yard too but there are wild animals so a fence is a must!
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sober_drunkenes View Post
Yikes don't let them roam the place! Cars aren't the only thing you have to worry about. People put out poisons (especially anti freeze that often leaks from cars), other animals such as dogs and other cats that can pass on FIV, and other dangerous things!

I have checked out the purrfect fence that has been advertised on this page. Consider using it. I am moving and feel my kitties deserve to go out and play in our huge yard too but there are wild animals so a fence is a must!

I love when people respond with what I was thinking...it makes life so much easier.
post #11 of 12
Leash laws apply to cats as well as dogs and any other pets a person might own. Confined on your property, or on a leash or otherwise contained if off your property. Pretty simple really.
post #12 of 12
here its perfectly normal to allow your cats roam, no leash laws on cats, only dogs.we dont have main roads near our house only a dead end road. i have never lost a cat to the road or anything else outdoors. i know i have been very fortunate, some people agree with keeping cats indoors only, but IMO i think they should be allowed that bit of freedom weather its an inclosed garden or around the neigbour hood, its just the norm here. mine always stay either in the garden or around that area and are only ever out for 10-15 mins at a time before they want in again(there worse then the children comming in and out of the house when playing out lol)
if you have busy/main roads/highways near you then i would go with the cat enclosure, if its very quiet then maybe you can start letting them out, its really your choice we can only advise. i have always waited untill our cats are around 10-12 months old, spayed and upto date with shots, flee treated and wormed.
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