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Letting 2 year old cat out for first time!

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Tiggertots, Jun 29, 2009.


  1. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Hi guys,

    I'm pretty new to the forum so I'm hoping someone can help me?

    I have a 2 year old (n) male cat who was a farm kitten but I have kept as an indoor cat from 8 weeks old, & have taken out on a leash for the past 5 months. In the past month or so my partner and I have taken turns in taking him outside in our garden without the leash twice per day while supervising, however, anytime we get up or open the hall door he cries and cries to get out. I've been thinking about letting him out for a while but i'm terrified he wont come back or something will happen to him as he has been an indoor cat for so long. We are unable to fit a cat flap due to being private tennants, however the two cats who live in the flats next to us seem to get in and out without any problems by just crying at the window. My cat also seems to get on very well with the neighbours male cat when he is out and I'm wondering if he might get on better knowing that he can follow the neighbours cat around? Any suggestions would be greatfully received as I'm very apprehensive :confused:!!!
     
  2. Cyberfyn

    Cyberfyn PetForums VIP

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    It's always a scary time. But as he's been out on supervised visits so many times he'll be fine. Ideally let him out early in the morning (before feed time) and let him explore for a few mins, then bang his food bowl or shake the crunchies and he should re-appear! We have always had a cat-flap though, so not sure about your situation. Keep an eye on the door!

    Also a good idea to sprinkle some of his litter around outside. They can smell it from a long way a way.

    Ian.
     
  3. jill3

    jill3 PetForums VIP

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    Hi try not to worry I am sure he will be fine.
    You could try letting him out when you have a day off or when you are home at the week end so you can keep an eye on him.
    Letting him out when he his hungary is best.
    Also each time you call him and he comes back, give him a treat.
    We did this with ours and it works quite well.
    Good Luck!!;)
     
  4. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    I got my cats from a breeder - one was an ex queen and the other a returned kitten. They had been indoor/run cats for about 3 years.

    I decided that I would let them out as our environment is fairly safe (no outside environment is totally safe unless a run or cat-proofed garden). They both have taken to indoor/outdoor like ducks to water.

    Both have become avid hunters (not what I would have wanted but that is a cat's nature). I make sure that they are kept in from dusk to dawn and I have trained them to come to banging a fork against a steel dish - sound probably carries further than my voice.
     
  5. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Thanks guys the comments have really put my mind at rest, I've had Tigger at the vets yesterday to get his microchip put in and I'm just waiting on a safety collar being posted out & i'll try the tips you have given me! He's starting to get a little cheeky now, when we take him out supervised he has decided he would prefer running into the next door neighbours garden so he's getting adventurous!
     
  6. hayleyb

    hayleyb PetForums VIP

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    good luck with this im sure he will be fine and he obviously has a loving home so im certain he'll come home.

    deff go with the treat thing wen he returns, sheldon now leggs up the stairs and into the kitchen for his.

    i live in a flat also so know how difficult it can be with the cat flap. so i jst keep an eye every half hour or so jst to check hes still alrite and see if he wants to come in.

    im sure you will have your own routine in time.

    once again good luck:D
     
  7. Shmitty!

    Shmitty! PetForums Senior

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    I do feel sorry for cats let out and no one there to let them back in, I see them on doorsteps allover the place and I want to cry, I don't stroke them, even tho I'd love to coz then they follow me, and I am scared they will get hurt following me, or attacked by a dog, or not go back home I miss loving cats in the strreet.!!

    Mine stay in and they are fine.
     
  8. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Cyberfyn, this may be a stupid question but I forgot to ask! Do I have to sprinkle a little dirty litter outside and will that make the neighbours cats react in any way??
     
  9. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Did everyone find it quite easy to get into a routine with letting their cats out or did it take a while? I don't want to have him going out at night as I've heard this can be quite dangerous.
     
  10. Cyberfyn

    Cyberfyn PetForums VIP

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    Hi. Just a little used (pee) litter does the job. It's quite pungent, so the smell, for cats at least, carries a long way. It should not make much difference to neighboring cats. Although they might have a sniff out of curiosity.

    We have always had a cat-flap, so our cats have had free access 24-7. They do get into a routine quite quickly.... But make sure it's your routine. Not theirs! Ours are allowed out day and night, but usually they come to bed at about 1am ish and sleep though till breakfast time. Although with the hot weather, they have been sleeping on the swing chair at the bottom of the garden at night. Much cooler for them. We have Foxes and Badgers as regular visitors to our garden (rural) and have had no problems with them for the last 15 years.

