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Just got a cat, when should I let him out?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My Dad has just given me his cat, he's called Guinness. I picked him up on Saturday from my Dad's in Barnsley and drove him to my flat in Rugby (85 miles ish). He didn't like the journey one bit, meowing for alot of the way, but my girlfriend was in the back of the car with him. (He WAS in a cat basket, lol)

Now the thing is, when he was with my Dad, he didn't get any attention whatsoever, and he was also living with a german shepherd dog. He didn't like that one bit, and used to love it when I came round because I actually gave him some attention. Now he's here, he loves it, as he's constantly getting attention and hasn't got a big dog to contend with. The thing is though, he desperately wants to go out...

He's about 4 and a half years old, and apparently he's a hunter (my Dad said the vets said that, and I need to tell the new vets that, as apparently it makes a difference - don't know if there's any truth in that...) The road I live on is quiet, and there isn't any really busy roads nearby. I'm starting to get a bit worried about him, as he's constantly meowing at night to be let out, and during the day, he's started clawing at the windows in an attempt to get out - which is a bit silly of him, as I live in a 1st floor flat! My Dad said last time they moved, he escaped after about 3 days, disappeared for a day, then came back...and he reckons I should let him out tomorrow night, I'm just concerned it might be a bit early...

Just wondering when you think I should let him out, I assume you get this all the time, I'm just worried he'll manage to open a window and jump out and hurt himself...

And now for the obligatory picture

post #2 of 10
Here, in the states, many of us never allow the cats out to roam because there are too many dangers from other amimals, cars, and people. I know in the UK things are different. I would imagine you would go out with him for several months before he goes out unsupervised, or you could keep him safe inside. If he never goes out, he won't want to. Makes life a lot easier for you and him.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well when he lived with my Dad, he used to go out at about 8pm-ish, and he'd be waiting at the door in the morning at about 7am...and as I said, he's really desperate to go out...
post #4 of 10
Oh, It thought he was a young cat. I would go out with him intitially, make sure he knows where his home is, and then let him do his thing. Maybe you should carry him to the front door, the back door, around the property, let him smell around so he doesn't go out by himself and get disoriented and end up somewhere else. I know they are smart, and he will probably be fine, but I would want to make sure he knew where to return. I am assuming he is neutered, if not you should definitely have that done before he returns to the streets. You won't be able to keep him in, so just be careful
post #5 of 10
IMO I'd train him to a harness/leash or build/buy a cat enclosure. If the cat doesn't really like where he is and you turn him loose unsupervised, he could take off to where he originally came from or take off and not find his way back.

I'm assuming he is neutered - you don't want a tom cat to be running loose.
post #6 of 10
I'd keep him inside for a week or so to make sure he's used to his new home and knows where it is. Then I'd let him out gradually, for short periods at first. Once you know he knows where home is, you can get onto a more normal schedule.

Personally, I think it's better to let indoor/outdoor cats out during the day, when they're less likely to roam for long periods, and then have them sleep inside at night. If you let them out at night, it's like a cat field day and they're more likely to stay out overnight or for days.
post #7 of 10
If it were me, I would not let him out without an enclosure or on a harness and lead. Outdoor cats can be made indoor only cats, it just takes some time.
post #8 of 10
Wait about a week, then let him out. Put food, water and litter pan near your door so he knows where he can call home. If you live close-by to your dad's it may be that he will try and get home at some point. So the food, the water and his scent in the litter pan will reinforce that he IS now home.
post #9 of 10
Well, when we got Beauty we were told not to let her out for four weeks, but she managed to get out at three weeks and we never had a problem!

Just make sure he's neutered, make sure he can find his way home easily and he should be fine.

Keep him in at night though.
post #10 of 10
Hello, congrats on your new kitty! I kept mine in for four weeks, then I let him out on a lead as I was worried he wouldn't find his way back! Mine too was itching to get out. A good tip is to leave some of his used cat litter outside the door, he knows his scent and other cats will know it is his territory! It is good to tell the vet that he's a hunter, mine is, he loves to go out and hunt down mice and voles and shrews, frogs and the list goes on! He will need to be wormed due to that so thats why you should mention it. Mine has never had fleas so I have never deflead him! An old wives tale is to put butter on a kitties paws so that they don't try and find their way back to there old home, bless. When I fisrt let my kitty out I was nervous but it so rewarding and lovely when they come running back home! Just go gradually
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