Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Introducing Your Cat to the Outdoors

Wessie laying in the sunshine outside
Are you considering introducing your indoor cat to the outdoors?  Find out how to make it easier on your cat in this article.

There are advantages and disadvantages to letting your cat outdoors.  Make sure to think about them all before making a final decision.

Pros:
  • Your cat will go to the bathroom outside, so you don't have to scoop a litter box regularly.
  • Your cat will be able to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.
  • They will be able to have the unique experiences that only the outdoors can offer.
  • Your cat will probably have a richer and more exciting life.
Cons:
  • Your cat may have a shorter life span, due to other animals, cars, and cruel people.
  • Your cat will probably roam around, and may be near you less.
  • Others may not like your cat in their yard.
  • Your cat may disappear.  If the cat went off on its own, it will probably return, but there is always a chance that the cat was stolen.
Your cat will probably kill some of the birds and rodents in your area.  This can be a pro if you have too many rodents, but may also be a con if you like the local wildlife.

If you want your cat to have the freedom of going outside, without the possibility of the cat escaping your yard, you may want to consider a Purrfect Cat Fence, which is a cat proof fence that can be installed into your yard.

If you live in an area with a lot of traffic, it will be more dangerous to let your cat outside than if you live in a more rural area.  Keep this in mind when you are considering letting your cat outside.

Once you're sure that you want to let your cat outdoors, here's how to make it easier on them.

Before you let your cat outdoors, consider teaching him/her to come when called.  Don't know how to train your cat?  Here's how.

First of all, give your cat a treat.  Get another treat, and show it to your cat.  Go to the other end of the room, get down, and call your cat by their name.  Your cat will probably come to get another treat.  If the cat comes, praise them, and give them the treat.  Go to another room in your house, and call your cat again.  The cat will probably start to come when you call, because they know that they will be rewarded.  Be sure to have a treat on hand every time you call your cat.  If you don't reward your cat each time, they may decide that there is no point in coming.

If you just got your cat, keep it indoors.  This will give it time to adjust to you, causing the cat to be less likely to run away.  Also keep kittens indoors, as they are more likely to run into the street than older cats.
Once your cat has lived with you for a few months, and you know that both you and the cat are ready for the transition, open your door to the outdoors.

At first the cat will probably be reluctant to go out, unless he/she was an outdoor cat at a previous home.  If your cat doesn't want to go, put some of the cat's favorite food outside, or call the cat with a treat.  Don't be too hard on the cat.  If it doesn't want to go out, don't force it to.  The cat may have bad memories of something associated with the outdoors.  Once the cat is outside, let him/her explore a little.  They may want to stay in the same spot, while they also might do the opposite, and run off.  To prevent your cat from running off, consider using a leash the first time you are letting your cat out.

In the beginning, keep your cat's outdoor sessions short.  You may also want to supervise your cats first outdoor sessions so that you know how the cat acts outside.  Increase the length of the sessions over time, and your cat will probably begin to love the world of the outdoors. At first it seemed that Wessie would never like the outdoors, but soon he almost never wanted to go inside!




6 comments:

  1. We keep Bogey strictly inside because he's safer that way. However, the little stinker is always doing his best to escape out the door. He even knows how to pull open our sliding glass door if it isn't pulled tightly shut.

    Pat
    www.critteralley.blogspot.com

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  2. The picture of the cat showing his teeth "u mak kitteh smile" is very upsetting. Someone is obviously pulling on that cat's whiskers to get the picture. I don't know who could do such a horrible thing, but I am surprised to see it on this site.

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  3. i had difficulty vaccination my cats, and this site helps me more and having tips on how to take care cats

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  4. i like cat and want to buy one,this site helps me a lot looking for a cat and how to take care of it

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  5. my cat won't even walk in the house with a leash on :( any tips?

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    Replies
    1. You may need to start over and introduce your cat to the harness and leash more slowly. Introduce the harness when your cat is in a good mood, such as at meal time. After your cat is used to the harness's presence, you can slowly work up to putting it on and attaching the leash. Reward your cat a lot during this time. Keep in mind that this process can take months, and even then your cat probably won't "walk like a dog". Good luck!

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