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How to let my cat out and keep him safe


LightbulbSun

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I just moved into an apartment a few weeks ago. For a few weeks, my cat didn't want to go outside (even though he basically was allowed to roam at night where he lived before), but today, he's started pawing at the window and wanting to go outside.

 

Here's the issue: I've never lived alone and had to take responsibility for a cat, so I don't know if it's safe to let him out at night. I let him out for about 20 mins tonight, but started worrying and went outside and called him (and brought him back inside.) Now he wants to go outside again, despite it being almost 10pm.

 

Is it safe for me to put in a pet door in the window? My apartment is close to the highway, and even though my cat hasn't shown the slightest interest in getting close to the cars (he fears them, and runs the other way when he hears them), I still worry about something happening, especially at night.

 

Could someone give me advice? He will not be an indoor cat, I'm sure of that. His mother was a wild cat, and he seems to have inherited her genes. He is very unhappy indoors all the time.

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Every cat I have had has been an indoor cat. Even strays I took in eventually "learned" to be indoor cats. As long as they are spayed/neutered, they can adjust to this new lifestyle rather quickly. Has he not been neutered yet?

 

Ask any vet...the safest place for a cat is indoors.

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Well, they can never be truly safe outdoors. They will always run the risk of getting hit/killed by a vehicle or mauled by another animal (wild animals and/or domestic dogs). But if you insist on letting the cat out, I guess it would be wise to be sure that all vaccinations are up to date and that the cat does not stay out all night. Try to call the cat to come inside at night and that will avoid a lot more wild animal encounters at least.

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I had a stray that I adopted as a child, which was an outdoor cat. We let her out for 9 years because she didn't leave the yard. We always made her come in at night though.

 

We made her stay in once she got older and it became more dangerous for her to be out there. She couldn't run as fast or climb as well, so it was time to become an "indoor" cat.

 

She drove us nuts for about 3 weeks- crying near the door and going stir crazy- but she eventually got over it, and lived the last 10 years of her life indoors.

 

If you keep the cat indoors you should provide something for the cat to scratch, and also some toys to chase for exercise. Many cats who are avid hunters like to chase laser pointers or realistic mice toys.

 

You will also have to provide a clean litterbox.

 

There are also a lot of things you can do to make the cat have a comfortable place to lay and look out the window. Like link removed

 

If you really wanted to try something to amuse the cat- these Pet Sitter videos work well, but then the cat will be crying to watch the TV, instead of near the door link removed I currently own another former stray who was a hunting goddess and even she adapted to life indoors. Having cared for both indoor and outdoor cats, it is much easier to care for an indoor cat. There are less problems. You don't have to worry about them getting killed by a car or anumal. My outdoor cat from childhood would always bring dead rodents and birds in the house and have cuts from fighting with other cats. It's easier to avoid fleas if they stay indoors as well, and you won't have to worry about them being sprayed by a skunk. (My outdoor cat thought it would be fun to attack a skunk

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My cat, Karma, goes outdoors, but this was not my intention when I got her from the SPCA. I tried to keep her inside but she kept getting out through a second floor window....so rather than have her break a leg, I started letting her out the door. Anyway this wasn't the smartest idea in the neighbourhood we lived in...she ironically ended up with a broken leg anyway, I'm not really sure what happened but it was probably a traffic accident. She had to get her leg amputated as a result of the accident and I really wanted to keep he indoors after that....but this cat is relentless when she decides she wants to go outside and she's got one set of lungs on her!! Anyway I was living in a nice safe suburban area by that point she gradually she started going outside again. Now 5 years later she's perfectly healthy apart from missing a leg and she is much happier outdoors than indoors which I can relate to so I let her go out. The neighbourhood I live in now is pretty cat friendly and has little traffic, but of course those are things I factor in now when looking for places to live.

 

Anyway my point is that it is recommended by most vets that you keep your cat indoors, but you can have healthy outdoor cats too, you just have to be aware of the particular dangers in your area and take precautions against them. For example my cat wears a reflective collar and we don't let her out at night if it's forecasted to get cold overnight and stuff like that. Also you will want to give your cat regular flea and potentially deworming treatment (get this from the vet, it's a bit expensive but store brands generally are not reliable).

