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Help! Cat keeps wanting to get outside!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've had my cat Tallulah for about a year now (she's almost two). The previous owner said she was an outdoor cat. We lived in an apartment for the first year we had her, and she never used to try to get outside. But now we've moved into a house, and now all she wants to do is make attempts to run out the door every time someone goes in or out. She's managed to get out a few times, but I always managed to find her and bring her back in. She's fixed, and I'm pretty sure she's up to date on her shots (I forget, it's been a year since I got her all her shots), so I don't think she's in danger of feline leukemia or anything. But I just don't want her getting run over or losing her. I put a collar and tag with her name and my number on her, so perhaps that'll help if she gets lost, but I want to find out a way to deter her from wanting to get outside. All these stray cats outside around this area aren't helping in averting her attention, either.

BTW, thanks to everyone in this forum for your wonderful advice in the past. Whenever I post with a new kitty concern, everyone here is so understanding and give such great advice. Love this community!
post #2 of 17
Unfortunately, you can't reason with a cat. She won't understand that you're doing it for her own good. You just have to be the adult and stand pat.

In nice weather, you can't blame them for wanting to go out, but they have no concept of cars, cruel people, ferocious animals, diseases, parasites, etc.
post #3 of 17
There is not a whole lot you can do to dissuade her, if she is really determined. I find though it helps if you have a screen door, then there are two different layers for them to go through

Maybe try an enclosed cat run, or supervising her on a collar and leash. Then, she will still get a taste of the outdoors, but you will know she is safe and sound.
post #4 of 17
One possibility is a product called ssscat. It's a motion sensor that sprays a stream of air and makes a hissing noise when the cat moves into its line of sight. It's supposed to deter them from certain behaviour, so if you put it near the door where she tries to escape then it would go off if she tried. The problem is though a person would also set it off, so if she's hanging around the door a lot when it's open then it would work, or if she comes running to the door if someone is coming in. I think it's intended more for cats jumping on counters and the like. I've never tried it so I can't comment on its effectiveness, but it might be worth a try.

http://www.ssscat.com/english/index.html
post #5 of 17
Our youngest cat is always near the door as well whenever we are going in and out. She runs out into the hallway and goes and sits on the neighbors welcome mat starring at the door. Maybe they eat a lot of tuna next door
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spookzilla View Post
One possibility is a product called ssscat. It's a motion sensor that sprays a stream of air and makes a hissing noise when the cat moves into its line of sight. It's supposed to deter them from certain behaviour, so if you put it near the door where she tries to escape then it would go off if she tried. The problem is though a person would also set it off, so if she's hanging around the door a lot when it's open then it would work, or if she comes running to the door if someone is coming in. I think it's intended more for cats jumping on counters and the like. I've never tried it so I can't comment on its effectiveness, but it might be worth a try.

http://www.ssscat.com/english/index.html
Thanks for the link. I bought the kit at Petco today to help with my Fera, who is always hanging around the door. I'll let you know how it works.
post #7 of 17
I hope you find a solution to your kitty wanting to escape! My Murray has tried (and succeeded!) to get out a few times, so I know how nerve-wracking that can be! One thing you might want to look into is getting the cat microchipped, in case it ever got out and lost its collar.
post #8 of 17
I tested the ssscat last night. Chloe got blasted and now she wouldn't go near the door for the rest of the night! Big test is today. I activated it near the door before I left. I know it was working because the door activated the spray. Hopefully I won't have either of the girls (my boys know better) hanging around the door when I get home.
post #9 of 17
Pippin also tries getting out, especially since the weather has warmed up! And the meowing and howling and scratching at the door was slowly doing my head in!

I've stared taking him out on a harness and lead (both have a tag on them if he does manage to somehow escape!). Took a while for him to warm to the harness - the first time he was like a shooting bullet scramming around the house trying to get it off.. after a few weeks though, he understood, I wasn't taking it off. The came the lead... that was hysterical as I had an extendable one.... not good for first try! He took me with him right through the house on a 20 ft lead! So it was a short unextenable lead for a few weeks and whala he's now walking wonderfully on it!

My neighbours think I'm nuts going round and round in circles in my garden when he walks but I've got the patience of a saint when it comes to my cat! I'd do anything to keep him happy!
post #10 of 17
a couple of weeks ago, patchy got out at 4am. i had to chase after her and it was pitch black. fortunately i could see from the light in my windows and she stopped about 10ft from the door.

ever since, shes been yowling and whining to go outside and i keep having to tell her the door is icky and shoo shoo and good kitties dont go outside. she was not buying it. chloe did, tho LOL
patchy woke my mom up several times in the middle of the nite (about 4am) wanting out. mom got up, thinking she needing food; mom went into the kitchen and she had food. when she would turn around, theres patchy, sitting in front of the door, waiting to be let out.

i just keep telling her that good kitties dont go outside and that outside is icky. the more i tell her, the less she asks to go outside, so maybe my brainwashing is working LOL
post #11 of 17
I personally would advise you to just let her out. By the sounds of things she'll probably be alot happier..

