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Is it too cold to let my cat outside for the first time?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by rockrooster, Dec 7, 2019.


  1. rockrooster

    rockrooster PetForums Newbie

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    My cat Theo is around 18 months old, he hasn't been outside for more than a few minutes before as we previously lived on a busy road. Around a month ago, we moved to a quiet area. He really wants to go outside so I had a cat flap installed, he's chipped and neutered and am ready to start letting him out properly. However, half of my friends say it is too cold to let him out now it's December. The other half think it is fine as he has a fur coat.
    Just wondering if anyone here could help/give their opinion?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @rockrooster and welcome :)

    If you have trained him indoors in 'recall' so he always comes to you when called, I think you could start letting him out for short periods. The cold weather means he is not likely to want to stay out for long anyway, so is a good place to start from.

    I would go outside first with him and walk round the garden with him.

    If he leaves the garden, call him back after about 20 minutes, so he learns to take note of you calling him. I whistle for for my cats to come back and they seem to respond more quickly to that than me calling them.
     
  3. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I don't think the cold will make a lot of difference to him TBH but personally if you feel you really must allow him to free roam I would wait until the lighter nights come round March/April and beyond.
    Out of interest what makes you think he wants to go out if this is something he has rarely done in the past .
    Have you considered cat proofing your garden or building a Catio/run where he can have some outdoor fun but remain safe.
    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.211361/
     
  4. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

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    This ^^

    Most indoor cats who have always been indoor have no real desire to roam as they don't know what they're missing. He might be curious about outside, which isn't necessarily the same thing
     
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  5. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    If it's too cold he won't go out. If you decide to let him out, rather than follow the catio / cat-proof garden route, at first only let him out when he's hungry and watch him. At the first sign of an escape attempt, call him back and feed him. However I strongly recommend a catio / cat-proof garden.
     
  6. Ali71

    Ali71 PetForums VIP

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    My boys are indoor and always have been - they do show interest and now we live in a house with an enclosed garden they love a little stroll round. But they are always supervised.The slightest noise will have them running back indoors. And no matter how much they have crazed me at the back door if I open it and it's raining, the interest is very short-lived!! This winter we shall see if snow and frost have the same effect.

    My point being that your cat can still get fulfilment from the outside if you are happy to supervise them/leash train them or maybe a catio or enclosure.
     
  7. rockrooster

    rockrooster PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies
    He paws at the door, he tries to get out when I go out/come home and he has made a run for freedom quite a few times. He has been out for an hour or so supervised today and even when I bought him in he was desperate to get back out.
    I will look into the catio but I don't think it's an option for me.
    The problem with taking him out supervised is that 6 days a week in winter, I leave the house when it's dark and come back when it's dark and I wouldn't want to let him out even supervised when it's late and hes not used to it just in case. He barely copes wearing his collar let alone a leash.
    The thing that worries me most is that we have a lot of family staying over Christmas and he might figure out it's easier to get outside that way, and just quickly escape and I won't be there to bring him back. I figure if he is at least used to the sounds and weather of the outdoors, it might not be as bad. I hope that all makes sense
     
  8. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Surely you don't intend to leave him out while you aren't home all that time every day? I have probably misunderstood your meaning.
     
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  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The OP said her cat has a cat flap. Hopefully it's a microchipped type which can be programmed to open at a sensible time [after dawn] and to close at dusk so the cat can get back in (if he is out) but can't get out again in the dark. That's what I'd do if I was out for long hours each day. :)
     
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  10. rockrooster

    rockrooster PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry, no I dont I was responding to the person who said to only let him out while supervised
     
  11. rockrooster

    rockrooster PetForums Newbie

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    It's microchip controlled, it can't be programmed like this, but it does have an "in only" option, it's just if he doesn't come back after dark that I was worried about
     
  12. Scouttie

    Scouttie PetForums Senior

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    Scout loves being outside, but more so In the summer. This time of year she will go out for about half an hour max. Too cold and too wet. She is currently curled up in her basket which is beside the radiator.

    she has the programmable cat flap which means she can always beget back in.

    summer she will spend hours chasing flies and butterflies round the garden.
     
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