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Loving my new kitty, Ripley, but have a question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ripley is very friendly, never meeting a stranger. He is also very patient with my youngest son who likes to pick him up and carry him places. I try to limit this behavior so as not to annoy the cat to death and he knows how to do so correctly. Ripley doesn't really want to be held but will put up with it for about 5-10 minutes before he squirms to get down. He is really playful and he will seek you out for petting. However, he is not very snuggly. He will lay near you or on the floor at your feet, but he doesn't want to hang out in your lap or snuggle really close.

My last cat Reilly, was a big snuggler and I loved it. He loved to be held and would often perch on my shoulder, sort of like a large scarf. (he was 12lbs and long haired) I don't want to compare cats, as they are all individuals, but do you think Ripley will get more snuggley as he gets older? (he is just about a year old and VERY active) I will love him regardless, but I sure miss the snuggles.

Also, I feel badly because he often sits and stares and cries at the door because he wants outside. I know it would be very dangerous for him in our neighborhood, but I hate to see him unhappy. Do you think window perches would help? More play time? A friend? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 4
Yes he may get more snuggly.. though it might be a while (yrs?). As far as 'out' goes.. been walking lots of cats for lots of years. First get a harness that not only goes around the neck, but also down around the back of the front legs (little piece connects the neck strap to the tummy piece along the back). He's less likely to strangle or escape that way... dogs have much stronger necks! Then, without the leash itself connected to the harness, just attach the harness so it fits well, which means tight enough so you can just get a finger under both parts, but no more (and it won't catch on anything, and he's less likely to slither out.. they're good at that!). Then just let him wear it for increasing times every day in the house... 10 mins, 20 mins.... til he forgets about it. Once he seems comfortable wearing it, wait for a nice quiet time during the day, sprinkle a little catnip just outside the door but reclose it, bring him to the door and casually (quickly) clip on the leash, open the door and take him out with you. Put him down but don't go anywhere and leave the door open behind you. Being outside is likely to make him forget all about the leash, and he may immed. want to go back in, or else crouch and sniff all around him. Let him be the first one to go anywhere, and follow, don't lead. If he totally freaks out the first time when he's outside, let him go back in before he gets out of the harness. Do it all over again later in the day, and the next, but if after 2-3 tries he's really not interested, be glad you have a house cat! You don't want to end up having him like it so much that he wants to be out all the time and yowls at the door all day, never mind the chance, however small, that something (cars, etc.) scare him enough to get out of the harness and never come back.
post #3 of 4
Yep, my daughter has trained her cat just the way you advise, Larke, it is amazing and quite a site, people stop and stare when she takes her for a walk! She is a very fluffy Maine Coon mix that we got at the shelter, she looks like a little black fox.
post #4 of 4
My kitten only took about 5 minutes to decide that outside was good. We had a fenced in backyard so there weren't too many disruptions. We used a cat harness and a leash tethered to the deck. Both our cats love the outdoors and if they can see it's a nice day out they will beg at the door to go outside for a while. Usually we allow them to do so. As of late they liked to go for walks more than sit outside in the back yard. They were usually ready to come in after a walk and didn't bother us again until the next day. I've since lost one of those cats and miss the daily routine and am looking forward to the day when I can get another cat and train it the same way.

Just make sure your cat is secure in it's harness and that there aren't any dangers around. Keep them out of any unknown plants or plants that are toxic, keep them away from things they can get tangled in or handg themselves from. The harness will usually keep them from harm if it's done up correctly but they may use this in order to squirm out of it. My other cat used to climb the tree then jump down hanging in the harness to escape. Of course, she never left the yard and was usually relaxing under the deck.
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