Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Indoor cats and escaping.

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by jasperthecat, Feb 12, 2020.


  1. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    3,345
    No problems here whatsoever..I'm merely curious. Do your indoor cats ever try to escape?

    Let me make it clear, knowing just how opportunist many cats can be, under no circumstances would I ever drop my guard and risk the possibility of either of my two getting out and I always take great care not to to allow the opportunity to arise for them to escape but in fairness they never attempt it though if they really wanted to, I'm sure they could in an instant but they don't!

    I say this because if we aren't allowing them into a particular room in our house for some reason, they will dart in at the first opportunity whether they're allowed in or not but never try to dart past us to get out of the house.

    We have a front door with an obscured glass side panel to the side and one of Ollie's favourite spots is to sit/lay right in front of the glazed side panel, so that he is literally inches away from the open door if we open it but never attempts to so much as put his nose over the threshold. Obviously we get between him and the door before opening and say "excuse me Ollie" which he knows is his cue to move away which he does immediately and never tries to get out.

    Again Jasper has never tried to escape either. We take them both to the caravan and although we're obviously very careful not to give either of them the opportunity, they never seem to want to escape and seem happy within their own boundaries. The same happens if we are at home and pop out shopping, Ollie is sat by the door looking through the glass panel and waiting for us but never tries to get out when we open it. Jasper sits at the bottom of the stairs and inspects the shopping bags as we pop them in the hall if we have several to bring in from the car but never ventures to the door as it opens.

    If someone knocks at the front door, both of them dash down the hall or stairs to the front door like a pair of terriers nearly knocking us over in the process to see who it is and both sit on the lower steps of the staircase looking what is going on. I think we are very lucky that our two are so good about it.

    We did think of fitting harnesses to them and giving them chaperoned walks in the garden but we wonder if we did that, would they always want to be out and even try to escape if we didn't have time to take them?
    I think if we went down the route of harnesses, there may be no going back and give them the wish for something they currently unaware of? I'm not sure about that one!:(

    So are your cats like Jasper and Ollie in that they make no attempt to escape or have your cats tried it before?
     
  2. Rufus15

    Rufus15 ~ Orrono Maine Coons ~

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    4,952
    Likes Received:
    6,276
    We trained ours to not come near the front door when it's open, but we also use an airlock system just in case. They've also been trained not to run into rooms unless called in, which works as a further failsafe. It doesn't always work, but it's helpful to have as backups
     
  3. MissMiloKitty

    MissMiloKitty PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    1,661
    My cat has made no attempt to escape but I'm still careful. I have a porch so there's no risk of her running through the door when I open it. I really don't think she would ever do it but I can't take the chance. I once accidentally left the back door wide open but she ignored it. Even if she did get out it would be a slow process She isn't the type to race into the wilderness. She very cautious about anything new.
    It's second nature for me to adhere to tight security. When I had to leave her at the vets, I noticed that I was still doing the security checks without thinking about it. My big fear is her getting out and getting lost.
     
  4. Willow_Warren

    Willow_Warren PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,968
    Likes Received:
    7,550
    Well Andre has only had a few outdoor sessions with a harness! but it has certainly increased his interest in going out and he was rather sneaky later that day at running between my legs, let along trying to get out when Lola was on her way in the catflap!!! (before he went out it really wasn't such a problem)

    He's a cheeky little monkey!
     
    Milo’s mum likes this.
  5. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    10,431
    Likes Received:
    25,664
    Well as you know Lottie is outdoors indoors girl robust and fearless, nothing was going to keep her inside.

    Libby however is a completely different nature, I kept her as an indoor only cat. For the first 4 years everything was on shut down, fort knocks comes to mind, she never showed any interest at all, in going outside. Then just as I was relaxing having tested her for 4 years she got out, and disappeared from 11.00am until 4.00am I was absolutely besides myself, convinced someone has stolen her or she had been hit by a tractor. I was searching all day, in the dark, hour after hour, my poor husband was out cycling the lanes, step daughter was walking through fields, eventually I feel asleep on the kitchen floor with the front door and window wide open, she found her way back. I have no idea where she got to.

    Since that dreadful day I do NOT trust her one inch! If we were to have a heatwave tuff, no windows are to be opened. Before anyone let’s one of the four dogs outside for a wee wee, it’s compulsory to do a quick scan around the room just in case Libby is lurking. All visitors have a lecture about her and no windows are to be left open IF the room in unattended.

    4 years later she has not attempted or got out, but I will never take that risk again!
     
