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Indoor cats want to go outside

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've been raising 4 indoor cats. Initially, none of them seemed interested in the outside world. But later, from time to time they'd venture out when one of us forgot to close the door. They would never venture far because they seemed afraid. However, with time, two of them have begun to wander further and further and now they often wait at the door and communicate that they want to go out. They seem to be adventurous. The other two don't care at all.

Sometimes I felt bad for them and I let them out. Because they knew it was forbidden to step outside they'd just stay near the door. Sometimes, they'll wait at the door and shoot right out when it's opened. They're still a little scared so they stay within the confines of the garden, but sometimes it's a real hassle trying to run them down! The other day, one of them kept running between bushes so that we couldn't get a hold of him!

Would it be a good idea to buy these cats harnesses and take them for walks? I don't think it would be very safe for them to venture outdoors alone because they are unafraid of dogs and there are many around and there can be busy traffic too. I'm debating whether I should do that or simply stop obliging their requests to go out? By allowing them to go out occasionally, am I in fact making it worse for them? Should I just get them to quit "cold turkey"?
post #2 of 8
If they're not neutered, do it now because you'll never see them again one day if one even gets out by accident. Harnesses (the kind with a collar behind the front legs as well as the neck) are a great idea - been doing it for years x 10 cats and after the initial hysteria over having it go on (just let them wear them indoors for short times for a few days, no leash) they do come around. The collars should be just loose enough to slide one finger underneath, but not much more. Once they're fitted, the tummy ones can stay done up forever (or til the cat gains/loses lots of weight) and only the neck one is undone. Let them mostly walk you - you may find you stand around more than you would with a dog - but eventually some may like proper walks.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
All the cats are neutered.
post #4 of 8
My personal opinion would be to either stop letting them go outside at all or give the harness/leash thing a try.

I think your on the right track though, especially in acknowledging that you don't think it's safe for them to go out alone.

Good luck with the leash! Hope it works for you.
post #5 of 8
Its definitely a good thing for a cat to get fresh air. Either build a small enclosure or tie up a rope from one area to another & just attach them with a long leash/harness...

Yes it isn't safe for you to just let them out by themselves but there are ways of letting them out & you know that they are safe too. We let our kitties out in our fenced in back yard & they love it, they prance out there all happy. Its cute seeing them mew at birds & graze through the grass.
post #6 of 8
Just be careful that there are no shrubs or anything for the leads to get tangled in, but also that (hopefully) you can attach them so that they can just reach under a tree (with high lower branches to avoid trouble) for some shade, without going around the trunk. The good thing about the tummy 'collar' is that if they do get caught from above on something, they can usually hang that way for quite a while without strangling if they're fitted properly. We used 18" green painted iron stakes (hardwares or pet places) with smooth caps on top, above which are rings that swivel, so the cats can go around, one cat per stake (and make sure they can't reach each other to tangle, either).
post #7 of 8
Realistically, the cats would be fine if they stayed indoors all the time. Albiet they'd be whiney for awhile, they'd get used to being indoors only again. They were for how many years & did just fine.

If you let them out, I suggest Frontlining all 4 cats every month. Don't want any fleas in the house! A harness & leash is a good idea. However, before you go outside with them on harness & leash, make sure they know how to walk in one & accept the harness.
post #8 of 8
If you let your cats outside now it will be scared of everything as it has never had any experience in the outside world.

A harnnis would help so they can get scared but know your there- eventually they will get to know what is dangerous and what is not.

If it is a hassel taking them outside often then dont do it at all- it would just tase them to be let out once a week or so.
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