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Is it ok to let a cat out of a 4th floor flat?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by maximmillner, Mar 1, 2020.


  1. maximmillner

    maximmillner PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    I’m considering adopting a 4 year old cat who spent most of her life indoors, but has spent the last year going outside and enjoying herself.

    we live on the 4th floor of a block of flats, and on the ground floor is a nice communal car-free space with grass and trees and some other cats roaming.

    Our original plan was to install a catflap and let her go out when she wants but she would need to go up and down 4 flights of stairs and i’m worried she would find it hard to find her way back. Also, at the level of each floor are some bars with gaps big enough for a cat to get out. I assume she will know not to jump out through the gaps in her way down?

    thanks
    Max
     
  2. moomoowawa

    moomoowawa PetForums Member

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    Hey Max, this isn't going to work I'm afraid! If she's been going out and enjoying it then best to let someone with a safe garden have her, and try and find a cat that is indoor only
     
    Etienne, ewelsh, buffie and 1 other person like this.
  3. cheekyscrip

    cheekyscrip Pitchfork blaster

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    No.

    The answer is: No.

    She will go down, get chased by other cats, dogs, simply scared of the unknown and run away etc...
    She will get lost with all possible consequences.

    I believe that as she was an indoor cat she can be indoor cat again with enough stimulation.
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @maximmillner -

    Hi Max, I'm sorry I have to agree with the others, that letting a cat out from a 4th Floor flat would be fraught with dangers.

    She may not find her way back up 4 flights of stairs. What would happen if she became injured or unwell while she was out? She would probably not manage to get back home. And no, I don't think she will necessarily know she shouldn't jump through gaps in the stairwell - cats are notorious for taking silly risks when they jump.

    You mention there are other cats roaming in the communal area - they may well object to your cat invading 'their' territory and attack her or chase her away.

    I am surprised a Rescue would approve you adopting a. cat in a 4th floor flat with a view to letting her out. Or has the Rescue stipulated she must be kept indoors if you adopt her?
     
  5. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    It might be a private arrangement rather than through a rescue
     
    raysmyheart likes this.
  6. maximmillner

    maximmillner PetForums Newbie

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    Hi guys thanks for the feedback. Yes it is a private arrangement not a rescue centre. And it's not decided yet we are still figuring out whether it is suitable. We are prepared to say no if we decide it is not suitable.

    In response to the comments about other cats, surely this is the same as introducing a cat to any new environment? There are always other cats near gardens in London. The communal space here is very big, and lots of individual closed off areas, and there are only about 5/6 other cats so far as I can tell.

    There are also other cats that live on 3rd or 4th floor flats in the block and they apparently have no issue finding their way up and down the stairs. I also know the introduction to the outdoors would need to be gradual, settling her in to the just the flat first for a good few weeks.

    But as I say, we are willing to say no if we decide it is not suitable.
     
    moomoowawa likes this.
  7. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Is there any reason why she cant be kept as an indoor cat ?She has spent a good part of her life already as a house cat so I'm sure she would soon settle back into that sort of life which would be a far safer option .
     
    cheekyscrip and maximmillner like this.
  8. maximmillner

    maximmillner PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Buffie, and thanks. The only reason is that the previous owner thought it would be nice to re-home her somewhere with access to the outdoors, as she liked exploring. But keeping her as an indoor cat is not out of the question. Especially if she seems calm and content after the first few weeks of settling in indoors.
     
    moomoowawa, chillminx and buffie like this.
  9. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Unfortunately that will be something that only time will tell but I would think if you really want to give her a home she will settle given time and quite honestly letting her out in the circumstances you describe sounds to risky .
    I would give this a lot of thought ,consider her safety and allow someone else with a better set up to give her a home if she really must have outdoor access .
     
    Etienne, cheekyscrip and chillminx like this.
  10. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    Introducing her to a new home and a new outdoors and a load of new cats and have her navigate 4 flights of stairs is a bit too much. The other cats may tolerate the situation, it doesn't automatically follow that they will be happy with yet another cat in their outside territory or that she would be happy with it either.

    There's a lot of unknowns which would be incredibly unfair on her if they didn't work. If you do take her, have her as an indoor only cat
     
    cheekyscrip likes this.
  11. Ringypie

    Ringypie PetForums VIP

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    I’d be worried about her having to navigate up 4 flights of stairs which I guess are communal? Imagine she’s had a fright and is on her way home then meets a big family or perhaps someone with a dog coming down the stairs. No escape apart from going back down the stairs.
    A couple of scary encounters on the stairs would be horrid for her, imagine having to run a Long narrow gauntlet every time you go home. The difference with a ground floor cat flap is it can be approached from different angles etc, usually bushes or pots and bits and bobs in the garden that can be used for cover.
    My boy Flint was an outdoor cat then my life changed and he lived as an indoor cat for several years. Then outdoor again for a few years and now back indoor where he will stay now. He’s content as an indoor cat so it can be done especially I think if moving house. It would have been harder to change him to an indoor lifestyle if he was still living in the same house where he had previously had access to outdoor.
     
  12. maximmillner

    maximmillner PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks @Ringypie . It's good to hear your cat was comfortable moving from indoor to outdoor depending on your housing situation. As a result of the comments on this thread, I think if we take her we will keep her as an indoor cat considering the 4 flights of stairs. We are possibly moving to a bigger ground floor flat with a communal gardens in a few months anyway, in which case maybe we will let her out.
     
  13. scatatonic

    scatatonic PetForums Junior

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    You could try training her to take a leash but not sure how receptive an older cat would be with that? My kitten has trained really easily and loves going for a walk. Would really depend on the cat on how easily it would adapt to four flights of stairs.. I think I would be more concerned about how exposed it would be to unkind people.
     
    chillminx and raysmyheart like this.
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