  6. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    3,345
    That's also my fear...would they find their way back?
    Jasper probably would as he's a cat who takes caution to the extreme and is constantly on the look out for baddies at all times, whereas Ollie is the overly confident one who will attempt anything and isn't afraid of anything.
    Jasper still hasn't sussed out how to pull a door open which is already off the latch and it's Ollie who sometimes goes to his aid and lets him out. The other day we had a bit of fun with one of those puzzle feeders where you drop food into the various depth cups and they have to get it out.
    Jasper didn't even bother trying as he couldn't figure it out while Ollie had it sussed in no time and was soon adept at getting it out. Where understanding of words are concerned and play interaction through eye contact is concerned Jasper is light years ahead of Ollie who doesn't quite get it. Jasper's understanding of words is excellent and I can just stare at Jasper in a certain way and he understands exactly what my intentions are with regard to it being play. The same goes for when my OH plays "I'll get you" and goes for Jasper with outstretched arms and fingers opening and closing...he's off chasing around immediately wanting to be caught while making silly noises whereas Ollie just looks non-plussed!

    Jasper wouldn't probably survive long as he is so choosy about what he eats whereas Ollie would eat anything. If it came to stranger danger however, then Jasper would certainly be the cautious one while Ollie would soon go to almost anyone.

    Both of them are very different and I wouldn't give either of them too much chance of survival if they escaped...perhaps I'm underestimating them but I hope I never have to put my faith to the test.
     
    MissMiloKitty likes this.
  7. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    It's hard to answer with any certainty as I don't allow any opportunity to escape (fortunately living by myself there aren't too many comings and goings so I can always make sure doors and windows are kept closed). I know they are curious and always want to be where they cannot be (eg cupboards). When Kito was a kitten I opened a high up window during a hot summer day not thinking he could get up there but I caught him scaling the window and with his head out of the open window. Whether he would have climbed out I don't know as he's a bit of a cautious boy and I suspect he may have got scared. Mosi sniffs at partially open windows but I have not given him the chance to actually climb out. They tend to hide if someone comes to the door (unless it's my supermarket delivery in which case they don't bat an eyelid and just continue sleeping).

    My main worry would be that they would probably both be scared if they found themselves outside and would run for cover which would make it difficult for me to find them.
     
  8. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddies.

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    3,345
    We have pretty good control over ours too and they certainly can be trained with perseverance which we believe ours are but as you say you can't beat the airlock system which we use when in the kitchen as the door between the kitchen and utility room out into the garden, acts as a barrier.
    My two have complete run of the entire home with normally no restrictions other than in the kitchen in which they are very closely monitored for obvious safety and hygiene reasons if in there but they know if they go in there, never to jump on the worktops which they've learned from us teaching them we don't allow it and they are pretty much well behaved most of the time and free to enter any room they choose including those we're in.
    They will scratch at the doors of rooms that are closed if they want to go in and sometimes dash in if we decide to open the door but it's not the same as with the front door where they appear to accept that beyond the door is not their domain and never attempt to go there.
     
  9. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,156
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Ours are trained to sit/stay at the doors but haven't tried to get out, even when calling.

    Most of them go out in enclosures or on a harness, it hasn't made them try to escape.
     
  10. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    7,861
    Likes Received:
    15,366
    I have no idea how these cats are trained to never want to go outside.

    Maybe it's because mine go in the back garden or that they used to be outdoor/indoor at my old house, but they are always looking to sneak out the front door when it's opened.

    I'm not particularly fussed because they don't go far when they get out, just mooch about and as long as I don't chase them, they are easy enough to catch.

    As for closing doors inside? Not a chance. Unless the cats are on the right side of it (as far as they are concerned, not me :rolleyes:) they pull at the carpet and scratch at the door.
     
    moomoowawa and Orla like this.
  11. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    34,345
    Likes Received:
    30,152
    My girls know 'sit' and 'stay' and don't try to escape, though I still use the airlock system at my front door. They don't really bother looking outside very much.
    They also know they're not allowed in certain rooms in the house and don't bother scratching at the doors.
     
  12. Milo’s mum

    Milo’s mum PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2019
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    250
    I guess quite a lot is to the personality of the cat.
    My old cat, we lived in a flat, on the ground floor....
    Never ever escaped or tried. Would calmly look out of open window, go out on the balcony.
    He was very occasionally taken outside on supervised walks. Without harness or anything. We had an outdoor green space outside the building.
    He never dashed. He never got spooked by neighbour dogs.
    When he had enough of outside, very calmly will head back to our flat. Me opening doors on the way.
    His name was Martin and he passed in 2000. He had nerve of steel! I was a teenager who did not know else.
    Now with Milo, I do not trust him much. I am trying to build his boundaries naturally :D:D. I will open the window and try stay calm on the sofa. Am I calm, no!
    He is a totally different cat.
    He takes no “NO” for an answer. We keep all doors open or he will shred them. Literally. When I am “pretending” to be sleeping at 3 or 4 am he starts clearing all shelves, anywhere of anything.
    I love him...but he is seriously testing my nerve!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice