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Introducing outdoor cat to new environment

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by texutree, Aug 7, 2019.


  1. texutree

    texutree PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I have a female (neutered) cat that goes both outdoors and indoors. I've recently moved house (last weekend) and have kept her inside so far. I did let her out yesterday and she had a nose around the garden but soon jumped the fence and went into the neighbour's garden; I was worried she might keep going following various scents, and get lost. She made her way back to my garden and did not want me to grab hold of her at all, she became very aggressive towards me. I did manage to get hold of her and bring her back in.

    Ideally, I would put a harness on her and introduce her to the outdoor area that way but there really is no way I would be able to get one on her - she does get VERY aggressive when being handled in a way she does not like, and becomes a little bundle of teeth and claws. I can't even get a collar on her for that reason.

    So I was hoping to get some advice on how to expose her to her new environment in a way that minimises the risk of her wandering off and getting lost... It's a suburban area with lots of other gardens (and roads). Any input would be gratefully received.
     
  2. Willow_Warren

    Willow_Warren PetForums VIP

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    I think there are more experienced and knowledgeable people around here that me...

    When moving house (I used to rent and subsequently moved more than I would have liked) I have kept cats in for longer that a week - I normally keep them in for about 4 weeks and follow the usual rules of letting them out before dinner time...

    Cat proof garden would be the best option (IMO) but I know now always feasible (my garden is not cat proof).

    I have been fortunate that my cats have been quite good at coming when called (although Lola is getting less obedient with these warm summer evenings), reward with a treat when they do come...

    Hannah :)
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Definitely too soon to be letting her out to free roam in my view as she won’t yet consider the new house her home. High risk of her wandering and getting lost.

    I’d try to cat proof the garden (or at least the part close to the house), fit a cap flap in the back door and let her please herself during the day, safe from roads etc.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  4. texutree

    texutree PetForums Newbie

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    Many thanks for the replies. It was lucky I got her in then. Won't let her out for another few weeks then now. Cat-proofing the garden isn't feasible here, but I will see if I can sort something out by the door.
     
  5. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome :D

    I agree it is far too soon, you new home doesn’t smell like home to your little girl at all, it will take some time I’m afraid. At the very least another 2 months. Nothing is familiar to her so the odds of her getting lost is extremely high. Have you checked if your neighbours have dogs or cats?


    It’s a shame you are not able to cat proof the garden, that is the safest option.

    When you do let her outside, sprinkle some of her used cat litter around the parameter of your garden, leave out an item of your clothing, a nice dirty top will do the trick, so if she does go walk about, she will be able to pick up the scent of you and your home.

    I hope you are able to keep her in for as long as possible, I know it’s difficult I have done it myself, but I put up with the tantrums, call it tough love.

    Good luck
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    You can build a free standing run of some type

    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.211361/

    I do like the advice of someone who said find out what other pets are being let out around you. And how your neighbors feel about cats wandering in their gardens. I would not care for it, for example.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  7. texutree

    texutree PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks again for the advice. The immediate neighbours have outdoor cats, too - so there are at least two others in the immediate area.
     
  8. sandy-cat

    sandy-cat PetForums Senior

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    Keep her in for at least 3 weeks, but ideally more - at least six weeks - before letting her out, and then under supervision.

    Your cat is obviously an outdoor/indoor cat as per your post and I'm sure you've assessed the area for safety for an outdoors cat so I don't think it's helpful to suggest that you build a run or catio. I'd just keep yours in for a time until she has settled in the new place. Then let her out about half an hour before feeding time, so she isn't inclined to travel too far as she will come back for food. then build up the time gradually. If she will come when you call that also helps - so while she's kept in you could try training her to come, with treats. Hope that helps.
     
    ribbon likes this.
  9. texutree

    texutree PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks. I will keep her in for a good while yet then. Will try to see how far I can train her to come in the meantime.
     
    ewelsh likes this.
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