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Letting her out

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, i've had my cat for just 6 months now and she's always been a house cat.

We got her when she was 2 years old and we did'nt know her history much only that she was abandoned...

the reason we keep her in is because we live in a busy area with big roads....and it would scare me to think of her out there!

We're moving house in the next few months hopefuly somewhere much quieter and with some open fields. I really want to start letting her out when we move but am obviously quite worried about it! She's my little house bunny and i dont know if she'd cope out side.... Anyone have any experience with this, do they get used to it or do you think she would just prefer to stay in any way now that thats what she's used to???
post #2 of 12
Mine are indoor/outdoor cats - mainly indoor since I moved, they dont seem to mind too much. When I found Dirt 3 years ago he was obviously outside and fairly streetwise. He doesnt mind too much about staying in most of the time. I let the back door open in the morning for them to go into the garden and get them in before I go to work. Just shout for them and they come racing down the garden into the house! In the summer they are out more often. I only let them out though when I am there so I can keep an eye on them. If you go with her for the first few times very near the door so she can bolt back in if she gets a bit spooked you should be okay. She will probably let you know if she wants to remain a house cat. I like the thought of the wind in their fur and all the different smells and sights they can get by being outside but it is a personal thing
good luck
p.s. just wait a few weeks after the move before you let her explore outside
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hmm..thanx for that, it's a good idea to stay with her whilst she ventures out for the frist time, perhaps i could even put her on a small lead and wonder her around the garden or something, altho she won't wear a collar so i doubt she'll wear a lead.

I agree that they deserve to be in the fresh air now and agian, there was a fly in the lounge the other day and she was bouncing around all over the place, it was so funny but because she doesnt get to go out i'd never seen her like it before, i felt guilty that she can't go out and be like that everyday...they look so cute and content lounging in a patch of sunshine, but i'm gonna wait til we're away from these roads and eventually she should be free to roam!

how am i ever gonna get her in a collar and a tag tho just incase she gets lost!? I tried putting her in one once and she wasn't having any of it..
post #4 of 12
I know the feeling with the collar thing - they hurl themselves around as if youve just spiked their water or something
You just have to persevere and it usually pays off in the end. If you didnt want to go that route, it can be a long one what about a harness and leash. The harness' I have seen look comfy enough and easier to get used to as it is only on when you go out. So harness on - outside play. If the two go hand in hand she may not notice the harness. Then attached the leash and see what happens! Also the harness doesnt slip off if she is spooked like a collar would.

post #5 of 12
If you can afford it, it would be wiser to invest in an enclosure (such as our member kimward has) to keep your cat safe. I have inside,outside cats as well, but if I only had a few, versus so many I would definitely keep one or two inside or with access to an enclosure. Since these cats come to me as strays and ferals, they are used to being outside, and I have one or two that you absolutely could never bring indoors. Where we live is fairly safe, but when a cat goes missing, you just don't want to go there in regards to the emotional aspect of wondering.

If you do a search for harness and leash training here, there are some really good threads about it.

here is kim's enclosure

post #6 of 12
I'm personally of the opinion that if the cat is happy inside, why mess with it? My 2 boys have never been outside in their life. They sit in the window and watch what is going on but have no desire to move beyond the door. They're healthy and safe. Its your own emotions that are causing you to feel quilty.

If you REALLY feel your cat's life will be diminished by not allowing her outside, try the harness training Hissy mentions. That way she gets some outside time and you get to spend more time playing with her. I know I can't get enough play time with my boys.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
She suits being a house cat quite alot mainly because she's a little timid, i just think it will be nice for her to have some fresh air and more space to jump, explore and roll around. I think if i was to open the door and leave her to go out she still wouldn't, not yet any way because a) she'd be scared and b) she's content in doors.

If she's still just as content to stay in when i do let her out then obviously she can stay in as she pleases or go out if she chooses.
post #8 of 12
I agree with Hissy, an outdoor cat enclosure is a good safe way to let a cat enjoy being outside. These can be built to suit the individual needs of your cat, and also to allow the cat to have access to the enclosure from the house whenever she chooses. Here's another link to pictures of an enclosure. http://www.geocities.com/Petsburgh/P...enclosure.html
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oooh that looks fun! looks expensive. thats definitly something i'll consider eventualy if she isn't keen on going out to start with. Only trouble is I'm student and my Fiance's a part time student so we are only renting at the mo! I dont think the landlord would be to happy about us building it onto the house...a detatched one might be an option tho!

post #10 of 12
That enclosure looks so cool! I was thinking of doing something like that, we have a little area off from the garage that is gated off and firewood is kept there, we were thinking of ripping up the cement and removing the tree (it is dead and could fall on the house) I would love to make something like that!
post #11 of 12
I am dealing with this too. My 1 year old lived on the streets for a long time and he wants out like you wouldn't believe. He just sits by the door and meows and meows. I live in a quiet neighborhood, and there is a big yard behind my place. But I worry also. I have a collar and ID tag on him regardless cause I worry he might get out anyways. Don't know what to do.
post #12 of 12
If they dont show any desire to be let out then why bother?
I have 2 cats that are terrified to even go near the door let alone outside. I have others that come running as soon as the door opens, but they dont go out unless i say come on or something. The one's that do go out sit right outside the door and chew grass which they would do for hours if i let them. Only one puts up a fight when its time to go back in.
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