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Outside Adventures?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I posted this question on another cat site, but wanted everyones input.

I have three ragdolls. Two males and a female. The oldest male would love to go out. I know this because he darts out the door to the mud room whenever I open it. I have be oh so careful about the door to the outside world, as I don't want him to get out. He darts when any door is opened. The basement, bathroom, bedroom ect.
I have been thinking about taking him out on a leash. However, I am wondering if I do so, and he loves it, will he really be trying to get out. I don't want to start any unseamly behaviors. ie, peeing on the door or scratching door. So what do you think? Is it safe to take him out.
For those who do this, have you had any negative effects? Also we do have strays running around. Really in my part of the country most people let their cats come and go as they please, Not me. I love them dearly and would be devasted if something were to happen to them!! I would love to somehow build and outdoor enclosure, but then again, don't you run the risk of fleas ect? Help!!
post #2 of 7
Taking him out will make him more determined to get out.

Have you considered an enclosure outside? Some here have made them.
post #3 of 7
You are more likely to get fleas from pets going in and out. Personally I'd keep them indoors (we broke Ling of trying to run out the door - took about 6 months but we still keep an eye on her when she's close - we scare her away from the door before we open it.

You can try and train to harness/leash. Just that I would not want to mess up the nice long fur of a Ragdoll with a harness
post #4 of 7
Are your cats neutered? If not, he will not only continue to want out, but eventually start spraying and making horrendous howls, so make sure it's done by 6 mos of age.
post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by harlowquin View Post
However, I am wondering if I do so, and he loves it, will he really be trying to get out
The 10 cats I've harness trained quickly learn that harness=outside, no harness=inside.

I take my current 3 out from time to time, they have never tried to get out at other times and do not meow at the door. Soon as the harness is on, they are all meowing and lined up ready to walk out.
post #6 of 7
I have had cats all my life, and have so far halter trained 3 of them. I do live on an acreage however, so my cats can be free to roam and hunt mice during the day, with nearly zero danger so long as we bring them inside at night (which we do). But, it seems like you have a different story, living in a city. I do know people who have their cats outside in a halter and rope, and it seems to work for them, but there is a risk it may make the cats desire to get outside stronger. Also, if you are considering a halter, you have to make sure the cat is completely comfortable wearing a halter, and will not struggle to get it off when you arent looking. Also, it is advisable to watch you cat at all times if they are tied outside, because they may wiggle out of the halter (I have a cat who is an expert at that) or manage to wind themselves up around something.
Also, if you are considering taking the cat outdoors (whether on a leash or in a pen) make sure it is neutered. It cuts down on oh-so-many problems, especially with strays, and possible peeing on the door.
If you are considering a pen outside, it will most likely be safer for the cat, and less likely to run away, but they can caost a pretty penny, and once again you might be making the cats desire to go outside that much stronger.
I would not be super concerned about fleas, unless you cat is free to roam around the neighborhood. We have a few strays passing through our place at any given time, and we have never had a case of fleas in our 20 years of owning cats. If you are worried though, you might want to try a flea collar.
Basically, the decision about letting your cat out is all your choice--there is no real right answer.
post #7 of 7
When I first let mine out he was on a harness, that was as he hadn't been 'done' yet and we were also due to be moving so I didn't want him to get too territorial. I found it really easy, he was six months old when I did it. I agree with Larke though that they will howl the house down to get out at times and its a pain, you just have to ignore it really. They might start scratching the door! Mine stands on his back legs and scratches the door with his front paws! No pee issues though thank goodness but we don't have any strays around but I think you mentioned you do. That can incourage peeing behaviour. I am lucky to live in the countryside with acres of land around us so mine goes out freely now, except he comes in at night. Mine has never had fleas either and he has been going out for ages but again that could be due to the absence of strays, also I only have one cat whereas you have three, so if one gets fleas then the other more than likely will and then that could be quite a problem! I would suggest defleaing them beforehand, my sister has three cats and they got fleas and it wasn't much fun for her! Good luck
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