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Cat wants OUT!!!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all! I've been lurking around here for a long time and have found a lot of very useful info. I now have a problem with one of my cats that I'm not sure how to handle. I have had indoor house cats all my life and they have always been perfectly happy this way. They were always just happy to sit in a window and look outside. About two years ago we adopted two little kittens from a shelter. They are great cats and we love them to death but one of them is just not happy being an indoor cat. He tries to run out the door every time it's opened and has even knocked a screen out of a window a couple times. I guess my question is, if I let him go outside, will he come back and is there anything I should do before letting him out? He is all up to date on shots and has all his claws. I know this might sound silly but if something happened to him I would be devastated and the kids would be crushed. I'm just worried that, since he's never really been outside, he won't know what to do. We live in a pretty rural area, if that makes a difference. Thanks for any advise.
post #2 of 21
Well my first advice is if you would be devastated were anything to happen to your cat, then don't let it outside.

Studies have shown alarmingly that the lifespan of cats decreases drastically between indoor to outdoor.

What you need to do is secure your screens in place, I've heard around here that it is possible to tape them in.

And whenever opening the door, kitty needs to learn that a foot or some other object will always be there blocking her escape. This is how my cat learned to not rush the door upon it being opened.

Now I'm not saying you should boot your cat across the room. So don't misinterperate me. Just a little nudge will be sufficient.

Also, you could try giving her treats every time you leave, so she associates the door being opened with getting a bowl full of nummynes, instead of freedom.

The nudging thing worked really well for me, now I can leave my door open and Bean Bean will just lay there.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know keeping him in the house is the safest thing to do but he is so pathetic sitting in the window literally crying to go outside. It doesn't help that the neighbors on both sides of us have cats that are outside all the time and they come over to our property and tease our cats.

I've been doing the "nudging" thing for the last 2 years. It's not working for him. Maybe I'll have to try the treat thing. Thanks for the reply.
post #4 of 21
Is there any way you could build an enclosure for him? How about training him to a harness and leash? Our cat has an enclosed balcony, and has a walk on his leash every day.
post #5 of 21
Before you make the decision to let him out, read through the "Crossing the Bridge" section of this forum.

Sometimes, we have to be the adults and refuse our "children" something we know is not good for them. They may not like it, but that's just too bad, isn't it?
post #6 of 21
Does he have plenty of toys to keep him occupied? He may just be so bored that he thinks he needs to go out and find something to do. Get him some new toys, different than what he's got. It may be just the trick.

I stomp when I walk through the door. Not enough to pulverize them if they were to get underfoot, but enough to make a lot of loud noise and make them associate outside with being scary. I, too, would be devastated if any of them got out; I nearly had a heart attack last fall when two of them just waltzed their little butts out onto our back deck after Charlie learned how to open the door!

It's not impossible to do, just takes commitment and yes, some tough love. I have two cats who spent almost the first year of their lives outside, another who was born outside and another who was born outside.

Cars are not friends to cats. People don't watch. Imagine if something horrible happened right outside your house. Not only would you lose your pet, there's a good chance your kids would see the aftermath.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah...you all are probably right. Why is it I have an easier time saying "no" to my human children then I do to the feline kids? I mean, after all, my oldest son gave me my screen name. MD Ever = Meanest Daddy Ever!
post #8 of 21
your kittens are neutered?...or Spayed?

Here´s my humble point of view...

Catulina WAS a street cat, I mean I don´t know her real age in order that SOME day she "appear" on our street, the poor was wandering alone one day, and we feel shame of her, and feed her that night... after eat she run in undiscovered way and lost in the night...:sniflfe:....she was skinny and don´t look great.......wich one was our surprise, she come back at next day!, so we start to give food to her for a month and we begin to think in adoption of her...
For being more short the history, at final we decide to keep her, I catch her, I put her under lock until I take her with the vet to spay her and put all vaccinations BEFORE to introduce to her with her Big Brother Milky....
The ADVICE here is this:
SHE never ask to me to go out again!..(after the surgery)....OF COURSE, There are nights in where I see her runing like a mad, chasing to Milky or she´s been chased by him, running behind a butterfly, and some night i can hear her "MEOWS" so loud, but don´t ask me for go out....AND of course I don´t leave her!..

