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Getting my cat inside (help, going insane!)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi!

My 6 month old cat behaves exceptionally well inside. There's a really close bond between me and her. She's affectionate and is well behaved.

Occasionally i let her outside under my close supervision. She loves to play around in the yard (which is fenced and virtually impossible for her to get out)

The problem is : It's IMPOSSIBLE to get her back in! I let her outside for half an hour, and when i try to pick her up to bring her inside, she runs away. She just won't let me pick her up. It takes at least 5-10 minutes to get her in. This one time, it took a ridiculous 25 minutes to get her in. I had to lure her with her favorite string, crouch down gently, get in closer inch by inch, distracting her with the string, before i could finally grab her. I tell you it was quite a workout!

Inside the house, she lets herself be picked up, it isn't a problem at all.

I figure she's just playing around and isn't doing this out of malice, but it's still annoying as heck. What can i do? I don't want to have to go through this everytime i let her out!

Thanks!

Regards,

CC

P.S.
Here's a pic of Paws (aka "Kiti" when we call her in french)
post #2 of 13
How about not letting her out in the first place and if you want to then start training her on a harness and leash. Many cats will eventually adapt well to it and I have even seen a few cats being walked down the street here in town.

On a side note, I hope she is spayed if you are letting her out without a leash, if not all it takes is the scent of a tom cat and a few seconds and she could be pregnant. If she is spayed then never mind, just wanted to point that out in case you are a first time cat owner and didn't even think of that

Welcome to TCS by the way!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Jen

I've tried the leash thing before and she just seems so uncomfortable with it. The string gets stuck around objects, she ends up strangling herself, etc. She just seems downright miserable with it. I could give it another try, but ugh... i'd rather not if there's any other way.

Thanks again!

P.S. She is sprayed. I'm a first time owner but i did do my research first
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cataclaw View Post
Hi Jen

I've tried the leash thing before and she just seems so uncomfortable with it. The string gets stuck around objects, she ends up strangling herself, etc. She just seems downright miserable with it. I could give it another try, but ugh... i'd rather not if there's any other way.

Thanks again!

P.S. She is sprayed. I'm a first time owner but i did do my research first
Ok just wanted to make sure

Did you buy an actual harness and leash? It wouldn't be a string and you wouldn't tie her out or anything, but actually take her for a walk like you would a dog, walk in the grass so there is nothing to walk around. You probably will have to let her get used to the leash first like just let her lead you on the grass for awhile or even just sit so she can figure out the boundries when she gets to as far as the leash will go. Don't pull her back or anything.
post #5 of 13
My Sassy and boo are just about 13 weeks and 16 weeks respectively. I took them both out last weekend on their new harnesses and tie-outs.
Neither of them liked the harnes for about the first 6 minutes and then they started having fun exploring and running in the grass.

I didn't use the leashes for walking. I just tied each of them and sat and watched. They had a ball and then took nice long naps after coming in.

I think if you get a nice H harness and insist on her going out with that on, she will adjust and soon wait at the door for you to put it on her. I've done that with several cats and they all adjust pretty quick and easy.
post #6 of 13
Ya sometimes tying works I just mean maybe not right off because when animals are tied up you tend to not pay as close attention to them because they are "safe" and can't run off and then they discover the end of the leash and freak out at the new feeling. That happened to me and I felt so bad. I tied my first cat India out since she loved the outside and turned my back for a minute and then heard the neighbor start howling with laughter because my poor India was just jumping straight up in the air like a bouncy ball when she tried to run too fast and hit the end of the leash. Neighbor thought it was soo funny but I felt like such a jerk.
post #7 of 13
oh I can imagine how taxing that is. she has a taste of the wild and now is getting willful. Abi has a screened area outside so she cant get far enough to run, otherwise i would be facing the same problem. And the leash/harness thing is a hassle. I have tried it on the upper deck and she ends up just sitting under a deck chair because she is so tangled she cant go anywhere. Keep us posted.
post #8 of 13
Cataclaw, I had exactly the same problems you describe with my stray momma cat, Jane. And she is a tuxedo cat, too! She actually didn't seem to mind the leash thing, but I was a bad owner and didn't use a harness, so it didn't help me with getting her back inside, as she'd just leave me holding the collar and the leash when she wanted to go under the house and I wanted her to go inside.

I now have all indoor cats; how did I solve the problem? I kept Jane's kittens, who have never wanted to be outside cats, and gave Jane to my mother! So I simply don't have to deal with the problem any more.

My mother is keeping Jane inside, and she's adjusted to it, but it was quite an adjustment period. If your yard is fenced and virtually impossible for her to get out of, how about making it actually impossible for her get out, and just leaving her in the safe backyard, unsupervised? A cat shelter I once visited had metal-lined, very tall fences that the cats couldn't climb or jump. Purrfect fence used to be advertised on this board; that might do the trick for you.

Honestly, in my experience, as long as you don't tempt the cat with what she wants, she'll be very content without it. Jane was aggressive and impossible for me and her kittens to be around when I'd succeeded in taking her inside before she wanted to be inside, but when she went months without being let out, she even stopped trying to get out. Athena is obsessed with yarn whenever it is out, but will calm down and stop meowing and begging for me to play when it's hidden. Artemis begs for my attention, but when I was out of town for two weeks, she didn't even once meow at my spouse.
post #9 of 13
You could try to feed her wet food at the same time every evening and only let her out prior to feeding. Then she will know it is candy time when the out door session is over.
We have out door/ in door cats and when I first let them go out I always gave them candy when they came to me. It was never a problem to get them to follow me inside again.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies!

You've given me a few ideas.

I'll let you know how it goes
post #11 of 13
You have 2 choices for outside supervised time.

1. Train her to a harness and leash and keep her on it, walking around the yard - let her lead

2. Buy one of the portable enclosed cat tents/enclosures that you can put them in and watch them from there. The enclosures are like a zippered giant tent where they cannot get out from under but can enjoy the sun/breeze.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I see. So there's just not much in the way of behavioral training i can do to get her to stop running when i try to pick her up. Oh well...
post #13 of 13
I simply trained mine to come in when I come in.
I have a small patio surrounded by privacy fence.
I go out and usually one or two cats come out too, they'll roll on the concrete or graze on fresh catnip.

When I go in, I simply say ok, let's go, and hold the door open.

While they were being trained I had a second person holding the door open, I'd say let's go and clap my hands, not loud enough to frighten though.
I just sort of 'herded' them in.
Now they come in with me on their own.
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