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Introducing my cats to outside world..Any advice?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by ChrisKon, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. ChrisKon

    ChrisKon PetForums Junior

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    Hi guys and gals :)

    Looking forward to letting Maximus and Buena out for the first time however I'm ever so slightly worried as I love them so much!

    Are there any do's and don'ts for letting cats out for the first time?

    They're going to be 7-8 months when they start going out.

    Buena will be confident and raring to roam outside, Max...maybe slightly cautious!

    Anyways, Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions given...:thumbsup:
     
  2. Cookieandme

    Cookieandme PetForums VIP

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    When you say free to roam, do you mean free to roam where ever they please or just in the garden.

    Personally I wouldn't let mine out of the garden and 7 months is still quite young.
     
    #2 Cookieandme, Mar 12, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  3. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Firstly make sure they are neutered first and chipped
    Secondly don't let them out until about 10 months old.
    Thirdly let them out hungry and try to train them to come back to the sounds of food.
    Fourthly try not to worry too much.

    Mine don't go out now, except in the run or occasionally the moggy gets to go just in the garden for a brief 5 mins. Too many dangers for them out there - and we live in the middle of no-where.
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi ChrisKon,

    Personally I wouldn't let my cats out at 7 or 8 mths these days, with all the dangers, unless you have a completely cat-proofed garden they cannot escape from. They are still too young.

    I would leave it until they are about 10 mths old, but would start training them indoors to come when they are called. I did this by taking a dish of food upstairs when they were downstairs, then tapping the dish with a spoon and calling them. It didn't take long for them to come running. Then they get a reward. :) After a few days of this they come to wherever you are in the house when they are called with no need to tap a dish. They always get a reward though.:)

    First time you let them out I'd go outside with them the whole time. If they decide to go out of the garden I'd keep calling them, so your voice orientates them to finding their way back, and also they are reminded they are expected to come home when called.

    If you want them to go out at 8 mths and your garden is not catproofed, you could take them out in the garden on a harness and leash, until they are old enough to go out on their own. You'd need to start training them indoors first on the harness and leash (never use a collar with a leash). Not all cats take to it, but if you start at their young age there is more chance of success. :)
     
  5. jordanandmeeko

    jordanandmeeko PetForums Junior

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    Ive just read this thread as I was thinking about letting my cat out soon. Would you say 10 months is the youngest they can go outside then?

    He is being neutered friday and is only 6 months old but in the last couple of weeks he has become very intrested in the outside world. Before when i opened teh dorr he would just lok out and run away when the wind blew but he is becomming more and more inquisitive so I presumed he was about the right age! The other day when i opened the door to take out his litter he even followed me down the steps and had an inquisitve look under out static caravan... He likes looking out of windows and as we only live in a 26 foot odd static caravan is it not a bit mean keeping him in for all this time? or do you think it would be an idea for me to get him a leash so i can at least make his environment a bit more exciting in the mean time as he really does seem interested now and likes to look out the window too. He has plenty of toys and I do play with him also so hes not bored.. hes just going to be an explorer!!

    The caravan site is also on a small holding with 2 ponies/pigs/sheep etc and a few little sheds/barns etc so is there anything specially dangerous to cats that I should look out for...!? and do you think it would be advisable to follow him about a bit at first incase he gets into trouble or something...?

    Also is there any advice about encounters with other cats as there are 3 on our caravan site and I know one of them to like fighting :(




    And i know exaclty how you feel, your excoted for them but worried about them at the same time! Now i know how my mum felt when I was wanted to do things on my own when I was younger!
     
  6. ButtercupSyrup

    ButtercupSyrup PetForums Newbie

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    Some great advice on here already. The best bit: try not to worry too much!! I had a terrible time worrying/panicking about mine!! In reality though there was no need to worry. As long as they know where the food, warmth and love is, I realised they are never going to forget their way back :)
    I started off by just letting them out for a few minutes when I knew they were hungry. I went outside with them and door was open.
    The next stage was me staying inside with them outside for longer. Again, door open, and then kept going outside every few minutes or so and calling them or singing :blush: so they could hear me wherever they were. I read somewhere that its really rare they will go too far from their own garden anyway, which has certainly proved to be true with mine.
    The best though was when we had a couple of beautiful sunny days when I was able to spend the afternoon outside gardening and leaving them to come and go as they pleased. If you do decide to wait a couple of months, then you never know (!) we might actually be into some better weather when you could do that.
     
  7. ChrisKon

    ChrisKon PetForums Junior

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    Great advice guys! Thank you.

    I will take on board the 10 month rule as that seems to be the general consensus, plus they will be bigger and hopefully the weather will be better!

    They're already neutered and chipped so good to go. I'm actually looking forward to their reactions and am sure they'll love it! I never had this worry with my old cat (my mums cat) as I suppose I wasn't fully responsible for him! Different when they're yours!

    Anyways, hope all is well everyone x
     
  8. apricot

    apricot PetForums Member

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    I started letting mine out at 6 months old. It was mid-winter and they didn't stay out more than a few minutes. Since then they have changed places, the adventurous one being scared to go out and the quiet one happily crashing through the cat flap. I can't wait to get rid of the litter tray but hurrying Scaredy-Cat won't help, I suppose he will start enjoying the garden when it's sunny. I shall always shut them in at night.
     
  9. Jiskefet

    Jiskefet Slave to the Hairy Hikers

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    You haven't told us much about your surroundings, so we cannot assess the dangers.

    I live in a very quiet neighbourhood on the edge of town, with little traffic and a park opposite my street. But I never let my cats out by themselves before they were about 1 year old, and I kept the ones that were really playful and careless indoors as long as I could.

    I cannot catproof my garden, because I have several cats that were born feral and need a bigger territory than my garden can offer them. But if you can keep them inside the garden, you don't have to worry about them coming to any harm.

    There is an entire thread about cat runs and catproofed gardens in this section, so maybe you can find some solutions in there to offer your cats a safe playground.

    http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-chat/211361-cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.html
     
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