Maybe the "hormones" of your kittens are hight and maybe they aren´t spay or neutered yet, so if you want a kitty adorable and really indoor, Spay or neuter to boths....I´m so sure their behaviour will change!

I´m here and my 2 cats are next to me under the fan!.....
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by MD Ever View Post
Yeah...you all are probably right. Why is it I have an easier time saying "no" to my human children then I do to the feline kids? I mean, after all, my oldest son gave me my screen name. MD Ever = Meanest Daddy Ever!
It's easier with our kids, because we can explain the dangers to them (even though they don't believe it!). You just have to make a decision for the cat, often a decision they wouldn't make. What cat wants to be neutered? And we know it makes their life better.

If you haven't read it, read this thread.


I don't know about you, but I can just picture Sterling getting out and jumping over the fence into the neighbor's yard with his two pits.
post #10 of 21
I have a cat that was born in a barn - but raised indoors... he carries on something fierce wanting outside somedays. he cries at the doors. BUT when i tell him no he is an inside kittie and that the kitties outside have no one to love them he somehow acts like he listens to me because he then stops his whining and meowing to go out for a couple days.
He quit trying to run out the door, by me just telling him no.
There are somedays I do take him out and walk him around and let him roll around on the ground in the sushine. He isnt a very fast cat, and when he is outside he seems to slink around more than actually walk, But he is never more than a step away from me, and never by himself.
I would be completely devastated if something happened to him.

It could be the age of the cat also -- maybe your cat is entering those rebelious teen years! hehe
post #11 of 21
Hey my cat Monty is like yours. He would always beg to go outside and try to bust out every time the door was opened. He was so keen and fast that he often succeeded and it took quite a while to catch him again since he would really go far and hop over walls into the neighboring back gardens.

I used to keep him in all the time (for 3 years). It was really for the best because we lived on a busy street corner. Now we live in a rural area and he (and Bootsie) get to go out twice a day while I am preparing their meals (I only let them out when they are hungry . They go into the back garden and sometimes the neighboring back gardens. Behind the gardens is an alley that gets a few cars per day and they move slow.

The cats never stay out long, just about a half hour, and they are constantly checking back to see if the food is ready (of course if they missed when I put the food down there is a good chance the other cat would get back first and eat their portion!). I keep the door propped open while they are out and I never let them out when I am not around.

The nice thing about the UK is that cats really don't have any predators (although you do have to worry about aggressive dogs occasionally and there are some foxes..). But there are a lot of other hazards that you have to check for like places where the cat could fall, traffic, aggressive cats, cruel people, cat transmissible diseases, worms, ticks, fleas etc (Monty and Bootsie are on Advocate for prevention of fleas/larvae/worms/ticks). I would not recommend to anyone to take these risks. The only reason I have is because Monty is such a cat who just loves the outdoors (and Bootsie is such a cat who prefers to be inside, or just next to the door to get back in (she almost never leaves the garden)). I would of course be devastated if anything were to happen to him, but I also feel bad keeping him in when he so clearly wants out, so we compromise and I let him out in the safest way possible.
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by Nekomania View Post

Also, you could try giving her treats every time you leave, so she associates the door being opened with getting a bowl full of nummynes, instead of freedom.
I second the treats thing. Pounce-type tuna nibbles worked with Aya, she'd be munching while I was leaving. Also you could do a fake out with a toy. If he likes to chase toy mice or balls or something like that. Keep a stash by the door and toss one in the other direction as you head out.

You didn't mention if he is neutered? Aya's desire to see the great outdoors decreased dramatically after her spay.
post #13 of 21
The only cat we allow outside is Miss Kitty, she adopted us & has been outdoors her entire life. She never goes more then 30' from the house, is terrified of the road, cars and strange animals, and always comes when we call (so she's never out past dark). She's a voracious mouser (2-3 shrews a day) and we have none in the house, anymore; M.K. is a cat I would consider it cruel to keep in.

Tough tatas for the other two (even Peaches who was a barn cat). If we leave the door open they never go more then 3-4' and that's under direct supervision (and I don't let them do that often) and only because our collies know how to round-up stray cats . But even going those 3' seems to really satisify their curiosity for a few days.

