What age to let kittens out?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Tig'N'Soot, Jul 1, 2010.


  1. Tig'N'Soot

    Tig'N'Soot PetForums Member

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    Our three kittens are now just over 4 months old. Both boys have been neutured but the girl kitten is not yet big enough to be speyed. None of them have been microchipped but we will get them done before we start letting them out.

    Last night and this evening we have taken them all outside individually on a little harness. Out of the three only Thomas showed any interest. Noah & Tiger-lily seemed quite scared. Should we get another two harnesses and start getting them used to the outside together in a pack?

    We are a bit wary of letting them out when they are so small as we have quite a few big cats in the neighbourhood which our adult cat Sooty has had a number of clashes with. He is massive and always comes off worse.

    My sister reckons they should all be going out now and that her kittens were a lot younger when she started letting them out.

    What is an ideal age to start letting kittens out? Are we being cruel waiting this long?
     
  2. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

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    I can't say what is the idea age, but we first let our kittens out when they were six months old - it was a few days after they had been neutured and spayed and they went crazy, running around everywhere. It was a lovely sight, but I was worried about my poor girls stitches. I'm sure Toby wanted to go out earlier, but this felt the right time as we didn't have to worry about our girl having kittens. Our fence and gate are all 6ft high, so it was a while before they found the route out.
     
  3. Amin

    Amin PetForums VIP

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    We let our Boy out at 6 month, He was a little unsure at first, but after a couple of days he got used to it. Now he loves the Garden.
     
  4. SusannenoZ

    SusannenoZ PetForums Newbie

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    Is it possible to have a mainly indoor cat but one that will perhaps just go out in the garden, but not roam the neighbourhood, or is it a case of once a cat has gone out of the house that's it and they will want to go further and further?. Hamish our first cat, is 3 months old he has had his vaccs but not neutered yet vet says to wait til he is 6 months. I had not made up my mind completely about whether he should be an indoor or outdoor, but thought that I would certainly not let him out until after he was neutered BUT at the weekend we were in the garden, the house was all closed up to stop him escaping thru windows and curtains closed to keep the house cool and Hamish yowling his head off to get to us rather than out (as he doesn't know what out is) and it just seemed so unfair on him, so we kitten proofed the garden and let him out with us, he loved it, not fearful at all and spent 4 hours in the garden with us, taking himself back in for a sleep and to use his litter tray. we have 5/6 ft fences all around and high solid gates so at the moment we are kitten proof if not cat proof. He has been out twice since, just for an hour or so with us early evening, but has not pestered to go out at all, only going out when we have initiated it. I am very anxious about him being a completely outdoor cat from a safety point of view.. but is the deed done now? sorry about the long post - newbie angst!!
     
  5. Alym

    Alym PetForums Newbie

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    I let my cat out at 6 months after he was fully vacc and neutered
     
  6. Tig'N'Soot

    Tig'N'Soot PetForums Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    I agree with most that 6 months seems a good age. We have taken them out again on the harness these past couple of evenings but we only have one harness and I am sure that they are anxious because we are taking them out one at a time. Maybe we should get two more and take them out together?

    The thing I am most nervous about is the fact that we don't really have a back garden as such. We live in a row of Victorian cottages with a back yard and low gate and then a shared drive goes along the back of all of our cottages then we have our individual gardens which are all open. There is no barrier to stop the kittens from wandering around the side of the row and into the road. So I think we may buy some kind of mesh or a fence to place at the end of our yard so that they can all wander out without harnesses together and get used to the noises and smells gradually, for the next couple of months anyway until we feel happy that they can venture further and look after themselves.
     
  7. jamjar919

    jamjar919 Banned

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    You should wait until they are about 6-8 months old letting then off on there own. Get them collared, sprayed, and if possible microchipped.
     
  8. Tig'N'Soot

    Tig'N'Soot PetForums Member

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    Thanks jamjar, we wouldn't dream of letting them out on their own until they are all microchipped.

    And I was listening to a radio phone in yesterday and since then I am totally freaked out about letting them out because of the risk of foxes getting them, especially when they are so small. And also statistically they are more likely to get hit by a car when they are under 12 months old. So we will wait until they are at least 8 months old or a good size before we start letting them out.

    For the last couple of evenings Thomas has been staring up at the back door crying to get out! The other two aren't remotely interested in going out. Last night Tom had a good old wander on the harness for a good 45 minutes, sniffing all over the place, chasing a little fly, watching neighbours milling about, he was in his element! Gonna watch the end of the Spain v Germany match and will take him out for another jaunt.
     
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