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post #1 of 5
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My handsome huge Maine Coon (Murray) is a recent addition to my cat family. He appears to be about 2.5-years old, and came to me from a shelter where they could tell me next to nothing about him, aside from what was visibly obvious. He's been with me for about a month, and has settled-in nicely - though he's still a bit cautious and jumpy (perhaps he always will be.)

Last night when I took the dog out for his nightly walk - Murray bolted out the door and into the night when we returned. It took over an hour to get him back into the house. I live on a main road in a small collegetown - which isnt a fast road, but is VERY busy. ALL of my cats are indoor only cats. Catching Murray was NOT easy... he'd just about get in range, and then dart off (laughing, Im sure)..... When I finally did get a hold of him - he hissed and scratched (and made me feel particularly unloved.) Any advice on how to keep a cat from bolting for freedom would be really appreciated. I was heartsick that he'd not find his way back home, or that he'd be hurt in traffic. Help.
post #2 of 5
First,congratulations on your newest addition!!! What a wonderful thing you did to adopt Murray from a shelter!

I don't blame you for being worried about Murray bolting out the door - you were *very* lucky to be able to grab him when he did get past you.

We worried about the same thing when we moved to a house from a condo. At the condo, if the kitties got past us, they'd only end up in the enclosed hallway. At the house, it's a different story - the door opens directly to the whole wide world!

My husband and I used to anticipate our cats being at the door, and would get into "catcher" position as we slowly opened it. This worked *most* of the time, but wasn't fool proof. We also put a baby gate across the opening on our front porch (the rest is enclosed by banisters) so that if they did get past us, they wouldn't be able to run right off the porch too. What ultimately worked better was knocking loudly, or ringing the bell before opening the door. This was effective, since the sound frightened them and they would take off running. We hated to do it, because we didn't want to scare them, but we also didn't want them to run out. Fortunately, it didn't take long before they learned that the key in the door meant a loud noise was coming next...eventually we didn't have to do that anymore, though we remained watchful, just in case.

If need be, you could also put Murray into a room and just close the door when you need to walk the dog. Give him a treat when you do so he associates this with something good. Obviously you don't want to have to do this each time you leave. But Murray hasn't been with you very long and until he learns he can't head for the front door every time it opens, doing this will ensure his safety.

Thanks for opening your heart and home to Murray - he's a lucky boy!
post #3 of 5
You got good sound advice already. Just wanted to say I am glad he is alright.

I get into the catchers mode as well with my 3...they love hanging by the door. I also use my feet to back them away from the door, that works well. And in a louder than normal voice tell the "back"

Maybe he bolted because the dog was coming in too and it scared him? He'll soon learn the routines of the house and settle in nicely I am sure.
post #4 of 5
I recently posted a thread about cats darting out the door: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=167011

Your situation is different since your cat is still getting comfortable with his surroundings. You certainly don't want to be scaring him at this point. But maybe once he gets a little more comfortable with you and your house, you'll want to start some training to keep him away from the door. I think the catcher's position will have to do for now. Maybe he'll figure it out on his own.

The only new suggestion I might have is, maybe if you have a backdoor that leads into a yard, go through that door, where it is a little more contained. Also, if you leave through the front door, he might not expect you to return through the back.
post #5 of 5
I used to keep a broom by the door and 'sweep' Zane back. Not hit him mind you, just use the broom to block him and gently push him back. He's now, thankfully, gotten the idea that outside is Not for Zane. He sometimes tries, but it is halfhearted; when he does I 'sweep' him with my foot--not kick, definately, just use it to block and redirect him.
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