I'd like to echo everyone above and suggest either an enclosure or leash training. An enclosure doesn't need to be fancy and if you're out supervising, it can be as easy as adding a no-scale top to your backyard fence. If you make (highly recommend) or purchase an enclosure you could even attach it to his favourite window so he can just hop outside and get some sun .
post #14 of 21
Perhaps you could try outside, in your backyard with when you are around to supervise? It works well with my kitty, and when I want her back in, I just reach for her favourite toy
post #15 of 21
Not sure if this has been suggested yet, and some people may not like this approach, but it has always worked well for me, and I am NOT unduly rough with my cats, I want to say that right now...

Anyways, to show our cats that the outside world is a big scary place full of surprises, we would have one person waiting outside the door to the side, so the cat cannot see him, with a squirt-bottle. Leave the door open and allow the cat to approach the door. Have the person outside "attack" the cat with the squirt-bottle as soon as her nose peeks outside, making LOTS of noise and stomping around like a madman. It scares the cat back inside and they are NOT eager to try it again. If they do show signs of still being interested, we'd repeat the scenario until the cat doesn't want to risk it.

This doesn't hurt the cat, just startles them, and no cat likes water squirting their face.

My cats know that if I open the door WITH the harness & leash in my hand, that it is SAFE and they are allowed outside, but if there is no leash, they won't come close.

Just a suggestion.
post #16 of 21
Hercules tries to go outside when I open our door but I glare at him and tell him if he wants to go outside fine GO but DONT come back wanting back inside...After that chat he doesnt bother trying but when its that perfect temp outside Ill let him onto our closed in front porch but that has stopped recently because the big tom cat that attacks everything near it broke one of our window trying to get after Herc so he is stuck inside for good till that gets fixed and we can let him out on the porch again
post #17 of 21
I take my cats out in the yard when I can supervise. They never try to go over the fence, and I'm always out there with them, so no stray or feral cats will come near. I think it's a happy medium, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors safely. Of course, when I can't supervise they just have to stay in no matter how much they complain.
You can also train your cats to walk on a harness and leash, especially if they're still young.
post #18 of 21
If you would like for him to be able to go out safely, you can teach him to walk on a harness/leash, or else build an outdoor enclosure.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions! I especially like the one were someone waits outside with a squirt bottle. I'm definitely gonna try that one.

Anyway, here's what happened. I decided to let them go out just in the back yard and only supervised for just a little while during the day. It was going GREAT! They were having fun pretending to stalk each other from under a bush or tree and then pounce out at each other. It was hilarious! That is until today.
Apparently a stray came into our yard and attacked poor Nora. Sliced her tail open and pulled out a tendon or ligament! It looked like dental floss. We thought it was just string wrapped around her tail until we saw the blood and found that the "string" was actually coming out of her! Anyway, I took her to the 24 hour vet and one shaved tail, 5 staples, 10 days worth of antibiotics and $300 dollars later we've all learned our lesson. She will be fine and I don't think she'll be wanting out again anytime soon! Domino, on the other hand, is another story. He's the one I'm gonna have to try the squirt bottle on. Again, I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED!!!
post #20 of 21
Wow that is scary! I always fear that something will happen when I let Bud and Boots out. I should learn from this as well. There are lots of other cats around my flat and my cats have had some confrontations with them, though never an all out fight.

I'm glad to hear that Nora is okay

I've got the same problem as you though. In particular with Monty. He attempts a breaks out whenever the door opens. How to convince them to stay in?
post #21 of 21
I was going to warn about the neighbors cats. You don't know their health and vaccination status, or what they will do to your cats.

I, too, like the hidden monster person with the squirt gun, idea. I think it's Brilliant! I hope that will work for Domino.

All my cats are harness trained and I take them out into a small fenced yard where they explore their cat nip forest and watch the mole holes.

I never leave them alone there, and they come in when I say it's time.

None of them have ever tried to jump the 6 foot fence, but I use the harnesses, with a 6-8 foot length of lightweight polyrope dragging behind, just in case. And the fence keeps them protectred should any dog or strange cat approach. It hasn't even happened, yet, but you never know.

I'm sorry for what happened to your little Nora girlie. I hope she's going to be okay.
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