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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, Rascal has been wanting to go outside for a long time. Sometimes, some one would leave the window open in the bathroom and Rascal would escape. I usually find him in the backyard. I have been taking him outside without the harness and leash and he would wander around the backyard and sniff and chase the bees and stuff. I go with him to make sure he dosen't escape. He has his ID tags and everything but I really don't feel comfortable if he goes outside without me. But after a while of being outside and I take him back in, he would howl and meow to be let out again. And I feel guilty but I don't want him to get hurt. But he wants to be outside! I thought neutering him would help with his urge to roam, but he practically begs me. I play with him a lot when I am home so he won't get bored, but he loses interest. What can I do to minimize his desire to go outside? What are his chances of coming back to me if he goes outside? I am just too tempted.
post #2 of 9
I have no advice for you as I am a big old scardy cat at letting mine outside. I just bought some kitty grass to grow for mine - perhaps Rascal would like to try some of that?
post #3 of 9
First, you did the right thing neutering him. Whole tom cats need a territory that is 10 times larger than the one neutered males need. You didn't say at what age you had him neutered. If it was after he had reached sexual maturity (older than 6-7 months) then he may have already developed a habit of wanting to roam outside. Neutering would then limit the size of the territory but not eliminate the need to go out. Whether or not to let him out really depends on how safe is the place where you live - cars, dogs, people, other cats, wild animals - these are all risks that you need to consider.

You may want to consider getting a cat enclosure. It's the best way to let the cat enjoy the outside without the exposing him to the dangers. See this article for more info:
post #4 of 9
I'm no expert on cat behavior but I have found w/my own cat that if I limit his outdoor activity, he seems to crave the outdoors less.

I got him as a stray but he adpated to the indoors very well. There is no opportunity for the cat to go outside since I live in an urban area. But, when I visited my parents, I let kitty wander around the enclosed patio (which has some landscaping in it). I first used the harness but then he eventually tried to sneak by anyone going in or out of the patio area. He never tried to run, and I was always able to retrieve him if I needed to take him inside. But, I didn't even want to think about him getting out into the great outdoors - too many dangers.

If you are at all worried about Rascal's safety, keep him inside and see if over time he has less interest in going out. Otherwise, I think it's important to control his outdoor time (e.g., no open windows to be used as an escape route ). Is there an enclosed area where he could explore the outdoors? Or, maybe you could stick to a harness and leash.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I live in the basement of a house and the landlords refused to let me put an enclosure. He was barely neutered at six months(late last March). I feel guilty everytime he cries to be let out. Sort of like he is the prisoner or somehting.
post #6 of 9
Thanks Anne - I have just read that article - sounds like a project for me!
post #7 of 9
Nena, I share your fear. Before I moved to a 2nd floor apartment with a deck, Dani escaped twice from a 1st floor apartment through the front door carelessly left open a crack. Like you, both times she was in a yard (ours was unfenced) and both times my heart was in my mouth until I found her.

In this new 2nd fl. apartment, kicking and screaming, my roommate convinced me to let Dani roam along the top of the deck fence. She'll go sit in the sun for a bit and from the fence catches and eats a surprising number of flying insects. Being as we're on the second floor, Dani hasn't tried to jump down but she has often stared down at passing cats. If I go to the door and don't spot her immediately, I still have a brief panic attack but she's been allowed out for a month and so far so good. At night when she spots me getting out of the car, she calls to me. Usually, all I see are her golden eyes shining out of the darkness.

I think she's happy being allowed some freedom but I still worry about her jumping into a nearby tree and getting down. I guess it's natural to fear the unknown.

If you have access to a yard, they make enclosures for cats, I saw one advertised on the web somewhere, I think it was www.drsfostersmith.com.
post #8 of 9
I know that stray cats get themselves into all sorts of places (on top of high fences, up trees, etc.) but I couldn't let my cat out in an area above the ground floor without him being on a leash or without the area being enclosed.

JoJo, do you think the height that your place is from the ground is safe if your kitty should lose his balance (it happens, really ) and go overboard? Pet insurance programs even have coverage for 'High Rise Syndrome' - i.e. injuries or death resulting from a fall from an aprtment/condo.

Nena10 - Stay strong . If you can't take Rascal outside in a controlled setting, then he'll just have to get used to roaming around inside.
post #9 of 9
Fred and Leo both used to go out from the time they were small kittens. For the past year, we have been living in an area that is not safe for them to. It has been wonderful not to have to worry about them. It breaks my heart to hear Fred cry to go out, but it would be even worse to have something happen to him, and know I could have prevented it by keeping him in. I never realized how much I worried about them until I didn't have to do it any more.
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