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When can I let Mitzy out?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So Mitzy is an outdoor cat. He always has been but because he's only just come to live with me I've been keeping him indoors for a bit to get used to the place. Well he settled in and was happy to start off with,but now he's miowing so sadly and pathetically and staring longingly outside.

Paula (his last owner) says that whenever they moved they just kept him inside for 1 week and then he was fine so I should be allright to let him out at the weekend. My boyfriend says I should wait a minimum of two weeks. My sister says a month and my mum says 6 weeks. My sister has never owned a cat in her life and my mum has owned two but they both ran away to live across the road with Jane (who killed one of them apparently) because my sister and I liked to play with them and they wanted to be left alone.

I don't know when to let him out but it's breaking his little heart being kept inside and it's breaking mine seeing him so sad. I do have two cat harness' and leads for my bunnies so my sister has recommended putting one on him as the buns don't wear them. And letting him out on lead. But I was wondering when it's ok to actually start letting him out properly.

And I am going to be allowing him to be an outdoor cat as that is who he is and it would be cruel to keep him indoors forever so please don't tell me that I should never allow him out unsupervised. I'd just like some advice.
post #2 of 20
Cat meows are the most pathetic there is, but to another cat, for instance, they're not necessarily pathetic - only we hear them that way. Plus... if he lived in the previous place a long time, how do you know he won't try to go back there right away? Plus how do you know what stray dogs are around, or tough local cats, what gung-ho kids in fast cars, or the 1,000 other things that could spell disaster. Just consider this - you let him out, he disappears - how will you feel after that (if you think you feel bad now, just wait). One good idea might be to get a harness (the kind that also goes around his front legs, not just his neck, and tightened enough so only one finger can slip in) and leash and walk him around out there yourself?
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
You didn't answer my question. My cat will be allowed to go outside on his own over time and you are not going to change my mind about that. I know exactly how many dogs are in the area and theyre all completely used to having cats around as the cats out number all other animals put together. And my roads are empty most of the time and when they're not they're not the type you drive fast along unless you want to destroy your car. I mean cobblestones are fantastic for your suspensions...if you want them to shatter. Even kids know that.
post #4 of 20
I don't have any outdoor cats, so I can't really answer your question. But one piece of information you might want to include for those with enough experience to help might be, how far is your new house from the old one? It would seem that if you're far enough away that he won't be attracted to familiar scents or sounds from his old stomping grounds, then he may be fine in fairly short time.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
ummm about a half hour drive down the motorway...

which from experience is over a 6 hour walk for me. Still in sheffield but a fair ole distance away.
post #6 of 20
My friend that works rescue and socializing cats will wait at least a month. I do not know myself. You may also check some of the sites that place barn cats. They are well experienced in relocating cats and the time needed in the new area. I will try to find those sites for you. Try searching "barn cats relocation" and see what you find. I know he is not a barn cat....just look for the relocation info.

Is he already neutered? This will make a difference in him staying around as well.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
yes he's already neutered.
post #8 of 20
Well then, to answer your question, the longer the better.
post #9 of 20
I'd wait at least a month and supervise him the first few times he's let out.

I've never had outdoor cats but, I know my sister let hers out first thing in the morning and brought them back in shortly after for breakfast so they'd learn to come back for tea once they were out for the whole day.
post #10 of 20
I have discussed this with a few people, and we all have concluded that the one month time frame is the best. It truly does take that long for old memories to fade. Being that close to your old house, your Mitz will most likely find his way back to the old neighborhood if you let him out too soon. You want to try and get him to forget it ever existed. If he plays...play him hard, as often as you can. Find him an area of the new house that is his and only his. After a month or so, he should be ready to go back outside and explore. Just remember, once you let him outside...if one day you can not find him, or he does not come home...go back to the old place to find him, I assure you he will be there. If you wait a month or so, though, you should not have an issue.

Best of Luck,
Rob and Sport
post #11 of 20
I have always heard a month, minimum, so they start to think of the new place as home.
post #12 of 20
When I moved to my new home, I kept the feral cats inside for about a month before I let them back out. Yes, they meowled pathetically for a while, but it took that long to acclimate them to their new environment.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
What? His old house is about 60 miles away! He's not going to be able to get back there at all. And to get there via the short 60 mile route he has to go down a motorway! He's not getting back to his old house, I already said that. So no, if he goes missing he's not going to turn up at his old house, I doubt he'd even be able to head in the right direction!

Why is there always one person on every thread I make that doesn't read what I say?
Why am I even asking on here? Pretty much everyone has already told me they don't want me to let Mitzy out.
post #14 of 20
I'm not sure the length of time is the issue, but rather that he knows for sure how to find your house. I can't tell you for sure how to do that, but he needs be acquainted with the outside of the house, all the way around it, and how to find the door that you will let him in at. Going outside with him a few times, just letting him lounge around the door with you there, would probably be a good way to start.

And then maybe put a run or something that he has been lying on close to the door, to give his eyes some help with his nose.
post #15 of 20
Well, I agree with your boyfriend. Two weeks. It took that long for my QT to a) get used to my house, b) be accepted by my then 2 resident female cats, c) establish her boundaries outside aka territory.
QT (and all my cats) are outdoor.
post #16 of 20
Why are you rude? We're trying to help and no one's paying us for it. This is a public forum, not a vet's office or something. If you don't like the answers, you're free to ignore them, but being so demanding of people who want to help your cat is completely unnecessary.
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by J_F_A View Post
Why is there always one person on every thread I make that doesn't read what I say?
From what i've seen people have been answering your question, so please be civil to posters
post #18 of 20
From what I have heard one month is the length of time it takes for the smells and sounds of your area to be familiar. I think people were confused about the distance between your old place and new place.
Yes, I only have indoor cats but I have ferals that I feed too. I would never dream of trying to keep them indoor.
post #19 of 20
Tell me this cat is at least spayed or neutered? I always wondered why our little town of 8000 has a cat problem so bad it puts over a thousand to sleep a year at RHS. Sorry I just dont understand why you expect folks to be chipper about giving this cat 1/3 of his lifespan at best. I dont mean be rude myself but taking care of this burnt 5 week stray is exhausting and I doubt the real people responsible even have a clue he existed or is gone.
post #20 of 20
I think a lot of people have responded with good advice.

One thing to keep in mind is that it's very hard for people not in your shoes to understand what your area is like, exactly. For instance, where I live, it's a VERY bad setup to have kitties outdoors. We live right by some hills that contain coyotes, bears, and even mountain lions...so stray kitties are actually really rare around here (I'm sure you can guess why). I recently read about a kitty in a nearby city (as in, a couple miles from me) that got out...and prayed for her, hoping I would hear she came home okay. Around here, chances are, that's not the case, unfortunately.

I think a lot of people also might not understand what it's like to have a kitty that MUST be outdoors. Most domestic kitties need protecting indoors...but there are those that will not only go stir-crazy, but will also be MISERABLE being indoors. That's not to say that I condone letting a kitty roam around in dangerous situations. It's more that some outdoor kitties are not ABLE to adjust to a constant inside life.

Your area sounds like it's quite safe for kitties to go outdoors, and it sounds like he may be quite good at coming home each night, safe and sound. He sounds like he's got smarts!

I think the month idea is a good one. So he gets a good bearing on the house itself, etc.

Patience, though, my friend. It's difficult sometimes for people to understand something than their own situation, or to think that it might be different somewhere else. Just know that everyone that's giving advice (even that advice you don't want to receive, or feel is unnecessary) is trying to help you and Mitzy, and that they care.

Hugs to you!


P.S. Sheffield sounds so beautiful...I'd love to see pictures!
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