 

In your case I might be concerned about the highway nearby, but maybe your cat can go out with your supervision a few times so you can get an idea how the cat interacts with it's surroundings. Since you are concerned about what your cat might do at night, maybe you should only let it out in the day or something.

 

 

Good Luck with the kitty!

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When I was growing up, we would always have an outdoor cat. Some of them got killed. I was a kid and my mother shielded me from the truth, but now I know. My current cat is an indoor cat and he seems ok with that. The last cat my mother had was an outdoor cat but she would not let him out at night, only during the day. He rarely left the yard but got lost once for two weeks and I thought my mother would have a breakdown. As he got older, she kept him in and he got used to it. He had a nice long life.

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We have five cats of various ages (crazy, I know), and they are all indoor cats. They are all shelter cats. Upon adoption, the shelter made us promise to keep them indoors for their safety, something we would have done anyway. When I was younger, our cat was run over by a car. This was in a suburban neighborhood, with light traffic. We also had an outdoor cat who ended up blind in one eye and with permanent damage to his leg from being in a fight. Car accidents aren't the only danger for outdoor cats. There are even people who hate cats and kill them for pleasure--and Halloween is coming. Cats do seem to adjust to being indoors. The best thing for a cat to keep from being bored, if they're young enough, is the company of a playmate. Two kittens is hardly any more work than one, and it's so worth it.

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Maybe I'll look into getting another cat. That's a very good idea. My cat doesn't seem to get along with other cats, but maybe a female kitten would be okay.

 

I'm a college student, and I frequently leave my apartment, so I don't want my cat to get lonely. This is a small apartment, and certainly there's only so many times he can raid his cat toy box.

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In the past two years, we've adopted two sets of sibling kittens. They have so much fun together, and they're a blast to watch. The older cats have adjusted well to the younger ones, but it can be touch and go, especially if the age difference is great or the cat is too territorial.

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That's the problem. He's very territorial.

 

I'm going to let him out every now and then, but not at night. He always sticks close to the apartment, so I don't think he'd wander off (he's been neutered, had all his shots, and been treated for fleas, so that shouldn't be an issue.)

 

I feel like the bad guy trying to keep him in.

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Lighbulb, please keep kitty indoors. They learn to truly love it. I have taken in very wild kitties who adjusted to indoor life (I've had cats all my life). A neutered male? He'll be fine. And they actually don't get too lonely. Cats are solitary creatures. You can get him a friend, but it's not necessary.

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I hate to even mention it because it's graphic/disturbing- but basically since you posted this thread, one of my relatives just has his cat ripped to pieces by something. (likely coyotes)

 

He let the cat out at night and found pieces of it his yard the next morning (1 paw, tail, piece of a collar)

 

Even if you don't have large predatory animals in your area, vehicles are always a concern, or a domestic dog that is not leashed could get at it. I know it's hard because cats love to go ourdoors so much, but you are far more likely to avoid a tragic accidental death if the cat just stays indoors.

 

I don't know how my relative can even cope now, after what he saw. I'd be floored if I ever had to see that. Devastated.

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Have you considered putting him on a cat leash? Lots of people do that with their cats. It allows them to go outside and roam while being safe and under your supervision. They make cat harnesses with really long leashes so you can just sit on your porch or something and the cat can go wherever he pleases. Try that!

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dont worry about him getting lonely when your out.

 

Cats are not like dogs and are very independent...f you were with your cat all day he would soon get annoyed and want some "me time" anyway!

 

Cats can adjust to whatever is thrown at them - as long as you are consistent with your approach. Our kitty is left alone durnig the day when we are at work and yes at first it is hard as she watches us from the window drive off but when we come back we are showered with love and attention and give her plenty of fuss and play with her.

 

We are considering getting a leash and harness when she has had all her injections so we can take her out...but for the moment she is more than happy watchin the world go by outside from the windowsilla nd does not cry to go outside at all....

 

Do what you think is best for your kitty and keep them entertained when you can.

 

Does anyone know of any good cat toys? any websites etc? I live in UK and have run out of toys from Pets At Home lol!!!

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