    Ian.
     
  11. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Hi everyone!

    Wee update. Let Tigger out at 7:30am hungry and sprinkled some litter like advised. Have seen him sniffing around the neighbouring gardens and seems to be enjoying himself. Not seen him around in the last hour even when I rattle his dish, trying not to get nervous tho!
     
  12. nanamoo

    nanamoo PetForums Member

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    i was the same when i 1st let my 2 cats out, i kept the back door open so they could come back in when they were ready to but kept going out to look for them, now they come and go as they please
     
  13. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Woo hoo he came back!!! 3 and a half hours later he popped up on the kitchen windowsill to get fed and now he's having a much needed nap! Not as harrowing as I first thought thank god!!

    Now for another question.... I'm thinking of getting a new kitten, what is the best way to introduce the kitten to Tigger??
     
  14. catbasket

    catbasket PetForums Member

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    Congratulations. Always a nervous time when letting a cat out for the first time. All sorts of things go through my mind - "does he love me enough to come back?" ... "does he love his food enough to come back???".

    Our last pair of kittens we kept restricted to the lounge with a baby/pet gate fitted in the doorway. This let the adult cats come into the room as soon as they wanted - it took just a few days for one adult cat to be ready but another took about two weeks to even be in the same room as the kittens. Oh yes - we had to cover the gate as the kitties could squeeze through a gap which looks much smaller than their heads ... and they soon learn to climb it so you have to keep on guard if the door is open.

    One other thing - why not get two kittens? They will be far, far more than twice the fun of just one ... watching kittens/young cats play together is one of the world's delights! Think of all the great photos you'll have to show us too ;)
     
  15. Cyberfyn

    Cyberfyn PetForums VIP

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    They usually look smug when they come home. Like they have got away with something :) And then sleep for ages.

    Ian.
     
  16. Ammy

    Ammy PetForums Member

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    I was really worried when we first let Evie out and trawled the streets looking for her the first few times she went out. When I found her, she used to look mega miffed as if to say 'p**s off Mum, I'm busy!!!' :D

    Sometimes, she doesnt want to come in at night and after an hour chasing her round the cul-de-sac (ie. her letting me get close then running off again) I give up and leave her out. Its lovely to hear her little jangley bell ringing while she darts about the front gardens on a hot summer night. We are mega lucky though, we live in a tiny cul-de-sac with next to no traffic and fields surround the estate, lots of wildlife to hunt!!- if I lived on a busy road though, my cats would be in all the time. And she never fails to miaow under my window at 5 am!! :eek:

    My baby Meg has just started exploring the garden alone and she loves it. They are free spirits, my two!! :)

    Why don't you try a bell on your cat? Good for discouraging hunting, but also excellent for finding them if they wander somewhere. You can hear the little bell tinkling!!

    :)
     
  17. Ammy

    Ammy PetForums Member

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    Also, if you are thinking of getting a kitten then read 'cat confidential'- great chapter on multi cat households and a story about Boris and Chivers. After our 2 fighting for the first few introductions we followed this advice and they are now best friends. Excellent book.

    :)
     
  18. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Thanks guys!

    I was thinking of taking my cat to meet the little kitten at his home to see how they would get on before taking him home and then having problems, would this be a good idea? i.e mayb my cat would be unsure of another house with cats and not get a true reflection of how he would react, or would it be a good idea? Thoughts much appreciated!! Oh and I don't think poor Tigger could handle having two kittens around hehe
     
  19. catbasket

    catbasket PetForums Member

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    I think that would be very stressful for him, being taken to an unfamiliar place. Best to let him meet the kitten when the kitten moves in with you. That way the older cat can run and hide to a familiar place if he's upset by this new 'thing' in his home.

    Don't be surprised if the older cat takes some time to accept the kitten - when our newest two moved in Flori spent most of a week hiding under the bed, and Phili hid on top of the wardrobe for a few days. Musky just looked confused, like he always does. Then suddenly both newbies had been pretty much accepted as part of the family by the time they'd been with us for two weeks.

    Also remember to give the older cat lots of fuss so he doesn't feel too jealous of the kitten.
     
  20. Tiggertots

    Tiggertots PetForums Senior

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    Thanks catbasket! I wasn't sure what would be for the best as I was worried Tigger wouldn't accept the new addition and would then have to take him back or sell him on which I don't want!
     
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