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Help letting kittens out

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by AshJack, Sep 8, 2018.


  1. AshJack

    AshJack PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    So I’m after a little advice (and maybe reassurance!)

    I adopted two stray kittens, they are now 6 months old. My intention was never to have them as indoor cats, so a week or so ago I started to let them out supervised for about 30mins. They lick everything, and are very nosey as you can imagine.

    A week ago I found one of them had a mouth infection which has been treated (I got the other one treated as well just in case). I felt so guilty I spoke to the vet about changes but the only thing that had changed was the outdoor thing.

    Now I’ve washed the back garden and cleaned as much as I can but my garden is ‘wild’ it’s not going to be germ free ever.. I’m now worried about letting them out, but I cant imagine keeping them locked up in the house.

    Am I awful for considering taking the risk? Has anyone found a way to teach them not to lick things outdoors?
     
  2. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome :)

    To be honest your kittens are very young still so will be curious over everything.

    Speaking from experience, out of my 3 cats I allow two of them to go outside, I kept them indoors until they were over 12 months old.
    I also allowed them to go outside at the beginning of the summer purely for the day light hours, I also trained them to come when called ( shaking the treats packet)

    Do you think you could hold off letting them out until next April May? Or maybe consider a cat enclosure which offers the best of both worlds.
     
  3. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    Until they are about a year old, think of kittens as children. You wouldn't let a young child wander outside on its own, kittens are totally inexperienced with the outside world and inquisitive. It may be that yours tried to eat a plant which secreted something unpleasant and caused the problem in his mouth. The garden will always be full of germs which can't be totally avoided but animals and us are mostly resistant. They should be discouraged from licking or chewing plants as many are toxic though a lot of cats don't bother.

    There are lots of risks outside for young cats and I agree with @ewelsh, you'd be better to keep them inside for at least another six months until they are more sensible and able to look after themselves..
     
    #3 Charity, Sep 8, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    Clairabella, ewelsh, AshJack and 2 others like this.
  4. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Cats don't usually lick plants outdoors as they have no interest in eating them, but there are a lot of plants which are toxic to cats. Are they vaccinated? This should be done first before ever letting them out. They are more likely to catch an infection from another cat than anything if not vaccinated. And as well as being neutered, they should be much older than 6 months before going out. More like 12 months or more.
     
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  5. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Would it be possible to cat proof your garden rather than allowing them to free roam , the world out there is not a very friendly safe place for cats or any animal out on their own.
    Have a look through this link it has lots of idea's of ways to cat proof your garden to keep them safe.
    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.211361/

    I have never had nor will I ever have cats which are allowed to "free roam" so unfortunately don't see this from your view but one thing I would say is that if you feel you must allow them out to roam where they want to please don't do it until they are at least 12 months old,they are still babies at 6 months.
     
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  6. Tyson1919

    Tyson1919 Banned

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    I’ve always let my cats over the years out at 5/6 months after their fixed. They all lived 10-15 years but that might just be because my road is quite and I have acres of land out the back. Sometimes it depends where you live the chances of something happening to the could be higher.
     
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  7. AshJack

    AshJack PetForums Junior

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    Thank you all. Looks like I’ll be entertaining them inside for a while longer. I live in a quiet area and the garden is enclosed etc, but the mouth thing had me worried.

    They are vaccinated, etc. The shelter wouldn’t adopt out without all of that being covered.

    I’ve always had outdoor cats as well and had no issues (adopted when they’ve been older, so I’m new to the baby stage and the licking). I don’t want to keep them indoors, but rather be safe than sorry, so think this will be fun and challenging for another few months. Luckily they do play together a lot but are very eager to explore the garden all the time.

    I do plan on making the garden more permanently cat safe, when we have the extension done, but will see what temporary ideas are out there as well.

    Thanks!
     
  8. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    How lovely to read your prepared to wait and allow your little ones chance to become more mature.

    As you have two they will amuse each other for a long time to come! Plus you will get to view this fun time, if they were venturing outside you would miss all that stage.

    Keep us posted and let’s have some pictures!
     
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  9. AshJack

    AshJack PetForums Junior

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    Thanks yeah, I don’t mind them indoors, it’s more trying not to feel you’re locking them up and depriving them. They def amuse and play with each other

    Happy to upload pics as well! The one staring out at the back garden is the most recent.
     

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  10. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    They are sweeties. Enjoy them while you can, they don't stay kittens for long. :)
     
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  11. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    Gorgeous!!!

    I sometimes feel bad for not letting my kitten out yet but I just remind myself I would feel so much worse if something happened! He just isn’t cautious enough yet, so I need to be sensible for him!

    You’ve probably found with your own kittens how they change with regard to being a bit less crazy crazy crazy and a bit more oooh not sure if this is a good idea :D
     
  12. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Oh they are just gorgeous! I’d be worried someone would pinch them as they are so cute.

    Definitely keep them in doors until they are much older.

    What are their names?
     
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  13. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    @AshJack They are super gorgeous and like @ewelsh I would be worried about them being "catnapped" :)
    Please don't think for one minute that you are depriving them of anything by not allowing them out to roam (yet) , more people are choosing not to these days.

    This is where I put my "cautious" hat on and I'm honestly not trying to worry you.
    It seems from the pics that both kittens have white ears /noses please be very careful in the summer not to let them sit in the sun as it can cause skin cancer just like it does in humans.
    Ideally they should have a high factor sun block applied but finding a cat specific one isn't easy.
    I used a childs high factor block on my tabby cat who had white ear tips.
    He was a semi feral who adopted us but by that time it was too late to save one of his ears which had to be removed.
     
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  14. Etienne

    Etienne Dad to Puss and Shadow

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    As someone who does let their cats out due to circumstances I would advice you to never let your two beauties out, certainly without securing your garden.
    What they dont have they will not miss. Please keep them safe.
     
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  15. AshJack

    AshJack PetForums Junior

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    Thanks yeah, they are very cute and have the ‘aren't I cute, it should be ok to let me get away with anything’ look down pat!

    Molly and Dolly are their names, the shelter named them and since I love the names I didn’t bother to change

    Re: sunscreen, yeah I use it myself every day, so have always used it on cats and dogs. It doesn’t hurt them and having seen a friends cat with cancer, I’d rather not take the chance. The shelter also told me white cats are more prone to sunburn. I switched to ultrasun, a few years ago and it’s worked well.

    Re: catnapping - never thought of that, hopefully catnappers are only after cute babies!
     
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  16. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Molly and Dolly that’s so sweet. They really are pretty.

    Do stay around, like you I have always had cats all my life but I have learnt so much on this forum, plus you get to talk as much as you want about your girls and everyone will want to hear and see.
    We have registered breeders who can offer so much advice, kitten cat fosterer’s, cat shelter volunteers, we swap foods even! Plus we even have our own cat Vet member :D
     
    Etienne likes this.
  17. AshJack

    AshJack PetForums Junior

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    Thanks will stick around. It’s good to get different views on things
     
    ewelsh likes this.
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