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Ending Door Dashing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Two of my cats are content ot ocassionally sniff at the door. Marmalade is a different story. I adopted her at ~7 moths right from the street. She's a real sweet heart and most of the time a happy indoor cat. She sleeps with me and nibbles on my fingers if it's time for some petting. I take her out in a kitty walk type screen house once in a while. I've thought about the PurrFect fence, but really can't afford to enclose my yard right now. (Finding the $ to sterilize a few "neighborhood cats" is a higher priority.) I live literally next door to an elementary school and 1 block away from one of the main roads in town. Not to mention the large number of unvaccinated cats around.... I really don't want her going outside.

Every once in a while, she runs outside when I am going in. If I know I'm doing something quick like putting out food for the strays or taking out the trash, I'll put her in a bedroom or bathroom. I'm not going to do that when I go to work or am going to be gone for any length of time. How do I stop the door dashing and keep my little orange attitude problem safe?

Angie
post #2 of 10
"I take her out in a kitty walk type screen house once in a while." quote musicalbookworm

I'm not sure what this is, but often kitties who have had a taste of the outdoors and liked it, want more! You mentioned she was from the street as well at 7 months when you adopted her, this means she was acclimated to the outdoor life as well. She is lucky you found her as well as you she, and indoor environment is so much safer! My kitties have been strictly indoors as well!
Keeping them entertained indoors is so important.....window perches, toys, inter active play, exercise. One thing you can do is feed her a bit of food when you are leaving to keep her distracted in another part of the home away from the door. When you come in you can practice giving her a treat after you are inside and door is closed, something she loves, maybe pounce, and this would be a reward for staying inside when the door is open. If you have time you could practice without actually leaving and practice this behavior/reward training.
post #3 of 10
Lots of times this is their version of a "game" (i.e., rushing the door) rather than an actual desire to be outside. My advice is just to be as careful as you can when you leave for work, etc. I've had to do that for the past 20 years, and I've learned that very often when the cat knows I'm leaving (rather than just going outside with garbage), the cat will ignore the door--i.e., they want to stay safely inside while I'm gone.

Both of my cats were strays so they were used to the outdoors, but both relished the security of indoor living, and never really made any attempt to "escape." But they love to rush doors--when they do it on inside doors you realize it's not an attempt to get outside but just a game to them.
post #4 of 10
I have an abyssinian that is harness trained and he loves to go for walks in our back yard and truck rides. He has picked up a nasty habit of door dashing now. I understand what your going through. My little door dasher was of my own creation because I harness trained him!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
She never dashes for the door when I leave. Only when I am coming back in! Yes, I do think she sees it as a game. She'll roll around in the yard right where I can see her, and then move off just as I am about to pick her up!

Angie
post #6 of 10
Sounds like a definite game to me! The best way to get immediate attention as soon as you get home, just think of it as she really missed you! I would practice treats as soon as you come home, in a room other then the one you enter. If it be food or toy, whatever gets the best results. A can of pounce has worked very well for me. Something you can shake and she comes running. Try to build this relation when home, then when you leave give her a couple treats in a room away from the door, and repeat this when you come home. At first you are going to have to ensure her not escaping, but after a while, she should relate you coming home, her staying indoors, treats!
post #7 of 10
My Fera is a door dasher. She's always been an indoor cat, but her former owner used to take her out on a harness. I got so frustrated that I bought and use Ssscat, which is a system that uses compressed air and a sensor that releases a blast when it senses motion near it (be it a cat or a door opening). My other 3 don't seem to care. They just want to make sure it's me coming home to feed them.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think she learned a lesson last night. I've got some kind of viral crap that's going around campus and my energy level is low. She didn't come when I called (many times) and ended up out all night. When I called again this morning, she came in ate, demanded attention, and headed straight for my bed to sleep. I'll see what happens when I go home tonight. I'll also try bribing her. My hours at work will get a little better in the next few weeks and maybe that will help.

Angie
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicalbookworm View Post
I think she learned a lesson last night. I've got some kind of viral crap that's going around campus and my energy level is low. She didn't come when I called (many times) and ended up out all night. When I called again this morning, she came in ate, demanded attention, and headed straight for my bed to sleep. I'll see what happens when I go home tonight. I'll also try bribing her. My hours at work will get a little better in the next few weeks and maybe that will help.

Angie
This actually is the last thing you want! If she has a taste of the outdoors, especially overnight, it only increases her comfort with being and wanting to be outdoors! Cats are nocturnal by nature and there are many dangers outdoors at night. I grew up with indoor-outdoor cats, first kitten, when I was 5 was run over by my moms friend, I found out years later. Second was somehow injured in a fight and had a $3,000 medical procedure from an abscess through her back that thankfully had burst or would have killed her. It was a little tricky keeping her indoors after that, but I made sure she excepted it and respected it!
You may need to spend a little extra time creating the respect and personal relationship, but it will ensure the safety of your kitty!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well since she was living on the street for seven months (vet's estimate) before she decided to come in my house, this isn't the first time. It appears to have helped. Now when she dashes, she only runs around a few minutes before she lets me "catch" her. Last night (I have to work the refernce dest until 10 pm a night or two a week) it was raining buckets when I came home. She dashed out the door, but never left the porch. I'm also trying bribing her. I'm also considering screening my front porch. (I'm just not crazy about screened porches on the front of a house.... )

I think she has figured out that I'm visually impaired and it's easy to fake me out with movement.

Angie
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