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  #1  
Old 01-12-2008, 11:40 AM
SJH SJH is offline
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Question Letting Cats out for 1st time

Hi,

We have 2 cats (boy and girl) they are now just over a year old. We have never let them out before as we lived on a very busy road.
However we have recently moved and want to let them out as the close is quiet and has other cats around. Plus I think they would enjoy being out and about.
They have both had thei bots done and are very well behaved.

However I am so scared of letting them out and them not coming home. Also the little boy cat is a very jumpy, scared kind of cat. So a bit worried he will see another cat, car, anything and run off and hide and never find his way back.

Any tips on letting them out?
We are getting a cat flap installed so they can come and go as they please. Should I keep them in at night????

Sorry for all the questions but thought it would be best to check as will worry myself silly.

Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:03 PM
Amie Amie is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

We are also reaching the point where our rescued cat can start being let outside (shes been with us 4 weeks now) and she keeps meowing at the door ..

weve been letting her into the garden, she has a sniff around and then ive been taking her back indoors..

id also be grateful of some advise on how to indroduce them to the outside world..

if she runs off (when i let her out) should i just let her go? and hope she comes back?? eek!

Though when ive been letting her out, any outside noise (the neighbours shutting the garage door and such) she come pelting back inside.. so she gives it all the big and "im ready to go out" but shes still scared bless her
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:22 PM
Janee Janee is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

It is ALWAYS scary letting the cat(s) out for the first time. Everyone is worried that they will take off into the distance and never ever come back.

They will!

First only let out once neutered and had appropriate vaccinations.

Always risk assess your environment - if you have just moved to a new place don't let the cats out til they have been in your home for at least 3-6 weeks so that they can adjust to the new smells and sounds.

You may see no busy road, but are there other possible risks such as large dogs let out into gardens?

Make certain that your cat(s) have a way back into a safe place - either via a catflap or open window. If you cannot manage that, make sure that there is somewhere sheltered for them to go - outhouse maybe - shed?

Introduce them to the garden just before meal time, because will be hungry won't want to go far.

Make sure you have a box of favourite treats - reward the cat when it comes to your call. Then reward it every other time then one in 3.

Get them used to food times. I feed twice daily at 7 am and at 17.30 ish. I rattle a spoon against the metal dish when grub is up so they know to associate that sound with food.

I rattle the treat box when I want my cat in and he usually comes runing - in that situation I always reward him.

I would strongly advise keeping cats in at night. Get them in BEFORE it gets dusk, if you can. You will need to have a litter tray or two for night use.

Some catflaps can be set to daylight only to allow the cat out in daylight hours but not at night.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:29 PM
SJH SJH is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

Would you keep letting them in and out gradually for one day and then leave them to it, or build it up over a few days.
Let them out for a few mins, call them in for treats.
Then again for longer and build up that way over a space of a week or so, or would you do it all in a day or 2????

We are having a cat flap installed which we will lock at night I think as many people, including my vet has recommended this.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:53 PM
Janee Janee is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

Yes, I did that at first. It was summer so longer evenings. If I was doing it now, I would start at the weekend or on a day when you are there.

BUT - they will at some point jump over the fence/wall whatever, into another garden and then you have to trust them and it is stress making.

I tended to call them quite frequently in the first few days, not to bring them in but to check that they were OK.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:32 PM
SJH SJH is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

I was thinking of doing this over the xmas break as we are both at home all day. So will have plenty of time to keep an eye on them!

I will see how I go then, Let you know how I go if I dont have a heart attack before then! LOL

Thanks
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Old 24-12-2008, 10:26 AM
Amie Amie is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

How did you get on SJH?

we've been letting Izzy out a few times, she seems to go off and explore for about 2/3 mins, sniffing out the garden, and then comes running back to the house

this is quite sweet i guess, atleast she knows where the house is, its like she comes back for reasurance.. after a few fluffles she off back out again

Will she ever venture out the garden? hehe, she doesnt realise she can jump over things at the moment, she will jump up and all round the house, but outside shes very low..

the amount of time between her coming back to the house and running off again are getting longer, shes just been out of site for around 5 mins... then my OH says "oh, there she is"

im very proud to see her outside in the garden, and surprisingly my OH said "maybe we should keep her inside as a house cat" when i asked him why he felt this way, he said "because she might not come back" - never seen him worry about her, very sweet!
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Old 26-12-2008, 11:30 PM
funkycub funkycub is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janee View Post
It is ALWAYS scary letting the cat(s) out for the first time. Everyone is worried that they will take off into the distance and never ever come back.

They will!

First only let out once neutered and had appropriate vaccinations.

Always risk assess your environment - if you have just moved to a new place don't let the cats out til they have been in your home for at least 3-6 weeks so that they can adjust to the new smells and sounds.

You may see no busy road, but are there other possible risks such as large dogs let out into gardens?

Make certain that your cat(s) have a way back into a safe place - either via a catflap or open window. If you cannot manage that, make sure that there is somewhere sheltered for them to go - outhouse maybe - shed?

Introduce them to the garden just before meal time, because will be hungry won't want to go far.

Make sure you have a box of favourite treats - reward the cat when it comes to your call. Then reward it every other time then one in 3.

Get them used to food times. I feed twice daily at 7 am and at 17.30 ish. I rattle a spoon against the metal dish when grub is up so they know to associate that sound with food.
I rattle the treat box when I want my cat in and he usually comes runing - in that situation I always reward him.

I would strongly advise keeping cats in at night. Get them in BEFORE it gets dusk, if you can. You will need to have a litter tray or two for night use.

Some catflaps can be set to daylight only to allow the cat out in daylight hours but not at night.
I did this before letting my previous cats out as training and when they went out and I couldn't see them, I tapped the tin and they were back in seconds.

This isn't going to help and I feel bad for saying it but it is always a risk, one of mine got run over and the other never returned - however they did go out for three years before that. I now have indoor cats who are quite happy. Infact if they do manage to run out they come back whimpering and don't like it. There will always be a risk but let's face it there is a risk to mosty thingsd in life!

I have to say that Ella and Effie are actually much nicer cats for being indoor cats, Deano and Sophie seems to become quite feral after a while and we lost a lot of the bond we had. After tehy went it took me 8/9 years to get my two little madam's I have now
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Old 17-05-2009, 10:23 PM
TRU TRU is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

My response is don't let them out unsupervised. Keep them on a harness. If they are nervous types this is the best for them. Anything can spook a timid cat into running off into a road. Dogs would also be a scare, and some cats don't like strangers either. I know some people think cats should roam and thats what they do, but this isn't the case with sensitive cats, they need your security, please keep them safe, and they will have a happy existance.
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Old 18-05-2009, 02:38 PM
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crofty crofty is offline
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Re: Letting Cats out for 1st time

There are no such thing as safe roads, my two previous cats were both killed a country road, they will wonder if you live in a close and if they've been in for a year arent very street wise. My friend lives in the middle of a country estate down a very long gravel track off a dead quiet country road, only if i lived somewhere like there id consider it. Good Luck to you but I would be a nervous wreck.
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