or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › When to let new cat outside
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

When to let new cat outside

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We just inherited a new 2 year old all white male cat from my brother in Los Angeles, who could no longer keep this cat. We live in rural NJ and the cat really needs to go outside and be a country cat. He has been with us now for almost 1 week, completely inside.

How do we know when it is ok to let him out? Will he come back? Or try to make the cross country trek to find his "home" in Los Angeles?

Any advice?
post #2 of 7
My guys are strictly indoor cats but I have read in some posts here that if you give the cat enough time to get to know the house and his surroundings that about 4 weeks time is time enough. I'm sure someone better able to answer this will come along. Good luck.
post #3 of 7
Why does the cat have to go outside? Honestly, health-wise, accident-wise, predator-wise for him, and worry-wise for you, it's better to keep him in. Is there any chance you could keep him as an indoor-only kitty?

And, yes, cats are territorial - he may well try to find his home on the other coast.
post #4 of 7
It makes me sad to even reply to this thread. We live in what should be the most cat-perfect area. A half mile from the nearest road with any traffic. Surrounded by woods.

We've now lost two of the three indoor-outdoor cats we've had while living in this house. One got run over at 5 pm on the road a half mile away. The other took off hunting one night and never came home, most likely gotten by a fox or a fisher cat. And, that doesn't count numerous bites and injuries over the years, obvious close calls after going missing for two days, and being tree'd at ridiculous heights when all you can do is not look and hope they figure out how to get down.

Our two new kitties will be the first indoor-only cats we've ever had. I just can't go through losing more pets and the odds are proving to be horrible. I'm not happy about taking away their freedom and instinctive hunting. I just can no longer convince myself that it's safe in the woods.

My vet did offer one alternative. Withhold dinner until fairly late at night, training them that dinner time is, say 10pm at night. Then, let them out for a run early evening, using the instinct for dinner to bring them in for the night. If I were going to go indoor-outdoor again, I would strongly consider this approach for risk minimalization.

To try to answer your original question, I think you have to play it by ear and judge when the cat is fully comfortable in his new surroundings -- eating, etc. Then maybe a short trip outside with you, right before supper time so you can judge how easily he returns for food.

Has this cat been indoor only or indoor/outdoor in the past?
post #5 of 7
As he is all white, he is very prone to skin cancer (yes, cats get it....and it's as awful in cats as it is in humans). I honestly wouldn't let him out for that fact. My all white cats are indoors only & get sunblock every day, year round. Paranoid? Maybe....but it's not worth the risk from the skin cancer.
post #6 of 7
I'm a believer that in town, cats should be indoor only, but at the farm, they should be allowed to roam. Double standard maybe, but cats were domesticated to work as pest controllers. At the barn where my horse is boarded, there are 6 outdoor cats from DSHs to a hilarious half persian furball. I, on the other hand, have 2 indoor only cats. I live in town surrounded by streets and alleys.

In regards to when your cat should go out. It depends on the cat. When I moved to my new house, my Dad accidently left the bathroom window open. Of course my more skittish cat escaped and I figured he was gone for good. We called for hours and he never came, but he was there at the back door the next morning. A brand new house and he knew where he belonged.

As long as your cat accepts you as his family, and knows where his food is he will most likely stay around. Let him out with the door left open so that he can run inside if he gets spooked.
post #7 of 7
He's not deaf, is he?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › When to let new cat outside