Alas, I'm sure noone else on this forum will agree with me so as backup I'd suggest

- an enclosure (or if you have a backyard just cat-proof it so she can't escape.)
- letting her out in your backyard or wherever under supervision.
- getting her used to a harness and taking her for walks.

If she was previously an outdoor cat and was adjusted young enough, in theory she should be smart enough not to get run over. What kind of neighborhood do you live in? I've found most of the time kitties just want to climb trees and don't even end up roaming too far. If you live somewhere completely surrounded by busy roads maybe you should keep her inside.. if you live somewhere with quieter roads and more parks I'd let her out. There are lot's of advantages to outdoor kitties (ie more exercise, she wont scratch up your furniture, and she has access to vitamin D and grass)

If it were me, I'd let her out.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernil View Post
There is not a whole lot you can do to dissuade her, if she is really determined. I find though it helps if you have a screen door, then there are two different layers for them to go through

Maybe try an enclosed cat run, or supervising her on a collar and leash. Then, she will still get a taste of the outdoors, but you will know she is safe and sound.
My cats always found a way to scratch through the screen doors at my old house and escape!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
I personally would advise you to just let her out. By the sounds of things she'll probably be alot happier..

Alas, I'm sure noone else on this forum will agree with me so as backup I'd suggest

- an enclosure (or if you have a backyard just cat-proof it so she can't escape.)
- letting her out in your backyard or wherever under supervision.
- getting her used to a harness and taking her for walks.

If she was previously an outdoor cat and was adjusted young enough, in theory she should be smart enough not to get run over. What kind of neighborhood do you live in? I've found most of the time kitties just want to climb trees and don't even end up roaming too far. If you live somewhere completely surrounded by busy roads maybe you should keep her inside.. if you live somewhere with quieter roads and more parks I'd let her out. There are lot's of advantages to outdoor kitties (ie more exercise, she wont scratch up your furniture, and she has access to vitamin D and grass)

If it were me, I'd let her out.
I have read that cats with outdoor privileges live only a few years, on average, rather than the 15-20 years an indoor-only cat typically lives. That's good reason to keep cats inside.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrrplej View Post
I have read that cats with outdoor privileges live only a few years, on average, rather than the 15-20 years an indoor-only cat typically lives. That's good reason to keep cats inside.
Yes I've heard about all the "studies" on outdoor cats. In my experience, most outdoor cats I know live very long, happy, and extremely healthy lives. They get access to sunshine (vitamin d), grass, alot of exercise, and get to keep their nails filed so they don't destroy their furniture.

As "dangerous" as it may be for a cat out there, most indoor kitties I know get taken to the vet far more often for ridiculous illness' that cats shouldn't ever be getting in the first place.

In my opinion, it comes down to; would you rather your cat have a happier life, or a longer life?

I'm really not trying to spark a debate on this since everyone has arguments supporting both sides. I'm only trying to point out the advantages to letting the kitty out, and feel free to point out the advantages to keeping the kitty in.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
Yes I've heard about all the "studies" on outdoor cats. In my experience, most outdoor cats I know live very long, happy, and extremely healthy lives. They get access to sunshine (vitamin d), grass, alot of exercise, and get to keep their nails filed so they don't destroy their furniture.

As "dangerous" as it may be for a cat out there, most indoor kitties I know get taken to the vet far more often for ridiculous illness' that cats shouldn't ever be getting in the first place.

In my opinion, it comes down to; would you rather your cat have a happier life, or a longer life?

I'm really not trying to spark a debate on this since everyone has arguments supporting both sides. I'm only trying to point out the advantages to letting the kitty out, and feel free to point out the advantages to keeping the kitty in.
I've known several people whose outdoor cats have disappeared - one of whom was told by someone she knew that a cat matching the description of the missing kitty had been found dead, tortured. Someone also recently posted an entry on one of the cat forums I belong to that they had accidentally run over a kitten that was in a busy street. Add to the dangers of traffic and mean people the fact that there are diseases (AIDS, leukemia) that cats can catch from other cats, plus dangers from dogs, in some places coyotes and other wild animals... The world just seems too full of dangers that it is unnecessary to expose cats to.
post #16 of 17
i agree, they're safer indoors... that said, depending on locality, a cat that goes outdoors but primarily lives indoors, w/vet care, good food, etc. can live a long life.
i don't live in an area where i'd be comfortable allowing my cats to go outdoors... but i've been places where it wouldn't be an issue.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i agree, they're safer indoors... that said, depending on locality, a cat that goes outdoors but primarily lives indoors, w/vet care, good food, etc. can live a long life.
i don't live in an area where i'd be comfortable allowing my cats to go outdoors... but i've been places where it wouldn't be an issue.
I agree. If I lived in the city I probably wouldn't let my cat out (depending on the neighborhood) but in more rural areas kitties are much safer.

I also think it's important to take the time to help your kitty be safe outside if you're going to let it be an outdoor cat. Start letting it out when it's very young under supervision until it's old and smart enough to defend it's self.

Therefore I guess I might change my opinion on this particular matter since the kitty is probably a bit old to start adjusting to going outside. But I'd very much reccommend an enclosure, or even letting them out under supervision. Whenever we let my indoor cats out all they wanted to do was roll around on the ground in the sunshine, not too much else.
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